Barry Woods studied creative writing with the Writers Bureau and settled on free verse poetry after that. He was tutored by award winning poet Alison Chisholm who guided him into publication in 2002. He moved on to explore performance at Liverpool's Everyman Bistro, a regular gathering for poets and playwrights. He's had over thirty poems published over the years and performs occasionally at spoken word events in Liverpool/Wirral. He recently edited the anthology 'The Quality of Mersey' for John Gorman; it was performed as a live poetry relay on National Poetry Day at Liverpool Central Library, 2018.
THE QUEEN IS DEAD LP sized memories at Sainsbury's sealed in reflective cellophane, shocks my middle age. I see the Morrissey quiff again, and lamb chop sideburns that were a bugger to keep straight. Gatefold sleeve opened its arms to me and all other bedroom loners; I adored that voice of kitchen sink that whined and moaned and said life isn't fair. I can see a needle in the groove, the drums inside me banging to come out. And I hid clear spirit of The Smiths behind speakers, puke hangovers had me a sickening wreck with the twenty-first century breathing down my neck. He told me to accept myself. He told me some girls are bigger than others. He told me that work is a four letter word didn't want me standing in the fruit and veg isle of conformity. WHERE DID ALL THE PUNKS GO? They hide behind white picket fences unable to grow mohicans in middle age; they sculpt neat hedges instead of stiff spikes. Punk politics got mortgaged to a desirable neighbourhood, Brothel Creepers replaced with tennis shoes, and they shop at Sainsbury's for organic food. I see them fill their shopping bags. I never thought they would pop vitamin pills or walk the Shihtzu; or drink herbal tea with a hint of pomegranate to stay caffiene free. Once they rocked dog collars, spewed anarchy onto the street with bondage gear. They safety pinned an attitude to Union Jack, screamed guitar in the face of our Queen. Their DIY ethic did not include a greenhouse; they were supposed to shatter glass not grow tomatoes. TRYING TO BELIEVE DAVID ICKE I want to believe David Icke when he says we are controlled by elite families, that politics is one beast with many faces and secret societies plot the future of human kind behind a mainstream media screen. I want to believe Alex Jones when he says chemtrails are crisscrossing our life expectancies and we don't have a clue what we are breathing in, that Masonic Temple whores lead a dance of destruction among our youth, rapping evil into their subconscious dressing as porn stars and pimps. I want to believe the conspiracy theorists when they say war is good business and weapons can be biological, psychological. Vaccines might hide nanotechnology inside syringes, and we could all be micro-chipped in this Brave New World. I want to believe that Big Brother is watching through our mobile devices, that aliens walk among us and that the moon hides nuclear weapons. I want to believe it but I can't. It would just turn me fucking nuts. SAYING IT LIKE JOHNNY Never mind the bollocks say it like it is be an anti-establishment anarchist for speaking your truth. They'll see you with spiky hair, ripped t-shirt and skin tight leathers if you make them wriggle in their seats. They'll see you with substance abuse, unclean, untamed - a Sex Pistol while they stay pretty, oh so pretty virtue signalling. So, say it with spunk. Say it with the volume turned up. Say it like Johnny Rotten.
All poems are copyright of the originating author. Permission must be obtained before using or performing others' poems.
The Quality of Mersey Anthology (05/11/2018)
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