This year’s Glastonbury website poet in residence is Vanessa Kisuule, a writer and performer based in Bristol, UK. She has won more than ten slam titles and been featured on BBC iPlayer, Radio 1, and Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, The Guardian, Blue Peter, Sky TV, Don’t Flop and TEDx.
Vanessa has performed internationally and has two poetry collections published by Burning Eye Books: Joyriding The Storm (2014) and A Recipe For Sorcery (2017). She is currently the Bristol City Poet for 2018 – 2020. For more info, head to her website.
We will be posting Vanessa’s work throughout this year’s Festival, and she’s kicked us off with the wonderful poem below. You can also see her perform in the Poetry&Words tent at 4.05pm on Sunday 30th June.
Revenge of the Abandoned Tents
The khaki carcass
of an Argos tent belches.
A beer can sails from his mouth,
a mangled femur bone follows.
His slick, blue skinned friend
is still famished, surveying
the field for sun slack flesh.
She spots her next meal:
lain on a crumpled halo
of wet wipes and woe,
Complete with come-down curved shoulders,
and a falafel-crumb-studded beard stiff
with five day sweat and garnished with glitter.
Delicious. Delirious. Doomed.
She reels him in, mimicking
the rumble of a jungle bass line.
Bearded Boy answers her call,
reverent as a glow stick, mouth
stretched in a wobbly O of worship.
At first he thinks the gnawing sensation
in his toes is a sudden chill in the air,
an errant piece of glass piercing skin.
Too late, he sees the tent’s teeth settle
into his ankle, hears the wet crunch
of blood and bone made snack.
A cluster of crisp packets cheers
as the tent jiggles back and forth,
a frenzy of focused mastication.
The victims’ screams rang across
the field with no ears to catch them.
Thousands of lazy folk leave their
fleeting weekend homes behind,
now they’re nothing but gristle
in the guts of guerrilla retribution.
A grim scene indeed, with a simple moral to heed:
The only guarantee that you also won’t be eaten
is to take your tents away this festival season.