Poetry Rocks

Of all the poetry I’ve written in the last ten years, the most popular, by far, is a series of poems inspired by pop music and musicians. I’ve had them published in quality overseas e-zines like Exquisite Corpse and the Danforth Review. I’ve had them included in anthologies, literary journals, fanzines and even an educational text.

After writing the first dozen or so, I realised that I’d actually stumbled on a good idea. Apart from the odd piece here and there, I’d never come across a lot of poetry about rock ‘n’ roll. A close friend of mine, Adrian Robinson, a writer and music fan, also saw the merits in a collection of pop music themed poetry, and together, we began working towards such a collection. Here is a small sample of our work thus far.

Poem for Nick Drake

you wake with the sun
as it bleeds through the windows

you play fragile guitar
and your voice murmurs
barely audible
above the sounds of the day

you wait for autumn
& the cold forest floor
to break your fall

you pray that the end
will go unnoticed

Adrian Robinson

Music For Icebergs
Another Green World, Brian Eno 1975

drifting in a dream-haze
mind empty, body drained
he cannot see his future
through the fog of self-doubt

the distant ripple of harp
trickles into the atmosphere
and the soft, grey music of rain
permeates, envelops, cushions

he touches upon possibility
brilliant shapes start to form in the ether
he imagines the sounds of moons and oceans
the songs of clouds, the conversations of icebergs

Graham Catt

Poem for Robert Forster

His role model is Joyce
you can tell by the pose
as if he’s just walked
off the streets making notes
for Finnegan’s Wake

Distinguished by his literary tastes
and admiration for Blonde on Blonde
the Dylan songbook imprimatur
is what keeps him going

Guitar resting on his knee
he is intimate with the light
combs his hair in the shadows

He taunts the crowd
with a story half told in song
about a man who walks
into a café with the word ‘regret’
written on his sleeve

Later in his study
he turns the pages of a European
classic, Thomas Mann or Satre,
Draws a secessionist nude.

Adrian Robinson

U2, Las Vegas, 1997

icons fill screens
four-storeys high
a quartet of neon superheros

the Edge is a cowboy
astride a white guitar
shooting sparks into space

Adam and Larry
an artillery of rhythm
oozing macho and muscle

Bono punches the sky
elicits adoration
and a sea of stars

they imitate the divine
levitate above the crowd
in a giant mechanical lemon

Graham Catt

So keep an eye out for the collection in your local bookshop. Given our current rate of production we envisage completing the collection towards the end of the decade.


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