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Blog - Wendy Young

Dear God – Can we have Razz back?

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Last Wednesday evening 4th September 2019 saw an event celebrating of the work of Razz – the backbone of Survivor’s Poetry – at the National Poetry Library, London in the Royal Festival Hall

Survivor Force

Group Pic Homage to Razz

Homage to Razz was an exciting, inspiring, entertaining and eye opening occasion. The  latter hyperbole (Razz may say hyperbollox) is made as I was not aware of the amount of really good poetry Razz churned out.

At times I sat listening to my fellow performers who were privileged to choose a couple of ‘our’ Razz’s poems and had to be reminded they were the work of a poet who had never been published!! Outrageous. Though as Debbie McNamara mentioned on the night – Razz didn’t know if he was good enough and declined her offer of being his agent! Oh Razz!

Razz the Poet produced Survivor’s Poetry events at both Tottenham Chances and The Poetry Society every month. His real name being Graham Feasey, I am not sure where Razz came from – could it be it rhymes with Jazz? He had pizzazz and razzamatazz and thiz, along with his flawz – awed uz in his poetry and song.

For myself, I loved his sarcastic and razor sharp wit and quotations from the comics on telly and in film from youth – we shared a love of Charlie Drake! (‘ello my darlin’). He was on the ball politically and environmentally. He loved crop circles – as Debbie alluded to when talking about their excursions in various parts of the country.

My abiding memory Razz is his ability to listen to every poet who performed at Survivors and then make remarks in a positive light. He always took pics and promoted the night. He had many contacts and had loads of friends from different countries and different parts of the UK who he involved in jams at the end of the night. There was always a festival ambience with Razz.

The poems I chose were Karma – a seethingly throat slitting wordery piece and Write a Poem – a Pythonesque look at devotion to writing poetry to heal your pain, deal with death, depression and most every woe/ill in life.  And we all

Other performers on the night gave us a treat with their renditions and snippets of knowing Razz. We were limited to 8 and a half minutes each so timing was tight.

We saw projected film of Razz performing ‘Dear God’ – typically Razz with his inimitable sardonic wit and energy! RIP ‘Our Razz’.

Karma
You can kill my body
You can kill my mind
but my poems
will still be left behind

You can take my money
You can take my pride
But my words
will find out where you hide

You can build a fence
You can build a moat
but my words will come
and slit your throat
When you’ve buried me
in the mud you’ve slung
My words will reach,
rip out your tongue.

When you’ve killed me dead
Poisoned every bud
They’ll find you drowned
in your own blood.

So murder me
If you’re feeling brave
My words stand laughing
at your grave.

Razz: July – August 2011

You can see more of Razz’s words and art at https://www.razzpoetry.com/spoken-word

 

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