Staring into the Eyes of Johnny Mathis in a Sue Ryder

by Oliver James Lomax

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Staring Into The Eyes Of Johnny Mathis In A Sue Ryder So it has come to this Johnny, playing such a small room sandwiched between Acker Bilk and The Bay City Rollers Greatest Hits LP like a Swarovski crystal in the rough these long afternoons without her have really got me climbing the walls you see Johnny she has killed any chance of a romantic ending like a safety net catching the plummeting 1966 Thunderbird Convertible of Thelma and Louise allowing them to each serve two consecutive life sentences in complete isolation and now each poem reads as though it has been a false errand like the time I took my Ultimate Warrior wrestling figure to Lourdes on a school trip and bathed his broken action in holy water although my love is permanently shelved like a toby jug of a Lake poet staring into the middle distance until she decide to take a long drink from my head and I should really know better, heed the warning signs feel the prophetic armada sailing through my bloodstream with every ship carrying a ruby eyed figurehead of her yet still I want to sing it out loud unafraid of public assassination like an open top motorcade carrying presidential teddy bears waving at an 8mm camera with light hearted insouciance like a lone cellist on the moon playing to no witness in the Sea of Tranquility even though she sometimes looked at me as if you were wearing a onesie of a past lover and she said the cruelest things in the kindest voice like John Le Mesurier recording an audio book of Mein Kampf and told me I was constantly out of touch as though I was walking through the Apple surgery holding a helium balloon of a novelty Snoopy telephone everything is getting increasingly worse by the day Johnny it’s like watching a 1950’s biopic of an Avon salesman who has crash landed on a planet completely void of narcissism and her friends at the research facility say that they always knew it was going to end badly as if they had discovered ancient Pictish cave drawings of our most famous arguments I have tried to put things right like Francis Ford Coppola desperately removing disc 3 from every Godfather trilogy boxset but you know things are over forever when you type the name of someone you love into a search engine that’s worse than trying to contact a deceased dyslexic relative on a Ouija board her ghost is a voided gin bottle on a student windowsill and I am the church candle driven into its neck crying heavy tears I wish I could jump into you circa 1958 Johnny like Scott Baluka in Quantum Leap and that Ziggy wouldn’t be able to return me to the present day so that I could have great hair and wear gold confidently and not look like I’d made a panicked decision from the pages of the Argos catalogue so I to could be regal you have been rounded up Johnny from 99p to a Pound because Val at the counter is sick of walking to the bank twice a day for a hoard of one pence pieces she is looking at me strangely probably because I have been talking to a record sleeve for the last five minutes and if this Sue Ryder had a panic button she would have hit it by now but fuck her because I have spotted an early Clarice Cliff egg cup that must have slipped under the donation radar and we are out of here I’m taking you with me to Johnny I just want to get you home and play Misty for me.
Don’t Laugh At My Astro Turf Diane Don’t laugh at my Astro Turf Diane At least I’ve not forgotten who I am It’s not so long back your kids used to call me Mam So don’t you dare, fucking laugh, at my Astro Turf Diane The lads have rolled that out better than Universal Credit Is your new patio paved with the books of Norman Tebbit? On your bike, you’re talking tripe, the meek will never inherit I’m still waiting at the alms window for my direct debit And so what, if my new back lawn has a six yard box and a penalty spot It’s my field of dreams; I’m just doing the best with what I’ve got I didn’t want any charity garden D.I.Y S.O.S from a crooning Nick Knowles My little pitch was once graced by an infant Paul Scholes I’ve some pride left, leave me with that My hearts on the breadline, but that’s intact Go on, you can get out I liked you better when you had nowt You might be laughing all the way to the food bank, next season of giving My Astro Turf is just like you love; it’s a substitute for living.


A new poem by Oliver James Lomax written about discovering an old Johnny Mathis L.P whilst shopping in a Sue Ryder charity shop and consulting him on the matters of love, with piano accompaniment from the wonderfully talented Martin Taylor.


released January 29, 2019

Written and performed by Oliver James Lomax
Music and piano accompaniment by Martin Taylor
Engineered, recorded and mastered by Tim Thomas at Blueprint Studios Manchester
Filming, photography and cover design by Grania Estrella McLaughlin


all rights reserved



Cityscape Records Bolton, UK

Cityscape Records is a long established kitchen table label which has been championing DIY pop from a Bolton terrace since ‘96. Recording in glamorous locations such as the ‘back room’ and utilising the best mixing and mastering talent Urmston has to offer, we really hope you enjoy our latest labours of love. ... more

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