Bats in the library! Sidekick Books Battalion Launch

I was so excited to be able to be involved in the Battalion launch for Sidekick Books, held at Westminster Reference Library. There will be more writing on this than usual as compensation for my not having filmed it.

I read out some superstitions around bats and buildings, some real and some I’d made up myself, while applying temporary bat tattoos to my skin. Someone in the audience generously offered to hold my mirror – I’d bought it earlier the same day, a black-rimmed circle, moon-shaped. When I first took it out of the bag I discovered that it had broken in transit, a thumb sized fragment dislodged from the edge, but I explained to the audience that I think that it is only considered to be unlucky to break a mirror as they used to be made of silver, and since this one was from Poundland I would have a pound’s worth of bad luck if that.

battalion performance

I set about applying my tattoos and adlibbing around the superstitions, one being where I’d written down something along the lines of “woe be unto the bridal couple who should marry” and over the page “in a church with bats in the belfry” (a real superstition, in case you’re curious). I genuinely had a lot of fun doing this actually, and it seems like the audience did too, so I’d really like to do more of this kind of thing. Not that I get much opportunity, but still.

This is the first performance I’ve done that has gone unfilmed as I didn’t think to ask anyone to do so. I’m trying to tell myself that this gives a special fleeting (flitting) feeling to it, as if it was some sort of intentional artistry, but if I’m honest I just keep feeling little pangs of regret whenever someone who wasn’t at the event asks if there’s a video. I guess it’s a lesson in being more proactive in documenting things.

It was a lovely evening filled with so many charming performances and just really affirmed how happy I am to have been involved with the anthology.

The Battalion anthology is available for purchase here.
Photograph borrowed from @stevenjfowler.

a queer anthology of sickness

My contributor copy of a queer anthology of sickness arrived yesterday from Pilot Press.

It features my poem selvhjelp, an abstraction and muddling of the cognitive diamond that my friend Madelen sent me after having kindly translated it from Norwegian.

It’s not something I can copy and paste part of easily, but I posted pictures of it on my Twitter.

I’m really trying to work on making poetry that takes up more space on the page, and this poem was an arguably symbolic way to start.

The anthology is available for purchase here and may also be found in Tenderbooks.