That Magic Call? (2022)/End of an Era II (2022)/End of an Era (2006)

That Magic Call?

Index

The Tight-Rope Walker’s Tale
Jack-in-the-Jukebox
Purr from the Cat
Alright
Epic
Mental Fakedown
Mostly Mistakes by Mistake
Animal Magic
I Wouldn’t Say this is called ‘I Wouldn’t Say’
Worlds Apart
Squirrel Grove
Long After
World’s number one that never made the charts
Personal Testimonial for an Advertorial
That Magic Call?
So, there we have It

The Tight-Rope Walker’s Tale
I want peace
but it’s not like I’m at war.
I’d like to know what’s going to happen
but it’s not like I want to know what’s in store.

Bring out one of my good characters.
Work on the ones that still need working on.
Feel good and look ahead
but it’s not like looking back is dead.

It’s quite a puzzle
but it’s not like I’m puzzled.
While veering from being light hearted to having a heavy heart
it’s a bit like being served up but not being guzzled.

I’m feeling optimistic
but it’s not like I’ve forgotten pessimism
and it’s not like I have a balanced attitude to life
but I might just keep it at altitude.

Jack-in-the-Jukebox

Jack pops up with a spring in his feet.
Arms out-stretched in chart-bound crucifix position.
Smiley ecstatic smile on his face
beams out on limited edition.

Dusts off his old records and puts them on YouTube.
Sticks a coin in his memory slot.
Pops up with a spring in his feet
then crumples back down into his cot.

Young bury the old
The old dug up by the young.
Turntables spinning heads
for a hit list sing-a-long.

Musical notes fly off into the sky
from his cheap 70s fancy dress costume.
Jack-in-the-Jukebox’s eyes light up
flashing in some blitzed pub gloom.

There’s going to be a party at his funeral
as he pops up with a spring in his step from his coffin.
Arms out stretched in a crucifix position
He’ll be lowered down as records all over the ancient world spin.

Young bury the old
The old dug up by the young.
Turntables spinning heads
for a hit list sing-a-long.

Purr from the Cat

What do you do with someone
who likes Liam Gallagher and our Queen in almost equal measure?
Ask which one would clinch it?
Ask who would pinch it?
Hang them for heresy one way or the other?
Say Cool brother, both being cool?
Say Sister, I get you, went to the same school
of thought?
Like would it be no ideals, or some kind of new wisdom?
Some kind of Rock ‘n’ roll kingdom?
Would u beat them up in the school
of hard knocks or just barter
what you bought?

What do you do with someone like that?
I wouldn’t know but I’d get a purr from the cat.

Alright

Alright, so it’s the age of my generation starting to fall apart
and nothing to do with younger years and that lovesick broken heart.
Nah, it’s more tumours, (strange mini) strokes and losing that once impeccable indestructible physical well-being.
I’m sticking my head under the sand and hoping my legs crossed will stop me from weeing.

Epic

The little alleys
with cans and nots on their silent says
lead to the big boulevards
and big money tarot cards.

Looking back through to 2987
and a medieval heaven
police on Polsloe Road pay £10
to be on an identity parade for local sounds.

When focussing on something
catches up with you, pawn that ring.
Finally the gods came in on their thrones
and us ordinary people could finally send them home.

Mental Fakedown

No one believes you
and you doubt it yourself.
How can it be?
You’re the photoshopped picture of mental health.

Be positive. Be up.
Everyone’s scared of being down.
Down people are scary
but they’re alright acting the clown.

Ha Ha! You’re so funny!
Let’s talk shop at the drug store.
Get miscellaneously melancholically merry.
Nothing means less than wanting more.

Mostly Mistakes by Mistake

Don’t go away by mistake.
Kiss me by mistake.
Don’t sit over there by mistake.
Make that our song by mistake.

Animal Magic

Good eggs and bad eggs.
Who knows who outnumbers who?
Faithful friends and fair-weather ones.
Make sure you know who’s around you.

Two by two they come.
The waters rise as floods threaten.
Everyone in winter hibernation
as snowy and icy hearts set in.

I’m trying to get closer ever further away
as monumental emotions bring tears sentimental.
See the simplicity of how being trustworthy is simple
and how wild wildness is, though logically mental.

I love you, Peggy Sue.
I’m a lucky man.

Stop everyone from going extinct.
Might be a deterrent to a dying ban.

I can’t wait to see you again.
Time will tell, though I can’t tell the time.
Remembering dreams more and more these days
which is weird because forgetting the ones I had is nothing but a crime.

Out of the blue, blue suede rockers
come down to earth and save the planet
Animals, plants, and all species
conjure up answers with animal magic.

I Wouldn’t Say this is called ‘I Wouldn’t Say

I wouldn’t say you didn’t disappoint me.
I wouldn’t say what you did didn’t hurt.
I wouldn’t say how you acted didn’t astound me.
I wouldn’t say you didn’t take me to a magical place.

I wouldn’t say I didn’t miss you ever so much.
I wouldn’t say you didn’t have a certain hold.
I wouldn’t say I didn’t want to tear you to pieces.
I wouldn’t say I felt jealous of your talent to enthral.

I wouldn’t say you were the tenderest ever.
I wouldn’t say you were someone I forgot.
I wouldn’t say you didn’t put me in a very good mood.
I wouldn’t say I didn’t have your poster on my wall.

I wouldn’t say I could ever imagine ever not meeting you at all.

Worlds Apart

They’re just right poor
and they’re well well-off.
Easy to tell them apart
by what happens when they cough:

They might be getting something
that kills them
while they’ll probably
just have a touch of phlegm.

It’s worlds apart
with them on this planet and them on another.
Now, exercise books out for today’s lesson,
Comrade, sister, and brother.

Squirrel Grove

I dare you
to leave
change everything
put your heart on a sleeve

not end up like now
put your money where your mouth is
make it up as you go along
stop living life through films

follow your gut reaction
not talk yourself out of it
do something in a nutshell.

Long After

I missed a tour of a cemetery yesterday.
Went out the night before and woke up late.
Would have liked to have seen those decorations on gravestones.
All those necklaces and earrings and dates engraved in fate.

I didn’t go for a morning out in the sun today.
Believed the weather forecast of rain.
Would have been a morning out on the sea
but had a lie in and missed out on something again.

I hummed that tune that goes
‘I saw a film today, oh boy’, you know the one.
And as usual struck me how these little things don’t really matter.
How I missed out this weekend but, anyway, it’s already done.

In any case, I’ve been on other tours of that cemetery before
and been out on the sea in the sun too.
At the end of the day woke up, got out of bed,
and it won’t matter long after we’re not here, and are through.

World’s number one that never made the charts

Follow the crowd
Follow the sheep
Give a little leeway
Give a little beep.

Make a living
Make it to a bar
Turn on TV
Turn on nostalgia.

Go solo
Go it alone
Be anti-social
Turn off your phone.

Listen to music
Feel sick
Feel up, feel down
Give yourself some stick.

Personal Testimonial for an Advertorial
I’m going back to addiction.
I’m fitting in with what I’ve been wanting.
Call it weakness, call it meeting my needs
but I’m going straight to addiction.

See it’s in the head, see it’s pointless fighting.
See it’s just for me
Yeah I’m going back to addiction.

Tried freedom of thought.
Tried me time for me
Tried working for the good
but I’ve seen the light and it’s addiction.

Join me, you know you’re addicted.
Those that say otherwise lie.
I’m going all the way to addiction.
Job-seeking saviours need not apply
but anyone interested in salvation is welcome to try.

That Magic Call?

Once out of childhood in one piece
put your seaside face in a 1D cut out body
with a seagull-sand-donkey-ride memory
to give adult life a new lease.

Be hopeful, cross your fingers.
Tie them in knots trying too hard.
Turn over a new leaf. Turn over a card.
The game of lightweight luck always lingers.

You’re gonna make it, just behind the door,
just round the corner, just a matter of time.
Meanwhile believe in yourself especially on wine.
The phone rings. That magic call?

So, there we have it

Skittle relatives toppling one by one
get a gold star on their dressing room door.
Overnight stars shining bright in their local,
get a mention in the ‘in brief’ column.

On a bus ride, the passengers are never quite the same.
It’s the best show in the world with a turn at every turn.
Getting off seems such a shame
cos there’s such a lot of tricks to learn.

So, there we have it.
Feeling so positive, it’s worrying really.
But One can never knock it, can one?
as toddlers and geriatrics get off the bus pissing themselves silly.

All poems and drawings by John Di Girolamo June 2022

End of an Era II

Index

Bangers’n’Mash with Gravitas, please
PsychedeliKat
Pleasure Pieland
Make a Wish
Detention
And here’s the Graph
Papal Bull
Gonna Go Gothic
Calm
Poser
Making a Name for Yourself
Nostalgiarama
Alien Visit
Ticking Boxes
Photogenic Fakes
Yeah
‘Long Live Animals’ Farm
Big Deal Darling
The Unforgettable Forgotten and Forgetful Memory Man
Emotional
Lilibet

Bangers’n’mash with gravitas, please
Ever since the little black n white TV set
was flickering in the corner of my carpeted playground
and through all the people I have and haven’t met
things have been going round and round and round.

Some people go on about what their life isn’t or is
some don’t go on about anything, some about what it could be,
some actually live it with or without showbiz
and some find the lives of others more interesting and ‘nothing like me.’

Whatever may be the secret to finding out what’s for you
it should come as no surprise it only drops with eaves
and you’re lucky if it comes with ease.
So have a few pints, point at the menu
and slur ‘Bangers’n’mash with gravitas, please’.

PsychedeliKat
When I use my head
to stick under the sand
It’s a goody that beats evil
with comic heroes getting out of hand.

miaow miaow miaow
wow wow wow
is a chorus to forget
but one you’ll remember I bet.

I got a low boredom threshold
but I can’t be bothered to work out whatever that means.
A tongue I can’t hold
and a button-lipped mouth spilling the beans.

Then there’s my psychedeliKat
doing a centimetre balcony
high up and miaowing
and a doom monger collecting money and bowing.

Pleasure Pieland
On Pleasure Pieland
islanders live life under a system called pie-in-the-sky.
Plumbers fit pipe dreams
and statistics on counting your blessings are always high.

Opticians sell rose-tinted glasses
to see good things over the horizon
and in every house, doors are fitted
so that when one closes, another one opens.

Every silver cloud has a golden lining
and everyone’s glass is always half-full.
Every adult has the job they want
and every pupil is the teacher’s pet in every school.

There’s love at first sight and love that lasts
and, for those more adventurous, true love in blasts.
Underdogs win and no-one feels like they’ve lost even when they lose.
Everyone walks around in everybody else’s shoes.

Pielanders are so happy they look pie-eyed.
They’re easy to recognise.
Doctors prescribe magic potions for free
and hospitals are only there to rest in cos nobody really dies.

Make a wish
If you ever doubt
good can last for good
cos it fades faster than it should
make a wish, baby.

Light the candles
on your birthday cake
a big breath take
and on your big day
make a wish, baby.

Love is easy if you let it win.
All you need do is give in.
Take a deep breath
and make a wish, baby.

Detention
She walks down that street
looking like a star I’m gonna meet.
My jaw dropping heart stopping.
Seen it all before but I was blind.

Regrets I’ve had a few, Frank.
Strangers in the night, Frank.
Love your songs, Frank, and you were always way ahead, Frank.
So how come you kept me behind, Frank?

and here’s the graph

you’ve got bills to pay
and you won’t be able to
up to your giraffe in it
someone’s having a laugh
and here’s the graph

you can’t feed your kids
they’ll go without
back to scrooge’s surplus pop by half
someone’s having a laugh
and here’s the graph

you’re struggling
to make ends meet
the rope for your graft
someone’s having a laugh
and here’s the graph

you’ll rant and rave to no avail
you’ll get a pat on the head
scrimp and save for your epitaph
someone’s having a laugh
and here’s the graph

Papal Bull
If someone had stopped
Pope Gregory IX persecuting cats
the plague may never have happened
with all those rampaging ‘cat’s away, mice will play’ flea-infested rats.

