Author Archives: Anna Secret Poet

About Anna Secret Poet

I am a man who derives considerable enjoyment and satisfaction from transforming myself into a woman once in a while. I decided to try and write about it in an effort to see if I could work out why I do it. That hasn't really happened over the years I've been keeping and maintaining this blog but instead I've learned to be at peace with my unusual habit instead. These days I perform as my alter ego at cabarets, comedy clubs and anywhere else that wants me. I recite dubious poetry and sing a variety of odd wee songs.

Busy Anna

I don’t think I’ve done a proper post in a few weeks so I’m going to attempt it now whilst sharing some more pics. March is a busy month for me performance-wise. I have 6 Anna gigs in total and that’s me done 3 already. The first one was a hotly anticipated Bowie tribute night I participated in for Cabaret Against Cancer and that was fantastic. I shared a bill with some incredible and glamorous folk that night I can tell you. It was ran by Tom Harlow and Kim Khaos under their Glitter & Grind Revue moniker and also featured Paul Puppet (who also compered), Jack Squat, Markee De Saw & Bert Finkle, Amber Skyline, Raven Rose, Tootsie Annie, The Great Aziz, Jakob Martyr and The Drag Queens of Glasgow who included Alana Duvey, Dharma Gheddon, CJ Banks, Lacy Rain amongst others. In the end I believe we raised just under £600 which was to be split between 3 cancer charities. I didn’t get to sing unfortunately but I did get to write a Bowie poem which I shared the other week and can be viewed here What’s Your Favourite Bowie?

My look was a grey t-shirt with sequined stripes, black flat panelled skirt, black platform boots and a red wig.

I changed into the platform boots when I got to the venue, obviously 😄.

Top photo was by Jamie McFadyen and bottom pic was by Steve Kinnon.

I even got to join in on the finale which was a rendition of ‘Starman’. Knowing I wouldn’t get to bring an actual instrument I cheekily brought a maraca with me so I’d have something to do…

The week after the gig I returned to an idea I’d had a few times before about printing a little pamphlet of some of my poems. A lot of them had been typed up already so it wouldn’t take an enormous effort to corale them together. During the week I set to work. I cobbled together a cover image, proof-read the poems so there weren’t any embarrassing spelling mistakes, printed them as an A5 booklet on two sides of the paper then stapled it all together. I ran off 30 copies which may seem optimistic but I reasoned I could recycle any that didn’t sell. Oh yeah I planned to sell them for £1 if I can. I called it ‘Vicious Fruit’.

The next gig was a night at McChuills again and it wasn’t very good. It’s primarily a rock venue and there was a birthday party in that night so it was rather doomed as far as spoken word goes. I felt sorry for the comedians – at least I had a guitar. I forewent poems and went straight to songs throwing in a raucous cover of ‘I heard it through the grapevine’ for good measure in amongst my normal nonsense.

A few days before, my phone died and I made do with a dubious tablet bequeathed from my mother. I used that to take the grainy images of my outfit you see below this sentence.

I left before the end as I’d had a long day with no lunch or dinner…unless you include cider as dinner! I had to retain energy for the next gig which was the very next night. Thankfully I was able to procure a new phone and recommence social networking activities as normal. Also the camera on the phone is especially good quality. Particularly so when you flip the lens round for Selfie Mode (yes it’s actually called that!).

The gig was at the Western Baths Club and was ran by Scott MacPherson as part of the Glasgow Comedy Festival. This venue was the scene of an unfortunate heckling incident when a woman stopped me during my ‘Let’s Dance’ cover to tell me that what I was doing was a disgrace to the memory of a great artist and I should be ashamed of myself 😄. Also on the bill were Gabriel Featherstone, Kavita Bhardwaj, Natalie Sweeney Potter, Fergus Mitchell and Craig Dolan. Apparently the Bowie incident from last November was a talking point for weeks afterwards. Scott referenced it by wearing a t-shirt of David Bowie with his finger on his lips as if to say “shhhhhh”.

That gig was a lot better! I got to close and end the show which was nice. I do it again in a fortnight which should be interesting…I do hope I can find more material to bring. The second half was funny in particular as it was more improvised. It was called Comedy Lotto. There were a load of numbered balls  and random picking of subjects to talk on, much like ‘Mock the Week’ or ‘Whose Line is it Anyway?’ sort of thing. Incidentally I sold 5 copies of my pamphlet at this gig so I was well pleased. They cost nothing to produce so I’m in profit already 😊.

