Dear Birmingham by Spoz

Dear Birmingham,

Somewhere between pre pubescent intoxication

And the Broad Street slags that became the new generation

Of mothers and fathers,

A blurred family of be-cycled helmets

Are unfazed by the fenced off funfair that fun forgot.

So they just kept going,

Never really knowing whether this was just another act

Of wanton neglect that they had grown to expect,

Or whether, Birmingham, like so many other things …

You were going to get round to it … sometime … soon … honest.

You see Birmingham,

You hadn’t put any money in the meter for months,

Turning it in to a health and safety hazard,

Sodden in winter, awaiting the blizzard.

And somewhere in your Birmingham air,

A Morrissey melody makes its way down from Manchester.

Not everyday is like Sunday everywhere,

But today … in this and a few more corners of the city … it was.

Racing cars had been impounded,

Spaceships and rockets were grounded

And the novelty merry-go-round sounded sorry for itself

As it drowned in its unrelenting hushes …

No laughing …

No playing …

No adrenalin rushes.

But there were blue skies once Birmingham,

As blue as a Saturday afternoon at St. Andrews.

And win or lose you’re still free to choose the avenues

That lead to our sunshine within …

Cue cello strings and violins, ELO’s and Jeff Lynns

One love ends as another begins

And your sins are forgiven, your slate wiped clean,

Short memories forget where you had once been.

And you have been in love Birmingham … I know you have,

Because you’ve seen the stars reflect in your reservoirs,

But you’ve also seen new born calves

Slaughtered in your abattoirs,

Been a bystander and stood by on faux pas,

Crashed into parked cars and walked away from the scene,

Neglecting to wipe your arse coming out of the latrine…

… you daft bastard.

Birmingham … we’re splayed out resplendent on your bed,

Like a party frock on prom night,

Waiting for you to grab our love handles

And rodger us to within an inch of our lives.

But sometimes … you’re as limp as a lettuce in a desert,

As flaccid as a ninety year old stoner on acid, drunk on gin,

Sometimes … you just can’t thumb it in.

Sometimes … you babble like a brook

When you could rage like a river,

Sometimes … you’re like a dodgy UPS truck …

You just don’t deliver.

But Birmingham, I will always continue to give you my all.

Every mess of excess and thoughtless shortfall,

You’ve been maimed and mauled but remain immortal,

The welcome mat at the door for every beck and call.

There was always room at your Inn for my dad and mum

Yes Brum, it didn’t matter where they came from,

You shot and bombed them in one decade,

Then helped them out in the next one.

You’ve been butchered by the country, heckled and harassed,

Broken tools and triple heart bypassed,

Forced to be the underclass

Just because of the way you speak.

And you know it’s bleak when

Elocution electrocution treatment is a must,

Or be defined by your accent … shit or bust.

But I trust you Birmingham.

I trust your half cut grins and gin soaked whims

That swim like breeze blocks in speedos.

But we know you’ve been short changed, slightly deranged

And never fully fulfilled your function

They interchanged you … like spaghetti junction – them bastards.

Shiny,

Shitty,

Shoddy,

“Cum on feel the noise” said Noddy.

Dodgy scores and Ozzy Osbourne’s roars,

Pouring scorn aboard profanity’s shoulders,

But nobody told us you were catching boulders

Fired from Tolkien’s catapults,

Where far canals get closer on aqueducts.

Shires were born on your hills and mills,

Giving birth to middle earth,

You read the books of countless towers and crystal palaces,

Took gulps from poisoned chalices and flaccid fallacies,

Handed down by the lying limbs of bastards’ calluses,

You really know what malice is…

But I still can’t resist yer…

You’re slightly taboo like my best friend’s sister.

Birmingham, don’t listen when them bastards start dissin’

‘Cause I love you more with three or four marbles missing.

They tell me you have lied, but I don’t believe a word,

As town council after town council

Polishes and paints turds

Before shitting out new ones

And a million Gary Newbons will laugh at the sport

Of a hundred councillors that have sold you short – them bastards.

And they used to say you were a city of a thousand trades,

Most of which are now “streamlined” or “out sourced”,

Forced out by bean counters and gaffers who were paid off

Then let off like Barabas,

Leaving you and your people with the abacus

To count the real cost,

And for every skill and resource lost and tossed into landfill

You … our Mother of Invention will give birth to ten more …

Some maybe still born … some are feral yet fragile

Some are live and kicking,

Frantically flipping the bird to all who say …

“But aren’t you from that City?”

Yes I fucking am you bastards.

I’m of you and from you Birmingham

And I’ll keep hitting them as long as you keep serving them

Swerving them balls around walls beyond keepers’ reaches

‘Till our features are rich like the suns of beaches.

Beautiful Brum, keep cocking a deaf ‘un

To them bastards who think you need teaching a lesson

They get thrills to instil you with fear and distress an’

They’re just cold meat … you’re the delicatessen.

So Birmingham, when them bastards try to tell you

That you’re the dog shit stuck on their shoe

Tell them that you won’t wash off,

Tell them you’re the trash can full of untold gems,

Tell them you’re the dandelion flower amidst their bouquet stems…

Tell them you’ll keep getting up

After every punch in the guts or kick to the nuts,

Tell them that you just don’t give a fuck.

Laughing with your yellowed teeth,

Laughing like the bullied boy

Who stands up high when bullets fly,

‘Cause he’s way past caring …

Laughing like the mad beggar who has two tenths of fuck all

Yet still insists on sharing.

Laughing long,

Laughing loud,

Laughing proud … at them bastards.

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