Rioting workshops

When I used to do poetry workshops in prisons before and after 2010 there were definitely less riots and general violence in prisons.

Some people might say this is because the government have cut the number of prison officers. Others may point to the fact experienced officers have been replaced with young and inexperienced officers, who are unable to deal as effectively with such circumstances. Some may say that the above reasons has meant that prisoners are being locked up for upto 23 hours a day leading to justified resentment. Others may say we send too many people to prison in the first place.

I on the other hand am saying the increase in prison violence is down to my lack of poetry workshops. So confident of my abilities that during the next prison riots I want the governor to ring me and I will guarantee to calm the situation within 2 hours with a mix of word association games and a few clever rhymes. I await the call.

@anunknowncomic

Listen to my comedy prongcast. Cheers.

The Nowhere Men

I’ve recently finished reading ‘The Nowhere Men’ by Michael Calvin. It’s an insightful look at the role of football scouts. It has made me wonder if other sectors have a worldwide network seeking out talent. For example, are there stats people as we speak trawling through blogs and podcasts, configurating the consistency of content?

Last week at work I was invigilating. This gave me a lot of time to sit and think. One result of this sitting and thinking was that I wrote a poem called, ‘The Nowhere Men’. (see below)

@anunknowncomic

If you have time check out my comedy prongcast. Thanks

The Nowhere Men.

The nowhere men,
have nowhere to go.
So they plough the fields,
again and again.

The nowhere men,
have little to show
for all their toil.
Still hoping diamonds will grow,
in the long since plundered soil.

Atomised,
ostricised,
maligned,
sidelined.
Replaced by apps,
that read stats
as facts.

The nowhere men are considered a dying breed.
The nowhere men continue to dream.

 

Exposure

Two people I know from the Manchester comedy and poetry scene, Daliso Chaponda and Tony Walsh (Longfella Poet) have in recent weeks received TV exposure, making them known to people nationally and internationally.

Daliso was on Britain’s Got Talent, finishing third overall. Whilst Tony’s reading of his poem ‘Choose Love’ at the vigil for the Manchester bomb victims was broadcast live and has subsequently been transmitted across the world.

Both performers are talented having spent years working in pubs and clubs honing their skills but without the magnifying force of TV, when would they get the opportunity to showcase their work to such a sizeable audience?

Does this mean that despite the popularity and potential reach of social media, the only way poets/comedians can ‘make it’, is still via TV?

@anunknowncomic

Check out my comedy prongcast. Thank you

 

I’m not Paul Nuttall

Unlike Paul Nuttall I know what is written on my website. Mainly because I wrote it.

Recently, I re-did my ‘About Me’ page. I’ve tried to reflect the creative projects I’m involved in, plus my work with young people in education.

Til next time, be nice to each other.

Should you have time, take a listen to my comedy prongcasts. Cheers

@anunknowncomic

#Prongcast

Hola. Hope you are well.

I wrote a poem about the podcast I do, 3Prong Attack, #prongcast. I know this sounds a little self indulgent but it’s ok because the poem is about failing, a defiant failing but failure all the same. All you really need to know is I’m Prong1 a comedian who’s only income comes from working in a school and my colleague Prong2 who is a jobbing actor who doesn’t seem to get many acting jobs. In addition to this our slogan is ‘It’s Better than you think’.

We’ve Got Our Heads in the SoundCloud

History is written from the winner’s point of view,
We’re what happens when that’s not true.
I’m Prong1 and he’s Prong2
And unless we’re mistaken,
some say wrong,
You the listener, are the third Prong.

We’ve been in this game for 20 years,
Been surpassed by all our peers.
We should have quit and got careers,
It would have saved a lot of tears.

We’re the masters,
of our disasters.
Losers in the game we invented.
Architects of our own downfall,
Took our eye off the ball,
Until there was no ball,
at all.

Too many times,
We’ve backed the wrong horse,
on the wrong course.
Over time, expectations have been lowered,
But still not met,
Yet we plough more money into this losing bet.

20 years in this business called show,
Which is ironic as we’ve got nothing, to show.
We started off badly and got progressively worse,
If we deteriorate further, you’ll be calling a hearse.

We’re at an age where we’re supposed to know better,
Should have reached the end of our tether.
We’re analogue thinking in a digital age,
Rock star pretentions on less than minimum wage.
And now we stand here, on the precipice,
of nothingness.

By now, you may think we’re a couple of chancers,
Posing more questions than answers.
But we’ve done our 10 000 hours,
Will continue to do whatever’s in our powers.

And if we are going down,
We’re going down fighting.
And if you can’t hear our words,
Then we’ll put it in writing.

Our demise will be on our terms,
We’re prepared to throw everything at this,
including the kitchen sink,
Because 3Prong Attack is,
‘Better than you think’

Written by Prong1

@anunknowncomic

Less is Demure

me. pic by Jay McCorkle

me. pic by Jay McCorkle

Hola. Hope you are well.

Today’s blog is what could be described as a poetry special.

Firstly, I’d like to direct you to a poem of mine, that I read out on the radio show I do. The poem is about the radio show I do, with references only the handful of listeners we get will understand. Should this not put you off, the poem is about 5 mins into the prongcast.

Secondly, I found a poem a couple of weeks ago (in the vault) that I was commissioned to write, on the theme of fashion for Cartwheel Arts, back in 2008/09. (back when there was a little bit of money to pay artists and performers)

As it happened this poem wasn’t used, overlooked for another poem I wrote, despite the photo shoot being designed around this poem (see pic at top of the page). So after a few minor tweaks and a few years on, I thought I’d give it an airing.

All you need to know is, Middleton is a town in Greater Manchester, Hulme is a place in South Manchester and Milan is a place in… you probably know where Milan is.

