Frankly, Mr Morrissey

“Everyone grows out of their Morrissey phase. Except Morrissey”

Sean Hughes

“If you must write prose and poems, the words you use should be your own, don’t plagiarise or take on loan…”

Some other fool

Frankly Mr Morrissey, these positions you hold, they grab and devour, and lead us headlong into harm.

It’s time I settle the score – I’ve come to wish you an unhappy birthday, and I would like to give you this gift, in which I re-issue, re-package, and re-evaluate your words…

Why?  

Well, there are some bad people on the rise – the Newsworld hands them stardom. They’re saving their own skins by ruining other people’s lives. They creep into my thoughts like a bad debt that I can’t pay, and in the wasteland of my head I hear the shrill cry of:  

“you still don’t belong to anywhere.”

And as evil people prosper, you, the one who claims to care, what do YOU do? You say “shelve your western plans…life is hard enough when you belong here.” There is no one but yourself to blame – guilt by implication, by association.

But nobody minds.                                                                  

The fawning give you every opportunity. They are half-ashamed of your meat-is-murder radical views but nothing else leaves a disenchanted taste in their mealy mouths. They’d sacrifice all of their principles for you, or else they’re too jaded to question stagnation.

“The songs we sing, they’re not supposed to mean a thing.”

They’d rather not get involved – they ignore all the new songs, and cling to the old. But my patience is stretched. These words you use –  they’re too close to home and they’re too near the bone.

You don’t know a thing about us, our loves and hates and passions, yet you look into our eyes, and still you think that we’re faceless, with no right to take our place in the human race. The land that we stand on is ours, as well!

My man, get your vile soul dry-cleaned

“What became of you?” they hoarsely cry, “why did you change?” But have you changed? Really? The hate hangs too freely on your lips, like a dulling wine, to be something new.

You royalties brought you luxuries, but the squalor of the mind…oh, how the boy next door turned out. “Used to be a sweet boy!” they hoarsely cry, as they are shocked and ashamed to discover…but they should have known where you’d gone because again and again you’ve explained –

“England for the English!”

Somewhere deep in the cell of your heart, (amid concrete and clay and general decay) you’ve always needed to cling to something – to the old dreams, miserable lies, to an afternoon nostalgia, to an England hemmed in like a boar between arches. Further into the fog you fell, hiding from The Bomb, Hindley, belligerent ghouls, the unholy stench of murder…

                BUT

There once lay behind the hatred a gentle tone of kindness, a fumbling politeness, and some hope! I am remembering the time when I was 16, clumsy and shy. I spent warm summer days indoors writing frightening verse (that’s nothing, you should have heard me play piano). Back at the old grey school – I can smile about it now but at the time it was terrible. I was prematurely sad, equally dour, I walked a pace behind you, (very closely, like a moth to a flame) for I thought that you knew the full extent of my distress. You asked me to get along with myself and say – “if I seem a little strange, that’s because I am.” You claimed that whilst scavenging through life’s very constant lulls, all that a tremulous heart required was a devout faith in love – a light that never goes out.

Except then you let your juvenile influences sway, you took the easy way and gave in – who did you turn to when you were backstage? To a grown man who said he’d cure your ills?

Vile frustration rendered you hateful – you can’t see the good things anymore, just the bad things. Gripped with the romance of crime, you stay with your own kind – spineless swines, cemented minds, jealous of youth – these are the last “truly British” people you’ll ever know? (please keep them). Try living in the real world, instead of a shell.

The person underneath – where did he go – did he slide by the wayside, or did he just die?

Entwined in the midst of this, I just can’t find my place in this world, and there’s nowhere to go but down. But to give up would be a bad mistake. I’m older now, and a clever swine. I had just about scraped through, but now, I’ll fight to the last breath – I’ll boot the grime of this world in the crotch, dear. Yes I KNOW it’s so easy to laugh, it’s so easy to hate, and it takes guts to be gentle and kind. Yes I KNOW Heavy words are so lightly thrown, but I’m too tired.

Now, I’m so sick and tired because anything is hard to find – for heaven’s sake – because enough is too much! The critics make me feel so ashamed because I’ve only got two hands – how can they say I go about things the wrong way, for having rejected being gentle and kind?

Show me a barrel and watch me scrape it…

Politely, at first. I’m so sick and tired of this land’s cheerless marches – fifteen miles of shit. But when they try to break my spirit – it won’t work, nor will they infiltrate my mind.

Until the earth that wants me finally has me, I will be brash, outrageous and free – at ease – fighting ignorance, dust and disease, until darkness lifts and the room is bright from a sun shining on a better world – not in the next world or another world – this world.

So now you. People said you were virtually dead but they were so wrong. Your name still conjures up deadly deeds. Your songs – more songs than I can stand – are just any excuse to write more lies.

Here you are, just another who has maddening views, you poor, freezingly cold soul, just another lock-jawed pop star thicker than pig shit, nothing to convey, too scared to show intelligence (it might smear your lovely career).

In the days when you were hopelessly poor, I just liked you more…

Old friend, your prejudice won’t keep you warm tonight. An inbuilt guilt catches up with you…at 5am – wakes you up, and you wonder why the love you long for eludes you…can you see (the) answer in your heart? Can you delve so low?

Full of fear, you cling to the old songs that once made me laugh, the songs that once made me cry, and you ask me “when you’re dancing and laughing and finally living, will you hear my voice in your head and think of me kindly?” –

Frankly? Thank you, but no. You frame of useless limbs, I don’t owe you anything. What can make good all the bad that’s been done?

I must leave you behind me tonight. Please put your tongue away, good and proper, forever.

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