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Attila the Stockbroker - Heart on My Sleeve: Collected Works

  by Fiona Hutchings

published: 9 / 6 / 2021

Attila the Stockbroker - Heart on My Sleeve: Collected  Works


Fiona Hutchings generally finds poetry a bit hit or miss and now she has Attila The Stockbroker in her sights.

Attila The Stockbroker is a punk poet, songwriter and musician. Both as a solo artist and with band Barnstormer 1649 he has released well over 40 recordings and multiple volumes of his work in the last 40 years. 'Heart On My Sleeve', his latest release seems to be inspired both by the 40th anniversary of his first gig as Attila and the impact of Covid on his life as well as career. Poems are split into sections like 'Early Memories' and 'Family' or 'Little England', 'A Load of Belloc’s' (not a typo) and 'The Seething Wells Memorial Social Surrealist Section'. Some poems are introduced or footnoted to give them context. Illustrations are provided by Phill ‘Porky The Poet’ Jupitus, Womble, Dan Woods and Nick Staples. There are odes to Doc Martens, take downs of Trump, pieces inspired by everything from the Falklands War to the death of Margret Thatcher. There is a more mature 'Mum of Attila', rocking around Germany on a last tour with her son. It’s a story captured as a part of a much longer piece dedicated to and detailing the life of a remarkable woman. Hers is by no means the only poem dedicated to lost loved ones but each manages to capture moments and relationships so clearly that they contain more joy than grief on balance. I’ve always found poetry a bit Marmite. I seem to either love or hate any given poem I come across, and it’s rare I find a writer whose work I enjoy over and over again. It doesn’t stop me looking though, sure that somewhere there has to be someone writing things down in a way that makes sense to me. Attila The Stockbroker is one such rare find. Buy the book, read a couple of poems each night before bed. It’s generally about a 10-15 minute commitment max but it will reward you handsomely. If you want proof I will simply say go and read 'My Ninth Birthday', where an expected fistful of sweets takes an unexpectedly heartbreaking turn. Tears before bedtime are guaranteed but a kick up the arse and a reminder of all the good there is to be grateful for is never a bad thing. Other poems will make you laugh, feel nostalgic, maybe make you want to go and protest something or just go give your mum a hug. It will be worth it though.

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