PoetryJam Feature at The Tea Box, Richmond

After some standard Nando’s with my friend Hannah, we met up with Kim and Matt to go to The Tea Box.  I had a group of about ten others that were meant to come but they were too late and couldn’t all fit in so they went to the pub instead.  I saw a few familiar faces which was nice and I met Anna Le who was really lovely and the perfect host, as well as performing some brilliant poetry.  It was amazing how she thought of something to say about everybody’s poetry!

I had one glass of wine at Nando’s but after three nights of drinking, I didn’t feel like it and switched to water, especially as my mouth was gonna get pretty dry from a 20min set!   I’d felt quite hungover in the morning as I’d had one pint too many – think it was about 5 pints.  I’ve drunk double that before so it could have been worse I suppose!

I was on in the second third.  Just before it I was approached by someone who asked if I was Carmina.  I had a hunch who it was when he said he’d sent me emails.  I thought he was going to be nice and friendly, but as it wasn’t quite the encounter I’d hoped for I won’t be naming names.  I had meant to go to the event he puts on the night before but because I’d got this gig the next day I thought I’d just try to go another time.  I hadn’t seen my friend for months and needed a proper catch up where we could talk a good few hours, so I did that instead.  I was apologetic that I hadn’t gotten round to going, and do intend to as soon as I can.  I just seem to do the wrong thing without meaning to.  He said he thought it was rude I hadn’t replied to emails he’d sent, though I thought I was just added to the mailing list and didn’t need to respond.  I HATE making mistakes, and being wrong and anything that puts me in a bad light basically… so I felt horrible, and he made me feel so small.  I couldn’t even end the conversation properly because I was about to cry and so just said ‘okay’ and dashed back to my friends.  I had to breath and take some time before speaking so I didn’t end up crying, and told them what happened.  I managed to feel a bit better, but it was at the back of my mind the whole night.

Anyway, I was happy with my set.  I tried my best, but I go through stages when I’m at the mic… first I feel a bit nervous, then I get into it and I’m okay, and THEN I start thinking I’ve been speaking for a long time, get worried people are getting tired or bored and so it sometimes causes me to rush through it.  I’d planned 20mins and it ended up a bit under, so taking the clapping into account, I probably did rush a bit.  However, I took sips of water now and again, my mouth was so dry!

My friends left by the end of that section and then a poet I met previously at the Tea Box turned up at the last five seconds of my set, so he came to sit with me, and managed to do the open mic as well, with a really good poem about inventions.  There were so many amazing performers that night, I am going to try to get a list off Anna as it would be good to look them up online.  I loved Vanessa’s performance again, and did a great one about “pretty girls” haha.  I recognised a girl who read some really funny poems and I thought they said her name was ‘Harrie’ so I was thinking it might be her, and then she came up to me and it was her!  I met her a few times through my first boyfriend (the only one I don’t keep in contact with… ’cause well, he was a bit of a dick with me before, during and after our relationship), but she is lovely and it was good to see her so hopefully will see her in future.  It was her first time doing it so was nice to be there, and says she’ll probably come every month now.

Anyway, what else is there to say… it was pretty funny having flyers with my face on every table, I think the photo was about 3 years old though so I look a bit different now since my hair has changed about 3 times since then.  I got a few people come up to me and say they liked my set etc.  One woman was even surprised I wasn’t published!  Mike, who organised the event, got me to autograph a flyer, I’m not sure what/who for but that was pretty cool.  “Jazz Man John” asked the “youngest” table who wrote Howl and gave them a free CD.  I would have liked it, and I knew the answer but though I’m 21 and didn’t think they were much younger, I didn’t think I was included in it so didn’t say.  I once went to a celebration of Howl and Allen Ginsberg in general which was really cool.

I had to rush to get my train and got it literally JUST in time, so I wasn’t home too late to see my parents and chat to them about it a bit.  Right, I think that’s it.  Back to Norwich in a bit.  Got a gig at the Birdcage on Wednesday 19th.


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