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THE february WORD PIT
Compile by : chris bilton
THE FEBRUARY WORD PIT
COMPILE BY : CHRIS BILTON
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THIS IS THE WORD PIT
Compile by : chris bilton
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FEBRUARY

MARCH

INTRO

So I and Greg Muscroft were musing over the cyberspace campfire, Greg chowing down on a mess o’ beans and me tapping my pipe out on passing beaver.

I say old chap” mused Greg, “what’s this about copyright, you know, poetry wise?”


“Not sure,” said I, ramming a plug of rough shag into the old briar, “maybe we should ask the beaver, looks like a decent sort.”


My astute companion gave me an incredulous sideways glance, “Er, quite, but I was thinking more on the lines of an internet link.”

 

On that bombshell I took a long draw on my old cherry stem, blew out a cloudy one and pondered on the meaning of life and Nick Clegg.


“That’s as maybe old bean,” I retorted, “but my beavers starting to smoulder........”


“Never mind that,” ‘interrupted Greg, looks like ‘The Word Pit” has escaped again and is on the loose marking its territory, ergh, look at the pile its left against the tree, shouldn’t  be allowed, scaring the women and children like that, pheweee, and the smell...”


Quick, “pass me the shovel,” said I, “I put it on my rhubarb, that stuffs marvellous, first class, does it the world of good”


Really? Said Greg, we have custard on ours.”    



Copyright and the Poet

Below is a conglomerate of what you can pick up after a quick Google about poetry copyright.  


The minute you create something in writing, it is automatically copyrighted. Everything that comes after that deals with "proving" the date you created it, but nothing you do will make it any more "copyrighted" than it was the minute you created it.


That's why people say "email it to yourself", because doing this will put a date-stamp on the poem so that if someone else were to use it at a later date, you could show that your copy pre-dates theirs. This is the easiest and least costly way to do it. You do NOT need a lawyer and the laws do NOT vary state to state...they're Federal laws that protect your property...it's why it's called a copy "right", not "copy write."
If you email the poems to yourself, print them out and put them in a binder so you'll have a hard copy. Next, "save" your email to either your hard drive of your internet providers "saved mail" file. Really, that's all you really need to do.


If you’re worried someone will steal your poem, just email it to yourself, print it out, save it, etc. and you'll be fine. Don't spend money protecting something that although valuable to you, probably has very little marketing value. In the past folks would use the postal service for this practice, could still be a good idea to have a postal copy.

When you submit a poem to a publisher, you should still retain all rights to your poem. What you'll often see is that the publisher will ask for publishing rights, but that's not the same as the copyright. If a publisher asks that you sign over your copyright, go to another publisher, because publishers don't need your copyright, just your permission to use your material and serial rights for future publishing. This is also why you need to tell a publisher if you're poem was previously published somewhere else, because they'll need to contact the former publisher and get permission to use your poem, or at least let them know they are going to republish it, and they will include in the new publication a note saying "as previously published in..."


EVENTS


Pennine Lecture Theatre - Sheffield Hallam University

A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and A Prayer: One Billion Rising Sheffield

15 February at 19:15

Carol Robson is  reading ‘Hands in Protest’ by Erin Cressida Wilson as part of the 90 minute community production of Eve Ensler's A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and A Prayer at the Pennine Theatre Sheffield Hallam Uni on Feb 15th an event to raise awareness of violence against women and girls.
tickets available here: http://www.wegottickets.com/event/200428



From Ashley Fisher in  Hull

On Jan 31st Jim Higo is hosting an Away With Words poetry slam at Union Mash Up on Princes Avenue

Feb 6th Fresh Ink Open Mic moves to its new venue - the Station Inn on Beverley Road (all spoken word type stuff welcome!)


From William Blake

Gorilla Pop Up Themed Slam - Outdoors

4th February Sheffield Central Library START AT 7.30 PM

Poems on library’s, books, literacy, poetry writing, writers block or something library themed. Normal rules and only Six slots available as were trying keep it short and sweet. This event is to show a venue client what we do and also highlight the issue of library closers. Please invite everyone you know and get them to invite everyone they know. Let’s make a big turn out and if you want to make some propaganda for the event then do so.


