Cat Food for Poets Breakfast!!!

Last night was a strange event. We had been asked to attend the Poets Breakfast Event and we were told we could have 20 minutes to perform. We were to be on at 9.30 but as seems to be the way with the majority of the Overload Festival events, it did not go as planned. We did get to perform, right near the end of the night and after two novelty acts which I really wish I hadn’t seen. I doubt I have words to describe how much I wish I hadn’t seen them! The first was a skit where a girl pulled a can of cat food out of her tights, opened it and began smearing it on the naked chest of her male partner. They also did a skit where the bloke put on a rubber glove and used the girl as a puppet.
The second act was an experimental musical number. A guy banging on a drum kit without rhyme, reason or rythem whilst his fellow actor leapt around emptying cigarette filters on his head and shouting ‘I’m Cooking!’ You know I just didn’t get it! Those of you who know me can no doubt picture the look on my face! And thats about 20 minutes of my life that I’ll never get back! Meanwhile the bar was steadily emptying and so we played to a crowd of about ten people!
The Overload Festival and the Melbourne Poetry scene seems to thrive on the insular and the view that local acts, no matter how bizarre, are worth celebrating. Thats all well and good and I respect them for it but at the same time it seems such a pity that they don’t seem willing to open themselves up to new things/acts. None of the performers that we’ve met are travelling to or performing at any other poetry festival. It seems fairly odd to me, especially since we’ve travelled all this way to become involved in the world wide poetry scene.
It also highlights how things work at home. If a group had travelled 12 thousand miles to perform at one of our festivals there would be no way their act would be bumped to the end of the night ot make room for cat food smearing!
Ah well, it has been a great learning experience and I feel more secure in the notion of putting on a poetry festival at home!

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