Jealously unjealously thanking unthanking lucky unlucky stars Never got to make it to that revolving earthquake stage of rubble amplifiers and smashed up guitars. Carrying no cash, cooped up in city hotel rooms, the drugs, the sex, marriage breakdowns and rock ‘n’ roll. That’s the life to look up to, down on, know and not know.
Then there’s the art, the self-expression, the do whatever you will. Far away from those jailer fans and the media front page kill-thrill. No punching the clock, no money to save, no answering to the department head and being free to die a quiet death to obituary broadsheets in your own bed.
All those part of the 27 club can’t get into old people’s homes with their membership card. All those who lived long enough to sell out had to draw up a marketing plan on how to sell into being some sort of aging bard. It’s still the dream of dreamers dreaming out their dreams That, just like in other people’s pop lives, their biography will need reams and reams.
The chrisom is placed around my head. The midwife to charm me. The pastor to bless our family bed. Has the wheel turned in my favour? Is happiness foretold by the fortune-teller? My Catholic fingers in font-water. Ale in the alehouse makes better my humours. Poachers and apothecaries rest in the tavern. Drinking, adversities are briefly forgotten. Move the moon towards my sad rosary. Will the harvest heed us? How ought i to see?
Providence and promises haunt our village church. Spectre-eyed priests, in the pulpit, watch. Does the lantern, tonight, mourn our loss? As merry as Mary by the cross. Otherwise, there are street-acts to sorcer With contentment, almost, in the tricks of the conjurer. My lonely desires are as lonely as me. Merchants, elsewhere, mundanely make money. Mournful Hamlet phones the Samaritans. Have i my horoscope? Is this my talisman?
I am a peasant with peasant blood. My simple plough for prosperous earth. Drink a keg to life-long love. Then scatter my ashes in the pub.
“Next to mine own shippe I do most love That old “shippe” in Exon, a tavern in St. Martin’s Lane.” (Francis Drake, 1587)
Sir Francis Drake supped With sixteenth century swank As his naval ship-mates tottered with rum-tots On oaken floor-boards, walking the plank.
I wonder whether he boozed harder As his Elizabethan world view blurred; Head spinning, he spun the one about the Armada, Slurring the Spanish as his English words slurred.
A Very Important Pirate, he autographed beer-mats For West Country folk, his Exeter fans As in his favourite watering hole, he happily spat Making merry in Merry England.
Meanwhile, having had no success with the weaker vessel, His crew poured out of the tap-bar, lamenting Hello me Hearty! Having had their melancholic fill They set off to drown their Tudor sorrows at sea.
Hunchbacks give hunchback rides round la fontana dei matti as round the cloisters st francis goes batty talking to birds of the feathered variety.
You can easily vanish off the face of the earth where you’re lucky to be born with your date of birth; godfearers in umbria in unforeseen trouble get gobbled up by earthquake rubble.
Gargoyles at the churchside come a poor second in the village’s annual gurning contest to your neighbours, gap-toothed and goyaesque, pulling faces that knock spots off the rest.
From their hovel next door you hear one of them sneeze as rats race round forcing the working population to its knees; the whole continent in sepia, and a plague painting each town red you hang on to your dear ones, and bring out your dead.