So I have been busy brain storming what I could write for my poem and I think I’ve got it. I’m combining to areas of cabaret that interest me: the idea of using cabaret as a political tool as well as what as its treatment of women and the idea of female sexuality as empowering. I am therefore electing to write about modern day sexism but through the medium of comedy. I started by revisiting a piece of performance poetry by a band I have been a fan of for many years, The King Blues and their ‘Five Different Bottles of Shampoo’.
I really like the way Itch begins the poem in the normal situation of being in a supermarket and is able to take that and expand into exploring political issues before bringing the audience back to that same supermarket with comical ending. I think this format allows what can otherwise be seen as a fairly preachy poem to become more relatable to the audience as well as give a context as to why he is writing. I also love how he has used rhythm to truly make the poem performative. It would not have the same effect if read to one’s self. It reminded me of beat poetry and in particular this poem by Tim Minchin.
Again, Tim uses the format of an everyday situation to explore the issues he is trying convey, as well as making them funny and therefore more easily understood and digestible for an audience. I love the backing beat and sound effects used and think it works really well, especially when combined with the rhyme structure to make the piece very aurally pleasing. However, I think that this might be a pretty big challenge for my first piece of poetry. I think I will first write my poem with an awareness of rhythm and once it is written experiment with a backing beat to see if I can make it work.
I came up with the overriding story line of piece being about walking home after a night out, needing the toilet and wishing I was man so that I could pee in the street. As well as being funny, this gives me a lot of scope to explore feminist issues as I can use the setting of a walk home to tackle other problems of walking home as a woman and how these would be different if I were a man. Here is my final poem: