Saturday, 27 September 2014

Wilson Moments

I don't mention music in poetry often - I seem to get most of my thoughts on it written elsewhere, most specifically on the other blog Left and to the Back, so it probably doesn't feel like so much of an itchy area in my brain. 

However, many moons ago I wrote a poem which used Brian Wilson's style of arranging and producing as the basis for much of its imagery. I was deeply obsessed with The Beach Boys for a long time, and even tried (and failed) to produce poetry which used tracks like "Good Vibrations" as the basis for its structure.

Anyway, this effort is the only 'complete' one and simply fleetingly mentions some of Brian's songwriting and production quirks. It never got published and I only performed it live a few times, but here it stands as evidence that once every so often, the two streams of music and poetry have crossed in my notebook. Who was I thinking of when I wrote this, and why am I offering post-holiday advice to a young woman? I really can't bloody remember, to be honest - and yes, that is the truth. It's just trying to capture a resigned, defeated mood. I wouldn't be surprised if it was inspired by all the forlorn looking pink-skinned English women on London trains during late August/ early September, coming back home to their frustrating jobs. I don't know how many of them had returned from California, though, but we can file that idea under "poetic licence". 

Wilson Moments

This year’s tan has
faded as rapidly as the
end of a Beach Boys
The holiday was like that –
it built and built ascending
towards greatness then
realised there was only
so much it could do
in a limited time
with the constraints of the
corporation you work for and
your bank manager.

Cheer up.
Your freckles will no
longer conspire to make
all foundation products
futile.  Your chest will
no longer grin
pink spam smiles
to everyone.
That man you were with,
he is no use to you now,
just one more instrument in your
pop pocket symphony, not
even a memorably
bad concept album
addition to your love life.

You can put your
office jacket back on, and
stop making eye contact
with strangers.
You can stop trying to
escape the fact
you were born in England,

not Cali-for-ni-a.

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