Anne Holloway: Life Cover – Mouthy Tour

3 Sep

LIFE COVER

Sometimes,
I find myself,
walking down the street,
and I feel like,

I feel like,

I feel like I always have.

Then sometimes I feel,
a tap on my shoulder.
Glance to the side,
catch sight of this woman.
She mouths at me, “you are fifty.”

Sometimes,
I find my hand stretching to a dress on a rail,
And she says to me,
like a prayer,
“if you wore it last time round, you can’t wear it now.”

I know that’s she’s me,
and I say out loud,

“How did I get here?”

That sets me off
down the road to nowhere,
because where I used to feel like this
is becoming like a ghost town.

Sometimes I think I’m doing a cover of my own life
same tracks
same beat
I can still hear London calling
same old refrain.
But this time round
we’re not all welcome to the house of fun.
There are little kids with empty bellies
walking down our streets,
asking, “what have I done to deserve this?”

We always said we’d rip it up and start again,
but my mind is like a plastic bag
full of stuff they make us buy.
Same as it ever was,
but now they call it Vintage.

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One Response to “Anne Holloway: Life Cover – Mouthy Tour”

  1. poetclare September 8, 2014 at 9:04 am #

    Hi Anne
    Looks like I’m starting with you as you posted first! I actually don’t have that much to comment on with this poem as it’s such a smart idea – I really enjoyed the central concept of life feeling like a cover version – as though there’s nothing new anymore. It’s a feeling I’ve had myself and identify with. And technically, the way you illustrate that by having the poem made up of recycled song lyrics is just a really clever, clean concept. It also means that you kind of evade a lot of my usual criticisms – the poem contains clichés (‘road to nowhere’ etc) which are usually my worst enemy, but here they are part of the point. Song lyrics ARE clichéd. And the speaker’s life feels clichéd too. I love the title, and the last line is very good – it really hits its target.
    I love the way the 80s music references really establish this fifty-year old speaker’s generation. It seems a good age for the speaker to be – part of a generation who thought they were creating anarchy and smashing the system, only to find their music and look is now being rehashed by Primark and soundtracking adverts…
    The only thing I think you could work on for the zine is commas, which you overuse. You only need to use them where you would in normal written English, not at the end of every line – the line-break gives you the short pause/ breath you need for the rhythm. To my eye, having so many commas at the ends of lines looks a little old-fashioned and fussy.
    In the first verse, for instance, losing the first 3 commas would be fine – you only need them after the ‘likes’ where they signal a jerky hesitation:
    Sometimes
    I find myself
    walking down the street
    and I feel like,
    I feel like,
    I feel like I always have.
    Hope that’s useful, Do ask if you have any more questions,
    Clare x

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