Roulade is Wayne Holloway-Smith and Llew Watkins’ one-night-only live walk-through magazine, and for the second issue (theme: Hubris) they had me round up a team of poets to create giant concrete poems in the shape of kaiju from the Godzilla and Gamera franchises.
I’m going to say that again in bold caps. GIANT CONCRETE POEMS IN THE SHAPE OF KAIJU FROM THE GODZILLA AND GAMERA FRANCHISES. Abigail Parry took on GEZORA, the mutant alien cuttlefish from the film ‘Space Amoeba’. Kirsten Irving went extreme with three-headed golden dragon KING GHIDORAH. John McCullough opted for Gamera’s nemesis, the bat-creature GYAOS. And I tackled benevolent insect-god MOTHRA, star of her own film before she became a longstanding frenemy of Godzilla.
For those who don’t get the appeal … I’m not even gunna explain it.
Llew and Wayne printed the poems out on A0 sheets, and we arranged them in a corner of the venue, Husk in Limehouse, which we then adorned with a burning cityscape, replete with toy helicopters. John’s rendering of Gyaos swooped down the stairwell, while Gezora encroached from the bay and King Ghidorah let rip among the skyscrapers. The title of the installation was ‘Giant Strange’, which Abby rendered in tape letters on the opposite wall:
For a finishing touch, we shut off the main lights and spotlighted the poems, then added a soundtrack comprising a compilation of the various monsters’ roars (taken from the films they featured in) mixed in with the aural atmosphere of a city under siege. Helicopters! Fire engines! So much screaming! You can listen to the effect loop here.
At some point in the future I’d like to commission more of these and collect them together into some form of publication. But it would have to have humongous pages. For now, here’s a version of my Mothra piece as a downloadable pdf, with a preview image beneath!