Mixed Messages is a unique poetry event, where there are no intros, no MC, and the run of the night is sporadic, and disorganized, officially. Unlike everything that is organised officially and then falls apart, this anarchically ran event is planned in advance, everyone is briefed beforehand, and so what appears to be anarchy is in fact efficient, enjoyable and holds together well!
Poetry events are famed for being in dimply lit rooms where you can hide between the shadows as you read: not so in Jack Neylons: the room is brightly lit and the Mixed Messages format means the whole room is the stage, so you are both at the centre of events and at the farthest point from them in the space of a few minutes as the acts move around the room.
It started with music: an evoctive sone to “Shine Shine Shine!” got us off, to which was followed by a monologue about a Downs Syndrome chap “Whose a big man now” from a lady dressed as a clown / mime act, which was followed by a clever act from a chap from South America about memories, and charachters, and how we can be made remeber things that never happened as if they were memories.
It was soon the Rhymers turn… and we did our bit. The attack formation was led by Richard Brennan, featured yours truly, David Mallaghan, conscript David Hynes and Cormac Lally. Cormac did his freindship / broken plate piece which I like more the more I hear it, and also done his piece on Shell. Richard Brennan, who recently brought out his “The Gathering Rush – a Slim Volume of Verse”, read pieces from it, including old favourites like the one about the spider, and the new one, “Interstellar”.
Now, the snag on this gig is… you cant read. From paper! So, Carty was in a panic. I only know one piece by heart of all Ive written, and even that is shaky, and that is “Give to me an Angry Sea“, so I had to cram, and managed to force out “Faith and Faiths as well as “What Could Never Be“… I HAVE to start learning my bits off by heart!
After the interval, we done a Cinderella maneuver, and this time it wasn’t just Carty, but the chauffeur wanted to be on the road early, so we headed for the sticks before midnight, not hitting the fog until we struck Tullamore after an enjoyable and unusual poetry night.