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Saturday, February 13, 2016

Some Re-posted stuff from Cottonopolis

LITTLE MISS COTTON
Little Miss Cotton Cottonopolis
rocks her baby at the factory
in the cradle of industry.
It’ll soon be noon in boom and bust
And she’s just twenty-four hours ahead
She knows that by this time tomorrow
that the whole world will follow
every single word that she said.
And she said:
We’re going to build a canal to bring
coal to town and to link us to the sea.
At noon the next day
the whole world laughed
and said that she was daft
but they waited and they watched
and they copied her by half past three.
And she said:
We’re going to build about
two thousand mills each one eight floors high
with chimney stacks that scrape the sky
we’ll power the looms in boom and bust
with the new technology that we trust
and we’ll fuel those steam engines with coal
that we’ll cart up the Bridgewater canal and
the finished goods we’ll send across the sea.
At noon the next day
the whole world laughed
and said that she was daft
but they waited and they watched
and they copied her by half past three.
And she said:
We’re going to build a passenger railway station
and lay tracks to every city in the nation
and build new dormitory towns to house the hoi polloi.
At noon the next day
the whole world laughed
and said that she was daft
but they waited and they watched
and they copied her by half past three.
And she said:
We’re going to build a university
and a new town hall
a free library and art gallery
and public parks for all.
At noon the next day
the whole world laughed
and said that she was daft
but they waited and they watched
and they copied her by half past three.
And she said:
We’re going to build a ship canal
so ships can come to us
thirty-five miles from the sea.
At noon the next day
no one laughed
or said that she was daft
but they waited and they watched
and the ship canal officially opened in 1894.
011208

First free public Library, Manchester 1653
First real canal (not river assisted) 1761
The Bridgewater Canal Manchester 1761
First steam powered mill Arkwright’s, Manchester 1783
First passenger Railway Station, Manchester 1830
Manchester Ship Canal officially opened May 21st. 1894 
by Queen Victoria
First Red Brick UniversityManchester 1824

WHATSIT?
Little Miss Crochet
up from Whatsit?
queues outside the
monastery gates for
bread and honey and
her baby cries for the
milk that she’s not got
and across town the
dark satanic mills
rise up eight floors
above the cut and
the phallic chimneys
tower one hundred
and eighty foot into
the air belching smog
that hurts your eyes
and the bargees down
below are blindly carting
coals to fuel the loom
in bust and boom
and even as the tracks
are going down for the
worlds first passenger
railway station
across the road she still
shares half the basement
with eight children and two
drunken and abusive men
there’s no sanitation yet
they dump and hit and miss
in the river and kill the fish
almost next door to the
Italianate warehouse fronts
of the Nouveau riche that line
in eighteen twenty nine
the streets of Cottonopolis
301108

Cottonopolis = nickname for Manchester UK 
in the nineteenth century
Bargee = boatman on a canal barge
Cut = canal
Whatsit? = the countryside

WHAT WAS COTTON? (STOLON OCTOPI)
Sloppy Joe's, mee-mawing, 'what was cotton?'
There they were knocking up the worlds trousers
Once upon a time when the mills were here
Lentil soup for supper, I think, innit?
Outer Mongolia's, eating lentils
Now that the post production rot's got out

Only who could spin a yarn like that now
Cotton was the pride of Manchester once
Trousers that would change the world if only...
Outside in the cold light of day pissed up
Pissed off with the way that they've been kicked out
Innit! and a bit of bread with your slop...
18102011/6

WHAT WAS COTTON? (REVEALED)
Cotton was the pride of Manchester once
Once upon a time when the mills were here
There they were knocking up the worlds trousers
Trousers that would change the world if only...
Only who could spin a yarn like that now
Now that the post production rot's got out
Outside in the cold light of day pissed up
Pissed off with the way that they've been kicked out
Outer Mongolia's, eating lentils
Lentil soup for supper, I think, innit?
Innit! and a bit of bread with your slop...
Sloppy Joe's, mee-mawing, 'what was cotton?'
17102011/1

