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New Poems (Oct/Nov 2023)
Wednesday is about books and writing. From time to time, I share some creative writing. Today, a bunch of new poems, the result of a new style/format for writing.
It’s been a while, so I thought I’d share a few new poems. I do add them to Off The Tracks - which is basically adding them here to Substack, although I don’t share them out every day. They often don’t get discovered. I wouldn’t bombard you with each and every one, but from time to time I like to share a few of the new ones. So here’s a handful of the latest. You can either click on them to see them as ‘stories’ here, or the text is included below each one…
One thing that has changed over the last couple of months is that every single one of these new poems was written on my phone. I started using the ‘notes’ on my phone a while back - for ideas. I’d then shape them on the computer. That middle man has been cut like some impending public sector reform. I now write them on my phone, on the go, in stolen moments. As always, they can’t all be bangers, but I’m learning to live with this new approach - and seeing what happens. I sometimes even like what happens. The first one here, the freshest cab off the rank, is an update and response to the last poem from my book, The Death of Music Journalism. You don’t need to know that of course, it lives on its own. But We Listen To The Beatles, written in 2019, now has a sister-volume, a brother, a palinode as we say in the biz…
Anyway, I thank you if you read any further than this line. And hope something here resonates with you in some way.
Band on the Run is now 50
years old, it won’t be long
and I’ll be that age - my son,
so soon to be a teenager,
was raised on The Beatles,
just as my dad raised me.
I like to think it’s a ‘correct’
musical education. And one
he, rightly, has started to turn
his back on. But in those
moments when a Wings song
(Let ‘Em In, Silly Love Songs
or With A Little Luck hits through
the speakers in the car, I like
that my son can track it right
back to The Beatles, to when he
was three, to when he was four,
and say, “Dad, that bass line slaps!”
I hope I don’t disappoint too many of you
too often. You know it’s not my plan.
If anything, I’m trying to be better than
I am. If I’m bad now, be glad you didn’t
see me when I shat on someone’s lawn,
put my shorts through the flap of the
post-box; rode bareback down the hill to
home. It’s fair to say back then I was alone.
In oh, so many many ways…but now I’m
not alone. I never want to go back to that.
Gosh, even then the saddest part, was I
always tried to be better than I was.
you get the main character
up the tree - and immediately
start throwing rocks.
Their face, their arms, their
legs, their back, their chest
and tummy…hit them with
all you’ve got. The rocks
are your friends. The main
character isn’t. He is just
your anxiety. Or she. Or they.
Or them. Rock your anxiety
to sleep. Run it up that tree.
Leave it there to nurse
the rock-hits. Leave it all
up the tree.
ten years old I guess when I heard it first,
or maybe 11 or 12. Still lisening to it now,
still learning from it too. Every song cuts
deep, hits hard, hurts and heals and works
in more than one way. Every hook, every
lyric, every world explored. It never spoke
for me - my life has always been safe.
But it spoke to me. It spoke to so many.
It feels like a comfort. Like home. Like
The Rag and Bone Shop sells art. You sign up in
blood and pay from the start. You sell what you
can, when you can, as you must. You charge by
the hour, people pay you in trust. You can’t take
the art home, it hangs from the walls. Your blood
drained from your face, your blood drips from
the stalls. You won’t make much money in this
day and age. But people will find it funny that
you thought you’d get paid. You love it, so just
do it; you love it - you’re so lucky. You’ve just
got to want to do well, that’s all there is to it -
that’s how you get things to sell. The Rag and
Bone shop sells art. Make sure you keep up with
demand. We all have to make sure we are doing
Someone once told me I should probably say
every third thing I think.
I’ve been thinking about that ever since.
Though, this is the first time
I’ve ‘talked’ about it, so I can’t say it has
slowed me down too much.
The guy first in line
at the merch table
at the Tangerine Dream gig
tells the person behind the table
that this is a special night.
She shrugs and hands him
an armful of CDs, a t-shirt that
won’t fit, and a rolled-up poster.
He then checks to see if she is
connected to the band; hoping to
get a message to someone…
She explains she just works for the venue.
He is crushed. All that confidence
rising as he asked the question and felt
blood on his throat. Now he’ll just have
store-bought memories to make it all
seem worthwhile, to make the music
last longer, to achieve synthesis.
they made Carrie into a movie -
And twenty years later, someone
made a sequel. And then, more
than a decade after that - a reboot.
There’s been a musical too.
But back at the turn of the millennium,
there was a TV movie. It isn’t good.
But I can’t look away. I gave up being
a completist a long, long time ago.
It’s nice they still give out day passes though.
I like to visit. Just me and
my attempt at superiority.
The thing about being on holiday
Is you never want it to end.
When it does, that’s how it’s meant to be.
Proof of a good holiday is never wanting
it to end. But feeling happy enough about
returning home. The end must come
whether good, or not. The same
is true with poems.
So, that’s the last couple of months in poems. Thanks for reading this far if you did. Let me know what you think?
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