Photo by John Williams (2009)











































Margate Meltdown

They closed the sea front road
near the gallery where Tracey
does her shows.
Felt tip scribbles, open gash
screaming titles about
need and loss.

Thereís a warning sign
for mums with prams
about the adult content
on the floor above
but they donít mind
itís in the name of love

and the guys from the Ace Cafť
donít give a toss
as they stand in stair-rod rain
and high-viz vests
herding cars
like collie dogs.

Thereís a hundred bikes
instead of cars
parked in pin-stripe rows
on the sea front road
and all the bars are filled
with leathered bikers.

The singer with the quiff
skanks jive and skiffle
as if punk never happened.
But you notice most
the guy with the crutch
and the biker with the oxygen mask.

This is the age of grey rockabilly.
Not the high-speed spill
off a Triumph Bonneville
itís an arthritis pill.

This is the age of grey rockabilly.
Dig the diluted spliff
the in-bed-before-eleven riff
the Sabbath tee-shirt pocked by moths

the clock-watching Goth
the tattoo re-spray
the skull and cross bones
etched on the tank

of a forty year old Harley
this is the vanguard
of the Alternative
in all its faded glory.