BORN TO MISS
You see I came to everything too late
I missed the first train
I missed the last bus
I missed the sixties swinging
The Stones and The Beatles singing
I missed On The Road and Happy Days
Woodstock, Bob Dylan and the hippy craze
I missed the signals
That women give
Carnaby Street and I Want To Live
I missed double sixteen
More times than I can remember
And I missed the Lewis effigy-burning
Every bloody November.
When Philip Larkin wrote verse
That nobody thought was twee
Christine Keeler was the girl for me
Though Mandy Rice Davis
Could just as easily ‘save us’
Henry Cooper knocked down Mohammed Ali
Otherwise known as Cassius Clay
And Mr Profumo
When asked ‘who do you know?’
Said: ‘Sexual intercourse began
In nineteen sixty-three
(which was rather late for me) –
Between the end of the Chatterley ban
And the Beatles’ first LP’.
(with apologies to Philip Larkin)
…is more shitty poetry. So says Charlotte Cuevas on her online blog. Or doesn’t need. (she was being sarcastic) Charlotte is a napowrimo knocker, who feels that this month of unfettered poetry offerings brings out the worst in people. Poetry-wise anyhow.
“And we especially need more shitty poetry that conforms to predetermined themes and forms- daily prompts which relieve us from the bothersome task of coming up with something on our own.
“Write a persona poem from the viewpoint of the first thing you see when you look away from the computer screen.”
“Grab a blind person and write a sestina using the first six words they point to in the newspaper.”
I’m sorry, are we poets or are we vending machines? What the hell kind of poet prides themselves on “Hey, pick any random form and subject and I’ll make a poem out of it in 20 minutes or less or your money back.”
There’s more in the same vein, but to be honest I don’t give a shit anymore!
Perhaps we were less deceived
Than first we believed
Legs, The Beatles, moon-talk
And JFK going down that
Long slide to eternity.
Later, there was Dylan
And Mini’s both
Mechanical and mercurial
While all the time
We were shooting a line
That was both entertaining
This wasn’t the way we were;
A generation of graven anonymities
Their money-God waxing
While free-thinkers wane.
Well are you shot of it, pal:
Nothing, like something,
Is happening again.