Author | Poet | Tutor
Performance Poetry: Frozen Chicken
In this recording, I’m reading one of my poems – Frozen Chicken, the first poem I ever wrote. The inspiration for the piece came from a chance conversation. I once knew a woman who had lived through an abusive marriage. She told me that women who hadn’t experienced domestic violence themselves never understood. However, men were usually very sympathetic. I felt a wave of guilt because I have to confess, even as she was talking, I’d been wondering why she just hadn’t kicked him swiftly where it hurts and run off.
That response must have stayed with me, because when I was studying writing as an undergrad, we had to write a stream-of-conscious piece, and Frozen Chicken just came right out of my head there and then.
Later I got to read the poem to her, and she knew immediately why I’d written it. I thought she’d be angry, but was relieved when she asked me for a copy.
Whenever I perform it at poetry events, there’s usually someone who’ll come and say why it meant so much to them, which is extremely humbling. I’ve never been in this situation myself, and if I’ve ever judged anyone who has, then perhaps this is my apology.