Mic Check One Two One Two : Lipsync Poetry Workshop & My First Slam!!

Dear All,

It has been a while since I have not posted anything in my blog.  I have just been enjoying myself immersing in poetry activity around KL.  I am glad that I have found a community consist of friends that appreciate same passion like me, and I can learn a lot from them.

Saturday, 8th February 2014 : LipSync Workshop

With my new friends and family from the workshop

I heard about a poetry workshop called LipSync in facebook, so I decided to give it a go.  With two sisters, Wani and Atiqah, who are also a founder/facilitator at Hello Poetry from Frinjan, we drove to Kaki Seni at SS2 mall.  I did not know what to expect from the workshop except writing and hearing lecture by the facilitators.  Atiqah asked me whether I have received the sample poetry they send via email.  I said "No", and she told me that each participants need to write a poem based on their brief... and I was like "Shit."  The event started at 12pm but we arrived 2 hours later haha... Then a gentleman opened a door for us, without even scolding us or asking about the RM12 admission fee.  He is Jamal, one of our facilitators too.  The other two facilitators are Will and Meliza.  I have seen them performed with TongueTied at Publika after I missed them on their Urbanscapes gig.  So, I am glad that we are going to learn with the best!

We have missed the first session, whereby we need to read the poem that we wrote by the brief. They were in the middle of discussion, and as I observed, the workshop was only a little group, no more than 20 people, so it was very intimate thus it was really a safe space to learn and practice.

For the second session, we were given 15 minutes to write a free poem.  It was pretty challenging exercise.  My poem was titled "Unfiltered" and I used metaphor based on the Cambodian Coffee that I always try to perfect every morning.  I always want to get the taste like the ones I had in Cambodian but I had never come to close.  Like I am chasing for perfection and I miss the whole point of the process of life and how do I grow.  I wish I could write the excerpt here but I gave my paper to Jamal... and I got the chance to hear other's poem too there were the ones about Candy Crush, Mermaid, Tennis--one Malay poem from Atiqah about human relationship with God and how far are we from Him--it drove me chill to the bones.

Not only that we were told to practice and to write more and more, but we have also learnt to be appreciative about other people's poem too.  Right now, I am still getting used to of myself to pay attention to what other is trying to say on their poem.  Learn to record their lines that I like the most from their poems and give a snap to it.  Because I know, that I am still lacking on that.  I guess it is not because self-arrogance--maybe I am a little arrogant too--maybe I am also insecure--complicated, huh?!  Anyway,  I will further elaborate on this in my upcoming personal post.

On the next round, which was supposed to be finished at 5pm--but instead, being finished at 8pm--we were having a group session.  We had Jamal to coach us--by we, I mean, Azizul, Wani, Kemy, Jox, Kuan Yew, and Nadirah... I am sorry if I cannot mention one by one because I remembered there were lots of people.  We needed to use the word, "maroon", "stone", and "satisfaction".

performance of group one

Jamal asked us to come up with other words that can serve as the theme for the poem, there were many random things that popped out like "hips", "red velvet", "social issue", "bullying"... we did not expect that poem was coming so strong.  It touched and feminism too... Again, I am outside so I wish I could post the poem here.  It was amazing, so were the poems from other groups too.

Of course I am glad to make friends with the most amazing people from the workshop and hear their stories.  It was so fascinating that you did not have to go anywhere but hearing others could actually make yourself feel like traveling... It was amazing!

Saturday, 15th February 2014 : Punch, Drunk and Love Slam

So, for this one the memory still lingers fresh in the back of my head--THIS IS MY FIRST SLAM.  And it happened just yesterday, and I did not know what the heck was I thinking when I talked to Jamal that I wanted to slam and registered my name on the day.  Was I out of my mind?  I should really went for the Open Mic instead.

The other poets were killing it, and I was called last so really there was no hope for impression after Will, Michele, Alana, Azzam, Nana, Rashi... and others performed.  But anyway, as I learnt from our workshop lesson that once the poem was out and shared to the public, it is not mine anymore and the value is gone... at least, that is what I was planning to do... just get it over this, whatever!  I was told to write 3 poems, but I only wrote one--or two maybe, because I knew that I would just be sticking on the 1st round. 

Anyway, I know I could do better and right now I felt so naked about the slam, I felt a bit embarrassed too maybe it is only my state of mind, or maybe I really sucked I am not too sure of it.  I felt like the poem that I shared was too personal, too literal--It was like reading my diary open to the public.  Other poems were quite straight forward too... so many poems were talking about sex actually--but they were pretty fun to watch!  I did not know, is it natural to feel this way?  

Props to my friends Jee Wen for taking the open mic and killed the night.  It was again so amazing to meet new friends.  There are Ashley, Erica and Sherryn from Canada who are also lecturers in Taylor--hi guys, and many awesome people I have met that night.  My new friend and slammer Bahirah, who has interesting story of her origin of Champa and her profession as English teacher...  so many loves to share!  It was also amazing to see Elaine Foster again and read my poem to her and her for poet friends, I am glad the response so far is positive and encouraging. Lovely to meet Sheena Baharuddin and Ilya Sumanto with her guitar, I can relate to her performance so much and the message of being shut or censored from talking too much was like a universal feeling that we might probably have experienced in our life... so props to the feature poet!

Congrats to Michelle, Will and Alana--you guys rock!  Michelle, I love your legging--aside from your poetry of course.  Will, you proved that dude power wins! and Alana, you walk like a warrior! 

I wish to see you around, and this is my poem entitled : Guardhouse

Let me know once you have arrived at the guardhouse
I will come downstairs to collect you

So it was the end of our chat
Still saved on my phone by the screen days later

On a Sunday Afternoon
You said that you needed some rest
Out of my sincere, I was going to lend a space in
What you could not read from the back of my head is that I was happy to learn that time bents towards our conveniences
What I could read from the back of your head as I turned the key slowly in was that
There was something that you needed more than rest
And there was also a little less time that I could spare
Although I know that I was still stretching my spine tall
The sky outside was still bursting in orange and sober
It was not the time to bed yet

It was never the right time to bed yet 
Because the space in my room has not fully grown to accommodate me and you
It was still tiny for two
We are pulling apart
Gaining twice heavy before turning like gravity
Battling control like warlords against enemies
Defying our body masses over our slippery skins

Could not you feel all the weight you surrendered upon me?
They were awfully heavy.

It was not top or bottom, I wanted you to start
It was neither left or right, to know which part
It was neither my neck nor my lips, I wanted you to kiss
But instead steal a peck of my infatuated heart and turn my bad day into bliss

I could be happier if you just agreed
to stay in a little space that I was meant to save you
Drinking caffeine
Stealing a drag of nicotine
Eating foul carbs at midnight and all of those filthy habits we swore to avoid
But might keep us bright and happy

Because I am exhausted of questioning myself
With the same housekey I weigh on my open palm
Each time you tell that that you have arrived at the guardhouse


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