Last year I did a reading for Nottingham Poetry Festival in which I produced a small ‘polemical’ pamphlet called ‘Burning Books’.
The pamphlet was a one off and most of the poems after ‘outing’ in paper form were then hidden away as ‘too political’ for my readers by myself! I censored myself which crazy but shows the agonies of being in any way ‘political’ or writing from a stridently working-class viewpoint in the contemporary middle-class ring-fenced world of ‘proper poetry’.
It only now and post Kit de Waal’s article in the Guardian that I realise that in doing so I hiding from my true self.
So here again is the ‘real’ ‘Burning Books’ pre-edit and I stand by these poems…..a lot of pretentious middle-class ‘poets’ will hate it but frankly as I don’t spend much time listening to their whinging I don’t care. I will be ‘re-categorised’ as a ‘performance poet’ I expect and described as having a ‘chip on my shoulder’ which a frequent method of negating anything which threatens the middle class.
Here a taste of what I talking about…
I used to write proper poetry
Not the really proper stuff
You know packed full of classical allusions
Or invented lives based on obscure photographs
No I gave up on proper poetry
Because it is so fucking boring
So I write an occasional diatribe
And raise two fingers to the academy
These are the times for less poets, less experts
Less academics and more UKIP candidates
When a military chaplain’s daughter from Wheatley
Is playing Joan of Arc in the Wars of Brexit
With only God and King Billy to save us.
Download as a pdf here