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That’s Entertainment: P Weller & P Squires

November 16, 2011

I started this blog the first Saturday night in November 2007 (yes that means I just celebrated my bloggoversary! This is my 1,276 post and I’m nearing 380,000 page views…!) .

Almost immediately, Danika Dinsmore (the Accidental Novelist) told me about on an online writing community called the “Monday Poetry Train” and through that another poetry posting and commenting group “Read Write Poem” that’s now defunct. Through “Read Write Poem” a poet blogger named Paul Squires soon discovered my site and my poetry, and I his.

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted poetry on this site (on a Monday or any other day!) but The Jam is on KCRW (“A Town Called Malice”) and it makes me think of my friend poet and blogger Paul Squires and his website GingaTao who passed away in late July 2010.

Paul made me pay attention to the Jam and to Paul Weller and whenever I hear that music, Paul Squires comes to mind.

Honestly, much reminds me of Paul. Several times a day most days I run across an article online or an idea and I want to share it with Paul and talk about it. He was always sending me links pertinent to our various and sundry interests–world domination, blogging, literary art, travel, the world of the imagination, dreams, and the unconscious.

And so I cordially invite you to check out his poetry on his site  (one of my favorites, Prayer and another Listen which you can read here and Listen which you can hear here ) or mine (search for Paul Squires) and to join a celebration, a birthday party if you will, held on his birthday and in an online performance space called “The Orchid Room” which Paul instigated. Curators are folks he held in high esteem, poets who he thought understood what he was after:

Finally, I’ve put up “That’s Entertainment” because it was one of his favorite Jam songs; according to Wikipedia,  this acoustic punk song the only Jam work on Rolling Stone’s list of Top 500 songs (from 2004).   I chose this version because you can really hear the lyrics which are below. As I review them, I see both how Paul was influenced by them and how his writing incorporates the sounds and the energy of day to day existence in all of its pleasures and pains. In this, Paul was genius at providing us with his version of “That’s Entertainment.”

A police car and a screamin’ siren
Pneumatic drill and ripped-up concrete
A baby wailing, a stray dog howling
The screech of brakes and lamplight blinking

(chorus) That’s entertainment
That’s entertainment

A smash of glass and the rumble of boots
An electric train and a ripped-up phone booth
Paint-splattered walls and the cry of a tomcat
Lights going out and a kick in the balls

(chorus) I say that’s entertainment
That’s entertainment
La la la la la, ah
La la la la la, ah

Days of speed and slow-time Mondays
Pissing down with rain on a boring Wednesday
Watching the news and not eating your tea
A freezing cold flat with damp on the walls

(chorus: I say that’s entertainment)

Waking up at 6 A.M. on a cool warm morning
Opening the windows and breathing in petrol
An amateur band rehearsing in a nearby yard
Watching the telly and thinking ’bout your holidays

(That’s entertainment)

Waking up from bad dreams and smoking cigarettes
Cuddling a warm girl and smelling stale perfume
A hot summer’s day and sticky black tarmac
Feeding ducks in the park and wishing you were far away

(That’s entertainment)

Two lovers kissing masks a scream of midnight
Two lovers missing the tranquility of solitude
Getting a cab and travelling on buses
Reading the grafitti about slashed-seat affairs

(I say that’s entertainment)

Thanks, Paul, for bringing so much richness, so much wealth to my life. I miss you more than I could have ever imagined.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 16, 2011 9:03 pm

    Lovely tribute post, Gwendolyn. So many of my blog friends have made an incredible impact on my life. Where would I be without them? How would I know about Burning Man, if not for you? And how would I have done the 3:15 Experiment, if not for you?

  2. November 16, 2011 9:29 pm

    I know! Paul had a huge impact on my life. I’m not as active visiting other people’s blogs and commenting like I ueed to…spending more time writing now that I have blogs on bicycling, wine, etc and then there’s time for my family!

    But the relationships that have built over the years are very important. Thanks for commenting! Hope to see you in the Orchid Room!

  3. November 17, 2011 4:16 pm

    thanks for the tribute and the song and I’ll check out the orchid room on the 19th. I didn’t know Paul as well as you did, but I did enjoy his work and his energy and his encouragement. We had a few exchanges over blog posts and poems. one thing I appreciated was when he commented, it was apparent he had read and thought about the post and wasn’t just tossing off a “great post!”

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