The legendary giant of heavy rock has his back turned away from me
as he stands guard and watches over all the other photographic memories
in the room.
There is no false great works of art upon the walls of the house,
aside from those I have chosen to place against the half decorated structure.
When I was younger I had posters that scattered the three walled sides in my Bicester
bedroom and I was told that eventually I would grow
to having just the one perfectly wooden framed piece of art to stare at and draw
I refused to believe I could ever be that pretentious or soul destroying artistically poor.
I loved art, I still do.
I have many different favourites, from the Death of Nelson to
Clarence Holbrook’s and his War Bride
which captures the soul of the perfect moment for some
who aspire to marriage but for whom the real rush is waiting to wave
their recently I do husband off to battle. The delicate nature of the white wedding
dress and the half hidden flowers and fully concealed, secret face
clutched tightly in rememberance of better days to come
haunts my imagination.
As does the work of Constable, Turner, the beautiful and my ancestor
It is though the posters, the drawings, the album sleeve artwork and the photographs
taken by loved ones, by those I admire, those I have lost
and by my own stubby fingers, nervous, not breathing until I press the button just right
and sweating at the disbelief of the black and white image
that no longer takes a week to process.
The walls of the only room in the house to be actually decorated fully
are covered in mementoes, of moments and people of whom I feel stare down at me
in disappointment, in shame, in hope and in love and I find that there
are only two that look upon me as equal.
From a bill poster from the play Boeing, Boeing in which three
Stewardess’ smile coyly in their pristine and starched uniforms
in which are pressed even tighter against the glass that covers their modesty,
to Steve Hackett’s signed picture of him smiling and wishing me a happy 41st
birthday and which is directly below the poster
for the tour which serves to remind me
of two great nights in Edinburgh in 2012.
There is a poster for The Alarm performing in my adopted home
hanging softly and which catches the breeze
when I open the window and only two well positioned pins
stop it from floating away when the storms hit hard against the
From Tori’s beguiling smile in which my heart beats hard for her approval
to a signed photograph of James Hetfield and Alan Alda, to the unsigned
black and white images of Tony Hancock smoking a cigarette
and Bert Trautman looking jolly but with the huge regret in his eyes as we sit and talk
of Manchester City and other despicable things.
Bobby Kennedy holding up the F.A. Cup, Nicky Weaver and Paul Dickov
celebrating the day we came back from the dead and Peter Barnes
in what should have been the start of a great era.
77th Street in which I met Carlos
and the girl I walked out on in the middle of a party.
Niagara Falls in the winter and the floating
Goliaths of white ice crashing in silent thunder onto the noiseless rocks below.
Michael Palin enjoying a joke about trains, my dad and I at a football match,
not the first one, not the last, not an important game at all, no physical reminder of
me meeting Tony Book or Ron Saunders and hearing my dad berate
the Villa manager for not signing the programme,
or of the day when I was sat miserable
at Moss Road as we plumbed the depths.
The Moor Green Juniors football team, decked out in green and black
stripes, I can name them all, we were kings of our own playground.
J. Adams’ artwork, one of only two pictures framed, my local for four years
till I stopped drinking in The Cambridge.
There is a couple of pictures to my side of Richard and I in wedding suits,
Gray, flattering, I had to do his tie before he said I do to his wife.
Pictures of my boys as boys and each one now as men and two of my God-daughters
beautiful, smiling, always remaining daughters.
The Cornish and Canadian flags, proudly flat, a picture of the Everyman Theatre
in which Roger Hodgson gets a starring role underneath my trilby hat.
A detailed map of New Jersey
and a street map of New York hanging respectfully above an exploding Tardis
bought for me by a woman I am proud to call a daughter,
in which used to hang a map of the world with pin points in
of a theory of the abandoned and sacrificed.
Mark Wilkinson and Paul McCartney are intersected by the picture of a Womble
looking like its hero Bernard Cribbins
and I remember my teenage bedroom being just as perfectly decorated
twice over as Linda Lusardi, Johann Cruyff, Paul Power and Joe Corrigan
offered me hope for the future and the tall imposing figure
of the dead eyed Eddie using the Devil as a Puppet gave me chills
more easily dealt with than the memory of the first so called happy couple picture
on another unremarkable wall.
There is a space for a picture of Pooh and I but taken by a master
of lyrical expression after a gig in London, hair short, true smiles
an adoration of the man taking the picture the incentive.
There is a final space, unhinged, unused and blank which sits directly next
to my Graduation paper. It is not unloved, it doesn’t hide a dirty stain
in which Graham Gouldman should sit and sing
every time I look there, it doesn’t represent
loss or infinity, I have no picture of you and I hugging the blue wallpaper and the space
serves no purpose at all…yet.
Ian D. Hall 2014.