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Phil Simmons was born in 1959 and suffered a grammar school education in the Home Counties. He has lived in London, Alexandria, Paris and Nottinghamshire. In 1996 he settled in Yorkshire, met his wife Maggie, and began publishing his poetry in small magazines. He has two previous collections: "An Exhibition of Himself" and "The Trotskyist Cat Poems" (with Gordon Wardman), both by Mynah Poets, 1999.

The poems in this pamphlet are by turns elegiac, celebratory, reflective. There are tributes to heroes past and present, and the poems, both humorous and moving, look back on a life and times steeped in the dark music of the title.

‘Energy, strength of subject, a surreal yet realistic quality’
Fred Voss

Read the extract below:

Dark and Evil Music
Phil Simmons
ISBN: 0-9537634-1-2
£2.50/$5.00  Out of print


for Joe Strummer

Every last punter’s been drinking since daybreak.
Now they’re roaring their hearts out at each passing lyric -
innocent, guilty alike. And all sound alike, give or take.
a few beers. A lad with a voice like lead-piping ensures
Everybody Hurts. A man who’s been drunk every day
of his fifty-nine years and can no more remember his name
than the words to Ghost Riders, yippee-i-ays it out anyway.
The Junior Lesbian Club in the corner are snogging unnoticed
till one gets a cheer for her YMCA (post-Foucault, postmodern,
past caring, this pub. And bloody good drugs in the beer.)

Someone too young to remember McCartney half-stoned
and half-miming on Top of the Pops loses count
of the na-na-na-nas in Hey Jude (Thirteen
then fade, if you’re bothered. He’s not. He’s knocked
down, but gets up again. He will survive.)
And elderly Elvis is back from the grave,
wishing he was in the land of cotton.

The grey
quiffs are silent, some fugitive dream resurrected:
one touch of grace, one year’s rebellion ? Sequins flash
unseen on desert air. Babies hush their crying.

A big lass in leather kicks off the refrain.
We’re out before our heresy’s detected.

Glory, glory, Elvis Presley.
Is, and was, and always will be.

(John Smith’s, Boddie’s, lie a-mouldering.
Their truth is howled in song.)