Thursday, December 8, 2016

Tribute to a Working Class Hero (reprise)

John Winston Ono Lennon (9 October 1940 ~ 8 December 1980)

Happy Xmas (War Is Over) ~ John Lennon/Yoko Ono, 1969




WORKING CLASS HERO (John Lennon, 1970)

As soon as you're born they make you feel small
By giving you no time instead of it all
Till the pain is so big you feel nothing at all

A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be

They hurt you at home and they hit you at school
They hate you if you're clever and they despise a fool
Till you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules

A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be

When they've tortured and scared you for twenty odd years
Then they expect you to pick a career
When you can't really function you're so full of fear

A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be

Keep you doped with religion and sex and TV
And you think you're so clever and classless and free
But you're still fucking peasants as far as I can see

A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be

There's room at the top they are telling you still
But first you must learn how to smile as you kill
If you want to be like the folks on the hill

A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be

If you want to be a hero well just follow me
If you want to be a hero well just follow me


John Lennon was assassinated by Mark David Chapman outside his New York City apartment on 8 December 1980. He had just celebrated his 40th birthday on 9 October. I shall always be grateful for the tremendous inspiration I received from this great soul during my teens and even into my adult years.

[First posted 8 December 2008]

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

HEY, LEAVE THE KIDS ALONE!









Watch the rest of The Wall on YouTube!


Directed by Alan Parker
Produced by Alan Marshall
Written by Roger Waters
Narrated by Pink Floyd
Starring Bob Geldof
Christine Hargreaves
Eleanor David
Alex McAvoy
Bob Hoskins
Michael Ensign
Music by Pink Floyd
Cinematography Peter Biziou
Editing by Gerry Hambling
Distributed by MGM/UA Entertainment Company (theatrical)
Sony Music Video (SMV) Enterprises
Release date(s) 6 August 1982 (New York City)
Running time 95 minutes

[First posted 6 December 2008, reposted 15 May 2016]

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Dusting off some ancient poems (from "Moth Balls")



Whatsapp inspired this post. Sharanya Manivannan - sensuous poet, consummate weaver of enigmatic tales, high priestess of aromatic and erotic prose, and my beloved friend in Chennai - sent me some audio clips of her poetry. My flagging appetite for wordplay aroused by the piquancy & precision of her sultry voice, I was prompted to unearth my 1994 collection of "eschatological & scatological poems" titled Moth Balls (Magick River, 1994, limited edition). Experimentally I recorded a few short ones and sent them over. She responded most encouragingly and magnanimously. I was sufficiently heartened to rummage through the hoary collection and pick out a few for a fresh airing. Thank you, Sharanya!

The first offering is, I believe, my earliest attempt at versifying, written as a Creative Writing class assignment when I was 17...

PAEAN TO THE BRAVE SOLDIER

Is it not quite often thought
(& very often believed)
that the brave men who fought
and died for God & King
(or some other Thing)
are inadequately aggrieved
and cried for,
though inordinately touching
(it is often said)
is their sacrifice of costly life
that must be paid
as patriotism's price?

Anyway no one I know
will go so far
(since the war is won)
as to say we have not mourned.
In truth no tear has been forborne;
no ceremony neglected;
and in good cheer
we'll have erected
a monument of marbled brick,
to be unveiled to the public
while brass bands playing
(the nation's honor portraying)
salute good citizens
(the ones, of course, who are taxpaying).

Altogether it will be
a memorable testimony
of our pride
in the honorable
men who died
sailing against the
Evil Tide:
loyal men, courageous & willing,
who were killed while they were killing
for God & King
(or some other Thing).

1967



WHEN NOTHING CAN POSSIBLY

when nothing can possibly
be more than what the public eye can see
& everything that is believed to be;
when there are no more trees
for sleepy sitting under;
when each & every busy bee
but lives in concrete hives for plunder -
then creation has only been a big bad blunder

when there is not a lot of or
even just a little time
& absolutely no space for
one heart to feel
full of all the love
that is, will be & was -
inadequate space &
insufficient time for love sublime -
then this race of humans is an inhuman crime

1970


IN THE PALACE GARDENS

under mushrooms of vermilion
in a maroon pavilion sits the King
                                          typing this
                                          trifling
                                           thing: the
                                         disting-
                                   uished ring
                                  of the King's Royal machine
                            at each ending
line
reminds me of times
I laid with the Queen
as we played with the genes
of Frank & Stein the Einst (such fine
clients of science) and

under gold & green umbrellas &
masses of gases
our moments of mirth
gave globular birth
to elfin princes & princesses
in new blueprint dresses
peopling a virginal
Earth

1972







[First posted 22 October 2013, reposted 19 November 2015]