This week, acclaimed student poet Shade gave a stirring recital of his new collection in a Stokes Croft dive-bar. One poem in particular was met with rapturous jazz-hands.
We heard from housemate and fellow artist Jackques in the immediate aftermath. Clapping a hand to his head, he claimed he was “lost for words”, then proceeded to say a lot of them.
“Fucking wow. Wow. He did it man. Breaking and dislocating our language, shaping it into new forms – it was fucking fecund mate. The meanings that come from looking side-long at verbiage.
“That full-rhyme at the end – I think it went something like this –
You hold this white orange/
Breathily, this pale orb/
Hangs in your palm. I think I’m depressed.”
Moist-eyed, Jackques struggled to go on. “I waved my hands about so hard at that man.”
Shade went on to thank his audience for their response to his work. “I just want to thank everyone who came. Did you like my poems? Did you like my painted nails? Yes, you did. For you are all friends. My fingers are fonts. Thank you, and thank me, for drinking from them.”
We asked Jacques about what living with Shade is like. “Living with Shade is an experience. He totally lives his art. It’s not just an act – the pious self-concern, the weepy inability to see outside of himself – thats just how he is in real life. He painted eggs with line-drawings of his past lovers and decorated his room by hurling them at the walls. It fucking stinks, but its proper meaningful, like.”