When Siri Interrupts Your Recital

I drew 81 pictures of my speccy avatar into classic art works last year, and posted them on Instagram. You may possibly recall seeing one or two.

For months, I’ve wondered what to do with them all. I had a mini breakthrough recently: I’ll write poems about the individual drawings but also about the overall process of creating one, then another, then another…

About what it feels like to be a kind of Mr Benn figure, wandering into other people’s worlds.

That kind of thing.

I have now written a small number of those poems, variously serious and not serious.

On Tuesday I read them aloud to patrons of my Adequate Projects and when I came to this one, “No.3, John Everett Millais” I discovered that I can’t say “seriousness” without triggering Apple’s little helper, Siri.

Siri interrupted my poetry recital by telling a joke about Lady Gaga that immeasurably improved the performance.

I’m sharing just a tiny out-take of the video here. It’s grainy because I had to crop in on myself to avoid making public other people on that Zoom call.

If you are an artist / poet type of person, it’s a hell of a thing to have patrons. I don’t have many, in fact just 13 (why hide it?), but I’m not worrying about the numbers. The patrons I have are terrific, and provide a space for me to share things like this without feeling mortified.

Naturally, it was terrifying to set up the patron scheme in the first place: what would people think? (“You charge HOW MUCH? who do you think you are? don’t you earn enough as an author?” etc etc.)

It was also time-consuming and complicated, because I didn’t want to use one of the platforms built for this kind of thing (I have a website, thank you).

But I am so glad I did it.