Three poems by Sarah Crewe


the bear’s leg     scorched     a bronze bolt on black fur
too close     yr grandaughter’s heart     reduced to menthol
cinders     scented jumpers     chanel factoids     &breathe

standing in the shadow of a yellow fiesta
for anti-climb read anti cry     read girly     anti social
the awkward silence     in which     psychogeography

exposed     yr very own     episode     literary filler
who do you think     you are?     compressed living
private property     succession of rat traps

live wires     reported     open electrics
mortality     realised     internally
meaning: you are old     not seven

you are gone     &     permit holders only
occupy this space     &     mascara only
prevents a torrent     &     medication only

stems niagara falls     bill murray style
now compose     collect yrself     the ghost
of under 12     pulls     so heavy

lime street (generic girl poet)
chock full of humour      and explicit sexuality

the descent is laden    with innuendo and vice

it must mean something        trains are deeply

unprovocative    banal     shall we try tunnels?

dear sirs i have read my lacan        a little girl

dreams of big red engines      swarms of bees

subtereanean plague        translate: the child

mourns lack of phallus       steam locomotive

too young for confession            on the cusp

of sainthood           her grandfather said that

seven was the age       and the violets meant

she had a kind heart             may she always

and may she always be true to it             this

interpretation:  family  social history  sharks

urban walking   socialism feminism  gender

dear sirs            i have read my judith butler

violence       in yr restrictive poetic (bodily)

forms     repeated stylization    of all vagina

poets           within a highly rigid regulatory

frame           rail tracks      ladders in tights

virgin franchise        a scathing critique of

prostitution         maggie may’s concourse

exploitation         ha ha ha      please write

on legs not stations                please admit

the accent cracks you up    so kind of you

to register    forgive me i have no matches

to sell        no shawl to wear lasciviously

but we can talk about    bessie braddock

and how she drowned that welsh village

or we could sigh with relief    about the

landslide not bursting    the railey walls

above       my nerdish heart would have

broken      is she talking about her Gwa

again?   yes     you will yawn as i recall

he had to tempt    my aunty down from

her death     with a charming voice and

sweets                  embankment signage

the dead streets                the live wires

the hen parties           the lucky visitors

the poem               as a comedy sketch

what to say:        the station is a circus

tent      a kitchen sink   a bed a brothel

what not to say:                    the station

is a microcosm                          of a city

                                        i’m in love with


glorious. too good for tenement living. platinum, ash, streaked, memory slip. little yellow teapot, lift up the lid, multiple voices, hear them steep, whistling, the hard hum of of a class ‘a’ substance     in festive voile form. gloria     did not teach young children     how to read newspapers. gloria did not say precocious. gloria’s son said, that kid is a walking dictionary. gloria’s daughter said her dad was a tramp, poor georgie. a brown leather jacket, a tonsure as a hairstyle. the first     going cheap     the second     as contrition     gloria had a kitchen radio. ah gloria, we all did. pop chart countdown     tuppence jumper     felt tip hair, undeterred voice, gloria listened. gloria marvelled at song on a stone cold landing. gloria’s mum lived in a champagne pink flat. auburn hair, housecoat eternal. first name mrs. please tell gloria about the dislike of lemonade.     please tell gloria, motorway access does not indicate social mobility. please tell gloria, the new town is not dynasty . please tell gloria, that the shoulder pads     will not cushion     against lack     of cohesion     please tell gloria     no amount of nail polish     will release the gate     please tell gloria     the block is locked     indefinitely

(all previously unpublished)

Sarah Crewe is from and lives in the Port of Liverpool. Her work is largely concerned with working class feminist psychogeography. Her poems have appeared in several magazines, including Poetry Wales, The Wolf, para.text, Zarf, Cumulus and Guttural. Her latest pamphlet, echolalia, is available from Litmus Publishing. She is one third of Stinky Bear Press. Twitter: @sarai_81