The Looney Bin Blues
A RECIPE FOR RIOTS
Riots in the inner city
Are the Tory recipe.
They call ‘security, stability and opportunity’,
All the privilege of exclusivity.
Better the point of view of Groucho Marx,
Expressed in one of his fine remarks
“I wouldn’t dream of joining a club that lets in people like me”
He said in perfect parody…
The Looney Bin Blues is a collection of poetry inspired by the author’s current country of residence, Mexico, as well as his hometown of Watford in England.
The collection covers a broad range of subject areas and themes from Cooke’s take on secularism, to a tribute to his former place of study, Thames Valley University, and a touching ode to his partner Maricruz and her two sons. It also takes a controversial attitude to prejudice and discrimination against mental illness, citing examples of great figures in history who were also mentally ill, such as the poet William Blake and the singer Amy Winehouse.
The Looney Bin Blues will appeal to those looking for an irreverent yet thought-provoking volume of poetry, plus fans of Tristram’s previous books.
Tristram Cooke enjoyed a successful career as a lecturer. He has previously published three other collections of poetry: Staggering Through, Welcome to the Third World and The Lanes Also Remember (all Matador, 2016). He currently lives in Mexico.
The Lanes Also Remember
This book of poems is a first published collection by the author, with each of the twenty poems accompanied by a specially commissioned original painting.
Alternating between highly personal and family recollections and more general topics, including politics and the state of today’s world, the tone is firmly set with the opening poem, THE COLOUR OF A ROSE, in which the author delves in a quasi-Shakespearian fashion – A rose by any other name – his inner passion for an unknown woman and the symbolic rose of all non-declared loves.
Welcome to the Third World
Tristram’s second book, a specially-commissioned painting accompanying each of the twenty-eight poems which form this new collection. The artist, Cherry, has once again captured the essence of each of the poems quite remarkably, and her work seems to enhance the poet’s voice in a subtle and simple manner that adds a unique charm to each of his books. But here, we get a new sense of the author’s scarcely-contained anger which was absent from his previous book, and a lot of these poems are statements which reveal perhaps a darker side to the lyrical poet.
This third volume of Tristram Cooke’s poetry follows on from the previous two collections, with each poem suitably accompanied by an original painting, executed by his now-habitual artist, Cherry, who once again captures the essence of each of the poems in her accurately portrayed and vivid images.
But it is of course the poems themselves that hold the reader’s attention, this time twenty-five in number, and with once again a kind of variations-on-a-theme ever-present, as a quixotic element runs through a lot of this new collection.