The word Smack cabaret

At the old market gallery, Rotherham
Saturday 23rd of Feb
7.30pm start


The word Smack cabaret is a new evening of lip licking entertainment celebrating spoken word in all its many guises. So, we’ll be serving up top poets, storytellers, comics, and anything from the weird and wonderful world of variety to deliver you a night of joyous gerbil, verbal, jubilation right in the heart of Rotherham town city centre. There is also your very own chance to take part through the shiny tonsils contest where you have two minutes to do whatever you like and compete for a 10 minute slot at the next cabaret and Smacked Bottom Trophy

Plus games, features and the Shiny tonsils Smacked bottom slam, if you want to take part please email theskinnytheatre@live.com, with your name and act.

http://www.wegottickets.com/event/205862


Slam Bam Presents Poetry Blind Date Feat. Kate Fox

Monday 18th Feb Sheffield S3 8EN The Riverside Pub

A poetry slam with a difference: Entrants perform each others' work, doing their best to win first prize for their poetry "blind date", rather than themselves.
Headliner is Radio 4's regular Saturday Live poet and iPhone ukulele maestro Kate Fox, reading from her new book Fox Populi.
Entry £4, £2.50 unemployed/student
(Free entry for competitors)
If you would like to take part, please message me (Sarah) or post on the wall.


ROMP: Rotherham Open Mic Performers

First Friday of every month at the Bridge Inn Rotherham, 7.30 start.

Music, poetry, stories, sketches, just give us what you’ve got.
Get yourself there and give what you've got. Usual rules that we always give priority to newcomers and if it’s busy we ask if you could keep it short. Please share this event, invite your friends and family, and let’s keep this bandwagon rolling in the right direction.
Much love all.
Gav Roberts.


SNAFU - Romp  

Every 3rd Wednesday of the Month 7.30 pm start.

22 - 30 High Street, S60 1PP Rotherham

More of the usual poetry, music and whatever else turns up! Come down, all welcome, new people get priority as always and are ensured a warm welcome... Please spread the word far and wide and encourage more musicians as we need to broaden our horizons in this direction so we can put bigger 'mixed' music and poetry events






'Tumble like a Weir'


The River flows from Redhole Spring

Past Castle Ghosts and tree's that weep

Curves on through rain

Dapples in Sun

Swirls in circles

Flows on and on

The ripples echo in the hills

The clouds reflection in the pool

Kingfisher still, upon the keg

River rolls on from the source

To toil ahead

Our love it tumbles like a river

These days just fly by like the breeze

Our love it tumbles over the weir

Moves through the mist and travels on.


© Joanne & Lee Mann


I MUST GO DOWN TO SEE AGAIN

THE MUSEUM IN CLIFTON PARK!

TO PEER THROUGH THE GLASS AS I DID WHEN A LASS

AND HOPEFULLY REKINDLE THE SPARK,

THE SPARK THAT IGNITED A FLAME IN MY HEART,

I MUST SEE IF THE FLAMES BURNING STILL,

OR WILL I JUST SEE A LION IN GLASS CASE

A 'CAPE LION' WHO ONCE ROAMED ON A HILL,

HE'D ROAM AND FEEL AFRICAS WIND IN HIS MANE

BEFORE HIS KIND SADLY BECAME EXTINCT,

I PEERED THROUGH THE GLASS WHEN JUST A SMALL LASS,

PEERING IN CASE HE SHOULD HAVE BLINKED,

I MUST GO DOWN TO THE MUSEUM AGAIN

THE ONE OVER IN CLIFTON PARK,

I MAY PEER THROUGH THE GLASS OR I MAY

JUST PASS, OH 'NELSON' HAS IT ALL BEEN IN VAIN?

THE LONGING FOR CHILDHOOD TO RETURN FOR A WHILE,

FOR JUST A BRIEF MAGICAL PEEP,

I PONDER THE QUESTION AND I JUST HAVE TO SMILE,

JUST FOR NOW I THINK THE ANSWER WILL HAVE TO KEEP!

