Self Mastery - The KissA recording of Amy Rainbow and Gary Longden’s love/hate pentalogy from the Smoke and Mirrors Anthology CD.


(Pentalogy – a five part work of art OR five symptoms or defects which together characterize a disease or syndrome. You decide.)



(Then buy the book and CD!)


1. Amy’s initial poem heard by poetry activist Gary Longden at a live performance. The two had never met.

Amy Rainbow - I Don't

Gary feeling somewhat disturbed by Amy’s poem composed his response as he drove home after the gig and then immediately emailed it to Amy.

Gary Longden - I Don't Either

Amy, somewhat surprised by the receipt of this poem from a complete stranger, felt compelled to compose a response.

Amy Rainbow - Second Thoughts

Gary, upon reading this response, again replied with instant fervour.

Gary Longden - Second Thoughts Seconded

Amy’s final assuaging reply. How will it all end?

Amy Rainbow - A Change of Heart

Since this exchange of poetic parlance Amy and Gary have become good friends. They have performed together at events such as Worcestershire Literary Festival’s Parole Parlate, the Smoke and Mirrors Anthology launch, Kidderminster’s Mouth and Music, and Cheltenham Poetry Festival. They have great plans for the future. If the relationship lasts that long…

(A poem about poetry)

Word Perfect

I’d like to teach the world to rhyme,
Keep poetry alive,
I want this place to be a space
Where spoken word can thrive.
I like my verse accessible
I want it to be fun,
It shouldn’t be elitist;
This stuff’s for everyone.
From toddlers to pensioners,
From commoners to kings,
Let’s write of love and lunacy
And everyday things.
So what if grammar bores you?
So what if you can’t spell?
I’ve got so much I want to say,
I bet you have as well.
Don’t worry if it’s nonsense,
Who cares what it’s about?
Just open up your mind’s trap-door
And see what falls out –
A lullaby, a limerick,
A sonnet or a song,
A rap about a shopping list,
There is no right or wrong.
As silly as Spike Milligan,
As chatty as Pam Ayres,
As long as you remember –
Do it your way, not theirs.
More misery than Plath could spout,
More cool than Zephaniah,
Just get your ideas on the page
And set the world on fire.
These words, they’re not just my words,
Would you like them? Shall we share?
Let subconscious thought take over,
Leave our conscious minds elsewhere?
Shall we see where talking takes us
When our brains are disengaged?
We’ll make poetry in motion –
Nothing structured, nothing staged.
Let’s be seers, let’s be prophets,
Fine philosophers and fools,
Let’s have anarchy in thinking –
Who needs order? Who needs rules?
We’ll use free association,
We’ll make poetry a game,
See where rhyme and rhythm take us,
No embarrassment, no shame.
Let us board the bird of lexicon,
May language let us fly.
What I’m saying is, they’re OUR words,
We are poets, you and I.

‘Fantastic. Witty, insightful and touching.’– Li Bames, student.

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