Tag Archives: poem

Music on Monday – Sgt. Pepper Mashup

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Sgt. Pepper Mashup (a found poem)

Made passively tolerant by LSD, he was happy to sit back
endlessly recombining like some insoluble chemical compound
all he really wanted was the cyclic cloud drift of his verse.

The song never relinquishes this staccato dominant
played by Harrison on his Stratocaster with treble-heavy settings
making the most of McCartney’s rich ninth’s and elevenths –
a brilliantly whimsical expression of period burlesque.

It is impossible to conduct a revolution without picking a side
like a comic brass fob watch suspended from a floral waistcoat
objectivity is illusory and all creativity inescapably self –referential.

The track is whipped to a climax by a coruscating pseudo-Indian guitar solo.
Lennon grinned sardonically, as he walked past Aspinall,
requesting from Martin a sound like the end of the world.

 

I have always felt that found poetry is a form of theft. Yet, here I am with my first found poem. It all started with listening to the remastered copy of Sgt.Pepper, ( a vast improvement on the snap, crackle and pop of my old vinyl version) and in particular, the guitar solo in “Fixing a Hole”. Paul McCartney played lead guitar on a number of tracks on the album, but the style of playing on the solo sounded more like George Harrison. So, I consulted the bible – “Revolution in the Head”, by Ian MacDonald, a track by track analysis of 241 Beatle tracks and essential to any Beatles nerd. Yes, it is George’s solo!
I read a couple of other track analyses and found myself enjoying MacDonald’s writing style, a number of phrases jumped out from the page and the idea of a found poem formed. The result is the above poem. It has, believe it or not, a structure: each line is a direct quote from an analysis of an individual Sgt. Pepper track, and the lines are sequenced in the same order as the tracks appear on the album.
Buy Ian MacDonald’s book, you won’t be disappointed and I will feel better about stealing his stuff.

This is the first of a series which I call “Music on Monday”. The plan is that I will post something music-related every Monday. It may be a poem or a discussion piece and the posts may be repeats like this one or new ones. Given my interests, most of the posts will be Rock related with an emphasis on lyrics. There, I’ve made a commitment, now I have to write something!

 

 

Boris Johnson at the G7 (a sort of triple tanka)

 

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Boris Johnson at the G7 

Can’t believe I’m here.
Oh! The joy of dissembling!
Japes, pranks and capers!

What is Macron looking at?
I think Donald might like me.

There’s Melania!
Those cheekbones, the north face of
the bloody Eiger,

scale her promontories, what!
No time for rumpy pumpy,

lots to do! Trudeau
is smirking, colonial
prat! I think Merkel

wants to spank me, go nanny!
Concentrate! Now where was I?

Cats I Have Known (poem)

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Cats I Have Known

there’s the cat with nine tails
there’s the cat with nine lives
there’s the cat that got my tongue
there’s the cat that is out of the bag
there’s the cat that curiosity killed

Percy was our first
a long-haired white
a tour bus for fleas
he led a long and lazy life
those fleas didn’t get around much.

Next came Sweeney
who left us too early
killed by a car
in the back lane.

Then Sasha the hunter
who brought us daily gifts
of dead birds and mice
and fought an ongoing battle
for ownership of the back yard
with two blue jays.
Sasha, too, fell foul of a car
in the back lane,
I heard about it
while checking into a Holiday Inn
somewhere in Alabama,
the peroxide permed ladies
at the front desk
passed me a note
which simply said:
“Sasha is dead”.
“Sasha is a cat”, I explained,
seeing the look of concern
on their powdered faces,
this did nothing to alleviate the gloom
I couldn’t get my room keys fast enough.
That was enough catastrophe for us,
Sasha’s ashes now rest in an urn
nestled in the bowl of the cherry tree
in the back yard
where she is visited frequently
by her former prey.

Photo : graffiti in Getsemani, Colombia

Taking part in Anmols’ prompt “all things feline” Over at dverse

Toad at the Gates of Doom (poem)

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Toad at the Gates of Doom

Outside the Gates of Hades
sits a cross-eyed toad
beside a burnt-out serpent
a broker and a phone

Outside the Gates of Heaven
sits an angel in disguise
beside an incontinent bishop
with ecstasy in his eyes

and the sign on the gate says:

Closed for Renovation
no judgement today
if you’re looking for accommodation
clear off, go away.

God is on vacation
taking a well-earned break
there’s only so much suffering
one true God can take

So, get your ass back down there
be good to everyone
drink lots of water
and try to get along.

 

(This poem came about because, for a brief period, I was listening to prog metal. Brief because, like all things prog, the talent rarely matches the ambition, the concepts. Pink Floyd were a progressive band but they were successful because they could write songs and had one of the best lyricists in rock, the concepts were secondary. Prog metal players, from what I can tell , are accomplished musicians – the guitarists can play at incredible speeds and the drummers sound like they are descended from the octopus but the lyrics are banal at best and the melodies vestigial. The album titles, though, are always interesting and that’s where this poem started – I was playing around with making up titles for prog metal concept albums…the poem evolved from there.)