 

© Christine May Turner    2010.


Ritalin Boy

My heart goes out to the Ritalin Boy

Put on Ritalin since the age of five.

He was just a lively little lad

But mad doctors told his dad

That he needed the Ritalin

To concentrate on his sums and his ABCs

And his dad readily agreed

Ever willing to please

And do the best for his son.


My heart goes out to the Ritalin Boy

Put on Ritalin since the age of five.

His brain is shrunk

But he’s still alive.

Medical Fascism

Did a number on him.


His children,

Like angels

Will heal him

With their love

He will bounce back.

But he’ll go on the attack

When the Medical Fascists knock on his door again

Not to harm him,

But his children this time.

He will have an episode of psychosis down the line

and he will kill them.

Because he is the Ritalin Boy.


‘This is war!’ the Ritalin Boy cries.


We pray that in Spiritual Warfare

Evil Dies.

©  Cyndy Art


Ben! Never Forgotten
(For my friend Kerry and her family)

The sun shone brightly
just another idyllic Grecian day
family together sharing good times
with laughter and dreams of future plans.

In the blink of an eye
it all changed on that day
my darling boy playing, then,
as if in a flash of blinding sunlight
you disappeared from our eyes.

Stealthily taken from the family bosom
the pain driven through our hearts
as we searched for you, through tears
that never dried in the scorching sun.

Hours and days passed by
dreams and hopes of your return
never diminishing as I held
your favourite things to my heart
now soaked in heartbroken tears.

Twenty one years have now passed by
but every second down these years
you’ve been in our constant thoughts
our lives broken by those that stole you away
but they never stole you from our hearts
our spirits to find you are still unbroken.

One day I know you will return
a mother’s belief, so strong, never undone
to hug you, to kiss you, is what I yearn
you’re never forgotten, beautiful Ben, my son.


© Carol Robson 2012


If I Never Saw You Again

If I never saw you again

Rain still would fall

Whether or not

Sun would still rise

To dance aside on evens end

Under a moons glowing face

Perusing all fools still falling

For a beautiful smile

The poor will still languish upon a poverty shelf

While the rich fill their pockets

With your remnants of wealth

One will stand stall

As another falls

We'll whistle down the winds of change

Blown from the hands of fate

And creatures of habit are forced to kick their worst

For a new years resolution

As lovers lay in a bed of confusion

In restless consternation

As small or as large

As your last thought

It's a particle of dust

A universe cast in a heartbeat

An if I never saw you again

My heart would still go on beating

Just never like this.


© Bob Roberts 2013


Word Pit Book Review - by Right Honourable Barron Landscape


Moby Dick / Herman Melville: Call him Ishmael, then call me a philistine because reading this calls for the patience of Jobe.

Call of the Wild / Jack London: Jack was barking mad to write this but it’s the greatest dog story ever told. Wolf-like slave, noble savage, wet nose… and that’s just Jack London.

Catch – 22 / Joseph Heller: Crazy to fly, sane if he didn’t, but if he did he was crazy and didn’t have to. If he didn’t want to he was sane and had to. You’d be crazy not to read it.

Watership Down / Richard Adams  : Read the bloated and mawkish book, see the schmaltzy film then try the stew with carrots and a crust, sumptuous.

A Clockwork Orange / Anthony Burgess. Sickeningly mindless violence collides with prophetic fiction now happening for real. The main character, Alex (Droog), has a certain wayward charm, rather like my old Secondary School.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland / Lewis Carroll  : Written for the child of an Oxford don, baffled her, still puzzles kids, mesmerises adults, flummoxed me.

The Life of Pi / Yann Martel: The Owl and the Pussycat on a cool trip, psychedelic in outlook. Better than the Film.  

The Bell Jar / Sylvia Plath: Young girl trying to make sense of her place in the world, through mental anguish. A laugh a minute.

The Bible / Various Authors: God moving in mysterious ways: like allowing unspeakable horrors. I’m waiting for ‘Bible II - ‘The Fun Edition’.

