Performing Poetry, Chasing Spiders

Spider Web pictured against a green, outdoor background

Spider Web pictured against a green, outdoor background
A spider web can be a thing of beauty but when its occupant goes walk about . . .

I was performing poetry at Brewery Lane, Carrick-on-Suir last Friday.  I was also battling a severe case of stage fright.  Back when I ran a small publishing company called ‘Young Welsh and Poetic’, I read poetry regularly, for the most part at my own events, on my own terms.  I became used to having an audience and understood that they wanted me to do well.  I was confident nobody had come along for the laugh.  Four years later, in a new country with a new project: K. S. Moore, I have reverted to my old scared self and I don’t think I like it.

I know it’s partly to do with the fact that the room is brightly lit and everyone sits in an expectant semi circle.  I can pick out every face and find myself longing for a swarming crowd, and even brighter lights so that I am quaking, yet blessedly blind.  I also miss having a lectern and microphone to hide behind.  Of course, I’m not really small enough to disappear behind these poetry props but with a little imagination, just having them there seems to comfort me.  According to hubs I’m better without them.  He recently informed me that I used to lean on my lectern.  His constant fear was that I might press too hard, leading to its collapse and my plummeting descent to the floor.  Little did I know the risks I was taking!

But there is definitely something about standing up in front of people with nothing but a poetry book in your hands that makes you feel exposed.  I know that the illogical fear will only recede with perserverance and practice.  So, I will battle on, performing poetry until it feels natural to be up there and this time I won’t take any breaks!  To challenge myself further, I found myself agreeing to be Brewery Lane’s featured poet in January.  Cue much wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth!  Choosing which poems to read will be fun though.  Poetry always makes sense.

In other scary news, my eight legged house guest who starred in several tweets last week has gone too far this time!  Firstly, I found him chilling in my fleecy dressing gown which I had left in the bathroom!  Hubs intervened as I exclaimed, flapped my arms and pointed out the audacity of it all.

“I’ll deal with it,” he said.

An hour later, after we had eaten tea and were relaxing, watching TV on the sofa, Hubs drew me in for a cuddle.  To my horror, something dark and substantial scurried across his body.

“There’s something crawling on you!”

Getting into rescue mode, I rushed to turn on the light and tried to persuade the spider to climb on to a piece of paper. Our stubborn friend declined, making a rapid move onto my side of the sofa.  Moments later he was running towards our fire, flirting with a scorching death.  Ever taking the humane approach, Hubs tried to divert him away from a piece of hot coal.  Suddenly, eager to please, the Spider fleed the flames, seeking refuge in my husband’s abandoned fleece. Now we know where the expression creature comforts comes from!

Eventually, hubs caught the critter as he prepared to scale our laptop bag.  The bag was taken outside, the spider shaken off.  Domestic harmony was restored.  But our memory of this particularly brazen spider will not fade so fast.  Were his actions affectionate, attention seeking or desperate?  We may never know ;).

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Performing Poetry, Chasing Spiders.

2 responses to “Performing Poetry, Chasing Spiders”

  1. Depending on how long those poems go on for, you’ll be done before the stage fright sets in! I have HORRIBLE stage fright! Never really settled it, but it was easier when I was in costume/half hidden. I also agree that it’s easier to perform when you don’t see your audience. My actor friends said whenever they had friends in the audience, they were more nervous, though!
    Also, you’re brave about that spider. I’m not too squeamish usually – but I usually kill the creepy crawlies unless I can scoop them up right away and throw them outside! Good on you!

    • Hey there, thanks for taking the time to comment. I’m planning to get lots of practice in before January so hopefully the nerves will steady! As for spiders, I wouldn’t say I’m that brave although I have got used to seeing huge examples of their kind over the last few years! I hate it when they move really fast, completely freaks me out!

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