Thursday, 5 October 2017

Dead Beat An' Poetry

Once upon a time I was a 'notable local poet' - yes, I was. The time was the long ago that I can't remember the year. The poetry I wrote was of the ranting variety, as befitted my state of mind and, you might say, social standing (I think I was unemployed). Besides that, I was not born to find inspiration in either Wordsworth or TS Eliot. Or rather, I should say, my life (education) did not take a course that would lead me to appreciate the 'classical' poets (yes, I know TS Eliot was a modernist, I know that much, but it helps to have knowledge of classical literature to get his references, so I've been told). 

So I ranted, inspired by Punk poets but not to the extent of actually shouting. But thinking about the verse I wrote, perhaps 'rant' is unfair. After all, it implies...what? A lot of bile aimed at The Man and society? Well, to differentiate my breed from would-be 'fine' poets, I suppose the tag was as good as any. Suffice to say I spoke of daily life rather than romance or the romance of sunsets. That kind of poetry had always put me off poets and to some degree still does. These days if I chance upon poetry that I like it's more often than not Bukowski, or The Beats.

Kerouac and co were an influence, although not to the point of romanticising either 'the road', Negros or Jazz. And the word 'angel' was never written by me in a poem. What I did write remains a mystery as I post this. No doubt the poems exist on paper somewhere, but don't worry, I'm not in a hurry to make them public. I recall combining Karl Marx and supermarkets in one. 

Naturally I was looking forward to supporting Linton Kwesi Johnson. Attila The Stockbroker was something of a 'star' in those days too. By the way, my name was underlined all those years ago, just to highlight my moment of poetic 'fame', obviously. That or to alert myself of the cutting's significance when, as I did today, rummaging through old ephemera. 

Well, the punchline is that LKJ didn't show. I can't recall why. I suspect, in hindsight, he was scared of being upstaged by me and my 'provocative work'. Ha-ha!

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