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Jess Green

Web: www.greenellenjess,
Updated: Fri, 10 Jun 2011 01:47:56 pm
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I am a spoken word poet currently living in Liverpool and trying to carve out some way of making a living in the arts.

Performing on every stage possible in the North West, held back only by train fares, I have also been published in In The Red 8 and 9, The Yellow Room and Envelope.

I am currently working on my first pamphlet published by Holdfire Press.


Midnight soliloquies.

Gangs set fire to your uncle’s house
and as the flames scorch the Nairobi sky
I’m waking up in Toxteth
on an electric blanket
hearing your half voice
in the swamp of part sleep
intonation curling high
in the middle of sentences
then locked tight and growling.

A dripping Monday sky pulls me in to morning
but I search with padlocked eyes
for your words in the swaying hours
thick and drooping
spilling out of you
hanging smoking from the window
requesting Kenyan rap on Youtube
because your fingers won’t work the guitar.
Then your silk unconscious words
on the pillow
passing out in your clothes
our respective partners oblivious.

Together we were brilliant.
Together our voices spun and wove
And filled the corners of pubs with reverberating tapestries
as we argued over the no mores.
No more poverty,
no more greed, no more crime,
no more David Cameron, no more Twilight.

Now I meet puff chested men racing beers in bars
with their burp filled banter
and hot air thick with testosterone.
They make a game of grabbing women
matching cop offs with Sambuca shots,
but they don’t want to talk about changing the world.

I go on dates
but they can’t argue through the candle light like you
don’t want to debate the Lynx advert
call me antagonistic
and leave.

When your emails are pocked
with full stops and consonants
I want to hear your words
crack through the North West roads
like the speakers that used to thud in our bones
and pounce around our brains
‘cause now you’re dancing in my sleep sodden ears
like the radio tuning out
and I don’t know what’s made up
and what’s you.

I can’t write about you
without drowning you in adverbs
those l y words that just decorate the verbs
when all I want to say is what we did
and how I still hear your whispers
and the cluck of your tongue at the end of a Tusker
and the rhythm of your syllables
when you’re fired up to fight injustice.

But in daylight reality you are soundless
and when I return home to an empty inbox
you are wordless.

I won’t share this city.

Tear apart Sefton Park
rip up Elm tree shade
by the roots,
splice green crowns and trunks
hack walk ways into barbed pieces
break benches into planks.

Pierce the Penny Lane wine bar
let bitter Merlot
flow through the crack
hurl glass smithereens like hail stones,
lacerate sofas with their springs.

Rupture speakers in the damp dark
where we pressed hot on dripping walls,
grate the bass from the rhythm
cut out the vocal chords
crumble the cheap pills,
coke and talc
waltz on the wind.

Score Hardman Street in half
sever the take-aways and kebab shops
leave the fat dripping and spitting
in gutters.
Chop up the rats
into snout and feet and tail.

Rip lightening through street lights
and high rise bed sits
hit the Radio Tower with a white electric bat
force it to topple
hang mics and headphones from remnants of windows.

Tear open the sky
swipe at the pigeons.

Stop the poetry.

You can spend our pensions
on dinner with the Beckhams
sack the police
then ask them to work for free
to trick, lie and arrest teenagers
with shifty eyes
and frustrated minds
make us pay to have babies
and glue back our bones
pick the pockets of sixth formers
penalise the unmarried
and patronise the women.
I will stand on the tables in cafes
on the grass of parks
give me a soap box
or just a flagstone
on a street corner.
I will light the fuse of villanelles
look down the barrel of a sonnet
blow Blake in the air
choke the monarchy in metaphor.
My mother warned me about men like you;
lie and charm and cheat and slime
your way inside
then rip out the life support.
Distract us with a Royal wedding
look what your life could have been
if you hadn’t lacked a little inspiration.
You can crumble the foundations
on which we’ve built our lives
but you will not stop the pens moving.
You can’t stop me waking
from dream filled sleep
collect the stained glass stories
from my leaking brain.
Take away our pens and paper
and we’ll just make the words move faster,
louder in the corners of pubs
we’ll prance along the bar until they listen
climb the walls of buildings
if we keep telling the tales of the war you’re waging
on the unrich, the unprivate, the unmiddleaged
they won’t forget.
Slap super injunctions
on clause 60
tell us to calm down
kettle us, keep us, beat us and berate us
but you won’t stop the poetry.

All poems are copyright of the originating author. Permission must be obtained before using or performing others' poems.


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Jess Green

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Mon 4th Jul 2011 17:15

Thank you for such positive feedback. really glad I joined Write Out Loud, it's brilliant for keeping up to date with when open mics and gigs are on and for discovering more poets.

I've now got some videos of my performances on Youtube (

Jess x

Laura Taylor

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Mon 20th Jun 2011 15:58

It really does work on the page, and I wasn't sure it would you know. Fantastic! Really looking forward to reading and hearing more of your work.

Dave Bradley

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Tue 14th Jun 2011 00:38

Welcome to WOL, Jess. Your performances at Wigan and the Bards were striking, and it's interesting to read here what we heard. It works on the page too! You've set yourself some big challenges but made a very good start. Keep at it.

Jeff Dawson

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Sat 11th Jun 2011 22:51

Hi Jess, Don't stop the poetry! welcome to WOL, great sample work, like your almost rebellious and very refreshing use of English here, look forward to seeing you soon, best wishes Jeff ps will drop you a line about performances and various gigs and stuff you might be interested in!

andy n

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Fri 10th Jun 2011 14:04

Good to see you on here, Jess.. Enjoyed all of the samples on here.. Hope to see next Saturday at Cadence - if the weather holds - it'll be a good un! x

John Darwin

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Fri 10th Jun 2011 11:24

Hello Jess, enjoyed your performance in Wigan last night, liked stop the poetry in particular.


Winston (Admin)

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Fri 10th Jun 2011 10:55

Hi Jess, Keep up the good work. Hope you enjoy WOL. Winston

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