Steven Wells, also known as the punk poet Seething Wells, died on June 25. He was born in May 1960, fifteen days before me. He was once a bus conductor too, like me, but unlike me he wrote for the NME. I just read it.

He was diagnosed with the quite-curable Hodgkin’s lymphoma cancer in 2006, and recovered into remission for a couple of years before he was diagnosed with enteropathy-associated T-cell lymphoma. I don’t know much about it, but it sounds like the wheat-gluten-allergy-from-hell and he was desperately unlucky to get not only two cancers, but a second one that has a bad prognosis.

He was living in the States (Philadelphia) and writing there. He published a piece about his treatment and experience in hospital and later a final piece.

He talks about the power you get as a cancer patient: “We can make cancer jokes. Existentialist jokes, even. The world is ours!

He didn’t much like Bono. It got so bad Bono sent him a hatchet and a note that he should bury it. I read about Swells dying from the fantastic website Dublin Opinion.  They write about loads, but one favourite theme is great Irish bands like Whipping Boy. They slag off Bono too, in We Don’t Need Nobody Else (1995):

In the morning I am a recluse, lost in memories
Ideal situations and convulsions
I’m never in and I can’t remember
They built portholes for Bono, so he could gaze
Out across the bay and sing about mountains
Maybe. You are what you own in this land
You can be King and it all depends on the view and what you can see
And around here nobody tells me what to do anymore

So, this one is for Steven, and for anyone else who believes in FUCK CANCER.