Helter Skeleton

A poem by Robert Beveridge

Another zombie army troops
in to see a greying Paul
McCartney sit on stage and strum

while hardcore glassy-eyed
Lennon fans sit
in Strawberry Fields
and make their own demented music
sobs and wails and Give Peace
a Chance melt into a morass
of chaos, noise

while Henry and I
front row at a George Harrison gig
in some nameless midwest city
throw nacho boxes
and ice from our beers
at George’s guitar
try to make him miss
a beat or two (as usual).

And Ringo,
fresh from Tom Petty
and Shining Time Station
hasn’t seen a stage
since he got sober
just plays with his wooden
toy trains and Tom.

And, oh yeah, Pete Best?
Remember him, the 1963
Quarryman who never
fit in? Isn’t he the maraca
player in a Carnival Cruise
Ship band, same grey suit
and hairstyle?

Some LA noise band Henry knows
put out this record a few years back
called Helter Stupid then went
on to get sued by Island Records
for a later release.
Their label’s motto is “corporate
rock sucks.” Yeah, the Beatles
and Island Records (U2’s label)
thought so once, too.

This noise band, Negativland,
got sued by their label for court
costs after the whole Island
thing blew over, and that label,
SST, changed their tagline to
“corporate rock still sucks.
Kill Bono.”

Then Negativland started
hanging out in small
midwestern towns
to throw popcorn at Paul
McCartney and Island
Records A&R men.

Robert Beveridge makes noise (check out his Bandcamp page) and writes poetry just outside Cleveland, Ohio. He went through a messy divorce with Facebook some months ago, and as a result his relationship with time is much improved. His work has made recent/will make upcoming appearances in Ghost City Press, minor literature[s], and Barking Sycamores, among others.


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