Crackles to Life

Under years of dust, at the back of the garage,

next to the old wardrobe that now holds garden tools,

on top of cardboard boxes packed full of things that are

no longer useful but too good to throw away,

rests the old record player.

 

I pull it from the mess of bits of bicycles & old picnic baskets,

peel a record from its musty sleeve

& it crackles back to life sending out forgotten analogue signals,

cutting through time at 33 RPM.

 

Now I’m talking ‘bout my generation[i],

Carnabetian[ii] dreams & satanic sympathies.

Poet punk psychedelic stereophonic shamen

carry me back to days of innocence & ignorant abandon.

The songs have remained the same[iii], but the years have moved on,

the doors may not be cleansed but the possibilities are still infinite.

 

So the scientifically precise mp3 player bloated with all its bits of data

can wait until I’m back in my car driving to work.

 

For now, I sit in the back of the garage,

in the chair we had in the living room before the one we have now,

I sneak a cigarette so the kids don’t catch me,

drop the needle, spin the black circle[iv]

& float back to a life that has been stored,

no longer useful but too good to throw away.

 


[i] Towshend, Peter. I’m talking ‘bout my generation. “My Generation”. My Generation. Record. Brunswick 05944. 1965.

[ii] Davies, Ray. Carnabetian. “Dedicated Follower of Fashion”. Single. Record. Pye 7N 17064. 1966.

[iii] Page, Jimmy & Plant, Robert. The songs have remained the same. “The Song Remains the Same”. Houses of the Holy. Record. Atlantic. 1973.

[iv] Vedder, Eddie. Spin the black circle. “Spin the Black Circle”, Vitalogy, Record, CD, Epic, 1994


Published in The Interpreter’s House Issue 63 (October, 2016)

Published in The Frequency of God, Close-Up Books (December, 2017)

 

vino e panini con Michelangelo

I

sometimes it’s necessary to mess with (reality)

our obsession with logic compels us

to mow our lawns every Sunday –

we’d all paint the grass if we could

 

II

blow-up!

blow your mind up

make your mind up

blow your makeup

 

III

wine & sandwiches in Rome

London owes you a decade

God’s hand will rest on your shoulder

along the Po di Volano, at rest in Ferrara

 


First published in Tincture Journal Issue 14, June 2016. -Note that all back issues of the great Tincture Journal are now available for free download at http://tincture-journal.com/buy-a-tincture/

Subsequently published in The Frequency of God, Close-Up Books, December 2017

In the Death Mask of John Keats

The Keats-Shelley House, Rome

Piazza di Spagna, 26, 00187 Roma RM, Italy

.

In the death mask of John Keats

there appears a resigned peace,

as if poetry had finally let him rest,

his last poem whispered in his last breath.

.

Now I stand in his room beside the Spanish steps,

looking out at life from his room of death,

watching tourists walk by without a thought

that once, here, lay John Keats, poet.

.

And I consider the fate of a nameless grave,

or worse, a life of wasted days,

but what a beautiful death if you can say

you did what you needed to do,

and said what you needed to say.