Wow it’s been a extraordinarily surprising and inspirational Friday evening and Saturday. Totally unexpected. It’s been weeks and day in day out of work, office, home, home server, office, emails, requests, Civilization VI (yeah), Pokemon Go, work, etc. And normal people. I mean, they aren’t bad people, or evil people, or totally boring people. But I guess they are normal people, or perhaps I only see the normal side of them at work.
Friday evening. Another evening to myself and I go out for a walk to just get my eyes away from the crazy Civilization VI game (which I am exceedingly proud to have purchased at full retail price on Steam and played a crazy 29 hours so far). It’s killing my eyes by the way. I see a chance tweet by StraitsTimes (of all people) about Singapore Writers Festival, and hey that’s cool, I didn’t know or I forgot it’s on. And it’s on tonight! I quickly check the schedule on my phone while eating dinner in a restaurant with poor network connection and no free wifi, sigh the pain, and I realise there’s one of those poetry events that night. Awesome. I head straight over to Arts House, gosh I love that place so much, it’s got such a beautiful architecture, beautiful rooms, superbly done up for performances, and quite central and accessible. I love the SWF vibe, love the crowd, love seeing my favorite local poets, love seeing bookshelves of books on sale. As much as I normally dislike paying full price at a brick n mortar shop, I actually bought a physical book. Recently I’ve been deliberating about a Kindle again… Oh well but never got to it. So I have yet another physical book. Strange Weather in Tokyo, by Hiromi Kawakami. It’s been a great read so far, I’ve going slow to savour it.
Damn I miss books, I miss reading, I miss writing, I miss listening to people talk about books, lit, themes, stories, their opinions of it, etc etc. It’s wonderful. It’s people with ideas, people with passions, people with stories they are trying to craft. People who aren’t really earning much money as poets or authors. People who try to do it full time, half time, part time, no time. People who have day jobs in normal corporates, or government bodies, or social companies, etc. I love how quirkily some of them dress, in their fancy clothes and fancy bags and fancy getup and fancy accessories. But no it’s not fancy like Chanel dresses or LV bags or necessarily tailored shirts or shiny shoes. It’s fancy in that it could be so cheap, so thrown together, so casual, so hipster, so not hipster, so all over the place. And that it’s so inclusive. I would say Writing and Lit is part of the Arts community. Part of Music, Drama, Dance, Painting, etc etc. Even as Sarah loves her Musicals, it is another art form that I respect, as much as I am unable to appreciate alot of it. I don’t like all poetry. I probably like only half of it. The quirky ones with strange rhyme, strange built-in music, strange sounds and strange stories are also cringe-worthy to me. Haha. And yet Arts being Arts, is all inclusive of everyone who wishes to express themselves in the format, differently. And that’s crazy. And good.
Friday night I heard Arianna Pozzuoli recite one about Romeo on Tinder. LOL, it was downright hilarious. It was just a “quick” “simple”, non-literary joke piece on the Shakespearean theme, but it was hilarious and one of my favorites. You gotta hear it for yourself, out loud.
I heard Shivram Gopinath tell a tall tale about William Shakespeare and how he really is from india and ran to England and changed his name to Shakespeare. Oh it was a tall tale and hilarious too.
Jennifer Anne Champion had a awesome line about “Television, films, and YouTube slam poetry”. Lol Youtube slam poetry is a thing huh. I gotta admit it is quite catchy, though often frivolous. But still entertainment great for any bar night.
Omar Musa rapped a piece about “Eh / Play On” – “Tomorrow isnt your friend / Never let the fire in the lamp burn low / For you never know / When today might end” Hot damn he is inspirational. The rest of the poem was equally impactful. Read it here.
I was really inspired. And I missed it all, so much. Back to the days when I read, and read, and read. When I wrote, and blogged and wrote. When I daydreamed day in day out. When we all had dreams. When we were students. When life in university meant classes in everything under the sun. It was awesome.
Saturday Afternoon was GDG-SG Devfest. Although I work on IT stuff all the time, it’s still cool to see all the developers, who work on apps, cloud, machine learning etc etc. To be reminded again of Firebase, of GCP, of Search, of ML, of Android Run-Time. Makes me want to make yet another app again.
Saturday Evening we went for another Poetry reading together. This one was themed on Love. Poets from Japan, Taiwan, Iceland, Sri Lanka, Singapore, and some others. Very much an eye-opener into many, many, many, different styles of poetry. It was cool. Some were beautiful, some were cool, some were bizarre, some were shocking, some were boring. But it was a great and amazing diversity.
Iceland lady was stone-faced and sharp but funny in a sense. Taiwan guy was like cool surfer dude but writes well. German/Ghana woman was funny and also boring. Singapore malay guy was bemusing in fact. Japan man was crazy. It was real fun. And I enjoyed it so much.