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Jul 2014
had thrown a cassette
of Therapy?'s "Troublegum"
its nicotine-hued tape
mangled like the innards of
a gutted fish, or
so many sprayed limbs
in a crowded car pile-up
-decorating the bare branches
of the winter-stricken trees
which lay beyond the barbed wire fence
that separated the state-supported
and architecturally sound
playground facade of the solitary concrete grounds
-with empty swings-
of our mixed gender primary school
of 200 plus students (whom were
referred to as "pupils"-which reminded me
too much of eyes, but children are all eyes, aren't they?
With golden-hued irises, who seem to remember

Who had thrown it there?
Smashing all the angst-sodden, ripped guitar reverberations
-the fruits of a few individuals hard grasp and compromise, toiled out through a probable number of significant years-
that had lurked inside?
Why that gesture and why in that place?
Perhaps it had been the jettisoned request
of some clandestine love affair
(ephemerality also lays claims to gifts, to its plural gesture)
or, maybe in a more obviously classical mode,
it was only the result
of a bored friend who cared little for the music
or the efforts behind its delivery?

Whatever the reason,
its one of a handful of memories
that have stayed with me
when my thoughts strayed back to that school
(mostly without an intended purpose).

Also, across the same wasteland
there were assembled corrugated shacks
lined in front of back-garden walls
strewn with illegible graffiti
anticipating the waning rave culture
where we supposed-and were frightened by the thought-
that were the hang-outs of Drug users (AIDS was still a topic then)
and Pedophiles.

But then again,
we never tried to find out.
Therapy? are a Post-Punk (early-career) / Pop-Punk/Metal (-present day) band from Northern Ireland. "Troublegum"-their most commercially successful album- was released in 1994.
The image from this poem dates from 3/4 years after the album's release.
Written by
Westley Barnes
     Ophelia, Puff, Jeremyeckl, Priyanshi Dass and ---
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