New poets enter the poetry world with all the urgency and brilliance of comets only to be informed that the trail of fire behind them and the scorching light they carry within amounts to “a good performance” as if they are an affectation of light rather than light itself. “Performance poet” is a phrase like “dancing bear” or “juggling monkey”. The verb trounces the noun.
Every time a poet writes and reads it is a fight against definition – That is our brand if one is needed. We are comets and candles. We are fighters and failures: future past and present. We are heroes and cowards. We are at the heart of revolutions because revolution is at the heart of the poet. We are self harming healing celebrations of what it is to be alive. Each time we write we set the world alight. Today is National Poetry Day.
We poets. We go to the edge. We jump off and we write what it feels like as we drop. We write about the flight or the fall for no other reason than we must. And while doing this – without knowing it would happen we grow wings and rise on thermals. We fly through warm weather and cold. Nothing I love more than writing a poem: I also love to read on stage. I am a performance poet if all poets who read aloud are performance poets. The key to reading poetry is in the voice. The body follows. Every poet could do worse than watch the plays of Tim Crouch to understand “performance” and truth on stage.