Garrison's Gorillas

Garrison's Gorillas

A Poem by Vanessa Whiteley

 

 

 
In those days Mods and Rockers
were faded newspaper headlines
21st century teenage knife crime
was unimaginable decades ahead.
 
Native Americans were Indians,
who still chased stage coaches
across flickering screens, albeit,
some sided with the good guys .
 
Questions were being asked
regarding America’s destiny
and minority rights - but not by us. 
Our protests and wants were simple.
 
Teachers still taught about Empire,
how we had ruled far off countries
whose inhabitants wore turbans,
rode elephants and sometimes
 
killed soldiers like Clive. Our heroes,
Commandos from stateside prisons –
Actor, Casino, Goniff and Chief –
picked pockets, robbed banks.
 
Then there was that flick of the knife
the subtle twist of the wrist. We were
hooked regardless of the stereotype. 
Even as High School girls crammed
 
for exams, we Eleven plus letdowns
scribbled notes concerning the latest
episodes and ignored tomorrow
by focusing on last night’s TV. 

 

© 2009 Vanessa Whiteley


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Featured Review

Wow, that brought back memories. I remember that TV show. I have always been facinated about how America looked to the rest of the world. I grew up feeling a sense of manifest destiny. We were right and the rest of the world needed to see that (for their own good).

Thanks for the look back.

Very well written as in direct and to the point while telling your memories.

Posted 15 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

This is a powerful poem really capturing an essence of the time. The lines where you say :'questions were being asked/regarding America's destiny/and minotity rights - but not by us,' are brilliant because of how you make us reconsider it at the end: 'but not by us.' Shameful really when you think of it. It is strange how society has progressed becoming so much more inclusive and yet regressed too: knife crime a representation of man's most animalist instincts. What I found really powerful in this poem though is how you show the escapism of the girls into the programmes because they are so scared of what tomorrow might bring:

. We were
hooked regardless of the stereotype.
Even as High School girls crammed

for exams, we Eleven plus letdowns
scribbled notes concerning the latest
episodes and ignored tomorrow
by focusing on last night's TV.

Heart-rendering, I had a lump in my throat.


Posted 15 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Empire and empire, all woven around the framework of prime-time television. Pithy, observant, and well-built piece of writing.

Posted 15 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wow, that brought back memories. I remember that TV show. I have always been facinated about how America looked to the rest of the world. I grew up feeling a sense of manifest destiny. We were right and the rest of the world needed to see that (for their own good).

Thanks for the look back.

Very well written as in direct and to the point while telling your memories.

Posted 15 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.


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Added on May 14, 2009
Last Updated on May 15, 2009

Author

Vanessa Whiteley
Vanessa Whiteley

Bristol, England



About
Born in 1560 in Stratford-upon-Avon. I have a passion for writing but my parents wanted me to marry early. I ran away from home to see if I could make my fortune in London as my older brother had d.. more..

Writing