Less is Demure.

Everyday we decide whether to conform,
Stay ahead of the norm
Or just to stay warm.
From the pristine white at Lords,
To the black worn by Goths,
Even Adam and Eve wore loincloths.

Everyday we decide to dress to impress
Or belie the true feelings we possess.
Yet our search for individuality has got lost,
down the aisles of high street stores.
Where brand whores, put price above child labour laws.

We have editors desperately seeking the next big trend,
But irony dictates, that as soon as anything becomes popular
it is the beginning of the end.

Catwalk models strut their stuff on the runways of Milan,
Wearing outfits only they can.
And I’m not one to assume,
but I don’t think you’ll see these clothes in Middleton or Hulme.

The kids I see, wear sagging jeans in good need of a belt.
Whilst shops sell ‘iccle’ baby grows designed to make the heart melt.
Hawaiian shirts and Bermuda shorts seek warmer climes,
And even Paris Hilton wears knickers sometimes.

Fashion likes to look back on its lot.
From Marilyn Monroe in ‘Some like it Hot’,
To shoulder pads and leggings from a time style forgot.
Yet don’t ask me why,
But there’s nothing wacky about a wacky tie.
I said, there’s nothing wacky about a wacky tie.

Til next time, be nice to each other.

@anunknowncomic

Who’ll play me in the film?

Hola. Hope you are well.

In my last blog post, I mentioned that I managed to get a line in what I’ve now discovered is a chaotic poem. The poem then went on to being displayed in John Rylands library.

The downside (there’s always a downside) was that I wouldn’t get to see the poem up as it would be taken down by the time I’d returned to Manchester for Easter.

On the morning I was travelling back to Manchester, I rang the library, on the chance the poem was still up, only to be told it had been taken down. Sad face.

Only joking, despite being told previously that it would be taken down by the end of March, it was still up.

So on my return to Manchester, the first thing I did, was go to the John Rylands to see my words up on a big wall. To coin a phrase used regularly by broadcaster Danny Baker, “It’s the feel good story of the year”.

Me and a chaotic poem

Me and a chaotic poem

All that remains is to decide who’ll play me in the film of this story. In the past I’ve been told I look like Kanye West and Puff Daddy, so maybe one of them?

Til next time, be nice to each other.

@anunknowncomic

Should you have time, listen to my comedy Prongcasts

 

 

An exiled poet

jrlpoemHola. Hope you are well.

As I’m sure you’re all aware John Ryland’s library (M’cr) were running a poetry competition at the end of January.  For 10 days they tweeted one image a day loosely associated with love and the public could tweet how the picture made them feel, whether that be serious, profound or silly.

My plan was to create a response to all the pics, or if not all, the majority but like most of my plans it didn’t work out like that. My life got in the way, meaning I only managed to submit 1 line of poetry.

So I was somewhat surprised when I received a txt saying my line had been accepted to be part of the collective piece.

For those desperate to know, the line in question is below and was a response to the above pic,

                                            In the heart of the dark, seek the flecks of the light.

The completed poem is currently up at John Ryland’s library. It should have been taken down but it looks like it will be up for the next couple of weeks (a bit before the end of March), so if you’re in and around Manchester city centre pop in (150 Deansgate) and have a look at it.

You can be my eyes as unfortunately I won’t be back in Manchester before it’s taken down. I suppose that’s the perils of being an exiled poet (I’m only in London).

Til next time, be nice to each other.

@anunknowncomic

Should you have time, listen to my prongcasts

 

Don’t buy my book at £8

Hola. Hope you are well.

In what could be described as a continuation of the previous blog post, I’m back talking books.

About a year ago (I say a year but who knows when it was) I mentioned that the book I co-wrote, How To Dump Your Girlfriend was selling on Amazon for 1p.

Then recently I was tweaking my website and needed a link to my book and was horrified to see Amazon selling it for over £8. This caused me some concern as it only cost £5:99 when it first came out. At that point I was going to do a blog telling people not to buy the book at £8 as I knew it wouldn’t live up to this price. Due to life and a 5 day a week part-time job, getting in the way I never got round to doing that blog post, until now. In the meantime however, my book has dropped to under £4  which means we can all rest a little easier.

In other book news, I recently contributed a poem for the Ebook The Rebel Versus Society and this is only £1:49. That’s virtually giving it away.

And finally…. A couple of weeks ago I found out to my surprise that more than 50 people have subscribed to this blog. Thanks if that is you. Although as to not exclude people, thanks to all those people who read this blog but haven’t subscribed. In fact thanks to anyone who has clicked on this blog by mistake. You’re all welcome.

Til next time, be nice to each other.

@anunknowncomic

If you have any spare time, check out my Prongcasts

A poem for Lent

Hola. Hope you are well.

As I’m sure you’re all aware we have entered the period known as Lent. The school I work at have done a number of events around Lent. I even learnt that the word derives from the word lengthen as in the days lengthen at this time of year. Ironically the word has subsequently been shortened to Lent.

With all this talk about Lent, I ended up writing a poem. I’m reluctant to post poems I write, I’ve only ever done it once before and on that occasion my mate at work criticised it for being an acrostic poem and both he and ‘Her With One Part-time Job’ weren’t happy that I’d used ‘iccle instead of little.

Anyway despite this, here’s my poem about Lent.

Sacrifices and Everyday Vices.

For this year’s Lent,
I’m giving up,
paying rent.

Don’t tell my landlady,
Cos she’ll go crazy
and kick me out
when she sees no money,
in her account.

So on second thoughts,
I won’t give up,
paying rent
for Lent

And will come up with something else instead,
as I’ve become quite accustomed
To a roof over my head.

Written by Julian Daniel

Til next time, stay safe!

@anunknowncomic

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