Monthly Archives: September 2020

Ranters Tour Holland

Back in 1985 several ranting poets toured Holland. In proper form they toured with punk bands.
Cheers to Nick Toczek for digging this out. Nick writes: “Me and Swells over in Holland same time as Instigators. I’d been in touch with Rob Berends at Paperclip Agency to set this up. He’d previously got me to put together a ranting package for a huge international poetry festival in Amsterdam – six of us did it – me, Swells, Attila, Little Brother, Belinda Blanchard and Dave Reeves – last two then went home, rest of us did more gigs and loads of press and radio stuff.”

Punk’s A Feeling

Ginger John from Leeds zine Raising Hell, number 1, 1983.

Punk’s A Feeling Not A Fashion

Pogo pogo til ya drop
it only dies if you forget
cos punk’s a feeling not a ‘fashion’
How do you hype what’s really happening?
Poverty boredom no hope future
Tory government goosestep coming
Rockets bombs and nuclear waste
pogo pogo human race
cos we don’t care what happens to you
it’s up to you to see what’s true
Cos punk’s a feeling not a fashion
forget the clothes look what’s happening
No jobs no money no opportunities
put in your place cos of the Torys ruling
No right to work
No right to think
No right to hope
Your future STINKS

Ginger John the Doomsday Commando

Ginger John and young poet Sarah Fletcher, June, 2015.

The Brain Wash

Poem from Newcastle zine Stepping Out, number 4, 1983.

The Brain Wash

Line up and keep quiet
Come in one by one
No talking – this is serious
This is the brain wash:

Time to forget your dreams
And the children still shout
Down my street anyway –
They still kick footballs at you
As if the Brain Wash hadn’t worked

Just for a moment I though
Of what could have been
Of the memories I forgot
A chain reaction of futility
The Brain wash

Conform! Conform!
Obey! Obey!
I stood uncertain –
Then I ran like hell.

The Cattle Market

Marcella’s poem from Slough zine Apocalypse, number 4, 1983.

The Cattle Market

I want some to understand, to listen, yet I’ve found that is
that is the hardest thing anyone can ask for. People are easy to find
if you want to be used.
Here I am again, sitting in front of the mirror, painting my face,
adorning it with a mask to hide behind. Preparing to go out to
a night club, the sort of place where most people seem the same.
The search to end this void is the drug that draws me…….

But faced by girls wearing pastel dresses
The dense atmosphere only depresses
Swaying their hips to tempt, waving their home-perms to the rhythm
I can’t help but wonder by what ambition they’re driven
Crowded together on the dance floor, like cows at a cattle market
The surrounding men, wearing cheap suits, are their target
They discuss each girls worth with their ‘mates’ before they make their move
And as the ‘buyers’ approach, the ‘cattle’ tries harder, as if with something to prove
They don’t expect chivalry or romance
Nothing more than a drink or a dance
And as usual, alienated, I watch them play their games from outside
They’ve set the rules, and among them there’s no such thing as pride
And I’ve said this a hundred times before
So by now I should know my hopes lead to a closed door
And perhaps the trouble lies in me
For wanting more and failing to see
I was out of touch
But then they always told me I expected too much
Too much.