Thursday, May 20th.
I pick some pineapple of the fruit platter at the entrance of The Green Room, a bar on Manchester's Witworth Street. Tonight's event is Freed Up, a night for new and established poets. Barry White plays through the speakers, reverberating off the bare brick walls; the bar is built into the arch of a railway viaduct.
Compare Dominic Berry starts the night by breathing heavily into the microphone. The crowd hushes to watch him. He's playing a fox being hunted by a pack of dogs- his opening poem graphically describes a kill in this “sport”. After the recital he warns us that the ban on fox hunting could be overturned by the new coalition government. He suggests we fight it. I think he's right to.
On a lighter note, he tells us, it's Freed Up's 4th birthday! Tonight's poetry theme is “Adventure”. Each poet is given 4 minutes to perform their piece.
Poems of the night include subjects such as a naked freefall skydive and eating a whole cucumber. (Two different poems by two different poets.) One of the most contemporary poems is written completely as Facebook statuses from a group of people sat on Everest's summit, updating their pages while getting hammered off cheap booze. Quite bizarre and pretty funny too.
Next month's event is Thursday, 17th June. The theme, if you fancy performing, will be “The Dark”. So get writing.