28 Sep 2017

Richard Langston reads 'On the Closing of The Captain Cook Tavern'

From Nights, 10:45 pm on 28 September 2017

(Part of Bryan Crump and Richard Langston's Dunedin: A Magical Musical Tour)

The Captain Cook used to be the venue for bands. Toy Love seemed to be the pub's house band at one point. And all the Flying Nun Dunedin bands played there at some point. It has been a pub of musos and poets for as long as. Hone Tuwhare was known to have a drink there and the poet Peter Olds played pool there and wrote a poem about it. But the old Cook is gone now - it's had a makeover, and bands still play there. But the old Cook closed a few years back and it sort of stunned everyone who'd been there because it was such a Dunedin institution. In fact it was supposedly the place where a young David Kilgour first saw Sam Hunt. Their father used to run the pub. Anyway, when he heard it was closing, Richard Langston wrote a poem.


On the Closing of The Captain Cook Tavern


Goodbye to Tiger Taylor & his tattooed muscles

Guarding the door;

Goodbye to your sweet under-aged self

In flight down the fire escape;


Goodbye to Heavenly Bodies,

& Chris Knox’s toothy snarl;

Goodbye to those fresh faces & the boy

With the purple guitar,


Goodbye to the worldliness of those old faces on the bar

Who were not so old or worldly;

Goodbye to the guy in leather calling out at midnight

For an Iggy Pop song,


Goodbye to the mindless head-butts,

The cut arms & the smashed-glass faces.

Goodbye to the Tuesday Morning Pool Players

& the poet rolling one between shots.


Goodbye to those who never made the last round

Who saw the afternoon light brilliant in a jug,

Goodbye to the wild electricity of youth,

our beginning hearts,


& the siren emptying us onto the street at closing time.

 - Richard Langston

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