Live Theatre, Newcastle. 3 December 2016
It’s the sucker punch of an actor walking onstage wearing blackface;
the roar from the audience as they piss themselves laughing.
The vocabulary has shifted but the old problems remain.
I was a fool to think that we’d been moving forward
when we were only ever standing still.
Weighing of the Heart
When John Dark held your heart
in his hands, did he check its weight?
When he stitched the homograft into place,
a little piece of someone else
holding your life together,
did he measure your heart’s worth?
Just in case?
At the thirteenth hour of your surgery
my heart was so heavy
I thought it would be devoured.
I wasn’t true enough,
my belief wasn’t strong enough,
I had not done enough
to bring you back.
(both poems previously unpublished)
Originally from the Midlands, Degna Stone is a poet and producer based in Tyne and Wear. She is co-founder and Managing Editor of Butcher’s Dog poetry magazine and a contributing editor at The Rialto. She has published two pamphlets, Between the Floorboards (ID on Tyne Press) and Record and Play (Red Squirrel Press). She holds an MA in Creative Writing from Newcastle University and in 2015 she received a Northern Writers Award. Degna is supported by Inscribe and is a fellow of The Complete Works III. Twitter: @Degna