Watching 'Garage' and what came after (kind of a Monday poem)
Back when some of us were writing Monday Poems for TFE in September and October of this year one of the assignments involved watching a film called 'Garage' (2007 dir. Leonard Abrahamson). I couldn't get hold of the film on the week in question so I took the other option on offer (reading a particular Plath poem...and then writing this). However some of the poems others wrote after watching 'Garage' were intriguing so I eventually got a copy of the film last week (via one of those clever postal dvd rental places) and sat down to watch it on Thursday night.
From the poems and comments (find them all via TFE's post here) I knew the movie wasn't going to be a light-hearted comedy but it wasn't the doom-fest some of you had led me to expect either. It was sad, sure enough, but...really...what isn't? Some days almost everything makes me sad.
Anyway, I enjoyed the film (maybe that isn't quite the right word - let's say 'I thought it was good'). It is slow and simple and, I assume, fairly cheaply made but that can all be good when done right (and I think it was). There's some great acting, a lot of truth and a little story well told.
Straightaway after watching 'Garage' the first thought that came into my mind was that I might write something about small town life and its down side...then I remembered I'd pretty much done that for another TFE assignment (here). Then I thought about teenage drinking (I did a lot of that...and I really do mean a lot) but I just wasn't in the mood to write about that (maybe another time...). Then as I thought on and on a (really cheesey) song came into my mind and helped me on my way. I'm not going to tell you the song (maybe you can guess it...it has an Irish connection too) but here is the poem. Like the film the poem has sadness in it but it is not overwhelmingly sad (I don't think). It is just looking at what there is...as I see it.
Hold on, hold on
Some riders insist on hogging the front They think it's their place, their right almost They want to face obvious danger head on Look it proudly in the face - open eye to open eye They raise their arms joyfully, most voluntarily And they laugh at the very idea of fear
Others select the middle cars They don't look out and they don't look in They watch the noisy folks up front Whooping, flying, apparently progressing And decide that often... Just thinking about something is more than enough
Odd ones sit at the back, always They don't really want to be there at all They hate the people at the front They hate the people in the middle They squirm and shift and hate the safety harness too They scribble in notebooks, draw wings in margins
There is movement between the zones, of course Nothing's ever simple, nothing's ever complex And then every once in what feels like a heartbeat At the top of a rise, or the dip of a fall Someone undoes a buckle and jumps clear out The cars keep on moving, the track's unchanged
The body just falls so quickly down Sometimes hitting scaffolding, sometimes not And it pretty much always makes a fair old mess Pieces of a life Pieces of a dear life You can't expect nothing to come from something
But below in the shadows someone will sort it They have mops and cloths and tools down there And an army of tough, well-worn pit ponies All is unseen and unspectacular By silent hands the bolts are tightened And the whole goddamned show goes on, ever thus
Originally from the north of England, I live in Angus, Scotland where I walk a lot, think a lot, listen to lots of music, sometimes write poems, sometimes read poems out to other people, sometimes write songs, read all kinds of odd things, watch a bit...oh and I look after my family too.
I sometimes organise poetry and music events - details are usually here (though nothing coming up in the near future). This year I went travelling with my family - photos and notes are here. Now we're back I have moved to a new regular blog - it is here.
More about the song
You can buy my book (published 2008) from my website if you fancy it (go to 'book' page) or from www.amazon.co.uk if you prefer the comfort of the multinational corporation. My book is printed on recycled paper and card. I have 12 different poetry postcards available too.