Now, that’s my kind of cat-propaganda Netflix doc fact!
But later, shooting my mouth off about it on a beach sunbed,
the sunbathing papist friend next to me shoots back
and googles what I’ve just casually summer day-out said.

And Vox in Rama! I’m wrong! Shot down in flames!
Pope Greg’s papal bull simply cites satanic cults and black cats as devilish symbolic allegories
but never an order to kill or make my furry goodies game!
Enough to make me black death sneeze!

But what kills me off, and not cats, gets even closer to home.
In order to keep parchment-gnawing mice in line
Exeter Cathedral back then had cat flaps to let mousers freely roam
and even documented the maintenance costs of these saintly felines.

So, Netflix came up with a load of papal bull!
Or google searches wrap flocks in cotton wool.
The only way to really know is to read up on it through authoritative literature.
The easiest thing though will be to just carry on with my poetic license, claiming (with a purr):

If someone had stopped
Pope Gregory IX persecuting cats
the plague may never have happened
with all those rampaging ‘cat’s away, mice will play’ flea-infested rats.

Gonna go Gothic
A ghost came into my dreams
‘Someone’s gonna go
and you’re gonna miss them’
is what it said and went off again.

See how being the life and soul of the party
can leave you in the dark shadows
buried with the roots of a tree.
‘Someone’s gonna go
and you’re gonna miss them’
is what it said and went off again.

The joy of living a charmed life.
The psychedelic colours of daytime.
The sleep of the dead deeper than the living
out on the town from their tomb.
‘Someone’s gonna go
and you’re gonna miss them’
is what it said and went off again.

Calm
Like listening to moonlight sonata.
Reflection without being distracted.
Looking at nothing reflected in a mirror.
Deep in thought without an idea enacted.

Darkness of the night.
Waking up before everyone.
Minutes buried to candlelight.
Lying in wait and fitting a silencer to a gun.

Poser (or ‘Just one in a series’)
look at that body
that is some body
but now gone
and nobody

blood red tears
stick like glue
two glass eyes
peep out of the blue

don’t care if
meant something to others
mum’s the word
there’ll be none of them closures

Making a name for yourself
You have a first, middle and surname
but none of them stay the same.
Some get shortened being a mouthful
or get punned right from school.

You lend yourself to nicknames
that you get known by.
Some know you as this, some as that.
Some just get your name wrong and you let it lie.

You even changed it and took on new identities.
So crafty, you can’t even track yourself down.
You become a runaway at large.
Hand yourself in as a missing person.

Years later it all comes back to haunt you
as you call yourself names in the mirror.
And just to think it all started with your birth certificate
which couldn’t have been clearer.

Nostalgiarama
Join me down the waterfront at The Prospect.
Millions of memories going introspect.
Well maybe not millions but quite a few.
We’ll have a couple of pints or the proverbial one or two.

The world spins round at such a pace
with its starters pistol at the start of its rat race
that before you know it, your day is already what happened yesterday
and what you thought would last forever has gone and buggered off to a time far far away.

You’re an elegant woman and a handsome one too.
That’s nothing new.
Bad angels curse good angels and good angels give as good as they get.
Fancy smashing up some glass mansions to let?

Just a little word in your ear.
Shall I whisper it so you can’t hear?
I suffer from nostalgia
and if my memory serves me well, Miss O’Connor gave me a sticker star for it.

Alien Visit
This place is outer space
where aliens arrive
and they love slumming it
in this exotic dive.

Where they come from is pure,
unspoilt, and as it’s always been.
They beam images back home
and pose in concrete and green.

They’re too clever for anyone here
and do their touristy invisible thing
cos where they come from is pure,
unspoilt, and as it’s always been.

They wonder how this species
never got to them and where they are.
But when they get a closer look
they see how far they have to go, how very far.

Secret reconnaissance
with star spies standing out visible
walking among them as human but undercover
sending back intelligence on this rival.

This place is outer space
where aliens arrive
and they love slumming it
in this exotic dive.

They’re too clever for anyone here
and do their touristy invisible thing
cos where they come from is pure,
unspoilt, and as it’s always been.

Ticking boxes
Millions of answers to the same question.
Millions of questions to the same answer.
Makes the whole questionnaire
seem pointless or a nightmare.

