Poetry 14 October 2020 The NS Poem: The Death of Tara Browne (1945-66) A new poem by Hugo Williams. Getty Sign UpGet the New Statesman's Morning Call email. Sign-up “He blew his mind out in a car…” The Beatles, “A Day in the Life” London had barely started when you blew into town with your charmed existence, your cursed Lotus Elan. You asked me once if I wanted to drive and we changed places for a moment. “Come on, Hugo, put your foot down!” I touched the accelerator and the thing took off like a bird down the Kings Road. I don’t know where we were going because I got out and walked. You entered the 1964 Mercantile Credit Trophy, Formula Three, but officials found fault with your windscreen, which wasn’t laminated. You knocked it through with your elbow and turned your jacket back to front to counter the headwind. You won by three seconds, “The sensation of the meeting” (Autosport) It was the first lap of a race to oblivion. For a couple of golden years while Help gave way to Revolver, life got in the way. The world dished out its favours to a lucky few who could dance all night and sleep it off next day. You danced on the accelerator. You didn’t notice that the lights had changed, but spun the car around to protect your girlfriend and went to meet the music on your own. Hugo Williams won the TS Eliot Prize in 1999 for Billy’s Rain. His most recent collection is Lines Off (Faber & Faber). › Garrett Bradley’s Time is a beautiful film about the ugly truth of US prisons Subscribe For the latest TV, art, films and book reviews subscribe for just £1 per month! This article appears in the 16 October 2020 issue of the New Statesman, Can Joe Biden save America?