restless art

art which is restless

Tag: 1970s

Two Guitars

2guitars

How far could we have pushed it? How far did we
dare? The cold didn’t
hit us so much then and our bones weren’t

the barometers they are now – not
so plainly breaking
down. And time, he was our slow

playground friend casting his long spell,
fooling us to think that
what we had was real.

But a new chord
could send our minds off in tangents to those
places of colour, much better imagined

than experienced. Two guitars, two
minds playing like John
and Paul, though minus their gifts, their

backgrounds; all still ideas
in the ether surrounding, mingling even with
Alexander’s breath, the vapours of many

great men – and
where are they? Great only
in books, and how much

lesser are we?

© poem and image copyright Dave Barker 2012

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Poem ‘Hitch’

Hitch

A throbbing disco bass
callously pounding my chest,
turning symptoms of flu
into something feeling serious.
I’d dragged myself there
against good advice,
that trashy little down in Drab County
whose only claim to fame
was its fine timber spire,
which made historians
and architects alike, drool;
the sort of town which made
the English feel proud of their past,
even if the present bore no hope,
no prospect of colour. A future

And pride! What was I doing
knocking back gin like tomorrow
did not exist?
Barely able to stand—
but still lord of the dance!
But it was you who held the cards,
the full deck.
You knew what you wanted
and how to get it.
I was the hopeless case,
a clueless pawn in your set up
with worldly guys from the Smoke
who were waiting by the door,
(forever waiting by that door!)
deriding us country boys—

but
this
country boy
knew enough about language
of the body, its gestures.
The cold morning brought eerie clarity,
despite pain in my head
to match the dagger in the heart. Oh—
you could keep your magnanimous lift.
I was hitching back.
The full seventeen miles,
even if only the bravest of drivers
would dare stop to pick up
this jerk
in the sick stained jeans

poem and image © copyright df barker 2012

Poem ‘Red Dress’

Red Dress

The tutor twice your age sat on your knee;
you were always lucky that way.
First night pub opening, top of the hill.
It was the normal pretentious affair,
the legal name with church overtones,
the perfect occasion for too much to drink.

That night I crashed at your mum’s place
and she wasn’t happy, I could tell –
the slamming pots, glances that could kill.
She’d got me down as a junkie
because I travelled light
but the spare room was handy,

set aside for special occasions. Never used.
We listened to some Steely Dan
and then began to jam.
That’s where Red Dress was born.
In between gigs we hired the room
with egg boxes on the walls,

to fashion our fledgling art; firing bass players,
hiring Marilyn sound-a-likes
(who frankly were better at screwing)
and making a right hash of everything,
course included. But band badges were made,
along with silly visits to photo booths.

‘These dirty streets…’ the first line of the lyric
fell into place with that progression in E.
Dreams of Idaho and California. Some sun.
You made it happen and it’s dedicated to you.
And when I heard the news, I knew it was true:
the happy-go-lucky guy on the end of the rope

was you.

© copyright df barker 2012

First published in 2011 in poetry collection ‘Anonymous Lines’, available for purchase here:  http://liten.be//gHmf9

* image created digitally © copyright dfbarker 2012

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