These midnight lights flicker
and leave a long dark shadow.
I spent the first half my life not getting it.
The second half ignoring what I didn’t know.

Photogenic Fakes
Share moments
Real moments
Nice moments
Natural moments.

But not with them.
Unless you clear it with them.
Only post what compliments them.
Whoever’s snapped in the group, it’s about them.

They look good.
Of course they do.
You’d post it, sure you would
but photogenic fakes aren’t like you.

In the end, what you see
has no currency
because once you’ve seen one great pose
you’ve seen it all, I’d suppose.

Yeah
Send away for a bullet proof glove
to catch every bullet, yeah.
Turn every head, yeah
and fall in love, yeah.

Somersault underwater
and walk in a straight line, yeah.
Turn back the clock, yeah
and wind it forward to skip bad times, yeah.

Subscribe to a new club.
Blush and get a buzz, yeah.
Get discovered and make loads of money, yeah.
Disappear and give away everything, yeah.

Save a mouse from a mousetrap
and give an injured bird wings, yeah.
Brainwash yourself to say what you think, yeah
Give nobody nothing to say no to, yeah.

‘Long Live Animals’ Farm
Once upon a day
he ate meat
but fell off his feet.
So he stopped eating meat
and got back to his feet.

Cows, pigs and sheep
woke up from their sleep
and heard the good news
that he’d stopped eating meat
for the good of his feet.

Once upon a day
everyone will think on their feet
when they’ll be a front-page headline
from head to toe
and a new no meat sandwich board
will be the line to tow.

Big Deal Darling
You won’t believe this
but it’s true.
It’s a short journey to bliss.
You can get it like new.

Give it a chance.
Live out your dreams.
It’s a short journey to bliss.
It’s all what it seems.

You’ve got what it takes.
It’s your thing.
It’s a short journey to bliss
when you’re a big deal darling.

The Unforgettable Forgotten and Forgetful Memory Man
What was I saying?
oh yeah that reminds me.
It’s on the tip of my tongue.
You’ve been great to see me!

I’ll get it in a minute.
No, don’t give me any clues! It’s easy!
I can’t believe I can’t remember
Whatever happened to thingy?

Ok I give up.
Oh yes. Of course. Silly me!
Yes, I know, it’s been quite a while.
Great being back! So, what was my fee?

Emotional
When you watch a gritty mother saying she’s told the kids their house has burned down.
When you watch a Borg-McEnroe doc on their struggles, rivalry and friendship.
When you see how much sacrifice a women’s England football player made to get to the top.
When you see a friend struggling with bureaucracy diagnosed with cancer.

When you look back.
When nostalgia brings a lump to your throat.
When a song comes on that gets you going cos you suddenly got older.
When there’s a moment you could have changed.

When you watch a soppy film about pets.
When someone dies. When your team wins.
When someone says something that isn’t even upsetting.
When something triggers something, or teary little bullets in you.

When you get good news out the blue.
Not often bad news cos you hold it back
and not always when you should.
It usually comes when least expected.

But that’s when you get like the poem title says.
Probably on your own, the best way.
Sometimes with others.
When you think to yourself something they won’t say.
When you surprise yourself
‘Well yeah, I can get emotional.’

Lilibet
You’re ‘a good egg, Lilibet
and we’ve grown up with you all our lives.
In an era not long gone
Lilibet, you’re the one.

Black or white, rich or poor
Elizabethans all.
With your profile on all those coins and notes
who wouldn’t want more?

On an island in the sea
and around the world spinning in space
newspapers today are drizzly soggy
or sun-drenched parched with your face.

Lucky us to have lived through your times.
Bit of a shock you’re mortal and just like us.
Our personal angels are winging thank you letters to you
While those that aren’t might mumble think gasp ‘Let them have fuss!”

Lamp posts are falling down
and we’re toasting you and your reign.
While not always understanding, we got you.
Us a little bit wayward,
but coming back to your ever-forward constancy again and again and again.

From ‘End of an Era’ (2006)

This was the first collection of this name marking the end of an era in 2006: my mother Margaret’s death in October 2006. Always missed big time.

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