Orphan poems (12)

I think the problem with this one is that it’s a bit too obvious. Middle-aged man (guess who?) is a bit like a dodgy re-issued CD. I wrote this on the way to Lancaster, at an introductory meeting before the MA began. I’d stopped in Southport to visit a relative (never miss a chance to drop in on a third cousin, that’s me), and I’d paused for petrol at a large Morrison’s. Morrison’s always has huge bins of very cheap CDs, and I bought a trio of them for a fiver. One of them was beyond bad – all re-recordings (which I would have seen if I’d looked, with perhaps one  member on the original recording present, and not in very good shape). I keep a database of my music: sad, but true. I cannot bring myself to put this particular one on it. It is so crushingly awful. It is one thing to reinterpret a tune, but to go all out for its throat is another thing, a specially talented process of wilful destruction which is hard to credit).

The CD Bargain Bin

Middle-aged, and even medieval,
somehow my pieces don’t
have the same rhythm; my voice, for instance,
fluffs the chorus, or else I miss
the rim-shot with my pee. And parts
are non-starters. And where is the tremolo,
other than in my heart?

Some of me is original, it’s true,
but parts have been overdubbed by others:
the artist has been
re-recorded, and not all the band
has turned up for the gig. Some tracks
are out of copyright, and sound the same,
but I have acquired
a brass section, and a drummer’s shuffle.

Occasionally my words are close
to karaoke. So here is one
that I didn’t record in the sixties. You’ll find me
in supermarkets, lucky-dipping
for CD bargains, and dressed
in slightly dodgy cellophane. I may seem

familiar, with the sound turned


You can hear the poem here:


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