KOCHI: What do you do with the angst of unrequited love, the anger of gender abuse or the memory of a special sexual encounter? While most people tuck it away in a box in their mind to be savoured at leisure or to fume over later, media company Slow Claps gave a brave few the chance to share their experiences in free-form poetry at an open mic event.So on a sultry Saturday afternoon, in a quiet corner of Jawahar Nagar, men and women got together to narrate their power poems at the programme evocatively themed ‘Adult Poetry’.
“People often equate ‘adult’ with sex, but our poetry evening wasn’t restricted,” said Jayakrishnan Pillai, co-founder of Slow Claps, which also has on the anvil gardening and kid-centric workshops. “It was basically a chance for people to say aloud and share things that family and friends usually advise them against sharing. It was also a chance for people who don’t write poetry to have an occasion to listen to fresh ideas.”
While our society is increasingly trigger-happy to troll and pounce on perceived shameful acts, the two-hour session at the Slow Claps office served to combat this mood with creativity and discussion.
Freelance writer Lidiya Prasad’s concern when she moved to Kochi from Bengaluru was how staid life might be here and also culturally more low-key. She found the Adult Poetry narrative session a much-needed addition to the city.
“Whatever you couldn’t express elsewhere, you could express here,” said the 24-year-old mother of one, who stridently narrated three original poems, one called ‘36 C’ about society’s constant gaze on women’s bodies, one comparing the meditative process of making tea to making sex and one on bisexuality.
Sumi Thomas, one of the organisers and also a poets at the event, said it was a beautiful evening. “A programme such as this was intended to give people a space to share without judgement, so there were a lot of raw emotions. I certainly teared up over one person’s narrative of loss,” she said.