I think there was a magical year at Norbury Manor, around 2004, when a class of teenagers graduated in to the big wide world. When I am bored, having spent the day clipping my nails and popping spots in the bathroom mirror, I am compelled to google that little thoroughfare I grew up in. One notable resident was Rox, who I hear everywhere – in shopping centres, in taxis, HMV – another is HolsyWolsy, who I thought had given up on the dream:
Apparently not. Now I can’t sing, and I have no talent for instruments despite having tried many, but have never been able to shake the feeling that what I do is a weird, even archaic art which doesn’t fully utilise the voice. Linguists often point out that the vocal tract is used most fully when singing, which suggests we all have a natural propensity, but it’s beaten out of us at school. So I’m all about the speaking voice, which despite the above, I still think is underestimated and underused.
But there’s this idea that a poet is on the same continuum as a song-writer. A little while ago I had the pleasure of reading at Akilah and there saw a woman named Becca do her thing acapella. I was so impressed I wanted to write for her. But when I tried, I realised I couldn’t come up with shit in a particular metre, or come close to the self-contained line that, say, Joni Mitchell, is so brilliant at. I’m gonna have another crack, but I’m messy, me, and all about the enjambment.