The Complete Kama Sutra / Translated by Ben Dover: Try ‘The Plumber’ you stay in all day and no one comes.    

Frankenstein / Mary Shelley: Gothic monstrosity with a heart (of someone else.) Mary spending too much time with Shelly and Byron.

Roget’s Thesaurus / Peter Mark Roget: low on plot but good vocabulary, the last word on lost words.





I sync therefore I am.

Diary leftovers from a bubonic plagiarist.

Fri 2nd

FOCUS, they were great, wonderful band, all from Holland and big on 70s vibes.  Most of the audience were overweight middle aged blokes trying to look cool in tight jeans and T shirts. Stood at the front for a while, bald heads bobbing to the beat! Unfortunately, old age and aching knees forced me and most of the other crumblies to hobble back into our seats for a rest. The band must see a lot of that. Came home to be greeted by a bat fluttering in the garage, it bit me as I let it out. I didn’t take my eyes of my glass of water on the bedside table, just in case I became scared of it. Hope the bat was radioactive, could do with a few superpowers.  

Sat 3rd

I’ve been thinking about getting one of those iPod things. They remind me of small packets of something, not sure what, sachets of music maybe.  As a kid I had a transistor radio with a single ear-piece for private listening, usually under the bed covers. I even used it when I was doing my paper round. Now there’s an opportunity missed. If I had been a bit more forward thinking I could have adapted it and invented the Walkman before Mr Sony. Story of my life that.

Technology is a mystery to our family. I remember when my gran got her first black and white TV. She put some flowers on top of it. The inevitable happened, water dribbled down the back resulting in a weird rainbow effect around the TV images. Electrocution was the last thing on her mind: “does this mean I have to pay extra for colour!” she said as I unplugged the sizzling box.


Sun 4th

I was told I had been ‘performing’ on my computer without adequate protection. I felt like a whore. I was Typhoid Mary of Facebook. I’m clean now and will be having regular check-ups, courtesy of Doctor Norton, a great guy. I honestly don’t know a thing about what goes on under the hood of my computer. For all I know there could be a big rubber band that has to be wound up. Maybe even a wheel with a hamster running round inside, I really wouldn’t know, I wonder, do computers need oiling? At least with cars you can pump up the tyres or change a spark plug. How do I know if the computer needs a dollop of grease on its nipples?


Mon 5th

to be continued ...



BAUHAUS OF FUN by Simon Drift,

Word Pit Arts Correspondent and all round good egg.


An arts correspondent’s life could be varied and the rough has to be taken with the smooth - more than once I had been mistaken for Brian Sewell – but being plain old Simon Drift, I had the distinct feeling things could take a turn for the worst. I pulled up outside the Nostradamus Memorial Hall in Grimington Spa. I was to report on the much-vaulted exhibition, ‘Bauhaus, A Retrospective.’ Kandinsky and Klee would have spun in their collective and truly functional coffins.

I gave a wide birth to the two cuboid Gilbert and George-esque security guards and made my way into the main galley. The unfurling permutations of vegetation that greeted me brought to mind the Lower Congo School of primitive woodcuts, but, sadly, I was to be disappointed. It was the ‘El Gringo Tropicana Jungle Bar’ subsidised by a soft drinks firm. Exhibitor and old friend Abraham Search greeted me with a warm grimace, reflecting my own thoughts on yet another abysmal sponsorship deal. Abe ushered me towards his own private view of some soiled tablecloths and his restoration style personal hygiene he called ‘Dinner Man?’ To my eternal embarrassment - and relief - I realised he was offering me lunch in the cafeteria and not displaying some dire Tracy Emen like installation.

A light finger buffet had been laid on. It was rather early for the onion bhajis so I settled on a green salad, but declined the grim looking condensed mushroom soup vol-au-vents, it turned out to be a wise decision and a close shave for my digestive tract. Anston Zhabo, the artist in residence was not so fortuitous. He had magnificently violated the wall space with his cry for help. This was in the form of a canvas called the ‘Rampant Organism’. He confessed later that the work had been a rogue, regurgitated savory vol-au-vent. Not to worry, I always did like an artist who could be spontaneous and think on his feet. I don’t care what they say; it is a man’s life in the arts.

