Poem a Day 2013 #21: Nick Cave meets the Sensational Alex Harvey Band

Poem number 21.

This is an experimental poem, based very, very loosely on my very talented poet friend Jennifer Liston’s “rescue poems”. Only I’ve cheated. I’ve taken the lyrics of two songs, Nick Cave’s “Song of Joy” and the Sensational Alex Harvey Band’s “Next”. I’ve mixed up the lines and sorted them randomly. Then I’ve looked for lines that fit an abab rhyming pattern, combined them into stanzas, and then made various adjustments to get them to make some sort of weird sense. Both songs are very dark, so of course the resulting poem is very dark.

Next Song of Joy

I fear the morning will bring a frost

and lunatic eyes, a hungry knife

I was just a child when my innocence was lost

My method of murder is my way of life

 

I would once do anything just to survive

Stand on endless naked lines of the following and the followed

I’ve taken many innocent lives

and each in my breast is an unnamed sorrow

 

There was no laughter in my house

We spoke in voices grown dry ‘n’ hollow

Somehow I am still on the loose

But not for many days to follow

 

But my story is nearly told

If we could but hold each other’s hands

For the wind round here gets wicked cold

and I have dreams that not even I understand

 

My knees grow weak, they turn to jelly

Maybe a word, a smile, maybe some happiness

An army towel is wrapped around my belly

I hear only the wolves howl, the serpents hiss

 

I drift from land to land

My voice stinks of whiskey, corpses and mud

The last thing I will write is “my red right hand”

and quotes from John Milton on the wall in my victims’ blood.

  

Copyright Mike Hopkins 2013

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