The Year Of Doing (even more) Things.

December 28, 2009 at 8:15 am | Posted in performance, writing | 27 Comments

(it is raining gently

literally whispering

we create ourselves)

Lurking behind many of my verbal ramblings is the idea that the only resource of much value to humans is experience, both individual and collective. And in that spirit I dub this the year of getting up off your arse, Squires and jumping up and down.

That is to say, I must start performing the poetry live. As most of you know, this is something I dread and it would be so much easier if Maxine Clarke, Australia’s finest performance poet was standing beside me with a sharp object threatening to transform it from a thought into a shiny metal object poking me in the ribs saying, “Squires, if you don’t get out there right now…

It would be easier if I could sidle up to Graham Nunn and say, “Graham, I’m gonna make very few live appearances in my life-time, lets charge them a fiver for half an hour. Then we could reinvest the surplus in the Buckmonster Filler Program we stole, I mean the old shuffleroo, Sir Marcus Westbury, what a gent.”

But, as usual, I am getting way ahead of myself. I must choose the first piece for the performance, then I was thinking of group sourcing the rest, that is to say, taking requests,



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  1. Great choice – one of my favourites. And I propose the Elephant less circi (did I get that right)for another one. What about more youtube poetry as performance. Perform to the world instead of a small group of people. You may go viral!
    That is the plan, Gabrielle. I will gradually hang on the new technology and sharpen my suit. Life is an amazing adventure. (But I’m not sure I would want to be viral, sounds insidious.) And elephant-less circi is an excellent suggestion, thankyou.

  2. the visual of maxine forcing you to perform yr poetry at knife-point is one of my favorites of this rapidly ending year. im gonna have to go rambling through the archives before i can start shouting out requests!
    Maxine would most likely enjoy taking to me with a knife at the moment, Jason. It’s gonna be a BIG year. You have a new novel starting and the old one getting packaged, so I’ll be seeing you soon, big feller.

  3. Go for it, go fearwards and perform. If you can write it you can perform it.
    That is true, Elisabeth, anything written can be performed, already has in the mind. It is simply a matter of manifesting that performance in the world.

  4. more power to you Paul, I would say it takes a lot of courage to stand up there, but that is only if you’re unarmed, stand up like Neo in the ONLY Matrix movie, strapped with grenades of verse and machine gun prose.
    Haha. I shall practise my backwards bending, Mark. I think there will be movement, semi-choreographed, a little Monk-like shuffle to accompany the wordage.

  5. This is very exciting. I will be upset if you don’t do a live performance in Sydney, but Youtube will do just as well. I can’t wait!!
    I can’t wait too, Selma! And yes, the Youtube is a definite goer too. I have already made a channel and put a few experiments with the camera in it. Hopefully there will be a full-length feature documentary of my world tour in cinemas by the end of next year also.

  6. That sounds amazingly delightful, Paul, and oh how I wish I could be present in a live performance of yours! But I hope you do go down the youtube path, it’s much less underground than the British version 😉

    May I suggest the local drunk? Or perhaps three card?

    And, in fact, (and though I seem to have said this often enough in the recent past), getting of my arse and getting slightly more virtually alive is definitely on my new year agenda as well 🙂
    Sumedh! My friend, how are you? Your photography just gets better and better, as does your writing. I have sent a letter to the producers demanding India be on the itinerary for the world tour. I’ll see you then and we shall drink tea in your magnificent garden and laugh at the outrageous antics of the peacocks.

  7. Bravo! Good plan. And I love the parenthetical poem above. Very gentle, and aren’t many of life’s best and quietest gentle things parenthetical. Ah, for the parenthetical life! No business, no worries, and whispering rain.
    I have one more week of the parenthetical life (a wonderful term, Aletha) and then it is back to economic slavery. Life is an amazing adventure.

  8. You need to youtube it all. I got the scissors ready poking at your ribs.
    I have a youtube channel, Maxine, and I can feel that poking already.

  9. lovely choice for the first piece and good luck with the perfomance. Being on stage with poetry defeats me every time, even though I’m a confident public speaker in other situations, nerves just make me stupid when its my poetry I’m supposed to be presenting. That probably doesn’t help, I’m sure you’ll be fine……
    Thanks, Juliet. That makes me feel better, that you have trouble with it too. I figure practice is the only solution. See you at the Edinburgh Festival, soonish.

  10. I think you should do ‘Overcoming Performance Anxiety (3)
    A. This will break the ice and make the audience sympathetic to your
    position on the stage ALONE.

    B. It will make them smile in self recognition as they sit there
    watching you, all the while thinking: “Man, I’m glad I’m not Squires up there ALONE.”

