Performance Poets

‘Performance Poets’ book cover

say something

If I
want to speak
here, it seems I must wear
this colourful suit
they have given me. They say
it looks good on me,
makes me appear more
interesting. But

it’s too small:
my shoulders are too broad,
my arms reach well beyond the cuffs,
my hips are too wide,
I can hardly bend my knees
and everyone can see
my Achilles tendons.

Also, I’m afraid of getting stuck in it.

I long to tear it off,
shrug on my own
plain garments, go

But this is the only Speakers Corner in town
and there are people
unheard —
because they have no clothes,
or because they’re caged —
so please beware of popping buttons
as I say something

for them.

I don’t consider myself a ‘performance poet’, but some Western Australians seem to think of me that way. I have a micro-collection of poems in Performance Poets, published in 2013 by Fremantle Press. The book also includes collections from Jeremy Balius, Byron Bard, Allan Boyd (Antipoet), Liana Joy Christensen, Gabrielle Everall, Amber Fresh, Afeif Ismail, Dosh Luckwell, Scott-Patrick Mitchell, Kaitlyn Plyley and John Charles Ryan. It comes with downloadable audio performances and an introduction by Rebecca Giggs.