Remembering (?) the Strike

There’s a small pamphlet on one of my bookshelves, published in South Yorkshire around the time of the miners strike. It’s called ‘Strike’; I can’t off the top of my head remember who it’s by- it doesn’t so much matter right now.

Ever since this project started , I’ve been haunted by that book, by its cover, thinking I should pick it up again and re-read it- I went back to my shelves yesterday and couldn’t find it anywhere. Maybe it’s just in my imagination.

But that cover, white with a strike of red across it- like blood spilling in a film.

But that work, struck across the cover- poems used as a weapon, of defence, of attack. As a tool of remembrance.

The cover might be nothing like that; I’ve probably remembered it completely wrong. I don’t think it matters- somewhere on my shelf there is a small haunting, the presence of a not-book, a different book from the one I have in my head- a pamphlet as slim as a ghost.

Does it matter if the ghosts we find aren’t real? What should we do when people recount fictional hauntings, fictional things that didn’t really happen. How do you separate folklore and urban legend and fact? How do you know what’s real when it isn’t there anymore. When you return to find it and its vanished.


Andrew McMillan