Slam Poet Christmas Message: Deanna Rodger

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In a special series for Huffington Post UK Culture, some of the country's finest performance poets have recorded exclusive end of year messages. You can read a copy of Deanna's poem below.

Deanna Rodger, 22, Farrago UK Poetry Slam Champion
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How long have you been performing poety?
Just under five years.

What is your poem about?
I chose to perform a poem about my after school experience. I can remember being very excited for school to finish in order to go on those adventures with my friends! Christmas is very much like that for me I'll forever look forward to it because it's a day where all my family come together to have fun.

Who is your favourite poet, and poem?
I have a lot! Almost too many to name - I don't want to leave anyone out so I’d say look up Come Rhyme With Me and Chill Pill to come along and see all my favourites!

Where can we see you perform?
I perform all over the place. I host a few regular events (see above question) so you can definitely catch me at those. Also check out my Facebook page and follow me on Twitter to keep regularly updated.

What will you be doing this Christmas?
I will be splitting the day between my mum's and my boyfriend's - eating at both houses!

22 Now

See red, sprint and pounce on to the new novelty open back route-master.
Out of breath from the effort
spiral up steps and seat search for the backseat of the top deck.
Breath in the musky scent
And lean into a time where 3D tv's are only seen in sc fi fantasies,
And you know no smart phone
So this bus journey isn't spent alone with app games and emails
your oyster exists as an unexplored world
Notebook opened in your lap is a pearl
Polished by prophesied arrival of school girl gabble loud and
Charged by coppers that skip in pockets when your valentine red bus runs past a PG common hesitant to stop

You watched our chase.
Seduced by the vulnerabilities of the open air bus,
We stride towards the choice of extra curricular adventure
Stretching skirted legs, as far as they can go,
Before leaping and
Chanting at friends that lack the co ordination of limbs
Loyal, you watched us hang off poles holding the drivers stare with spider like lashes until all legs were aboard the two two Piccadilly bound bus.

Once we are up, you relish the clarity of our educated insults over the best, small enough for one big enough for two, back of the bus bench like toothless scavengers,
tongues sharpening at each step,
breath deepening with a rubber like resistance,
pulse fuelled adrenaline loading
Like arrows
Taunt to release
as your own breath is held to exhale, we do so passively at sight of you through brace straight teeth

We move in a cloud of impulse
Wearing inside out blazers
because we are fresh princesses free from an all lady posh school, to hang off second choice seats in sport chic converse low cuts, an urban amendment of our boat friend's high laces-tied-to-the top converse geek-ness.

She had the foresight we pretended to see through slick hair and lipgloss.

She plugs in with two working Christmas white earphones orchestrating songs from Monica's After the storm album
Our shallow notes conducted by a mismatched, not yet retro Walkman that stretches a scarred girls pocket Bangs against her hip and skips the semi scratched CD on our bouncing straight road journey.

Traffic exhausts our patience, the button to leave is pushed
ejecting us and you follow
To speed down stair case narrow and steep and join us in our bus hop off 22's to search for 19s

Paper passes are expertly fake, made in maths class with the skill only trial and error can create
But We don't wait at bus stops
We stroll with urban limps down Kings road
Bus watching
Clocking salacious backseat boys
Ready to jump on to taste scents of the top saloon and jump off for chase from the after-shaved adolescents .

Sloane square drowns post bus ruckus and saturates our strolls to stops to watch people cris crossing every crack of space like water
Grey suits trickle through barriers we are shy of
Electric shutters look aggressive and unforgiving
And Map of string strangles our numbers with order and law so we stay away curiously watching

As you beep in, thinking about a poem you mastered on route
Scenes set under the eye lidded windows that over see paired seats of no separation Like the updated CCTV and stickers safe, yet to be peeled like scabs on schoolboys knees

You leave young inquisitive ladies on land level not yet ready to explore the underworld, for in that time where cycling wasn't a trend yet and there are no narrow pathways painted onto the road
They are safe knowing that
if they ever fall in their leaps of faith
They will laugh through the pain
because it is all you can do when trying to master the route.