I hypnotised my Aunt (A poem)

Poem

I hypnotised my aunt.
I can’t get her back.
She thinks she’s a donkey.

We went to the library
And she kicked over a photocopier.
We went to the supermarket
And she eeeee-orrrrrrred at a cabbage.
We went to Costa Coffee
And she asked for a carrot.
And then she swished her tail
In Boots
And knocked over a display of
Electric toothbrushes,
Which, strangely enough,
She also did the week before
I hypnotised her.

Actually, come to think
Of it,
Perhaps she’s a donkey
Hypnotised into thinking
She’s my aunt.

<div style=”font-size: 10px; color: #cccccc;line-break: anywhere;word-break: normal;overflow: hidden;white-space: nowrap;text-overflow: ellipsis; font-family: Interstate,Lucida Grande,Lucida Sans Unicode,Lucida Sans,Garuda,Verdana,Tahoma,sans-serif;font-weight: 100;”><a href=”https://soundcloud.com/robertdgarnham&#8221; title=”Robert Garnham” target=”_blank” style=”color: #cccccc; text-decoration: none;”>Robert Garnham</a> · <a href=”https://soundcloud.com/robertdgarnham/i-hypnotised-my-aunt-wav&#8221; title=”Daily Poem 53: I hypnotised my aunt” target=”_blank” style=”color: #cccccc; text-decoration: none;”>Daily Poem 53: I hypnotised my aunt</a></div>

We began to fuse together (A love poem)

Dearie me, I’ve written a love poem. It’s about two people who agree so much with each other that they start to become the same person. It’s actually a little bit disgusting. Anyway, you can hear it down below:

<div style=”font-size: 10px; color: #cccccc;line-break: anywhere;word-break: normal;overflow: hidden;white-space: nowrap;text-overflow: ellipsis; font-family: Interstate,Lucida Grande,Lucida Sans Unicode,Lucida Sans,Garuda,Verdana,Tahoma,sans-serif;font-weight: 100;”><a href=”https://soundcloud.com/robertdgarnham&#8221; title=”Robert Garnham” target=”_blank” style=”color: #cccccc; text-decoration: none;”>Robert Garnham</a> · <a href=”https://soundcloud.com/robertdgarnham/we-began-to-fuse-together-wav&#8221; title=”Daily Poem 52: we began to fuse together” target=”_blank” style=”color: #cccccc; text-decoration: none;”>Daily Poem 52: we began to fuse together</a></div>

I ask the owls if you love me true

Today’s daily poem podcast is about asking wildlife if love is a possibility, and not liking the answer!

<div style=”font-size: 10px; color: #cccccc;line-break: anywhere;word-break: normal;overflow: hidden;white-space: nowrap;text-overflow: ellipsis; font-family: Interstate,Lucida Grande,Lucida Sans Unicode,Lucida Sans,Garuda,Verdana,Tahoma,sans-serif;font-weight: 100;”><a href=”https://soundcloud.com/robertdgarnham&#8221; title=”Robert Garnham” target=”_blank” style=”color: #cccccc; text-decoration: none;”>Robert Garnham</a> · <a href=”https://soundcloud.com/robertdgarnham/i-ask-the-owls-if-you-love-me&#8221; title=”Daily Poem 51: I ask the owls if you love me true” target=”_blank” style=”color: #cccccc; text-decoration: none;”>Daily Poem 51: I ask the owls if you love me true</a></div>

On missing the Edinburgh Fringe

For the last couple of nights I have dreamed about the Edinburgh Fringe. I can’t remember what the dreams entailed, but there was definitely cobbles and drizzle and small theatre stages crammed into implausible locations. The cancellation of everything this year, including Edinburgh, has been pretty hard to take as a performer who relies in the most part in an audience. But most of all, it’s the communal madness and annual pilgrimage to Auld Reekie that I’ve found myself, oddly, missing muck more than I thought.

I say ‘oddly’ because last year, absolutely everything went wrong. Last year was my sixth year as a performer and my eighth fringe in all. The adventure started when the railway lines got flooded on the way there and I arrived nine hours late after various detours taking in Birmingham, Preston, Manchester and Newcastle instead of my original train which should have taken me straight there. I arrived to find that my show had not been included in the Wee Blue Book or on any of the signage at the venue, and then the venue itself had the toilets overflow because the sewage pipes had been inundated. One day I arrived at my venue to find a comedian setting up, they had assumed that the room would be empty because they had taken the wrong day off by mistake. And then on the way home, someone stole all my luggage. In spite of all this . . . I decided I wanted to go back the next year.