THEY FOLLOW
Uni-ted in Lublin Warsawza and Dublin
Uni-ted are big in Hong Kong
Uni-ted are thunder, they cheer from Down Under
Uni-ted are strong in Korea

Uni-ted Uni-ted from Bang Kwok to Blighty
Uni-ted they sing in Cadiz
But down my street we all follow the blues
Home, away, win, or lose

‘Cos you know what they say down my end,
well me and my mates anyway
There’s two big teams in Manchester;
City and City reserves
260409

THREE TO THREE PAST THREE ON A SATURDAY AFTERNOON
ON THE KIPPAX STREET IN MOSS 
SIDE MANCHESTER IN 1969
It was Saturday afternoon at three o’clock when the chant went up.
Manchester Boot Boys!
And the Bovver Girls joined in, taking the bubble gum out of their mouths.
And expertly spinning it round and round and round an index finger.
Manchester Boot Girls!
They cried, flicking the sticky gum over the heads of the police line.
Towards the Rockers who gathered on the left side of the steep terrace.
The Boot Boys were a makeshift mob of Skinheads and Scooter-boys and Mods.
Most had Steelies, Hobbies and Docs on their feet and the Mods wore Oxfords.
The Bovver Girls wore Monkey Boots to the match in those days, with red socks.
And the Mods and the Skinheads and the Bovver girls all wore Crombie coats.
The Scooter-boys had Fishtail Parka’s with tin badges on the front.
They rode Lambretta’s with ‘Sex Machine’ emblazoned on the side panels.
The Greasers wore leather jackets with studs and sleeveless denim colours.
They all said that they rode Triumph Bonneville’s and six-fifty Norton’s.
The ageing Ted’s used to stand next to the Rockers on the left hand side.
The Ted’s always wore their drainpipes and winkle pickers or blue suede shoes.
When the game went quiet the Bikers would taunt the Scooter-boys like this:
‘Are you there skin?’
They would sing,
And the chant would come back,
‘Are you there Grease?
And the Rockers would laugh, giving a little wave to provoke the Mods.
‘Back to school on Monday!’
The Greaser’s would jeer.
‘Back to school on Monday!
But soon things would settle down and the whole of the Kippax Street would cheer.
When City scored a goal – everywhere, all round the ground the chant would ring.
Manchester la, la, la, la,
Manchester la, la,la, la...
MSC261107
This is a link to a story about the Moss Side Stadium with pictures of The Kippax Street Stand!
http://www.uit.no/mancity/club/maine_road.html

MANCHESTER TARTS
Up in flames like the chippy on China Lane
This car park on a vacant lot
Was once the site of the burnt out shell
Of the only shop that didn’t get bombed in the war

Shoulder to shoulder shoehorned to attention  
All ages and colours and creeds
From Piccadilly to the Daily Express
With their photographic memories
Those beautiful buildings mesmerising me

Drawing us all - including you - into
The bestest little city in the world
And how we miss our china plates
Woolworth's and The Queen's Hotel
New Brown Street and Swan Lane
And whatever happened to Tommy Ducks

For forty-five years I’ve wanted to paint you  
Map you - photograph you half to death
Your shop fronts change - logos come and go
But the beauty of your facades remain

It’s funny how so many young thin  
Fashionista’s like such old fashioned things
All those gold and diamond rings
That they buy from the pawn shop
Where the sex shop used to be

Some people never get sick and old
They tell the same jokes that they were told
Sell the brown brogues that they sold
In eighteen-sixty-nine and the years unfold
Like the Tib Street Parrot and the price of gold

Fashion is the passion for all ages
The vintage clothes stores are the New Oasis
The inking parlours and the piercing places
For the café cavemen and The Millstone Elvis  
We all fall down in the middle Yates’s

