The shipyard painter, political activist and razor-sharp cartoonist Bob Starrett has just written a new book The Way I See It on his eventful life and times. Below we reprint one of his stories and review an essential read
ENO's production of La Boheme is a triumph,
On a mega-yacht, no less, brandishing
an innuendoed Möet overflow,
bronzed, with trouty-pouting babes-a-go-go.
Oh, copper-bellied kleptocratic king,
pray budgie-smugly flaunt your bling-a-ling
to advertise what everybody knows,
you crass comb-over Russo-mafioso,
which is, restraint and taste are not your thing
but, grudgingly, we have to give full marks for
the way you reify consumption, greed,
and keep the groveling poor down on their knees.
Yes, you’re the sort of immigrant we need,
so why not help yourself to half of Berkshire
and annex sodding Knightsbridge, won’t you, please.
Tim Turnbull was born and raised in North Yorkshire. After leaving school he worked for the Forestry Commission for eight years before leaving to study forestry at Newton Rigg in Cumbria. He works as a freelance tutor and as a consultant specialising in adult literacy publishing. He has been writer in residence at HMP Open Estate, HMP Edinburgh and HMYOI Werrington and he was awarded the Arts Foundation’s Performance Poetry Fellowship in January 2006. He has been widely published in magazines and on the web and his most recent book, The Camden Art Redemption Miracle, is available from Donut Press.
Well Versed is edited by Jody Porter