Think for yourself.
Edited in Picasa
Think for yourself. [original image]
Think for yourself. [alternative image]
They’ve made a stage production
of a movie that was insanely popular
when you were growing up;
the trends of your youth now
have a retro curiosity to them,
like some sort of museum oddity.
Your music is now called classic rock &
your favourite albums are referred to as seminal &
when a young band covers one of your old songs &
you sing along your kids look at you strangely &
wonder how someone as uncool as you
could know something that they think is theirs.
Records have moved through CD to mp3
but a vinyl collection is to be held in awe
& video became DVD, & now blue, Ray,
but the movies are just remakes.
Nintendos are now called Wiis,
Mario has risen bigger than Jesus,
& Apple is the product of choice
for the middle-class edgy set
pretending to be artsy.
Now your rock stars are suffering from
old people ailments or reforming
for reunion retirement fund tours.
Bowie & Cohen, Prince & George Michael
all rang out their final chords.
Your favourite hangouts
have now been taken over by
cliché hipster cafés
selling pretentious single origin drinks
but you can’t smoke or joke about
how contrived their record collection is.
One day they might
make a stage production of your life –
a black comedy
directed by John Hughes.
First published in The Frequency of God, Close-Up Books, December 2017
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)
I am a thing / not a thing
elevated to the status
of object / product
a float between what
you’ve seen / thought you saw
. / ignored
the error of our ways
is the tragedy of our days
how long until O becomes Q
until the realisation gains a tail
& the question of de-evolution
is reconsidered by apes
on a production line
look, squatted in a shopfront
under discoloured blankets
the disgrace of our lives
thrown from the line
I am a thing / not a thing
Published in Page Seventeen, Issue 12, November 2015