Another week till my next one which is a horror inspired cabaret at The Blue Chair hosted by Gabriel. It’s called Shoggoth! Hopefully I’ll get off my arse and come up with something entertaining to bring along X

The Poem Poem

‘The Poem Poem’

Most words I write have already been writ

I’m pretty prepared to admit

not every poem that rhymes is shit

that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it,

sometimes it’s like they’re built from a kit

sticking it together bit by bit

sometimes the pieces refuse to fit

so on forgotten pages they resignedly sit,

some write like a dream and are bursting with wit

if they were singles they would be a hit

or if they were villains your throat they would slit

and from their mouths evil laughs emit,

they’re never so long that they have to be split

before then I would surely have quit

like a hypocrite who learned to knit

whilst stuck in a pit that was filled with grit 😉

What’s your favourite Bowie?

Ziggy Bowie – Crooning Bowie

Plastic soul Bowie – Funky Bowie

Music Hall Bowie – Silly Boy Blue Bowie?

Cheeky Bowie – Laughing Gnome Bowie

Dark Bowie – Gay Bowie

Straight Bowie – don’t mind either way Bowie?

Androgynous Bowie – Eye-patch Bowie

Pierrot Bowie – Earthling Bowie

Space Bowie – Is it cold in space Bowie…would you like to borrow my jumper Bowie?

Cockney Bowie – Swiss Bowie

New York Bowie – Berlin Bowie

Eno Bowie – Iggy Bowie?

Goblin King Bowie – Vampire Bowie

Elephant Man Bowie – Snowman Bowie

P.O.W. Bowie – Shark Bowie? (Has anyone seen ‘Yellowbeard’?)

Bleached Blonde Bowie – Live Aid Bowie

Dancing in the Street with Mick Jagger Bowie

Tonight Bowie – Glass Spider Bowie

Tin Machine Bowie?

Bo-wie Bowie – Halloween Bowie

Arty Bowie – Little Drummer Boy Bowie

Or should I say Bing Crosby Bowie

Under Pressure Bowie?

Burroughs Bowie – Baal Bowie

Buddha Bowie – Jungle Bowie

Heathen Bowie – Lazarus Bowie

Unwashed and Somewhat Slightly Dazed Bowie?

I like all the Bowies – and always will Bowie

With little or no exception Bowie

It’s all good Bowie – Goodnight Bowie!

Arty Anna

It’s been a funny few weeks since the Drag-Opticon gig. I think it’s because I have a lot on in March that I may be becoming anxious about it. I pulled out of a gig the other week at the last minute. It was after work and I’d just finished getting changed to go to the venue and upon looking in the full length mirror I did not like what I saw. Cue a massive crisis of confidence which culminated in me clambering back into my drab clothes and sitting on the floor propped up by the door. I don’t know if it was my choice of outfit, the hair and make-up, my loss of faith in my material as it was a comedy night I was appearing at. It could have been all of the above. Suffice to say the homing instinct kicked in and home I went. I only managed one picture from that session and here it is, I don’t like it that much but I guess it’s relevant to this particular situation.

Matters improved for my next appearance which was 4 days later. This performance took place at ‘Dr Sketchy’ in Stereo, Renfield Lane, Glasgow. It was unusual in a number of respects, the first being that it was at 1 in the afternoon, it was a paid gig and that it involved life drawing! Usually they have burlesque dancers and folk like that and the idea is that you do your act then you pose for the audience to draw you. Tremendous fun but also challenging. I’m not terribly great at staying still but I managed fairly well. It was so warm under those lights. I think I did 4 poses in total; one where I stood holding my guitar, one sitting down reading a book, one with me holding an opened umbrella and another where I lay on a blanket propped up against the back of the stage.

I think Nicola, the lady running the show took this one during my first pose. Here are a few pics showing how I actually looked. If I do say so myself I reckon I looked a lot better than my previous attempt.