Edinburgh means a lot to the structure that I give to my year. I start writing a new show in November or December the year before, and then rehearse it up till April, when I unleash it on the world. I then do the same fringes every year : Barnstaple, Guildford, Reading, GlasDenbury, culminating in a trip up north. The whole year is structured around this timetable.

But Edinburgh means a lot more, too. It really is like a convention of spoken word artists and performance poets. People who you only usually see on social media are there, and a community exists of likeminded people sharing tales of flyering and accommodation. Some of these people have become very good friends over the years and it’s always somewhat emotional seeing them for the first time in a year. It’s also a great training ground, where you can hone your show and watch as many other different types of show as you can fit in. The inspiration I get from going every year lasts me a very long time and helps me experiment and push the boundaries. My last two shows wouldn’t have existed without seeing other shows.

And yes, Edinburgh is hard, physically and emotionally. I don’t know who decided to build a city right on the top of an extinct volcano where it rains most of the time and all the streets are cobbled. And you’re competing against thousands of other shows. And flyering itself is soul-destroying. I’m really no good at it. Yet the highs are extraordinary – slam wins, big audiences, great feedback, and of course, that miracle year in 2017 when I ended up on the radio and in all the papers, certainly outweighs the bad days where you get an audience of one, or you get absolutely drenched for eight hours a day.

I was looking forward to this year. I was going to do a ‘Greatest hits’ package which required minimum props and I’d found some great accommodation, and I was hoping to do everything right. Well. maybe next year, now.

And that’s if next year happens at all. The economic landscape may look very different by then, but I’m hoping there will still be a chance to go back up. With the exception of the town where I live and the town where I grew up, Edinburgh is the place I know the best having stayed and performed all over it for most of the last decade. I can’t envisage not going there for two years.

I had my portrait painted . . (A poem)

Poem

He raised his brush like a swordsman en gard,
Leant forward and jabbed the canvas, once, twice,
Paint flung, splodges on the studio floor,
A stab, a lurch, a crooked line, elbows akimbo, ha ha, he said,
Then looked up at me once more.

You’re the first portrait I’ve ever done in landscape, he said,
And I admitted that the diet wasn’t working,
I’d already unbuttoned the top of my shirt in what I thought
A provocative manner, quoth he, as he danced and
Gyrated around the canvas,
Do what you like,
My last commission was a prize winning pig,

He came over and looked deep into my eyes,
Tried to gauge the exact colour he might use to depict them,
Their tone, their blend, the actual shade of them to reveal
The truth of me,
Are they Colombian coffee? Or midnight mallard?
He squeezed out on to his pallet from a tube
Marked poop brown.
Poop brown!

As he painted we chatted and I told him i’d bought a new
Sandwich toaster
And he told me he’d ordered some erectile dysfunction
Medication
But the delivery man had left it with his neighbour and
He was too embarrassed to go and get it
And I told him that the sandwich toaster
Also did paninis
And then we kind of ran out of things to discuss.

He came over with a protractor and
Measured the acute dimensions of my schnauzer.
Where did you get that protractor?, I asked.
In the road, he replied,
It fell out of the sky, perhaps from above.
Oh wow, I replied,
Heaven must be missing an angle.
He didn’t laugh.

These crisps, I told him, are revolting.
He replied, that’s the pot pourri,
Winter fruits and sandalwood.
Oh no, I replied, that means
I’ve left my beef flavoured Wotsits
In the wazza.

He danced around the easel slapping on paint,
Wavered and quavered as he layered his paint,
Like a boxer in the ring, a feint to the left, and paint,
A fling to the right, it’s a fight to the canvas
It’s a punch-up in paint,
A slapping in more ways than one!

Have you captured my best side?, I asked.
No, he replied, I’ve done you from the front.
Do you want me to pose naked?, I asked.
I don’t do abstracts, he replied.
I said, I’d like to paint a self portrait.
He said, you’d need to take a long hard look at yourself.
I tried it once,
It just wasn’t me.
Have you captured my earlobes?, I asked.
No, he replied, they just ran out of the door.

