03 April 2006

Another piece got done - the 50 of us were asked to submit five minute pieces in response to the question What Makes You Angry? Some of them will be performed at the Court in May as part of the week celebrating the Look Back play. After brooding on all matters Liverpool for the last few days (in between writing bits for Night Light), this afternoon I wrote a piece about my Dad, the war, Boris Johnson etc. If you want to read it, scroll down. I wasn't sure about posting it, but I think that's because writing it stirred a lot of feelings in me, it's an emotional thing. But the piece is written to be performed, it's meant to 'go public'. I suppose it's just very soon. It's in the voice of a character who is clearly closely based on me, his thoughts are mine. And though I've changed some details, I'm essentially writing about my experiences, my family. It's odd - it's me, of course it is, and yet I'd never be able to stand up and say those things. I can write them but I'd never say them.

By the way, Bernard is 32 days old today.
I am 14,361.
How old are you? You can check here.

On The Wing

I'm fucked off about the city, I'm fucked off about the fact me Dad died practically a pauper after fifty years hard labour

I'm fucked off about the city, I was born on the wing

It kicked me out for good behaviour, no second thought, no backward glance, but that's okay, I was born on the wing

I'm fucked off about me sister surviving on ten pound a week after bills, half-killed with the anxiety, her head’s wrecked, where's the lecky money coming from, the next rent cheque never mind credit on her phone so’s she can at least text her mates

I'm fucked off she got caught aged sixteen and that was it, not even a graduate of the school of hard knocks, not even fucking enrolled yet and here she is, babe in arms 'cos it's a sin to get rid

And I'm still fucked off god help me about Tory boy Boris, let's not infantilise him now, blonde baby boy but a hate-filled spectator, the member for Henley, suggesting in his courtly jester way there's no smoke without fire, Liverpool people gather in mobs to sob crocodile tears for the dearly beheaded while they piss on the corpses of the crushed

It's the fucking fifties all over again, except for No Irish read No Scousers. It's no longer socially acceptable to vent your deeply-held, ingrained in your DNA disgust at the dirty Catholic paddy with his drink and his sixteen lice-ridden offspring and his propensity for petty crime. So instead of dirty fucking thieving thickhead Irish, read...

Me Dad dies after fifty years hard labour and all he's got to show is the kids, of whom the one, yours truly, is right royally fucked off about the city his father barely ever left, the city that offered him sixty-six years of crumbs from the table, kept him at arm's length in his worst days, kissed him in his Sunday best

I was born in Broad Green Hospital, on the wing that faces the sea, the same month Dad and his crew painted it right through, crooning away the hours, the double-time, never singing the same song twice

I was born on the wing and fucked right off just as soon as I could, it was 1985 and the writing on the wall said, This place is under siege and it will fall, and in spite of the siren song of the Mighty Wah, calling to me to Come Back, I was up and away, I was always a wing-ed thing, a boy for the breezes, and late for my appointment with the sun, waxing lyrical as I gained height, singing of the miracle of flight

The Sun. Dad brandishes the front page at me, he was a war baby you see, always liked a good war. He's for and I'm against. Saddam is falling over on the front, Our Boys advancing on pages 2, 3, 4, 5 and so on inside.

What d'you think of the war now, Stephen?

He has four months more, he's spared Abu Ghraib. And Ken Bigley.

August, first day of the football season, he dies in a heatwave.
Everything melting, drowning, all forces spent.

This is his retirement, his golden handshake. After fifty fucking years hard labour.


Anonymous said...

it's wonderful, sbs.

but maybe you should stand up and say it, if they choose it?

(i think because if it's so difficult to say, then standing up and saying it like that must have some value?)

sbs said...

Thankyou very much.

I'd think about performing it, if asked... then fall over in a faint no doubt

And it'd be good to hear one of the many decent (scouse) actors out there who can give it what it needs.

I really really appreciate your comment.

Anonymous said...

doesn't do a lot for me, i must say.

sbs said...

Ah well. Thanks for looking at it anyway.

Urban Chick said...

maybe if you can track down a friendly scouse actor and sit them next to your PC, you could podcast it?! easier than you might think

just downloaded some free, open source recording software (audacity - as recommended on 'woman's hour'!) and podcasting software (i've used castpost.com who are in a testing phase, so it's also free)

oh, and you'll need a microphone to plug into your PC, but these are very cheap at PC world etc.


sbs said...

thankyou UC, for being a kindly font of info. now that the piece ain't going on stage at the Court, podcasting might be just the thing.

*squints once more at all the tech-y words*