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!