Elegy to My School That’s Now Rubble

Now you are a housing estate
I feel slighted, I can never go
back and steer the apocalypse
towards the shore safely.
I walked past when they were knocking
their wrecking ball into you— what now
with the boys I roughed around with?
Those imagined football stars
arguing Liverpool and Arsenal.
Their cries of triumph are now
the postman whistling.
What now with the girls I fancied
and avoided like a Bible? Their fashion
sense is a suspension of spangly earrings
in a house’s light fitting.
The ghosts of us will have to relearn
the map of our retuned school
now its windows are boarded lessons.
What now for Olivia, doing star jumps
in the pool
where I could see her dark nipples
like chocolate drops
and a misconception of vagina
beneath her orange swimsuit,
the most beautiful sight I’ve ever seen.
Olivia, a name that rolls round the tongue
like an elocution of marbles.
She must be swimming beneath a home’s bath
with a pinched nose clip smile.
The unborn child of my confidence leant
against a party I should have asked her to.
I drew the rubble’s dust into my lungs,
swigging the papal stitching of off-key air.

Picture: Steve Karn (England)

Music: Ben Fisher (England)

Poem: Grant Tarbard (England)

Ben’s lyrics to his song

Black Dog Days

Open the window, let the black fly in
ooh na nay it‘s a black dog day
Leave out the sugar so they know where to land
ooh na nay it‘s a black dog day

Wake me up when it‘s over. Dig a rib, poke my one good eye
Where is the love for each other? We all need a little help sometimes

It’s in the airwaves, it‘s on the tube
who needs a firearm when a knee will do
Does the sentence reflect the crime?
well you know if you‘re a hero then it‘s ok to die

We don‘t trust anymore. Tear down a statue in the name of it all
I‘m on your side. But if the meaning gets lost, well, who‘s winning the fight?

Raise a hand, razor grin
knead the dough to form the shape we‘re in
Look ahead, down the line
is that a light in the tunnel or the world on fire?

Open the window, let the black fly in
ooh na nay it‘s a black dog day
Leave out the sugar so they know where to land
ooh na nay it‘s a black dog day

Open the window
Leave out the sugar
Ooh na nay it‘s a black dog day

Steve writes about his picture

For a photographic series from 2019 I reworked stills from the acclaimed independent film ‘Lady Macbeth’, a number of which explore the ISOLATION and imprisonment of the central character in her domestic environment. With millions of people similarly confined to their own homes under Lockdown, I chose four pieces featuring the main protagonist, Katherine looking out on the world from within, pondering her fate. The postcard format ironically highlights the fact that unable to travel or work, many people were in a very peculiar way obliged to take an enforced vacation from their normal existence. Home, and for many – alone. Wish you were here? Perhaps not.
LOCKDOWN PUZZLE adapts one image from a series of Lockdown Walks – manipulated photographs taken between mid-March until the end of July whilst on one of two local lockdown greenspace walking routes. Predominantly solitary figures appear dotted across the landscape, distanced from each other in accordance with guidelines of the time. OS co-ordinates mark the spot where each photo was taken, making note of ‘stations’ along the way of these repeatedly-trodden paths. For this particular image, I turned to the puzzle format in response to the, for me, surprising fact that there was a documented UK trend towards jigsaw puzzles as popular lockdown pursuit, across a fairly wide demographic. Not something I would have predicted.

1 Comment

  1. Anonymous

    Inspiring and authentic


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