Andrew Taylor

from Ladies and Gentlemen: Mogwai

Write an endless poem about your life on earth or elsewhere – Lawrence Ferlinghetti


Up the Down Escalator chimes through Christmas cold
               Heaven Up Here tour 1981
cut-off twelve foot snowdrifts
               no trains from Kirkby no 345 bus no way out

Building igloos in the old village school with Evo
               jumping into drifts off the sandstone bus shelter
built by Jimmy and Dad
knitwear sodden       clear blue sky

Back through dusted lanes
carrying news
               to the outskirts of the village
streets shared with Birch's milk-float

Bedroom listening John Peel
                              10 - 12
copying tape plastic companions
TDK D60 AD60 SA90 SX60

When something slips through your fingers you
know how precious it is…

Winters of discontent
cling to iced tracks     television ending at midnight
three channels to four              Breakfast Time
NME Wednesdays

Here her head she lay until she'd rise and say
I'm starved of mirth

Airing cupboard school sized clock
a palm cross pale blue walls
the second biggest bedroom

stereo lifeline bought second-hand         reading run-out grooves
Kiss My Shades                             Smiths presumably ill forever

lyric sheet poetry
tracing paper sleeves                Desperate Dan's Saturday

Probe Backtracks with Paul the Postman
The World Downstairs       corner stage
coats left on to beat the cold

Cold only known after a night in The Royal Court

The Third Room introductions     Mac in the back bar of the Phil
                                                             with Broudie
Dusted tracks    rail-yard                                    parallel racecourse
                                                             iced canal misted

walks from the second to last train station
                                                             to sober up
city edge

Bootle Arms the Delph St Thomas's
Porcupine release date put back                 anticipation

Tithebarn Lane view to the village fields hedgerow the pads
crop rotation                                                         discos in the old school

30 minute walk to dance to The Cutter through darkened lanes

Sefton Park: The theme from Star Trek as the evening light dropped
banked audience down to the smelly lake Fuel Pete on xylophone

TV channels close down at midnight
walk because of insomnia

lanes quiet in search of a fox                                    and I've still not seen one there

TV channels expand to four                                     2nd November 1982

rails to Kirkdale
                corner standing
a wait for the green flash
whisked through the streets
to the corner laundrette
the cleanliness the education

Lunchtime screenings
                'Taras Schevchenko'
and the place I first set eyes on her

falling in love                                                   for the first time

from Hatful of Hollow to Meat is Murder a dietary change         a continuance

November 1984 to February 1985

Vinyl viewpoint window shouting
posters a college clock
Melody Maker Sounds New Musical Express
Vulcan Street rehearsals
                Half Man Half Biscuit
the dock wall black the smell of the sea
ships and warehouses     the three ugly sisters                before conversion
                                                                                             of the front

Lane sitting after learning to drive
                drinking and being driven
prior to a summer of separation
trekking around Europe while
I holed up in Ieper visiting cemeteries
                and sitting in town squares
wearing the Pisang Ambon t-shirt exchanged for a Smiths t-shirt

September reunited the evenings seem long
                the hedgerows stay green
the nights seem warm


'In his Autumn 'fore
the Winter comes man's last mad surge of youth'

Tonight I listened patiently
to broadcast silence
on the radio

Just like viewing foreign static
               in room 20 hotel engeland

Apple bottom
                              snow bunnies
Dovey slut        remains an enigma
before Bluetooth exists in mind

Do you know where you where
12th September 1986?

Slow down                    it creeps along
coast                               like down the exit

until the roundabout

Questions of love      trumpet solos
a different route through     slightly familiar
lanes past Cunscough wood and Brides Garage

tell me what you see

family unit gathered before the storm
welcomed in despite differing city colours

allowed to evolve     share poetry be published

Give what you take
allowed to shelter

chop the wood          familiarize with turf fields

Mojave 3 said differently    mojave
Old Hall Street before hotels
before change
meeting in reception
drinking in a station bar     cinema
laughter at people falling
onto propellers

some kinda angel    no doubt
                                             I'll make you feel better

now it's about books about 8th Avenue

eight weeks then boarding a flight
rooming above the San Remo
                buying vintage in Brooklyn
                designer on 5th Avenue
writing poems about the East and West Villages

phoning home from the Empire State
ghosts of heroes below      shuffling through

feeling secure                               after abandonment
five years previous

starlight guiding      home from Zinc

Fruits at breakfast
rarity alone
coffee for me     juice for you

tentative       behind there was always a shadow

Shared trains shared bed
confidence to show and work

Breath taken acupuncture a year of illness

a slow down   not quite ready        lavender goddess
                               the poem was directed
                it could not have been written without you

the journey was possible
                gathering from hedges
leaving money for flowers

watching the deer at dusk sleep for you

writing for me

carving into out of season sand     the beach was deserted

tea at Jamaica Inn                a unique aloneness

swaying in slowtime                   New Paths To Helicon 1
the sound of drums           getting louder

the sound of angels           at the parting of the clouds

feather   light   introduction
motif      a heart shaped owl's face

light    replication     crescendo

overpowering     strobe

I don't want it to end like this

In my dreams I tell you that I love you

Brian: Bring Trouble (Setanta Records SETCD060)
thanked alongside        Ardal O’Hanlon
                                              Ian Catt
                                              FM Cornog

reading the review after Sunday working


drift back to under the coffee table
horizontal                          angled fireplace comforter

Winter chipping at the window
hunger bladder wrack                            a deserved pain

amber liquid clings to glass


the yard                              rubble where Jonny
angled the tv out of the back bedroom window
Diane in pink shirt         and an old pair of my jeans

holding electronic circuitry

in summer                honeysuckle
in winter                   snow

cat company you never visited
I wouldn't want you to have

I’m losing touch with all the things that were so close to me

fever    medication
driven to an emergency doctor
bedbound      losing half a stone

sweats vomiting

M25 Master Robert taking ill

pleased to see a kindly face
bed sitting feeling a togetherness

taking tea
football scores
               paged through         swear words
and cake

just like the smoke
                from the chimneys
a comfort
as is the sound of autumn
repairs the sound of hammers hitting nails
and the sight of fields
                cropped then turned

reminders of Raymond Carver

candle slowly burns
the lavender turns to dust
night folds
clear and cusp like

Wherever we’re going
                this night is yours
the warmth of that first smile
burns into a ten year old image

Off licence visits and football tournaments
beamed in from Europe
newspaper dissection
Saturday tea and sandwiches

Quirks for bargains
                Father Ted for entertainment
that lad doing his thing

you doing yours
similar yet not

Hospice visits
Foil bunnies red collars
sitting under the chestnut tree
in the sun
the smell of death in the house
                imprinted on the window

the docks from the JM Centre
the MA Poems
consuming without the thought of Poetics

turbines         angled                          catch the breeze
boats                leave                for Ireland and Man

from certain floors the tunnel under Leeds Street
visible                               our route our entrance our exit

the fields walked between
refreshment in the Bootle Arms
watching men watching football

the church just there

'take me somewhere nice'

In my dreams I tell you that I love you

'In yer dreams knobhead' while girls
                urinate in city centres
I ponder the level of distortion used in certain tracks
by Mogwai

Andrew Taylor is a Liverpool poet and co-editor of erbacce and erbacce-press. Poetry has recently appeared in The Balloon, MUST, Durable Goods and Heavy Hands Ink. His latest collection comes from The Knives, Forks and Spoons Press. He has a PhD in poetry and poetics.
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