Taking part in Open Link Night over at dVerse.

Drain The Swamp Rag

A version of this poem appeared with 4 other poems, a little while back in the online magazine Anti-Heroin Chic

The subject over at dverse today is “Smoke and Mirrors”, so I thought I would give the poem another outing.

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Drain The Swamp Rag

(Walk that back
walk that back
I know I said it
but I walked that back.)

Attack dog surrogates
inveterate invertebrates
re-stock the swamp
with old white males.

Post logic, post truth,
snake oil and kool-aid
re-stock the swamp
with old white males.

Mike Pence, John Bolton
Rudy Giuliani
re-stock the swamp
with old white males

Inveterate surrogates
attack dog invertebrates
re-mail the stock
to the old white swamp

re-stock the swamp
with old white males.

Lines randomly composed while listening to a band from the Maritimes in the Dubh Linn Gate Pub, Whistler, British Columbia

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Lines randomly composed while listening to a band from the Maritimes in the Dubh Linn Gate Pub, Whistler, British Columbia

Oh. the herring were running wild and fast
as we sailed out from St. John
and the cod were plump as Mary’s arse
on a Sunday morning after early mass
with sausages on the griddle, rashers in the pan
with a whack fol de diddle dairy oh
with a whack fol de diddle dan.

(my first and, hopefully, my last attempt at a seafaring song…a note to my readers:
please drink responsibly or you will end up writing rubbish like the above…)

Don’t Play in the Traffic (again)

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Don’t Play in the Traffic

they met on a zebra crossing
it was a pedestrian affair
she had an air of competence
he…just had an air
they went downhill from there
to her house
in the middle of a roundabout
near the station
one morning they looked out
and the cars had changed rotation
the clouds were tinged
with a tawdry shade of orange
the sky was diffident
the sun judgmental
things would not be the same
would not be the same again.

 

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I’ve posted this one twice before, but I kind of like it. Participating in Open Link Night at dverse.

Deep Fried Road Kill ( the sequel to High Plains Sushi)

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Deep Fried Road Kill (a dizain)

Audrey, the lank-haired waitress, scans the bar,
sees Charlie nursing his long empty glass
“Hey you”, she yells, “get your ass outta here”
“Just my ass?” Charlie asks, to loud applause ;
deep fried road kill, okra, potato mash
warm under a heat lamp, he’s feeling ill;
he nods at his miner friends- Pit Fall Phil,
Old Arsenic, Rock Face, Busted Lung Lou –
in the holy glow of the pool table
they’ve still got that subterranean hue.

Yes, just when you thought it was safe to open your WordPress Reader…..the sequel to High Plains Sushi!  

The form used is a dizain, 10 lines , 10 syllables per line, rhyme scheme..ababbccdcd…For a more detailed discussion of the form, see Frank Hubeny’s excellent post over at dVerse.

High Plains Sushi (a dizain)

 

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High Plains Sushi

this bar is insured by Smith and Wesson
according to the sign upon the wall
Charlie studies his empty beer glass and
time, his old enemy, slows to a crawl,
there’s a Tuesday night two for one special
out at Wanda’s Ranch, but that’s not what he
needs, or wants – he craves that high plains sushi,
tuna, wasabi, sake in a cup
he sits five thousand feet above the sea
and he just can’t….he just can’t get enough.

This poem was culled from  another song lyric/ poem, the original can be found here.

The form used is a dizain, 10 lines , 10 syllables per line, rhyme scheme..ababbccdcd…and I don’t mind saying…I think I strained something trying to conform to it.

For a more detailed discussion of the form, see Rosemary Nissen-Wade’s excellent post over at dVerse.

 

If Robert Mueller Wrote a Tanka (plus Mr’s Mueller’s haiku)

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If Robert Mueller Wrote a Tanka

Why the long face, Bob?
always that same damn question
since I was a boy,

and always the same answer:
it is long because it’s long.

Couldn’t resist reposting that one. Okay, just one more……

Mr’s Mueller’s Haiku

You’re disappointed

you don’t know disappointment

you don’t know damp squibs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: English Bay, Vancouver, A-MAZE-ING LAUGHTER, by Yue Minjun.

There’s Nothing Like Being

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There’s Nothing Like Being

There’s nothing like being
in a crowded bar
in a foreign city
on a Friday evening
just after five
and you don’t know anyone
but it doesn’t matter
and you can’t speak the language
but it doesn’t matter
it’s enough to be there
to breathe in the relief
to share the belief
that Monday morning
is a life time away.

 

The prompt over at dVerse is to write a poem about movement, where am I going, where have I been.