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Pretty Young

Pretty Young


In a room full of people pissed up and more

She caught his eye over the sticky, fag ash floor

She looked pretty; young in her face not her clothes

She swore blind to him she were eighteen years old

Had a date of birth memorised if he cared to delve

‘Cause she’d been out on the lash

Since the day she turned twelve

And just six months later she h...

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Ain’t Never Been So Precious

Ain’t Never Been So Precious


I ain’t never been so precious

With owt I’ve pissed on before

As I laid it down dead gentle

On the bathroom floor

Cushioned with Cushelle

I waited perched on the loo

Already knew the protocol

Knew exactly what to do

With one line

I’d sigh ‘not this time’

And try, try again

I eventually decided this one were fucke...

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"Love You Millions" A Cut-Up Type Poem

I created this poem using a very rigid cut-up inspired technique of going through an article in a women's magazine and only deleting words. I kept all of the text in the same order as in the article and didn't add anything or change any tenses etc.



Love You Millions


I don’t know what was harder

Being told

Or having to explain it

“I’m poorly”

But you’re ...

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Quoting Mikey Wong: "Poetry Is Gay"

Poetry Is Gay


He puffs out his chest

Like he’s summat dead important to say

Looks me straight in the eye

And goes “poetry is gay”

For starters mate

Who are you to imply

That it ain’t OK

To be gay anyway

And besides

Poetry is my life

Writing is how I make sense of me

Make sense of living

Of everything

Creativity like an IV


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Learning To Read

Learning To Read


Words abandoned me

When I were at Primary

Didn’t make sense no more

Like when me Dad and me

Made up stories

And created crazy characters

Like Fezzypeg

Who me Dad said were a cat

That owned a record shop

And talked and walked on his hind legs

And though I couldn’t always keep in mind

Everything I was told at other times


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Learning To Read

Learning To Read


Words abandoned me

When I were at Primary

Didn’t make sense no more

Like when me Dad and me

Made up stories

And created crazy characters

Like Fezzypeg

Who me Dad said were a cat

That owned a record shop

And talked and walked on his hind legs

And though I couldn’t always keep in mind

Everything I was told at other times


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Latest Mental Health Poem: In Therapy


In Therapy


There ain’t no guessing why it’s in Harpurhey

Where all the Mams who drag prams are on ESA

And depression clings to all the buildings

And they’re Manchester’s biggest exporter

Where suicidal thoughts seep between the bricks and mortar

And knives on skin is just one of those daily things

And they eat cold paranoia for dinner

That’s where I d...

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Bury Market

Bury Market


Sod your birds; this is Bury’s dawn chorus

Where it’s banter, not patronising, to call me darling

When you’re yelling and you’re telling me

About the deal you’ve got going on your spuds

So many voices wash over me

That I can no longer tell

What exactly is a pound a pound

But I know I want some

This noise is so far removed

From the thump,...

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What an awesome weekend (5 new poems - I'll let you guess the workshop that inspired each one)

I'm knackered and slightly mentally scarred from certain experiences but I had a truly wonderful time this weekend and I'd like to say a massive thank you to Sean and everyone else who made it happen. I got 5 new poems out of it and here they are:



We Watched It Live


We watched it live on Al Jazeera

It came free with the news mix on Sky

They said he’d been hid ...

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Crafty Crafters

Crafty Crafters


It’s a decoupage sticking, cross stitching

Stamping, stitching, fixing, knitting

A mobility scooting, craft knife scoring

“Out of me way!” tooting, topper adorning

Way of life for some

Hobby obsessed hobbyists

Haberdasher hangers-on

These hard-core followers can be found

Spending hundreds of pounds

On paper pieces and bits of foam


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Two New Uns: Wreckuiem & Cashy Gs



A hole in your stomach

Drip, drip, dripped black goo

I looked at you

Elevated and essentially gone

I was too scared to say goodbye

I was too ashamed to cry

I wondered what went wrong

What had I done?

I thought I took such good care

You were clean and full and loved

I missed you when you weren’t there

We shared my escapes and escap...

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Volunteers, Workshoppers & Open Mic-ers wanted for LitaBury

In conjunction with Streetwise 2000: Bury’s Fun And Free Literacy And Learning Festival For Everyone!