    LOL Just kidding Mr. Squires, you will do exceptionally well. Keep it loose and spontaneous, a little improvisation goes a long way when nervous. But I bet you already knew all this stuff eh? 😉 Oh yeah, I think it would be rather lovely if you did ‘Everybody On The One’

    Haha, two excellent suggestions. I like the Overcoming Performance Anxiety idea a lot, Val. I shall put those two in the performance file. Thankyou!

  11. 2010 the year of everything (better best) and even more. if the current clips r any indication of whats 2 come, i know it will be fantastic. Happy New Year!
    It sound so futuristic, Tipota, 2010. We shall be in a sci-fi movie, Planet of The Arts. Happy New Year to you too!!

  12. Performance would capture a whole other element of your gifts that many of us writer-bloggers simply lack: your voice and your presence.
    I wish you would come out of your shell, Ms Squirrel. I would love to hear your voice, hear you read your tiny tales. Years and years we have known each other and I still have no idea what you look like or even where you live. Even just one photo would be a blessing.

  13. You should sidle up to me and ask me for a feature at SpeedPoets Paul! Hope you have big plans for this evening…
    I will do that Graham. I am moving vaguely in the direction of two things, a poetry reading like SpeedPoets and a verse play, maybe for actors. My plans for this evening involve baying at the moon.

  14. Oh how very exciting!! It’s fantastic to proactively move your talent forward into new, previously unvisited places!!

    Happy new year!! 😀
    Yes, life is learning and challenges, Tracey. Happy New Year to you too!!

  15. Happy New Year, Paul, did you get my e-card? a “christmas” card I think it was, to be exact, but you may consider it a New Year’s greeting, as well as this humble sentiment I offer you here as a meagre gift, for you deserve so much more, but then you are your own gift, as everything is, and you know this, you seem to unwrap the gift of life everyday, which is admirable. This piece is inspiring as always. A reminder that we all must make a break for other, newer seasons.

    Have a wonderful New Year,
    I did you get your fabulous card, thankyou. Your gifts are never meagre, Peter, always precious.

  16. we do create ourselves…

    good luck with the live performance and happy new year.
    An image flashed before my eyes, Maxine pushing you on stage as the instructor pushes his students for their first parachute jump. Free flowing, a knot in the stomach and then you can only enjoy it…
    I will enjoy it, Ana. I am exaggerating the dread for dramatic effect and narrative purposes, haha. Happy New Year to you too!

  17. I love it, “the year of getting up off your arse.” I’ve dubbed 2010 the same for me, too. Happy New Year, and I look forward to more of your wonderful poetry.
    Happy New Year to you to, Thomma Lyn. It’s going to be a lot of fun.

  18. PAUL SQUIRES LIVE FTW (for the win)
    I want front seat tickets to the show, I will even pay the exorbitant price of 5 bucks.
    a youtube Vlogs = WIN
    an exciting 2010 for you Mr Squires, I won’t wish you luck, with skills like you have you do not need any of that, so I will wish you lots of happyfun-creating-time
    Thankyou! It is a strange world wherein people will pay five bucks for a cup of coffee but not for half an hour with the Australia’s most windely read poet, oh well. Just kidding, perhaps you can hold the camera for me? And I will do the same for you.

  19. hahaha Paul, we do not know each other all that well.. yet.. so not sure if you get my sense of humour…$5 is super cheap….and I don’t drink coffee, eat pizza, or drink lolly water (sodas) I know blasphemy right lol…anyway it baffles me why Poets still have such a low profile as entertainment value goes a performing poet = WIN!!!!
    A performing poet is like a comedian, a politician, a musician all smashed up and mashed up as one

  20. I’ve missed a lot…haven’t been by to visit. I wish you great things in 2010, Paul. Cheers!

  21. I wish you luck and stable joints in your performances, Paul. One of the best decisions I ever made for my well-being was to suck it up, walk to the stage and let it out. To this day, the scariest moment of my life is every time I’m up there, but it’s the kind of fear one lives for.

  22. Hey Paul, we miss you!
    I wish I could watch/listen you sing your poems…

  23. On becoming gloriously irrelevant again I think is a cracker, that’d be great to perform, so that’s my 2 cents. And ‘if I was(2)’ is great too, good opener to a set!

  24. Clearly if I can do it, you can do it. Your Wordsalad experience will help you. There’s no difference really. One word at a time. Just picture me in the audience, sunglasses on, whiskey in hand. Or picture MedicatedLady naked.

  25. yippee! i’ll get the popcorn ready

    ps nice post poem too of course

  26. I admire your will to get off your arse 🙂 please send some motivation my way.

  27. I have never thought of myself as a performing poet, but i can see paulS how this is a natural progression. Plus some of your recorded poems added such light and melody to things i’d read on screen. I think its an excellent idea. good luck to you.

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