David Green

David Green (Books) is the imprint under which I publish booklets of my own poems, when there are sufficient of them. Apart from that, the website has become what it is. I hope you find at least some of it worthwhile.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Politics Explained, maybe for the last time

I'm finding it soothing, almost respite, just not to talk about it any more.

Sure, it still provides a grim form of entertainment in private but the game's up, not least after the half serious amount of cash the referendum and the American election relieved me of last year.

The joke is over about the blonde advertisement for himself whose name I'm not even going to use because the oxygen of publicity is all he lives for and those who still think he's a 'personality' are beyond our help. Oh, that's just him being him, they'll say.
Well exactly, so ignore him, then.

I had more time for Mogg in a post-ironic way, the way in which Vicky Coren meant 'I find you strangely attractive' but the emphasis has now shifted from the attractive to the strange.

I never thought the time would come when one could remember Ronald Reagan almost with affection.
It was impressed on us at school, under a series of subject titles that went from Civics, Economic & Public Affairs to British Constitution, by a seethingly right-wing teacher, that there were processes in place that ensured the way the country was run, in today's corporate usage, were 'robust'. It was not made clear that by the time we were his age all that vast edifice of protocol would be the plaything of vanity projects for bumptious inadequates.
One minute it's a ringing endorsement of a quite clearly beleaguered Prime Minister but the day before and the day after it is the transparent setting out of stalls in another vaunting bid for the so-called top job that Cameron beat him to in the first place and that last year he announced in ham-acting humility couldn't be him.
He stands for nothing whatsoever beyond his own opportunity. I'm a victim of his incessant campaign on his own behalf just by having to set it out, for my own benefit more than yours, when I could actually be listening to Toots & the Maytals.
I know that you know that I know that you know that and we all know he's two-timing us.

1967 seemed turbulent and dangerous at the time, we are told, but what a joy it was to hear Tony Blackburn recreate his first Radio 1 broadcast oin Radio 1 Vintage. Radio 1 kept me going until about 1974. The second ever record played, it turns out, was the masterpiece Massachusetts and it felt profound to be reminded of
When I think of all the good times that I've wasted
Having good times,
by Eric Burdon and the Animals alongside such other giants of the soundtrack of our pop-picking lives like Diana Ross & the Supremes and Cliff.

Also, seen in a good light last night on Sex, Chip Shops & Poetry; 50 Years of the Mersey Sound were some of the heroes of my teens who have been superseded by others since. But let's give Roger, Adrian and Brian their due, not necessarily in that order, for at least being in place to exploit the zeitgeist, make themselves a living from their finely-crafted bohemian image even if some of the reviews by snooty, elitist poetry critics of the time derided their work for reasons that never went away.
Some of my adoration of them was based on a realization that, Blimey, it's possible to get away with stuff like that and we don't all have to be T.S. Eliot and it was Allen Ginsberg, their godfather of Beat, that I probably thought I saw through first before reluctantly, years later, deciding to shelve my Liverpool poets books upstairs among the 'other books' because they somehow didn't seem to belong alongside Larkin, Auden, and now Elizabeth Bishop, and certainly not John Donne.
But maybe I'll bring them back downstairs. You have to like them even if it's only for the sheer nerve that you think you can see they know they're getting away with it. But Brian Patten, the young apprentice to the Ginsberg-Warhol surrogate, Adrian, for who I bought a spritzer in Cartmel College bar, Lancaster, in 1978 or 79, overawed to be in the presence of anyone quite so Adrian Henri, was perhaps the poet among them even if, like Don Paterson and any number of us since, he only had to see rain and he had a poem.

So, it's nostalgia, then, for me as my 58th birthday comes, as usual, just as the year goes colder.


for Roger and Brian
and i.m. Adrian

we told them we were poets
took trouble to go home
from parties in L8
and knew whimsicalwords
in sad thoughtful phrasing
would persuade birds
not to hesitate