This week, I was part of Townsville’s Artspaced Concrete Cabaret, a multi-discipline arts event designed to transform the ordinary space of a car park at the back of a building into a site of performance and imagination. The task was to share short poems and the theme was ‘punk cabaret.’ The logical conclusion was to put the poems on D.I.Y badges (right?), and La Luna Youth Arts provided me with a badge machine. 100 badges later, and my friend and I making the badges had badge-making down to a fine art.
Image: Jaffa cutting out poems to make badges.
I’d run a workshop at the Townsville Writers and Publishers Centre on writing condensed poetry earlier in the month. If you’re looking to be inspired, here are the slides from the workshop on condensed poetry.
Jaffa suggested that the poems could be a way to connect the people attending the cabaret. We made two of each of the poems, and, as we handed the badges out on the night, we told punters that there was another badge like theirs to be found. Jaffa also came up with a playful way to explore the dark side of punk, writing 12 curses to go on the badges. I was reminded of Roman curse tablets.
Image: One of the curses.
To counter-balance the curses, Jaffa and I collaboratively wrote 12 blessings as well, including,
May you brush past a woman with spectacular earlobes.
May you gather thoughts to display on your mantelpiece.
May you be.
May your goldfish cough up pearls that festoon its glass tank.
Image: Blessings and other badges
I like this way of thinking about publishing in strange places, and in having writing become a form of connection and networking. I wonder what other was these unexpected encounters with creative writing can be fostered.