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Go and play in the middle -- John Hegley

Guest poem sent in by Steve Axbey
(Poem #1583) Go and play in the middle
 my Mum used to watch out of the window
 these boys who played football
 on the green in front of the bungalow
 she used to stand well back
 so she couldn't be seen
 and when the ball hit the wall of our garden
 she said to my Dad
 it's hit our wall again Bob
 go out and tell them
 and my Dad would go out and tell them
 maybe eight or nine times in a day
 to go and play in the middle
 and immediately he had told them
 my Mum would be on the watch
 for the next time he would need sending out
 and sometimes it was only a few moments
 after he had come back in
-- John Hegley
In the bright and innocent days of 'alternative comedy' John Hegley was
known as an 'alternative poet' and for a while he was on TV quite regularly
here in the UK.  Rarely seen on the box now, he still tours the country
performing in his one-man shows and is a regular at the Edinburgh festival -
catch him if you can.

This poem is a very early one of his - not sure why I chose this particular
one amongst many others, for some reason it just made me laugh the most when
I was re-reading the book this evening.  But I don't think it's a bad choice
- it's pretty representative: his Dad, his Bungalow and his childhood in
Luton feature regularly in his poems - he's not just kept in touch with his
roots, he's positively milked them :-)

And I know he wouldn't mind me saying that - typical of Hegley, he's even
written an poem poking fun at the way he writes poems poking fun at his
roots. Here it is [assuming that Martin and Abraham don't notice me
smuggling, deftly, a second poem into my submission] [we've done it
ourselves! - martin]

LUTON
(a poem about the town of my upbringing and the conflict between my working
class origins and the middle class status conferred upon me by a university
education)

    I remember Luton
    as I'm swallowing my crout'n

[two poems eh? how on earth is Sitaram going to fit that into his index?]
[the index is large, it contains multitudes - martin]

To really appreciate his poems you have to hear John read them himself -
there's a brief sound bite on his website [broken link] http://www.johnhegley.co.uk ,
where there's a also a biog, merchandise etc. If you'd like to hear him he's
actually on tour in the UK at the moment (winter 2004), details on the site.

Enjoy
Stephen Axbey

[Links]

Reiterating the link to Hegley's site: [broken link] http://www.johnhegley.co.uk

And go reread Poem #1407 while you're at it :)

32 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Barclaycard said...

I find it strange that the texts en up sounding a lot like the way people speak when they recount the experience.

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