Tied to the 90s – Ben Banyard

Tied to the 90s

She’s kept all her tapes, CD singles, scratched vinyl.
The t-shirts she bought at gigs at toilet venues
where sweat poured from the walls and tangled her hair.
Refuses MP3 players, iTunes, cloud content
which she cannot hoard, keep safe, archive.

She remembers personal stereos slowing to sludge
when the batteries wore out, cassettes unspooled, devoured 
by the mechanism, tape heads which muffled sound, 
had to be cleaned gently with a cotton bud.

It’s a small rented house in a town you don’t visit.
She has young kids, a son and daughter who share a room.
They know Oasis, Pulp, Manics, Ride, Neds,
Carter USM, Pop Will Eat Itself, The Wonder Stuff.

Know too that their mum draws strength from those bands,
comes alive when they ask her about those years;
there was a brief moment in the spring of 1997
when the world caught fire and possibility shone through.
She likes to stay there some days, doesn’t go in to work.

Ben Banyard lives in Portishead on the Severn Estuary. He has published two collections of poetry, Communing (Indigo Dreams, 2016) and We Are All Lucky (Indigo Dreams, 2018) with a third, Hi-Viz, due out from YAFFLE in Spring 2021. He blogs at https://benbanyard.wordpress.com

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