Sunday, February 13, 2011

sweet mary saturday night in a wrestling ring: UPSTART CITY

Where do I even start with the sheer epic that was last night's fundraiser for Upstart in the Complex, where do I even. I can honestly say that I've never watched wrestling on television in my entire life, but I feel like I've been missing out on something now. The lads and ladies from the Fight Factory were The Complex was decked out with a wrestling ring in the center and chairs all around the sides, and there was some serious chaos in that ring. I was off my seat screaming for half of it, in the front row, completely hyped out to 90 by them. It's all so perfectly choreographed: nearly a bit like dancing, only more violent!

I very sincerely and wholeheartedly award the lads from Upstart 7000 points at being alive for the idea for the whole thing. There were hundreds of people there. I know, it's initially laughable, indie American-style wrestlers from Dublin and Slam Poets all doing their thing in the one event: but it worked, it really did! And Gareth Stack was our amazing host for the evening too, bravest man alive getting in the ring with those huuuge lads! He nearly got hit by a chair, I saw it, it's true. All the Upstart volunteers were terrific too, real friendly and accommodating, I even got a mic stand when I asked for it! And was donated some cigarettes (shh I'm still quitting) when I was nervous. These lads really know how to put you at ease.
I was proudly the only lady poet in the ring last night: and was definitely channeling Catherina Behan all the way over in New Zealand, who was probably only getting up in the morning when I was performing!

Admittedly when I got up to do my poetry, I was a bit slightly terrified, especially considering that getting into a wrestling ring wearing a floor-length skirt is no graceful feat, but thankfully I was partnered with the walking legend that is Stephen James Smith, and we took it in bouts to give it loads tell the crowd some of our poems, even if they were simmering with excitement over a lad clad in yellow spandex spending 15 minutes sheer ripping the piss out of Soundings (the ancient staple poetry book that everyone studied ever).

My personal favourite quotes of the evening, as this lad flicked through that vintage poetry book that everyone began poetry with ever: 'Shakespeare? Dickhead. John Donne? Never heard of him. William...William Butler Yeats? William Butler...I know a William Butler...'

Brilliant. The wrestlers were unreal and really gave it loads, I can honestly say it's been forever since I was that excited! Performing to the audience was an interesting experience: a few really lovely people came up to me afterwards to say thanks and that they enjoyed what I'd to say, and that meant a lot, so all the love to you strangers for taking a moment to say cheers! I did four poems altogether, and opened with my Upstart submission itself. I found this wonderful lad's Flickr during the week, he's been documenting the posters appearances all around the city, and contacted him to see if he'd let me use the photo he took of mine. He was lovely, and sent me the file! My poem, below, can be found outside the Bamba Toyshop at the Jervis Centre!

When I got to see it yesterday I think I probably stood there for maybe a little too long as I basked in pride that people in the city were going to get to see my words written up there! I mean yeah, it's only two lines, but I'm still so happy to have been involved in something that I genuinely feel made a difference during this election process. I figure I'm going to put my name in to help take the posters down as well, these lads'll need all the help they can get. All the posters are being auctioned off at the very end to help cover costs: I definitely want to own one or two! Me and Ceri bought two of the more political prints at the gig last night, they're the kind of thing I always want to have in my home, to remind me that I lived in interesting times, and was here when the country fell out from under everyone's feet: but it didn't stop anybody making art or pulling together to create incredible things! 

Arite, arite, big lefty rant over. So last night was absolutely whopper, especially the surreal after-party which involved a lot of drinking despite my current personal agenda with Captain Morgans, and I'm now, yet again, spending my Sunday crashing out on the couch here in Dublin with a lovely boy and an Xbox controller in my hand and a belly full of croissants. I have other news which I'll blog about during the week, but for now


Keep yer eyes out for all the art all the time! 

More tomorrow 

party on


  1. WooHoo!! Sounds incredible! Well done missy, you should be very proud of yourself. Go Miss Wordfury!

  2. nice one 'leventy :D it was a whopper night! see you real soon!! xx