The Vaginellas, live

Last night was the first live performance from new poetry ensemble The Vaginellas at the Boars Head Tap Bar in Kidderminster. A slip of the tongue a couple of months ago led to the villanelle’s rebirth as the vaginelle and from there the idea of a feminine poetic position grew. The new poetic forms of vaginelle, scronnet, hairyku may have started as a joke but, since conception, the Vaginellas have used them to poetically explore sex, gender, seduction, physicality and politics in a fascinating way. So some poems were filthy, some funny (and filthy), some moving, thought-provoking, historical (one vaginelle refrain was a Germaine Greer quote, ‘Lady, love your cunt’) and so on. The five women (only four performing live on the night, alas) have distinct, accomplished poetic voices and approaches which blended seemlessly to make their programme work extremely well.

The open mic was also lively and enjoyable – though I am not quite sure about my five minutes! I erred on the side of filth – on the basis that it’s not often there’s a chance to do a good dollop of filth. My poem, 40-love (New Balls Please), was about a middle-aged lady seeking to carry out her doctor’s orders to take “five a day”; very much in the British innuendo-laden tradition; one verse, for example –

If you’re desperate for a pet,
try for size a rural vet;
white coat and stethoscope over well-worked tweeds.
On examination table
or in secluded straw-baled stable,
he’ll know exactly what a poorly pussy needs.

I also did my quickie: Hat, Gloves and no morals

She’s knickerless nicking in Waitrose
with her undies tucked under her hat
so she can cannily can cans in her hosiery
and stuff vol au vents up her — [allow audience to fill-in]

Yes it’s terrible – but what fun!

I hope The Vaginellas will carry on with their project – fun and serious sides – and I look forward to their next readings – and perhaps a book?

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6 Responses to The Vaginellas, live

  1. kapulco says:

    Well done! Sounds like a great time; worth the entry fee alone! Now, when I read a line under someone’s post which says: “Posted in: event, poetry, review. Tagged: cunt, Germaine Greer. Leave a comment.” – not that I ever have read such a line before – I have to comment. Well, I would have commented, had I not been eating Waitrose Essential Vol-Au-Vents at the time. Actually, think I might return those for a refund. Anyway, I don’t think they are as good as the home-made ones… :)

    • Myfanwy Fox says:

      Thanks, James. When I have a bit more energy I shall think of a witty reply. Right now, I think reclaiming “cunt” from abusive connotations is a bit tricky – I am sure I ought to go through my posts to add it as a tag for any that mention the Murdoch empire or the current government. The rank hypocracy of millionaire Torries decrying the “something for nothing culture” for all those who have worked hard, paid taxes then lost their jobs …

  2. kapulco says:

    Thanks Ms Fox. Actually, I think you might have a rather taxing time trying both to pluck a word from its “abusive cunnotations” (I paraphrase), whilst employing it to insult people. Ain’t VAT so? Anyway, I would argue, the people whom you deride are the cream of the cuntry. TTFN.

  3. Pingback: Ledbury again | Fox Tales

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