It was a cosy Monday evening in Aikman’s. I had a cider in hand and I was about to lose my Inklight Open Mic virginity. By the time I arrived all the seats were already taken by keen poetry enthusiasts so I nervously propped myself up at the bar like the philistine that I am. We were promptly informed that the society’s resident MC was M.I.A so president Alexandra Julienne dutifully stepped in to kick the evening off.
For their second open mic of the year Inklight decided to jump on the seasonal bandwagon and had requested poems touching on the two blessings of this month: Oktoberfest and Halloween. A fair few of the evening’s contributors made a stab at keeping it seasonal with poems such as “When Witches Date” by Bennett Quinn Bonci and my personal favourite “Girls Don’t Drink Pints” by Flannery Wise, with some even managing to combine the two, waxing lyrical about witches getting their drink on. I am uncertain as to whether “Piggies” by Esmond was intentionally creepy to fit the theme or whether it was just a happy coincidence. His performance was powerful enough that he almost tipped me over the edge into a life of vegetarianism.
We also heard a lot of great poems that ventured away from the event’s theme and towards the end of the night things took a humorous turn with the appearance of the missing MC Mr Michael Grieve. We were treated to what was referred to as the diametric opposite of poetry in the form of a very entertaining reflection by Nishant Raj on why we Tinder as well as a witty imagining of how famous artists would respond to stumbling upon a dead body in “Artists at the scene of a crime” by Inklight President Alexandra Julienne. We were even allowed into Samantha Evans’ deepest darkest thoughts with extracts from her infamous Toilet Journal.
All in all, losing my poetry virginity was much less intimidating and much more pleasurable than I had anticipated. Like everyone who teeters at the edge of creative endeavours, too afraid to put myself out there, I was extremely impressed with everyone’s willingness to open up so intimately in front of such a crowd. And to those who apologised for the supposed poor quality of their poems – don’t – because an event like this would not happen if it were not for troopers like you.