Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Welcome to Bruce Hodder

Photo by Tony the Tiger (Antonio Vernon) at English Wikipedia

This evening I'd like to take a trip to the UK (or perhaps England) with Bruce Hodder's poems.


We would always verbally abuse the Jets
when they walked into the Railway Club
on Thursday nights to watch the rock and roll.
“Wankers!” “Posers!” “Tossers!”
Every swear word we could think of
would come spewing from our teenage mouths.
It was because we turned invisible
to our girlfriends when the boys turned up.
Our scorn disguised our envy,
so we thought, of their great haircuts
and their clothes, the perfect Fifties cool
they had replicated in their rolling walks.
“Why don’t you go home to Northampton, twats!”
I shouted one night. I was drunk on beer
I had paid an older boy to buy me.
I was on my own, and there were three of them;
but I’d made sure they were out of earshot
and couldn’t hear. What I wanted really
was an autograph. I had a beer mat ready
in my pocket, but didn’t dare to take it out
when they came close, all I wasn’t.

Attribution: Louise Price


The old Ted’s favourite thing to do
in summertime is open all his windows,
and play his only Elvis record loud;
then he takes a beer downstairs to perch
on the wall outside our flats to smoke.
The old Ted’s second love’s complaining.
The one thing in the world that’s right is Elvis.
All the rest is wrong. “It’s fucked,”
he told me. “Kids rob old men with hammers.”
(Crime on our estate was up.)
“Know why?” 
                         “No, why?”
                                              “We let the coloureds in.”

Upstairs, Elvis stole the blues
from  black musicians’ breakfast tables
and sold it onto us as rock.

NB: Ted—Teddy Boy, 1950s rock and roll fans in the UK known for Edwardian frock coats and conservative political views.



 My father threatened
to divorce
my mum

if she brought
the new l.p.
by Ravi Shankar

“into my house”.

(O Mum,
one act
of bravery

one purchase
might have 
done it!)

A dislike
of Indian ragas
is ok

--though philistine—

but the use 
of “my”
in “my house”

was a warning.


Bruce Hodder is the editor of the New Beatnik, which is currently on sabbatical. He has been published in numerous magazines, online and in the anthology Other Voices (Crossroads Press).


Of course, I have to start with some Ravi Shankar.

Here he plays with his daughter in 1997.

This video is from the movie about the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967:

Let's listen to some Elvis.  We'll start with "Little Sister":
Here's some very early Elvis:

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