Archive for January, 2013|Monthly archive page

Going Tongue Fu in Corby… memories of last year

So we headed off from Nottingham in a little red car… Jim, Georgina and Anne… we are the only SAT NAV we need. Navigate by smell and talk and laughs and a print out from a computer with not enough ink. We talk. We say, ‘what goes on in the little red car, stays in the little red car.’ We drive. We’ve gone from our familiar mixed-up city, through pork pie town, pass green hills (Georgie gasping at green and trees and cows) …and old towns with old ways, we pass gastro pubs and tiny streets… then find Corby. We see a sign for the station and think we might be in time to pick up our fourth Mouthy, Cleo. And as we pull into the car park, we recognise her bum and the way she walks, she doesn’t look like she belongs here and neither do we!

So then we begin the circling of roundabouts until we park up and think we’ll finish this trip on foot. This place is shops, this place is a tired old precinct with a huge, shiny glass box dropped at the edge – but no sign to tell us that this is The Cube at The Core, Corby – so we do that thing where we ask a man where it is and he raises his arm to point behind us…

And inside, we meet poets and musicians and Yard Theatre Group members and friends from Shake The Dust and DJs and singers and they feed us and give us a dressing room and we get lost because each floor looks the same… but we’re thinking… ‘this is work?’ Because if this was our work every day, that would be just fine.

And we listen to the open mic and smile at the shy red-headed girl who sings with her dad and laugh and gasp and wipe a tear away too and then gather round for a workshop in celebrating ourselves and marvel at how a simple list poem is often all it takes for someone to recognise that they are a poet.

Later we deliver our poems, not into hushed silence but to a crazy improvised backing track by three men and a boy on a beat box and we raise our game and we try it this way and that and we learn that we can do all poems in a completely new way and we are BUZZING with excitement because that’s what Tongue-Fu does to you. (Let the Pig Out!)

So that’s Corby, that’s Tongue-Fu, that’s being a Mouthy Poet.

Cleo heads for the train, we head for the car park… this town (like The Specials used to say) is coming like a ghost town… we find our little red car, all alone in a grey concrete space and somehow this is funny and we feel like the last three people in a post apocalyptic city… as I head off to find the ‘pay station’ cries of ‘we’re coming with you!’ echo round the multi-storey…

Then we find that we have to drive A-L-L the way to the top to pay and then A-L-L the way down again to get out and that the machine doesn’t take cards so we scrabble around for change feeling like we’re running out of time and we may be trapped in a car park in Corby for the rest our lives, just the three of us, but somehow that’s funny. And we make it, find the coins, get the ticket and get out for the long dark drive home… through silent streets, navigating by nose again, across country and find Nottingham… alive and shouting… all the lights on… all the girls staggering… all the boys staggering… all the sirens blaring… but home.

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