The Eagertongue: How I came to be a Spoken Word Performer

“So I’m now officially a spoken word artist. A poet. Or at least that’s how I feel.”

What is spoken word? Quite frankly, I’m not sure. Poetry seems to be the most common form of it, but, like all art, it’s subjective. You can’t create a set description of what it has to be. It’s poetry, but I like to see it as storytelling too.

I played a gig at the Vegfest last week, and the programme said ‘Vegan Spoken Word Artist’: so I guess that’s what I am. That’s me. It said it, and so it’s official. I am The Eagertongue. After 5 performances of stumbling over my poetry and forgetting my words, I actually held a crowd for 50 minutes. FIFTY. I am The Eagertongue.

Okay, so how did I get into it? What led me to this stage?

Performing is something I’ve done from a very young age, mainly in bands behind a backdrop of sound and other musicians. Some very bad, and some very good. The trouble with being in a band was, in short, I could write but I couldn’t really sing, and I could be entertaining but I couldn’t get along with people. I never learnt an instrument. I never wanted to. It was always words that fascinated me more. So now here I am, finally haven fallen onto the right track. But truth be told, I felt a little orphaned without a band around me at first. For years I’d sort of toyed around the idea of making music, met up with willing folk (some nice, some very much not so) with an open mind and belief in my words, talent and ability to perform as a frontman. It’s something I’ve found very odd, that most people I’ve met are more than happy to not take the risk of being in the front line. I never quite understood the fear of “being gunned down first” if you will. Being in the front line, that was always the allure for me. But alas I always moved myself 2 steps forward but 3 steps back.

I’ve had many offers of making music, with some very talented musicians offering me ready made tracks on a plate which I only had to add my vocals to, with only Ben Graves from my sales job managing to get me to pen a song, record, mix and engineer it. The full works. That was Funeral Fashions, which sort of cemented Eagertongue as something; something that someday I was going to have to face up to.

The strange thing through it all was that I never once questioned I could do it. I never got the grey fog of doubt and mental block. It just never felt right before now. I don’t know.

It’s just instinct.

I’ve spent so many, many years working out what that feeling was. It was never self-doubt. That I know. But Eagertongue as a performance piece, as a conversational spoken word artist, a campaigner, an amateur poet and occasional song writer, is the first thing that has really seemed like more than the ability to convince myself I’m not just a married adult in his late 20s, who owns his own house with only the mundane ability to pick up his pay check for serving a business leader who actually followed through on his promises to himself, as hollow and money laden as they may be.

Eventually Everyone Just Dissolves

Time is just a black hole, spend your weary hours

Trying to remain the memory

That isn’t caught up in the World’s dementia

You have been forgotten

It’s all you think about

You don’t even remember why this was held so close as a life achievement

The thought of it never left

But the story is twisted and told by strangers

No matter how hard you try..

One day everyone will be

(A Stranger that is)

And you thought loneliness

Was dying alone! Just wait till you are! …COMPLETELY see-through

In the care home of ghosts

When your story is too outdated for anyone to know

Your stories are just as unremarkable as all those years that made you…

Made you what you were!