INDIGO DREAMS

PUBLISHING LTD

 

WHEN I SAW JIMI

 

Julie Maclean was born in Bristol, UK, and is now based on the Surf Coast, Australia. She spends part of every year in the UK visiting friends and family.

 

Inspired by the Goons she wrote her first nonsense poem aged 5 and won her first poetry prize aged 9 for reciting GM Hopkins’ Spring.  

 

A former teacher of English, Dance and Drama in secondary schools and colleges, she has also prepared refugees and new arrivals for mainstream study and has taught Literacy and Numeracy through art and music.

 

As a student in the sixties and early seventies she picked fruit, made L plates in a factory, pulled beer, fitted Clark’s shoes, cleaned toilets and survived as a cocktail waitress at Butlins.

 

With her son now at Uni, she can focus on poetry and short fiction when she’s not writing love stories for couples marrying along the Great Ocean Road or engaged in university study.

 

As a finalist in the Whitmore Press Prize in 2010 she performed in the Poetry Idol Final in Melbourne in front of Les Murray. 

 

In 2013 a radio play in which Plath and Hughes reunite on the Queen Mary 2 and which was given a special mention by Bristol Theatre Review as ‘intriguing’, was produced by Pulse Radio, Victoria (Aus). 

 

She is working on her second full collection of poetry, a chapbook and a collection of short fiction.

 

 

When I saw Jimi

 

Julie Maclean

 

ISBN 978-1-909357-24-2

 

Publication 8th June 2013

 

Poetry

 

216 x 138 mm

 

68 pages

 

£7.99 + P&P UK and Europe

 

ORDER HERE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

grass-flat

Losing it to Hendrix

 

When Moog was in vogue

soft pop   beginnings of cool

 

I wore a pink Lennon cap

and caught the number 8

 

bus to see Jimi at the Bristol

Colston Hall

 

When he dropped to his knees making

rough love to the white

 

Flying V with the psychedelic motif  

I screamed  

 

then swooned when he bent it

from behind

 

 

 

Golden Boy

 

We used to walk to school

together fast    a shock of blonde

you’d sweep across your face

Yapped of Jagger, Cohen

school caps, bikes,

exams

 

These days on Friends

you’re grey and bald,

fitted for new teeth, a by pass

 

Now we compare the colour

of the faces of dead fathers

yours black, mine yellow

 

Your mother crawled the floor

banged her head against a chair

Mine crawled the walls

 

Your dad never smacked

Mine smacked me once

Mothers all the time

Knocking sense into us

And out

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glacial Karma

 

Jumping out under

the blade-slap

whop-whop rotors

of the helicopter

you did the blackest

diamond run

clicking tips Rossignol red

carving ghost tracks

into the soft face of Franz Josef

 

In the cafe we kept

our beanies on

cloud-breath evaporated,  

slicks formed from boot-drip  

on the timber floor

in the air hot chips

I drank chocolate

melting to marshmallow

at the thought of you

taunting that giant

 

On the bus back down

the wind screamed up

windows splintered

under hundred mile an hour spleen

bus heaving its warning    

plates shifting in glacial memoir

or was it humour?

 

Later, at Happy Hour

we drank Bourbon

Ice clinking its thawing ways

against the sides of thick glass

‘Julie Maclean, one of the major new talents shortlisted for the prestigious international Crashaw Prize in 2012   ‘… writers we believe have produced superb first collections of poetry.’  

Chris Hamilton-Emery

(Salt, UK)

 

‘Voted a winner in the Orbis 159 Readers’ Award, attracted comments about the ‘wonderful use of language’; ‘brilliant… writing. Succinct (with) memorable images…beautifully structured…irresistible. A remarkable collection which conjures up England in the 60’s in such vivid detail with its stories and descriptions that yes, you really will remember being there - or long to go back. And if those of a younger generation wish they had experienced that period, here’s the ideal opportunity.‘

Carole Baldock

(Editor, Orbis and Kudos)

 

‘These poems have an appreciable crispness, surprise, intensity and clarity. Maclean has broken through to that rare space – call it a maturity of perception, a keen sense of image – that most poets never get to. This is strong and enlivening work.’