Sadly I never got to see any of the drawings, I was hoping people would share them to the Dr Sketchy Facebook page but to no avail. It was also a first in that I shared the bill with a pair of life models. A married couple from the USA who seem to be travelling about the place, seeing the sights, appearing naked in the basements of bars for strangers to draw them. If I was wearing a hat I’d take it off to them! I had brought a sketchpad with me so I could join in so I relished the opportunity to give it a try. They did 6 poses I think and I drew them all but only one or two turned out well enough to share.

I’ve never drawn naked people before. I always prefer drawing animals or things as I find the human face particularly difficult – lips especially. Luckily the lady had wild hair that more often than not cascaded over her face and made it a bit easier. I’d definitely love to go again sometime!

A new wig arrived last week too so that was more than a bit exciting. It’s very close indeed to the shade of red I’ve been seeking for several years. For the benefit of non regular readers of this blog I shall briefly explain that I have long been trying to find a suitable replacement for my first brilliant wig. A gorgeous long auburn one with prominent bangs. This one doesn’t have the fringe but the shade is almost the same.

It’s bloody tight though haha! I must have a big head though to be fair. Next gig is ‘Ashes to Ashes’, a cabaret tribute to David Bowie at the Polo Lounge on the 1st of March. I’ve been asked to provide a special Bowie poem which I have been dutifully working on for the last while. It’s more or less done and probably just needs a wee touch-up. Here is the poster for it, it’s very smart indeed!

Anna’s Valentine Poem

‘Anna’s Valentine Poem’

 

I can’t guarantee chocolate

or rosey flowers

or ceaseless passion

for uncountable hours

but you can have my attention

and my utter devotion

…and all those other

gushy emotions! 😉

 

ajb

*This poem is dedicated to my wife xxx

Life is Officially a Drag (in the best possible way)

I began my 2017 gig schedule in one of the coolest venues I’ve ever been in – and I mean that in both terms of temperature and ‘wow that’s cool!’. The Britannia Panopticon is a culturally, historically and aesthetically significant place. Apparently it’s the oldest surviving music hall, built in the late 1880s and closed in 1938 just before the war. So barring the odd superficial embellishments here and there it is pretty much as it was when it closed its doors to the public all those years ago.

I was there for an evening of drag, an event amusingly titled ‘Dragopticon’. It’s my first such billing and I admit I was a tad apprehensive. Most people involved with it hadn’t seen me before so I hoped I’d be able to get through it all without making an arse of myself. I really enjoyed rambling about backstage surrounded by top hats, corsets, bric-a-brac, rolls of pianola paper (if that’s even how you refer to them). The host Alana Duvey immediately put me at ease and I met the others one by one who are all part of Glasgow’s thriving drag scene. What a beautiful and inventive bunch! My fellow cast members included…

Alana Duvey herself

alana-duvey

Dharma Geddon

dharma-gheddon

Ru Jazzle

rujazzle

CJ Banks

cj-banks

and

Ann Phetimine

ann-phetimine

The format was that we all got 2 performances, 1 in each half, and I was truly blown away by them. The whole gig is up on Youtube having been filmed by an eager audience member. Here are links to my 2 sets…

 

My wife and sister came along as did my old friend Rachel and her brother Stuart. They had a blast too and were seriously talking about attending the next one. A lady took professional photos of everyones performances as well which I shall share here also. I took them from Facebook so the quality is not so great. She goes by the name Galactic Carnival so I thank her most graciously for the images and for letting me use them.

I even got to debut a new song called ‘Star Wars Pants’. A joyous celebration of my Star Wars underwear. Well I hadn’t intended to but I stupidly mentioned it on mic and I was cajoled into doing it. Also I was most pleased to see a lady called Carrianne and her friend pop along to support me. She’s a lovely lady I encountered at Queer Theory a few months back who graciously leant me her plectrum earring as I was plectrumless at the time. Brilliant stuff!

I also managed a few amateurish snaps of my own after I got ready and was hanging about backstage…

There was a milestone as well a few days ago on the 5th of February. The anniversary of my first gig! I sure have came a long way since that first outing. Here’s to another year 🙂

Dick Pic

‘Dick Pic’

Sometimes my inbox is a scary place

Sometimes there are pictures – but not of a face

Or kittens or vegetables or castles or palaces…

But raging stonners and laughable phalluses!

A dick pic is not going to win my affection

I don’t care if you can achieve an erection

Everyone’s braver behind a mobile phone

I doubt if you’d be so cocky if we were alone