Words by: Natasha Bloomfield
Image credit: Writ Poetry Review Facebook
I have an inkling that some of the most awesome spots in the city are, firstly, affiliated with the arts, and secondly, are hidden away in buildings that have interesting rooms and an eclectic mix of furniture, where they whisper of possibility and mastery. Paper Mountain is no exception. Up three flights of stairs, the gallery is a relatively narrow room with tall white walls, and the numerous pillows and blankets set out for the night is a welcoming sight. Even though it was a chilly evening last Friday, the glow of smiles and happiness radiating from the expectant spectators was enough to melt even the coldest of fingers.
I was there to assist with Writ Poetry Review’s second night of poetry and music. The night promised an amazing line-up and did not disappoint, with a mix of poetry from six performers and music sets from three.
The chill from outside was staved off by the new vibrant life the poets gave to their written words, and music that was so flawless it warmed you from the outside in. A personal favourite was Sarah Tout, Sarah’s sweet voice soaring over the heightened volume of the bass guitar and drums, music that makes you feel so perfectly happy and content you begin to question why you’ve ever felt melancholy.
I spent the majority of the night viewing the acts from behind the bar. And yes, this surprised even me. With this responsibility I also spent a good amount of time attempting to memorise the names and variations of names of the alcohol we had for sale – unsuccessful. There was only six, but seriously, unsuccessful. This new vocation would have been even trickier had it not been for the kindly gentleman who taught me how to use a bottle opener. Yes, I really am that naive. I would also like to apologise to that same gentleman for an incident that happened an hour later where I mistook his full ale bottle for an empty one and tried to take it away from him.
Like a sheep in wolf’s clothing, I started to wonder if everybody would, at some point, realise that this was the first time I had ever worked behind a bar. This was never more apparent than in the second break when someone requested a glass of red wine and I considered asking them if they wanted it chilled. And thus, I can say with certainty that by the end of the night, they most likely all did.
But these adventures with the bar were disrupted once I cut myself on the ledge of a bench in the process of making a fast movement – such movements are never a good idea for me. Being quite familiar with cuts from my experience working in a shop that sells glass, I didn’t think much of it. However, my delayed query for a band-aid eventually turned into a request that went out to the whole audience – through the microphone and everything – and a lovely lady sacrificed her only band-aid for my finger, to which I am forever indebted.
The last few acts rolled around about an hour later, and I was itching for the door. Not because I wanted to leave, far from it, but because I was convinced that I didn’t have enough money for parking. And let me tell you, it is extraordinary what the prospect of spending the night in a car park will do for your walking speed. I noted, once I was safely in my car with ticket paid, that I had a good four hours of parking left, and then, relieved yet also disappointed, wondered if I could go back to that magical room with the amazing poetry and the beautiful music. But I didn’t, and with that, David Craft’s music became a mystery to me.