A Leeds/Otley performance poet in a world of spoken word artists, Jhep perpetrates his art with occasional and impermanent changes of name (Zaardvaark The Wordsmiter, J Z Hep, and others too flimsy to recall). He continues to be a notorious publication-evader, but at infrequent intervals has been netted and displayed - on one occasion for the poem 'Change Of Scenery' which ends by claiming that Hebden Bridge is quarry-shaped. Subsequently Bangor in Wales appeared in another of his poems as a half-quarry.
POETS AND HELICOPTERS ON RADIO FOUR There's mention of the sixties. O h y e a h . . . if you can remember : Psychedelic king of the buzz-cliches, And, bless it, gaudy utility cloak For much too well remembered missing-out. (The programme continues and) Simon Armitage speaks - Level-headed, perceptive, tuneful, Talking about middle age, midlife. (New theories for old, softly echoing). And you there - how old now? Keep it vague if you want : Out of your fifties? Not yet seventy? Could we say sixties then? Swinging sixties perhaps - And you don't have to remember : It's now - and you're there. The poem wants to end but memory buzzes in : Still the radio - immediately a trailer And Paul Farley drawling us in for Friday : 'Night Visions' on the air and in it too; A flight with the police. Paul, I bet you radiated Farleyness When this fact came your way : That graveyard monuments Gather in the warmth of day And give it back as signs of life To the heat-seeking helicopters Of the night. The poem is laid to rest and rest it does For days, not days and days, just days And then - the radio again. The air Thrums with it, a helicopter-load (100,000 since you ask) of poems, The event helped, 'co-piloted' by Simon Armitage. An April fantasy Only because it hasn't happened yet; A fact of recent history for other Times and places. Poems from above Blizzard to the ground, and melt away. JOHN HEPWORTH 2012
All poems are copyright of the originating author. Permission must be obtained before using or performing others' poems.
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