New and familiar faces performed at the Big Comfy Bookshop in March. Poignant words of loss and the disappointments of love started off the event. The flames of anger were lit when frustration around politics and religion was released into the audience. They simmered with sinister tones as the atmosphere was darkened by a piece of both sex and murder. Humour and silliness then softened the mood. This was a brief parting of the clouds as the night continued with a sense of not knowing and wandering lost in this life. Looking up, the comfort of a true home is a feeling we all cherish.
Imagery of war and violence followed. Bombed skies and storms to come brought a cold chill in the night. But visions of sparkling glitter, golden foliage and finely powdered snow mesmerised the audience. Short and sweet often works nicely and a vision of a courtyard was portrayed. Following that were raw truths and unrestrainable emotion on immigration and the suffering through which a real woman lived. In this country we can all make certain decisions, in others… it is very different. All of us face some form of prejudice and, while it is known to be wrong, many continue to judge a book by its cover.
Headliner DrayZera made a dramatic entrance and started off his act with a poem about cultural styles and another about the environment. A notepad was then passed round inviting audience members to each contribute a line. With bursts of passion and enthusiasm, he brought up his perspective on Coventry as a city and its diversity of races and nationalities. Politics, a popular theme in Fire & Dust, was creatively considered, in particular the ‘suffocation of the underbelly’ by the white majority. DrayZera declared himself a proud feminist and explored breastfeeding in public and how it is perceived a taboo in society. He looked back on his school days where, like many poets, he was bullied for making sacrifices for his art. Finally, he wrapped up by entertaining the audience with their own mixture of imaginative and hilarious lines of poetry.
The open mic continued with a musical introduction and powerful personification of thunderous and bright weather among the mountains. Poetry of clouds followed and a piece merging cloud and woman. Experimental poetry from the viewpoint of a book surprised the audience, and the night finished with words of sexuality, sex and bedroom talk.