This week we welcome back Mike Burman as a contributor and also Harry Patte-Dobbs, both in the School of English here at Nottingham. Despite coming to the end of their final years at UoN they’re still producing some great poetry!
Cold rain and regret in this town.
The only shivering sound, empty laughter,
Is washing down the gutter, and
The pitter-patter of the drops reminds me
That footsteps once reigned
Upon these bitter paths.
Recollecting again, the
Frosty breath and morning cigarettes
A frame by frame of haunted stares,
Hooded figures caught against the wind,
Curious fogs of words not said,
Memories dead but never left to rest,
Stalking through indifferent streets,
Walls of concrete,
Industrial and brutalist.
Whoever’s left are stale meat.
Robots glued to plasma screens
Trapped in static suburban seams,
Tuned to a forceful beat.
The daily trudge of work and wanted rest,
And feelings repressed.
I guess I’ll see them around.
While one who wonders through
May be none the wiser,
The soul that floundered through the underpass,
Queued for warmth and
Waited for a knowing laugh,
They are doomed to stay, and slow, and fray.
I may turn my back on these hostile plains,
Yet their shadow forever remains.
This poem shows the speaker taking his perverted sense of nostalgia to depressing depths; we see a mingling of the physical and metaphysical in a blotched attempt to recreate the modern British town of the speaker’s past. The lack of solid and thorough imagery depicts the gaps in their memory, and instead fills it with the stale dislike that neither ers on the side of hate or fear. Stale emotions.
Bringing Me Home
Music is better with alcohol, or is it the other way round?
and when asking about the King skins misplaced in my bag
I’ll appreciate the cliché and put them all back
Because if I pick my son up pissed and he grabs a CD
from the floor of the car and plays Free: ‘All Right Now’
I’d grab him and love him. Tell him he is,
and we will be Gatsbys’ of parents, as autocorrect suggests
(the swipe pad has swiped the meaning that I meant)
put him to bed, barricade the door and let him rest.
In this poem I was trying to reconcile the experience I’ve had with my parents to how I’d like to treat my children. Started in a bit of a drunken stupor most of the imagery comes from miscommunication (like the “Gatsbys where my phone, where I take most of my notes, auto-corrected from great but I like the idea). I was also playing around with similar vowel sounds at the time to create half rhymes such as “bag/back” and the fully rhyme of “suggest/rest” which brings the poem to a close in a conversational manner without sounding too poetic.
Pictures sourced from Flickr via Ross Pollack