Thursday 29 December 2011

2012 Noticeboard Resolutions/2011 Accomplishments

NYE Noticeboard Resolutions 2012

1. Think about this - Maybe I shouldn't eat meat every day?

2. Walk how you walk. Find your pace - There is such thing as success coming too early.

3. Deal with my "I left school at sixteen and have no higher education" insecurity.

4. Remember this - Indecisiveness has lost me more opportunities than its gained.

5. You can learn more from people who do things/think differently to you than those that do.

6. Improve smell. I smell ok for a guy who is allergic to antiperspirant but I could be better.

7. Be involved in more collaboration projects. (another reason for improving my smell)

8. I now know there is such thing as reading too much poetry. Read more prose/novels/theatre.

9. Complete & publish the Shapes & Disfigurements journal (Will be sold at gigs/online)

10. Complete at least two poetry tours (National/International)

2011 accomplishments
1.     Chill Pill consecutively selling out Soho Theatre & becoming official associates of The Albany Theatre, Soho Theatre & The Arcola Theatre. 

2.     Touring Chicago & meeting Dan Sullivan, Tim Stafford, Robbie Q Telfer, Rodger Bonaire-Agard, Laura Yes Yes, Emily Rose, JW Baz and other great minds/people/poets. 

3. Working as co-creative director of the Keats House Poets Forum project. Working with the great poets in the forum & Simon Mole & Paul Shez from City Of London.

4.     Completing a youth theatre project with Half Moon & Apples & Snakes.

5.     Releasing Speed Camera Shy (with Jim Whelan) via a US based record label - Audio Gradient. (We're mentioned in The Guardian) -

6.     Spending three months working/travelling in South Africa. (on going)

7.     getting these videos made.

Have You Heard? from Adam Docker on Vimeo.

8.     Performing nationwide & alongside many inspirational names such as Margrat Atwood, Benjamin Zephaniah, Derrick Brown, Polarbear, Dizraeli etc.

9.     Getting even better at being myself.

Friday 9 December 2011

Conversation With An 8 Year Old/ What A Cave Can Teach You

Girl - Do you have a wife?

Me – No

Girl – So you sleep on your own?

Me – Yes.

Girl – I don’t like to sleep on my own, it makes me think of snakes.

Me – Why?

Girl – Because I’m scared of them.

Me – … So are you scared of snakes or loneliness?

Girl – Snakes because loneliness doesn’t have a head with those big teeth in it.

Me – hmm… I’m going to write that down.

Girl – Why?

Me – Because I like what you said.

Girl – Why?

Me – (Ignores question and gets notebook out of bag)

Girl – You know what I like?

Me – What?

Girl – Balloons.

Me – OK, what else do you like?

Girl – Dogs, dogs that can dance. I want Balloons, a dog that can dance and a gun.

Me – What? Why a gun?

Her – in case I see snakes... snakes that can dance.

What A Cave Can Teach You

It’s a one hour hike up the mountain at Kalk Bay. I went with an international hiking group (mainly Germans). I’d made new friends and got invited along, not quite knowing what I’d agreed to. The mountains got steep near the top so we were literally rock climbing. 

Looking outward from the mountain you see all the ocean beyond you, all the yellow, the green and earth, its an incredibly overwhelming display of beauty.

When I got near the top there was a cave. I’m told the cave was discovered by the Dutch when they arrived in the 1600’s. We took out torches and crawled on our stomachs through the black miniature corridors. They get narrower the further you go in. 

After an hour of worming through the tunnels, my shoulders were too wide to fit into the holes ahead of me. There were five of us that made it this far, a Dutch guy, an American and two German girls. I turned back alone as they tried to push deeper into the caves.

Now is when my mind turned against me...

It was so beautiful outside, why are you doing this? Why would anyone do this? You’ve buried yourself alive. You’re an idiot. Didn’t you hear something about Scorpions on the way here? Big shiny black scorpions, fuckers with venom shots loaded in their tail? You’ll be dead, killed, alone in this cave. Why? Why? Why?

My knees got sore and I’d cut my elbow on some sharp rocks. I started to feel a slight panic. It started in my intestines, I thought of them as electric eels, voltage increasing by the minute, opening sparks and then fire trails though the central wires of my nervous system.

Its ok, its ok, I’m fine I’m fine I’m going to get out, yes. Oh’ why? Don’t black stand up comedians joke about stupid situations white people put themselves in? This is one of them right? Suffocating to death in a cave I willingly crawled into? No its fine, Mustafa and Trevor are black… no wait, they didn’t come this far! Fuck! 

When I saw my hope, the streaming light through a tiny crack, my stomach turned on a different kind of electricity – one that heats Jacuzzis.

Yes, yes, yes. Oh’ the light, the relief.. yes.

There were ten other hikers outside. One man was sitting on a rock smiling to himself. I caught his eye as I stumbled towards him. “howzit?” (He’s South African) he waves me over, “sit here and watch the faces as they come out the cave”. I sit with him and after a few minutes one of the German girls appears from the cave, her face installing new colour, her head in the sky, her heavy breath winding down. The man I was next to turns to me and says “That’s exactly what relief looks like”

I then made sense of this cave crawling insanity as a kind of 'appreciation for life' exercise.
Last week I took a Grade six class (11-12 year olds) at the Primary School. I asked the class (thirty five boys and girls) to write about their nightmares, I wanted to see how ugly their minds can get. I asked for details, the breathing under the bed, the blood on the walls, the funeral in the rain. 

I noticed after ten minutes there was a boy (let’s call him Nathan) who hadn’t written anything. I approached him and tried to help but he sat there silent. Suddenly he scrunched up the paper on his desk and threw it on the floor, storming out the classroom. I was stunned, unsure if I should leave the rest of the class to go after him. Later I told the Principal about Nathan, I could tell by the pause before she spoke she was about to tell me something heavy.

“Nathan lives in a home” she said “his parents drank themselves to death. You’ve asked a twelve year old to write about a nightmare he is essentially living"

See, I can crawl into some cave and be lost and full of panic, I can think about my intestines as electric eels, I can cut my elbows on rocks and bleed a little but what do I really know about caves and how to survive in them?

Saturday 3 December 2011

Some Things Are Just Beautiful

Extract from the Travel Journal.

It’s hot, very hot. It’s called South Africa in December. I’m walking down the street, past houses that look like giant shoe boxes. They are painted colours that glow in the sun – cream white, peach yellow, red toffee. I am on my own, imagining how she would look beside me, what she’d wear on a day like this, how we would look to the rest of the world. (Brazilian supermodels maybe? You know, nudist beach material). I would be walking closer to the road, I would sound like royalty as I tell her “the gentleman always walks closer to the road”, she would laugh but I would laugh harder (yes, I’m one of those laugh at your own joke types). She would point out my farmers tan; she would tell me my body has nothing to hide. It is a beautiful body, it belongs in the sun. I would not pretend I’m not thinking about sex, she is not telling me her father has Alzheimer’s and she has a younger brother who is afraid of loneliness. No, we would not talk, would not need to as our mouths open on each other… now I don’t know why I’m thinking this… why I feel so happy right now but feel the happiness enhanced by the imaginary presence of her. Isn’t this freedom? Complete freedom? Walking alone, down the street under an African summer? I could be thinking about swimming with penguins, hiking into caves, diving into the sky but here I am, holding strings and trying to attach them to things that have already disappeared.

Some Things Are Just Beautiful.