Poetry Jack is a veteran of the performance poetry circuit. She has performed at Glastonbury Festival, Manchester Pride, a Bristol ferry boat and loads of other places in between. She also runs workshops for vulnerable women, young people at risk of offending, and those interested in the poetic form. She has an MA in Creative Writing and a Certificate in Counselling Skills. For one year Pj also hosted one of Newcastle's premier spoken word and music nights, Take Ten, at the Cumberland Arms in Byker.
A former pit town, south of Durham My home town is new to me. It doesn’t mean a thing to me – the streets don’t have that home town ring, the musical beat that speaks to my heart. Because my heart’s not here. I left it behind somewhere in the diesel dazzle of the city haze, maybe I lost it between the crazed cracks of the battered concrete, or I could have left it on the tube, between Tottenham Court Road and London Bridge. My home town lies, like strings of cuboid deposit on the floor of a grass green prospector’s pan, at the foot of regenerated banks, domed by clear, clean, skies that soar above, unnoticed. The baize covered black crests the dregs of bricks and mortar smashed by the wrecking ball, cleansed by the lottery funds the poor pay into daily, while human spoil sloshes in the bargain basement seam of pound shops. Sun diffracts on the emerald shards of broken bottles and the fool’s silver of drained lager cans glinting in the beck – amber water gushes over the loutish litter unsoiled, unspoiled, and chuckles away, laughing to itself like an old man at a dirty joke. My home town has youth crime, teenage pregnancy, childhood obesity, petty delinquency, alcohol and drug dependency. Three pie shops and no youth centre. It has no diversity, no multi cultural, multi faith ethnicity. It is the landfill of rural poor. Those who can leave, climb out, and escape to the city. My home town cries out for picks and shovels, sweat and steam and that gold sable seam, so human beasts of burden may hack their way to dirty dignity – the worthless jobless wait in job centres and doctors surgeries for the black old, bad old times to magically redeem them, to set them free to crawl in muck and filth. I wait for my heart to drag itself here, to my home town.
All poems are copyright of the originating author. Permission must be obtained before using or performing others' poems.
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Tuesday 25 December 2018
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