       David Brooks

(Southerly, Australia)

 

‘This is poetry that you won’t want to stop reading. Its attractions are manifold: the milieu of the swinging sixties; love affairs that are by turns erotic, comic, tender and violent; unsentimental and powerful elegies; and an urgent attention to the surprising and plangent condition   of our lives.'

Maria Takolander

(writer, literary critic)

Best Friends

 

Like twins fixed in Sixties fantasy

we held hands with John and Paul

and practised kissing on our

arms and sang ‘Downtown’ on

                                         Top of the Pops

She had cats in a messy house,

her own TV, Fab magazine, a mum who

didn’t look in her bag or check her Maths

or smell her breath for Woodbine smoked in

the sheds. Linda was the good girl; loved, trusted

                                          But I got the boys

On the way home from school one night,

in young dumb rage about God knows what,

I hit her over the head with my umbrella,

to smash her down, feel the edge

Fat Bag      Placid Cow      Dreary Bitch

 

Years on in different hemispheres,

headlines on a double-page spread,

Hardy tragedy in tabloid attitude

Woman Dies in Childbirth

Hard news    Brilliantly upstaged

 

And in quieter times now,

I imagine what sort of mother

she might have made,

like her own,

kind and there,

peaceful at home,

satisfied.

But as a coward,

traitor; sharp, hard,

guilty in my exile,

I could never be the same

 

 

 

Driving down to Lyme

 

dingy post-war homes pebble-dash

the dream of being the woman    

out on the Cobb waiting,          

waiting for him to come home

 

The museum shrinks, it’s half term

Keen mums furnishing maps, pens,

raincoats buttoned to the neck

getting in the way

 

In groups we go on tour to hunt

icthyosaur skulking in the cliff

We are Mary Anning stumbling across

eons   Victorian men who would be kings

 

Half-moon ammonite, crenellate,

soft grey      That is my prize

Two million years in the pocket

 

An outlet pours curious jetsam onto

this black strand    Green glass

for  smoothing, small windows

spanning one hundred years

 

Delicate willow pattern

survives     Seventies ceramic

emerald catches the eye

 

In the background small boys

hack hack hack at stone

hoping for the jawbone

some fabulous find

 

 

Baby can’t

 

don’t ask me to suck, lick

you just want to choke,

break me

 

if you force it

my skin won’t hold

 

then you’ll see

nothing inside except babies, tiny dead babies,

all mine

 

this baby wants the warm nuzzle dripping milk

not your bitter shot cold gluck

poking fun at my

empty space

 

WINNER OF THE GEOFF STEVENS MEMORIAL POETRY AWARD 2012

Cover Lennon Cap head photo amend Jimi cover option 9781909357242 WEB dreamstime_xs_2718827 amend

Blood and Bone

 

You feed the garden now

Remember that day

our first bird camouflaged

in the dusty feathers of the

Cootamundra

 

Pinky cap nodding      

Seeds appearing for the first time  

You fed bacon scraps to the maggies    

Scaly fingers

clawed in the shadow

of the hammer’s grip    

Hands, by the way, I love

 

Planting stakes in the west

Grosse Lisse were Aquarian children

Laterals were dreadlocks

You would not tame them

Murder you said

 

Three springs ago it was a moonscape

then grasses nosed through

Lines of purpling beetroot

Slicks of onion   Squatting mignon

 

I love to watch you work

The way you kneel,

gathering everything

into the core of you

Intense   Silver-quick

One eye always on the clock

 

Your back is stiffening      

There’s harvest in the making        

It wasn’t always this way

 

 

 

 

Greek Theatre over Baghdad

 

Achillean boys

in fresh overalls

tuck photos

into secret folds

of survival vests

like they’ve seen

in a Hollywood movie

then sortie

to face

the night-borne shadow

of a high priority

peace-time

exercise

 

On designated cue

Black Hawks

wokka wokka,

hovering five in line

peering through

the myopic green

of the night lens

sniffing out

the enemy’s sweat

 

Blades quarrel

mid-air

unnerving

wavering birds

spinning out

of rehearsal

into another show