Monday 23rd August 2010
11am – 5pm
Bury Parish Church House (Behind The Church)

Come along and enjoy……

• Writing Workshops with Rachel Bond, Darren Thomas and Elaine Speakman
• Kids’ Activities with Gemma Lees
• Poetry Open Mic With Write Out Loud (Compered by Paul Blackb...

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please, please vote for me....this is an awesome opportunity.....

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She's So Sick


This is part of a series that I hope to keep writing based on other people's perceptions of people with mental health problems.




She’s So Sick


Have you seen

Where the stainless steel teeth bit in

To her skin?

She claims she tries her best

To suppress

To keep it all within

But white and red raised welts

Spell her weakness and her f...

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I kinda get it ‘cause the snow ain’t been that bad in thirty years

And every other bed were took up with old dears

But I just slept, I weren’t shouting out like the rest

I didn’t need no help with washing or getting myself dressed

I weren’t pissing me bed and blaming the nurse

Who interspersed skin piercing, heart monitoring care

With telling me off and making it...

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Streetwise 2000 Book

The new Streetwise 2000 'Head Wobble' book number 2, 'Where Is Your Head At?' has just been launched.

Myself and many other young people have contributed to this handbook that gives personal insights, poems and information on many different conditions and problems that young people may face.

If you would like an example of my poetry/ educational writing or know any young people who would benefit...

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A Little Bit More

A Little Bit More


Mam’s sunk another quid on it

She saw her reflection in the plastic dispenser

A pick ‘n’ mix of promises

Laid out before her

This time she’d have to win, ‘right kids’?

She’s got this lucky 2p

She uses ever so carefully

It takes off the silver foil

Tiny curls that fall to the floor

The corners and the edges first

Then just a little bit more at a time

She is fastidio...

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Keep Talking

Keep Talking


I look well

But I’ve lost weight

I look a bit tired

But it suits, apparently

I um and ah and nod appropriately

And my ears aren’t here

And she keeps talking

I’m so lucky to get up when I like

And I’m desperately trying to work out how

To explain how it can take all day

To summon the strength to make the tea

And even then I need someone in there with me

And I’m only ma...

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Crystal Kids

Crystal Kids


One foot flat on the floor

Hands in pockets

Other foot on the wall

Eyes like petrol puddles

Huddled hoodies, faces hidden

Skinny, skilfully rolled cig

Pinched with yellow finger tips

And perched on dry lip

Crystal kids don’t care at all


Crystal kids lob bricks

Glistening shards of glass

Can’t pierce bravado this thick

Can’t touch the depths of disappointment


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Constructive Criticism

Constructive Criticism


I’ve been criticised since I were a child

To help me out, I understand

Like when my teacher made it clear

That me chubby Crayola was in the wrong hand

As left, it just ain’t right, my dear

And all the metal rulers slapped on desks

Making tiny slumped shoulders snap to attention

Couldn’t make me understand Roger Red Hat or Billy Blue

My phonics certainly weren’t...

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You Are Wallpaper (From Laura Ashley)

This poem was inspired by a conversation that me and Katie Haigh had recently in which she likened herself to wallpaper and said that she wished she was more like me. I, on the other hand, wish I was more like her. It got me thinking about how we always wish we were more like our friends and less like ourselves.


You Are Wallpaper (From Laura Ashley)


I rubber ball bounce, like you said, i...

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For anyone who got a crappy instrument to play in music lessons at high school

Rocking Glockenspiel


I wanted to rock on my glockenspiel

But Miss only left two bars on

Not content with a droning dum, dum, dum, dum

With my baton I bashed irrhythmically

Possessed with a dyspraxic urgency

To make music with the others

But I were playing a different song to them

Lost in a tangle of perfect pitch

And chords played out precisely

On posh violins and flutes

And other...

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Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays



It’s all change here

We’ll watch telly in a brand new

Location, location, location

They have different news you know here

And funny foreign soaps

In between the normal English stuff

We’ll drink our tins on stripy chairs

Rubbing factor 5 into hairy backs

On scrubby patches of grass

Or dog shit beaches

While the children fight

And Mum screams she’s had enough


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Thank goodness the NHS can't keep to my pre-arranged appointment times!

As I was waiting to see my blood specialist yesterday, I decided rather than read a four-year-old, half-eaten copy of Prima, I would write some poems instead and this is what I came up with:


Nine To Five To Kick Out Time


That’s it

It’s all over

The music’s stopped

The bar’s run dry

Once again the crowds spill out

Squinting and shouting as they stagger by streetlamps

To which the heav...

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