Being a writer of poems, performance poetry is close to my heart. However, my performances have been restricted to singing the songs I have composed. So, it was a pleasant surprise when I went to Martin Kiszko’s program “Green Poems for a Blue Planet” at Bombay Literature Fest. (I think the organizers have to decide whether it is Litfest, Literature fest, Litlive, or, Literature Live, because all these names cropped up in a muddle in all announcements and programs.)
The show had already begun and there was this poet on stage who recited his poems from memory appropriately demonstrating each with masterly dramatic ease using props and background projections. All his poems were based on the environment and its protection. In the UK he is also known as “UK’s Green Poet” which is a name given him by a member of the audience. In fact, he was so dramatic that the audience was taken up with his style and was engrossed. Same here. Here are some samplers, which I noted, though I was busy taking pictures.
“Ode to Broccoli”
“Though you are Italian Da Vinci never painted you.”
“Recycle me into a super plastic hero who would swallow all the garbage around.”
“A great Hoover that vacuums all the gunk.”
“When I go to bed I say, perhaps I have been overgreen.”
These are only vignettes from his performance, and by no means exhaustive. His book, published recently, has over 56 such poems. He gives performances at schools, colleges, and even at parties. Later in the foyer I meet him again and he was very charming and personable explaining some of the techniques he uses. I think I will adopt those techniques to do performance poetry, when, I don’t know. As UK’s only green poet, I guess this poet is going places with his socially relevant message.