Gagging Order: Poetry by Trevor Paviour

I first published Trevor Paviour’s work in my edited anthology of
poetry Factories Run By Robots in 2018. Trev’s poetry is often raw
and, at times, shocking. His talk of sexual abuse in ‘Religion’ and
‘The Born Again Christian’ (especially in the latter when he writes,
‘The vicar parts with a sinister grin/Off to break new choirboys
in’) is both graphic and sordid. While at the same time, his hints
at high-profile paedophiles in the British government in the 1970s
(‘Remember the Seventies’) and his portrayal of the corrupt ruling
classes in ‘Sebastian Theodore Cornwallis’ cut an anti-authoritarian
zeal throughout his work.

Yet, on the other hand, Trev’s poetry is tragic. His writing of lost love
in ‘Seven Year Itch,’ of the ‘old folks boot camp’ in ‘What Goes Around
Comes Around,’ and the monotonous grind of the 9 to 5 in ‘Get Up
Go To Work, Come Home Go To Bed,’ highlight a subtlety of writing.
And of course, we have the homage to suicide in ‘Blackpool Suicide,’
a desperate poem focusing on loneliness, gossip and mental health.
The final poem, ‘A Poem for Brian,’ is a piece especially close to the
author’s heart. Brian Barnett was – and still is – the quintessential
figurehead of the Pompey punk scene and inspired many through his
kindness, humour and punk attitude: and it is fitting that this set of
poems is dedicated to Brian.

Accompanying these poems is the imagery of Pompey-based artist
Kevin Fitzjohn. Alongside Trev and Brian, Kev has been a stalwart
of the south-coast scene for decades, first getting into punk in his
teenage years growing up in Leigh Park. As a self-taught artist, Kev’s
work fuses together imagery from punk, politics and popular culture
to create montages of Margaret Thatcher, Sid Vicious and others. His
work fits the imagery of the poetry perfectly, especially in the tragic
figure of Sid Vicious.

It has been a pleasure working with these two artists, and a special
mention must also go out to Russ Bestley who, as usual, has spent
many hours designing the book you hold before you. Thank-you.

Up the punks!

Mike Dines (Portsmouth, 2019)