And with a hop and a skip he dabbed his last dab,
Stroked his brush home one last time,
Then stood back and declared his work done,
The latest in a sequence entitled
History’s Greatest Blunders,
With a flourish he turned the canvas around
For my perusal and, like a magician,
Said, ta-da! Voila!
Have a gander at this!

And I replied,
That’s not me, that’s Eammon Holmes.

Unbearable Lightness of Robert Garnham Whimsical Summer Special

Hello, I’ve made a summer special version of my home made web series. Join me on a very hot day as I do all kinds of whimsical things such as juggling, dancing, telephoning Mr Trump, and performing some new and old poems. I hope you like it!

Dolly tea time – a poem

Today’s daily poem podcast is about pretending to have a tea party with a friend’s daughter.

<div style=”font-size: 10px; color: #cccccc;line-break: anywhere;word-break: normal;overflow: hidden;white-space: nowrap;text-overflow: ellipsis; font-family: Interstate,Lucida Grande,Lucida Sans Unicode,Lucida Sans,Garuda,Verdana,Tahoma,sans-serif;font-weight: 100;”><a href=”https://soundcloud.com/robertdgarnham&#8221; title=”Robert Garnham” target=”_blank” style=”color: #cccccc; text-decoration: none;”>Robert Garnham</a> · <a href=”https://soundcloud.com/robertdgarnham/dolly-tea-time-wav&#8221; title=”Daily Poem 50: Dolly tea time” target=”_blank” style=”color: #cccccc; text-decoration: none;”>Daily Poem 50: Dolly tea time</a></div>

Thirsty work, this.

Today’s poem podcast is about a handyman in a monastery hinting that he would rather like a cup of tea.

<div style=”font-size: 10px; color: #cccccc;line-break: anywhere;word-break: normal;overflow: hidden;white-space: nowrap;text-overflow: ellipsis; font-family: Interstate,Lucida Grande,Lucida Sans Unicode,Lucida Sans,Garuda,Verdana,Tahoma,sans-serif;font-weight: 100;”><a href=”https://soundcloud.com/robertdgarnham&#8221; title=”Robert Garnham” target=”_blank” style=”color: #cccccc; text-decoration: none;”>Robert Garnham</a> · <a href=”https://soundcloud.com/robertdgarnham/thirsty-work-this-wav&#8221; title=”Daily Poem 49: Thirsty work, this” target=”_blank” style=”color: #cccccc; text-decoration: none;”>Daily Poem 49: Thirsty work, this</a></div>

I’m thinking of dumping Sherlock

Today’s daily poem podcast is about someone deciding to end a relationship with Sherlock Holmes.

<div style=”font-size: 10px; color: #cccccc;line-break: anywhere;word-break: normal;overflow: hidden;white-space: nowrap;text-overflow: ellipsis; font-family: Interstate,Lucida Grande,Lucida Sans Unicode,Lucida Sans,Garuda,Verdana,Tahoma,sans-serif;font-weight: 100;”><a href=”https://soundcloud.com/robertdgarnham&#8221; title=”Robert Garnham” target=”_blank” style=”color: #cccccc; text-decoration: none;”>Robert Garnham</a> · <a href=”https://soundcloud.com/robertdgarnham/im-thinking-of-dumping&#8221; title=”Daily Poem 48: I'm thinking of dumping Sherlock” target=”_blank” style=”color: #cccccc; text-decoration: none;”>Daily Poem 48: I'm thinking of dumping Sherlock</a></div>

Arable Parable – On making out in a field

A saucy poem about the various things that can go wrong while making out in a field. For those who are that way inclined.

<div style=”font-size: 10px; color: #cccccc;line-break: anywhere;word-break: normal;overflow: hidden;white-space: nowrap;text-overflow: ellipsis; font-family: Interstate,Lucida Grande,Lucida Sans Unicode,Lucida Sans,Garuda,Verdana,Tahoma,sans-serif;font-weight: 100;”><a href=”https://soundcloud.com/robertdgarnham&#8221; title=”Robert Garnham” target=”_blank” style=”color: #cccccc; text-decoration: none;”>Robert Garnham</a> · <a href=”https://soundcloud.com/robertdgarnham/arable-parable-making-out-in-a&#8221; title=”Daily Poem 47: Arable Parable – Making out in a field” target=”_blank” style=”color: #cccccc; text-decoration: none;”>Daily Poem 47: Arable Parable – Making out in a field</a></div>