So, last night it wer awful out there, the sky was black and it rained constant like. But we had a successful opening show, except the press didn’t turn up in droves like I thought they would and the TV stayed away. More fool them. We had 20 people and one heckler. there’s one in every cloud.
It was a miracle many got there as John’s is a bit tucked away. he had helped set it up and the show looked great. We had wine and nibbles and everyone started talking loads. It wer hard to stop em. But I did cos I wanted to get a word in edgeways. So I began my short introduction knowing that three women from Codbanger had to leave early to catch grub at the pub before it took last food orders. but Shane and Steve were there sacrificing viewing England live against Montenegro. I appreciate that. Both of em ‘Pool fans.I wanted to explain a bit behind the works on display and the door was shut so they couldn’t escape so i had a free rein. I explained how the Dead Sea Scrolls had been inspiration for my idea of having ‘knowledge’ on scrolls in a jarpot, or a potjar. We agreed to call it an earthen vessel in the end. Then i started reading my prose-poem. I noticed one woman looking down at the floor seemingly embarrased as if thinking, ‘off he goes again, i hope he keeps it short’. But it’s as long as a piece of string. I decided this time to read a ‘verse’ then stop for questions and debate. That seemed to be working well, most folk remained awake, which is usually a good sign, then the woman pointed at her watch as if to say can you push on? I couldn’t work out where she wer coming from cos the three ladies of Codbanger had already left for lunch. Well I did into the next verse.
I asked if anyone knew who Tenzin Gyatso is and after a long silence Steve said you’re gonna tell us anyway aren’t you? I said you should know him Steve as he plays for Burnley (top of the English 2nd division). I was telling porky pies cos he doesn’t have time to play cos he is the Dalai Lama. So I read his verse, verse 4 of 6. Then that woman said can you stop now, they can read the poems if they want and people want to look at the work. This caused much shuffling of feet and folk didn’t know what to do or say, there were knowing smiles all around the auditorium. I stopped for a moment. What can i do? I had set up the music system and had the cd in in case they begged me to dance and of course I would cave in and show off some of my new moves. So I announced we have a heckler here tonight. Ken, brave man, said ‘I would like to hear the rest Pete’ and i took that as a green light and carried on. I shot thru Joseph Beuys and realised half way thru I was russian. I said slow down don’t let the heckler put you off your stride which she already had. Then the last verse. I gave a little intro, Scheffler was a medieval poet who thought he was god and he had to change his name to avoid the Inquisition. Then I got to the last line which says rather profoundly even if I say so myself, (altho’ I must admit i have heard it said before, some foreign group at Glastonbury Rock Festival), “Are we human, Or are we dancers?” which of course is the cue. Come on Pete dance will you? never came, so i said this is where i normally do a dance and there was lots of agreement in the room as they all said it’s time to look at the work. Not to be daunted I did four steps. There, I danced at all (2) of these presentations, i Am not an artist/writer now I Am a dancer. And then they all ran off to look at the work, which of course they could understand a bit better cos I had given em some clues. oh by the way, the heckler was my wife.