The Mother Poem (Andrew Galan)

Verity La Heightened Talk


[In preparation you will need a photocopy or printout of this poem, a book or pieces of cardboard big enough to hold this poem, glue, and a wooden spoon. Paste the copy of this poem into the book or onto the cardboard so the poem can be held in one hand. Hide the spoon on your person; the back pocket is not a good place, you may sit on the spoon and break it. Put the cardboard or book with the poem into a bag. Take the bag with you to a poetry slam or open mic that has a microphone, mic stand and Public Address system. Sign-up to perform, find a chair, sit in the chair, await your turn. When it is your turn: in silence take the chair and place it before the mic stand, position the bag beside the chair, sit, test the chair’s comfort, take the time to arrange the mic stand to point down toward you so your mouth is over the top of the mike. Still silent, take the poem from the bag and arrange it in your lap; you should be able to look down at the poem and read into the mic simultaneously, don’t worry about making eye contact with the audience. Still silent, grip the poem with one hand, with your other hand flourish the spoon from hiding; begin to recite the non-italicised words while enacting those words italicised within the square brackets.] My concept is: Mothers
 [With the wooden spoon start to hit your thigh repeatedly, hit hard and with rhythm — the sound should be loud, meaty, each hit should hurt.] What are you doing
back there
in the shadows
[Keep hitting.] in the bowels
in the bowl?
Snigger will you?
[Keep hitting.] I think
you need
to understand
[Keep hitting, remember to hit hard.] what it means
to be
in the wrong.
[Keep hitting.] You do realise
what you have done
don’t you?
[Keep hitting — start to slowly push the microphone down with your mouth.] The wrong
you have done
in your naughtiness?
[Keep hitting and keep pushing the microphone down with your mouth.] If I thought
it would hurt
enough
[Keep hitting, keep pushing — start to pant, panting will help with the pain.] I would say
come over
bend over
[Keep hitting, keep pushing until you are hunched over — keep panting.] but instead
it is time
for the wheel.
[Keep hitting and panting until someone stops you.]