Open-Mic Night

By Helen Rice

the clatter your guitar case makes
as the door inevitably swings back
a fraction too soon
and clocks us, on our way in, yet again

yet again we are just a few minutes too late
to make it on before the featured act
no matter
more time to natter
and wait for the post-turn platter
of pizza and chips

the dog visits each patron in turn
it’s as much his place here as it’s ours
it’s as much our place here as it’s everyone’s
a room to mingle
to hug and greet with a kiss or a pat on the back
to swap jokes and songs and tales
breathing the same air
a shared space
for close contact

Helen Rice is Showing Off is the performance and writing of Helen Rice who is based in Sheffield. Helen writes and performs a mixture of musical and spoken word pieces that span her everyday experience of life, often in a domestic setting but spanning broader themes. There’s usually humour involved but not always. She is also a proud member of the Wise Talk Spoken Word Collective and local cult cabaret group Fish Pie with Stan Skinny. Stan and Helen also collaborate on various word-related projects as Verbal Gerbil. She is currently working on her first pamphlet for publication themed around her experiences of not being a mother. You can listen to some of her music here.

You can watch some of her videos here.

And you can hear about all the gigs that are currently postponed here

Open Mic Night was a response to ‘what have you missed the most during Lockdown?’ 

A big challenge for me during the pandemic has been preparing pieces to be read on the page or screen when I much prefer to perform live but I’m trying to see this as an opportunity! I have found poetry to be a great source of stimulation and consolation during these testing times. 

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David Brehmer
David Brehmer
3 years ago

You capture the atmosphere of open mic nights very well.

Poetry and Covid-19 ARCHIVE (This website archives the over 1000 poems submitted by over 600 poets, and viewed by over 100,000 from over 125 countries during the Covid-19 pandemic, June 2020-June 2021). Thank you to all who took part in the Poetry and Covid project.

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