So tonight I had my first attempt at poetry slam/ spoken word performance, and what an experience the whole evening was. Thank you to the If Walls Could Talk community for the open mic sesh! As much of a bored evil bitch as I pretend to be, I really find the idea of people opening their hearts to an audience of mostly strangers very heartwarming. And there’s so much to observe about people from just watching them speak their secret scribblings out loud (a lot of love and lust-charged poetry there!!), and I always enjoy an opportunity to do that – and spoken word is especially fun because I don’t have to return any conversation. No I’m really not a snob I promise, I’m just lazy. Anyway here’s my transcript (or an approximation of it) for keeps:

Hello. This is about my grandmother’s funeral.

So there she lies, unseen,
On bedding of silky sheen.
Sheltered by the lid left ajar
For a final gaze at the stars.
But- not that it matters anymore.
Her mind had slipped away long before.

I knew her, but only just
To greet as grandchildren must.
A nod, a smile, a perfunctory
address of filial duty.
She didn’t even know my name!
But she’d wave, all the same.

I know her from years of many
Stories my parents told me.
Quite the controversial lady.
But unless you are part of the story
Our parents’ tales are only fiction.
Only fodder for the childish imagination.

So there she lies, safely
Sheltered by life’s brevity,
Delivered from confronting
The ambivalence, the untold feelings
Of the ones she left
Unexpectedly bereft.

So with the many lovely ladies who came up to us at the funeral to say how lovely a person she was, and how sorry they were, I found myself thinking it was all so strange because it was obvious they didn’t truly know her, and neither did they know me at all, yet they were saying all these nice things…and so I came to realise that…

…Funerals are for the living to attend.
Tears are for the living to show.
Sympathy is for the living to lend.
Pretty truths are for the living to know.

Regret is for the living to shoulder.
Relief is for the living to hide.
Forgiveness is for the living to offer
Sometimes in the poetry the living write.

Deaths are felt only by the living.
The dead are just…dead.

Thank you.

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