My name is Ian

A guy who looks like me and has the same shirt as me, but is named Ian, was spotted at Spoken Word Paris last Monday. He even recited my poems Chicken Omelette and Wrong Segment.

The open mic “slam” gig hosted by Au Chat Noir near Parmentier every Monday provides a very real, very public outlet for creative writing – performing poem and prose, speaking the words, is like crowd-testing your imaginings, the things you slave over in solitary confinement. Writing for a spoken word project is a fantastic exercise in Sound & Sense (and also, a useful skill, public speaking).

Flaubert coined the term Le Gueuloir, a “room” dedicated to recital where he would actually shout his prose, howling to the heavens (or perhaps a terrified serving girl) to see if sentences rolled off the tongue as well as they flowed in the imagination. He’s been quoted saying: “[The] poorly-written sentence cannot pass this test; it creates a tightness around the chest, hinders the beating of the heart, and therefore exists outside the conditions of life.”

Makes sense: if you have trouble enunciating a sentence, if it jars, loses steam or twists the tongue, then it won’t flow — it can be improved.

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