I got heckled twice this week. Weirdly.

So something weird happened the other day, and the weird thing that happened was that I got heckled. And then two days later something weird happened again and that was that I got heckled. And the weird thing about this weird thing that happened was that this happened with the same poem. And another weird thing about this weird thing was that the heckles were both so dissimilar even though they happened during the same poem.
It’s a new poem which I use as an introduction to myself. I wrote it in Edinburgh and I performed it for the first time at the Boomerang Club when I co-headlined there. One of the inspirations for writing it was watching the wonderfully powerful performers in Edinburgh such as Dandy Darkly and Matt Panesh, people who I really admire and use language effectively. It also uses highly literary language for comic effect, accentuating the traditional idea of a spoken word poet from Shakesperian times.
So the second time I performed it was in Exeter in Sunday night, and because it’s a poem which introduces me and my oeuvre, it’s the first poem of my set. So I performed it and someone shouted out, ‘I like that!’
Which is a nice heckle. I did a stand up comedy course a few years ago and one of the sessions was all about heckling. The course instructor told us that there are several types of heckle: just helping out, saying something nice, being drunk, or showing off. So this was a saying something nice heckle, the correct response to which is, ‘thanks’. But like a deer caught in a car headlights, I just said, ‘muhhhh’.
The rest of the set went very well.
And the second time I performed the poem was in Swindon two days later. At the end of it someone shouted out, ‘That doesn’t rhyme’. 
Of course it doesn’t rhyme. It doesn’t have to rhyme. Poems don’t have to rhyme. Ok, there was a lot of rhymey poetry at the gig where I was performing, but my own stuff seldom rhymes. Perhaps this was a ‘just helping out’ kind of heckle, and my response to it was, ‘thanks’. Which I suppose is a delayed reaction to the heckle from the last gig.
So there we have it. I’m looking forward to performing the poem again because it seems to elicit a response of sorts. Or maybe it’s just a wacky coincidence. I don’t know. I have no idea what’s going on. 

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