As I took in a Mark Rothko pen and ink, my eyes rested on some passing vigorous hips, they were attached to Miss Laura Raft. In this age of the consumer revolution it’s not uncommon to encounter the occasional Kafkaesque connoisseur. Miss Raft provided this collision with culture. To some she was a pipe-smoking performance wrestler from New Zealand. She sported inexcusably erotic tattoos; but to me she was a work in progress and a performance artist second to none.

My appreciation of Miss Raft went way back, we first met at the Don Kee-Ho-Tay Reggae Rooms. I happened to be reporting on a travelling Murillo exhibition from the Royal Academy. Miss Raft was giving one of her impromptu performances as part of a troupe of remote controlled curtains. As I remember it, Miss Raft had ceremonially scattered pistachio shells, Sumo-like, before a bout. Then, with a theatrical flourish, she had slung open her ‘curtains’ and out shot a set of rare, and now probably extinct, Bearded Cave Swiflets. I had the compulsion to behave completely inappropriately and dive for cover, but sense prevailed. Casually, I flicked away an errant swiftlet from my shoulder and commented, in all innocence.

‘Bravo performance Miss Raft, but I’m afraid my laundry bill is in the post’, ‘that’s alright Simon’,’ she replied, ‘I’m glad you enjoyed the performance so much.’ Miss Raft worked in mysterious ways.

Our eyes collided over a crowded Corbusier sofa when we met again, at the Bauhaus retrospective. Her face recalled that startled expression when caught unawares in a photo booth. She immediately descended on my sensibilities, not an unpleasant experience under the circumstances. Nervously, I pointed to the wall and started to deliver a rather astute diatribe about the work in front of us. The words shuttled out of my mouth like an unmanned bobsleigh.
‘Aha! I said, The Bauhaus experimental principles of functionalism and truth to materials are all here, a work of ironic detachment, don’t you think, Miss Raft.’ only to be told in no uncertain terms, ‘don’t wet yourself, Simon, It’s only the bloody brick wall.’

Before we could utter any more pleasantries her young partner and protégé, Erasmus J. Skooner, who had overdosed on table wine, fell over with a terrible smack on the parquet floor. He staggered to his feet, grabbed me by the lapels and demanded artistic asylum with an emergency arts council grant. There was a short scuffle and he promptly and very charismatically, may I say, fell into a gaping lift shaft.

The freefalling artistic refugee’s remnants were later exhibited at a Damien Hirst retrospective in Madrid. It went under the posthumous title, ‘Jackson Pollock Lives’. Dr Gunther von Hagens even made an appearance; he eyed me up all night and never took his hat off once.

My estimation of Erasmus J. Skooner’s work had gone up a notch after his demise and I found myself strongly attracted to Miss Raft, now she was single. Buoyantly heterosexual, I initiated a liaison for later in the day. My hormones were in overdrive. I could feel a mid-life crisis coming on, or rather hitting me, slapping me around the jowls, pushing me against a wall and demanding ‘okay fat boy, start living or die.’ It was not as though I wanted a ponytail or a Harley Davidson; it would be just a minor fling. Anyway, lots of middle-aged men make a fool of themselves over younger pipe-smoking performance wrestlers from New Zealand.

Next Time. Simon delves into the murky world of ‘Waste Management Art’, and does not come out of it smelling of roses!

First Bus

The casual commentator might

call this serene: the first bus making

its way to the city, empty but for

the office cleaners. But for.

They are an inconvenience to

the sodium-soaked picture,

an anomaly. Not sleeping while

suits sleep, not commuting on

the Tube, not part of the later

bustle, not those who make the

economy tick (or wheeze or

whatever it is economies do now).

On the first bus it is just the

office cleaners. Just cleaning,

invisibly as possible. Just getting

there, getting on, getting by.

Just and so and how few ask.

What matters is all is clean.

Clean for the suits.

Clean cut. Cleaned out.

By Ashley Fisher


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