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Wipe Off That Grin

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Writing poetry was the last thing I ever thought I'd do but here is my first attempt. The only problem is my voice as I can't sound like anything other than John Cooper Clark. Ah well, he can't have copyrighted performing poetry with a Manc accent¬†ūüėÜ


Wrote two other poems now. Punchy, irreverent Gen X takes on society and pop culture seems to be my natural habitat.


As it's written to be performed, thought I'd present the poem in video format too. Apologies if too fast, its how i talk. Moving house this week so when the dust has settled I shall add the spoken word and put audio over the video.


Wipe Off That Grin.


Remember the nineteen eighties? When Phil Collins was the king
Ignore all those prototype hipsters who said he couldn't sing
A troubadour of the troubled, patron saint of bitter guys
For whom getting divorced was a very sudden, sharp surprise.


Just like numerous family members, too many to name
Acting just like their fathers, expecting wives to be the same
But it was the eighties, a wave of feminism had returned
Leaving men alone in the dark, wondering why they'd been spurned.


Phil sold grief and absolution, with a gated reverb sound
Moving on from Genesis and Selling England By The Pound
The rise of shattered families really started to climb
Giving him more US chart hits than any artist of the time.


But Phil Collins is a romantic and hates to cause pain
He may have divorced by fax but then he married her again
A groovy kind of love? Trust me, it really isn't cheap
His previous settlement had already paid for her keep.


He was accused of being a Tory. You all called him scum
I don't care about party politics, but it made Phil glum
Bowie took the piss but what did he do during that era?
Apart from being a Goblin King trying to groom Sarah.


McCartney had a pop too, but Phil was too busy to care
He topped the charts with Philip Bailey, not Rupert f*cking Bear
Copying The Beatles, Noel from Oasis had a go
Refusing a jam in Mustique, it must have been the blow.


Always compared with Peter Gabriel, seen as more highbrow
By dressing up as a daffodil?? I've no idea how
Peter Gabriel was Crunchy Nut Cornflakes, Frosties for pseuds
Phil was simply himself, a geezer. No art-pop attitudes.


But if not for his ballads, preventing suicide of men
You wouldn't have modern blended families, happy(ish) again
So if you have one of those, raise a glass and withdraw your scorn
Without the songs of Phil Collins, you wouldn't even been born


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  • 3 weeks later...

I can't give any insight to poetry, to me its one of those things that should definitely not have a structure or form of any kind, as long as it can be either read smoothly, or not, or performed, or not......... it's a poem :)  you either like it or you don't.  


I really liked this.........that last line gave me a great laugh, and several throughout really liked the Goblin King trying to groom Sarah, but of course I grew up being babysat by that nightmare along with Dark Crystal/Willow all that horrid stuff hahah.    I've always been more of a David Byrne or Robert Fripp fan for my across the pond music tastes :)  but will have to give Collins a tip of the hat......probably more truth in that last line than I'll ever want to know hahah.  I'll never hear follow you, follow me and not have horrid thoughts again.........so thanks for that hahaha


let me know if you do add audio to this! 

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Moved flat. Internet back on. Back in business haha.


Agreed. I find it so difficult to critique poetry further than 'I like it' or 'doesn't speak to me'. Bit of a problem when trying to engage on poetry sites. 


Glad you enjoyed the poem and appreciate the humour :) Got quite engaged with poetry writing in the last fortnight, so if you want to read others they are up on Instagram.




Tried audio but the mic I have is awful. Soon as I get a better mic I will give you a nod when audio is added :)

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2 hours ago, fasstrack said:

Well, the good news is that it was written well enough that it gave me a window on people I don't follow, they're not blips on my screen. I like different music entirely. But you made them all interesting and made me wish I got the references.


That makes you a good writer...


Really kind of you to say. Thanks :) 


Glad you got something out of the poem without having the reference points.

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