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HI everyone. Couple of new pieces to start.
They are the new Monkees, and they’re looking for flunkies!
Here we come
Jacob, 10p and Liz
We don’t like Rishi Sunak
And we’re all in a tizz
Hey Hey we’re the PopCons
We’re more dull than Coldplay
And you need the brains of a haddock
To believe a thing that we say….
(Yes, I know Anderson is commonly known as 30p Lee. But he’s not worth that much, and it doesn’t scan.)
And last Saturday, I had a good morning. In 15 minutes, I wrote a poem I’d been nurturing for weeks, and then I cycled 10 miles to watch the Seagulls absolutely ROAST our arch rivals Crystal Palarse 4-1.
The Lucky Generation
I wake at 4am once more
Beside my sleeping wife
Mourn for our broken world and then
Look back upon my life
Again the words stream out of me
In anger and frustration
At those who spurned the chance to be
The lucky generation
Born to a brand new Welfare State
Hewn from the pain of war
And Bevan’s pledge that now would be
Much better than before
New council houses, towns and schools
Free further education –
I was so glad to be part of
The lucky generation
Full grant at university
First one of us to go
Learned how to galvanise a crowd
And run a punk rock show
A life in words from then to now –
Like many of my peers
I took the chances offered me
And broke down the frontiers
But others sneered at us – or worse
Picked on us for a laugh
Mimicked my Tory granny’s words
‘You’re too clever by half’
No sticks or stones could break my bones
My heart was big and strong
I did my best to win them round
In poem and in song
But now the Bevan dream is dead
And who has sealed its fate?
The very generation whom
It sought to educate!
Our grandchildren despair of us –
Their words stick in their throats
They’re saying ‘Save our planet, please!’
We’re saying ‘Stop the boats!’
This poem is for those like me –
The thirty-five percent
Who raise our outraged voices high
In anger and dissent
And to our right wing tabloid peers
In this benighted nation
I simply say: last chance to join
The lucky generation….
This is turning into a bit of a nostalgia column, which is very unusual for me: like Laibach, I forge the future. It’s only February, but I’ve found one of my books of the year.
Marc Bolan remains my greatest inspiration, both the gloriously lyrical hippyness of Tyrannosaurus Rex and the roaring monster T Rex which followed (if you say “teenybopper” you never saw them live!) When I heard ‘King of the Rumbling Spires’ aged 11 in 1969 I knew I had found my music, and when I saw Bolan live in Brighton aged 13 in 1970 I realised what I wanted to do with my life.
And both of these, plus literally everything else of relevance which Bolan ever did, are in There Was a Time – Marc Bolan: A Chronology by Cliff McLenahan. It is a dinosaur of a book in terms of size, and a monster in the incredible, almost nerdy level of research which chronicles the “National Elf’s” life, day by relevant day, from his birth on September 30 1947 to the early morning of September 16 1977, when he met his end in a car accident on Barnes Common in London. (I was fishing early that day on Par beach in Cornwall when I heard the news… I’ll never forget that moment).
Cliff’s book is available here, https://officialmarcbolanmerchco.com/product/there-was-a-time-marc-bolan-a-chronology/ . It’s bloody expensive, but if you are a Bolan fanatic, totally worth it.
On the road again next week: Pompey Hunter & Gatherer Coffee Wednesday, Clacton Jessica’s Place Thursday, Cromer Community Centre Friday, Sheffield Shakespeare’s Saturday, Hull Adelphi Sunday. See some of you there!
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