Glitterista and her sister are out on the razz
If looks could kill in mum’s ball gown
Up to the nines in The Castle and all that jazz
The wholesale markets are well out of bounds

Advertising boards now clutter the pavements
The hairdressers and the bargain basements
From Diet Deli to the gutter - screaming
All Day Breakfast’s - Bacon and Sausage Barm’s
Non Stop Breakfasts’s - Free Coffee Refills
Hot Custard - Bakewell puddings - Manchester Tarts

But this is an empty car park on a vacant lot
That was once the site of the burnt out shell
Of the only shop that didn’t get bombed in the war
131115

Bluechester
Ragchester, Fanchester
MANCHESTER
Ragchester, Fanchester
Bluechester...
190209

If you think any of the above are new words then think again.
I googled Fanchester and it gave me 143,000,000 hits!

SHINING SHOES
Shining shoes at Waterloo, his medals at his side.
Jon was born in Salford in Eighteen ninety-five.
His Daddy came from Ireland a digger of the ditch -
The Ship Canal to Manchester -
that kept that city rich.
His Mammy was a mill lass in Ancoats Lancashire
She worked long days for little pay -
nothing much to cheer.
Jon's Grandpa was a Bargee -
on The Bridgewater
carting coals from Worsley to dirty Manchester.
By Nineteen ten, Jon’s schooling done –
an apprenticeship that was no fun …
from early morn to after dark
at an engineer's in Trafford Park.
At eighteen he went to France
to fight the German might.
Jon lost all his pals there but he came back alright!
He's got one leg to stand on
but man can't live on pride
shining shoes for farthings his medals at his side.
AS 1991

Glossary:
Waterloo is a railway station in London.
A Bargee lived and worked on the canal barges.
The Bridgewater is the oldest proper canal in England.
Ancoats is an area of Manchester where many cotton mills stand.
Trafford Park had many factories.
Farthings are old money, four farthings = one penny.
The Medals are from the First World War 1914-1918.

From my Paris collection:

VINGT GITANES
I wander alone in this great place
no-one bothers me, hardly,
apart from a few girls,
calling out of upstairs windows after dark.
'Hey English!' and 'Sprecken sie Deutch?'
But I'm tongue tied, except for 
Vingt Gitanes, Sil vous plait!

and Merci becoup, Madamossell!
After a while I start to read the shop front names.
The street signs come alive -
Rue de St. Germain, Montparnasse
and Parc de Champs de Mars.
Advertising bollards suck me in.
Newspaper HEADLINES shout at me.
Eventually, I speak my first French sentence.
But the girl behind the Turkish bar
answers me in broken English.
Chicago, hey Mac? she asks.
Manchester! I tell her.
Oh, Bobby Charlton, she grins.
And I can't tell if she's taking the piss
out of my haircut, or what?
From 1987 rewritten 20697

My version of Shakespeare's sonnet 18:

ON THE EIGHTH DAY
On the eighth day god created Manchester
More lovely than any place he made
Rough winds and rain to come before Easter
Summer’s over before the world cup’s played

And yet a heat wave has been forecast soon
The sick squid all rides free unfair funfair
This week the planets line up with the moon
It’s not coincidence that we’ll be there

But our eternal summer’s still to come
As everything around us fades away
Our fair ground at Platt Fields will still be fun
And the eternal tightrope will not fray

So long as we with third eye still can see
Enslave the queen and this gives life to me
080414

WHEELS WITHIN WHEELS
Any bit of sunshine brings them out
outside my front gate this morning
mourning the death of this cold spring
rings on their fingers banging tins.

Tinsel town it's not - Sunchester
Manchester with wheels - tyres screeching
ching ching cheers the mad mullah sings
singing over his car radio.

Radiotelegraphy phew!
hewn with an axe wheels within wheels
heels from 
Columbia - streetwise
wisdom comes from knowledge acquired.

Acquitted but guilty as sin
Sinbad  says - any bit of sunshine.
300413
Thanks for reading this mini-collection

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