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Monday, 13 June 2011

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’ll 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
I’ll prance along the bar until they listen
climb the walls of buildings;
because if we keep telling the tales of the war you’re raging
on the unrich, the unprivate, the unmiddleaged
they won’t forget.
Slap super injunctions on clause sixty
tell us to calm down
kettle us, keep us, beat us and berate us
but you won’t stop the poetry.

© Jess Green

Ministers 'misinterpreted' study to back EMA grant cut
Jess Green is a 22 year old poet facing full time unemployment but performing on every stage possible, held back only by bus fare.


  1. A stirring call to arms/verse/passion!

  2. Love this! Those last three lines really have a punch!

  3. I really like this. I bet it sounds fabulous read aloud.

  4. Alright Fran - don't rub it in. I tried to film Jess reading this a few weeks ago in Liverpool and pressed the wrong button on the camera (or rather the right button twice - which is wrong). But you're right - she's a great performer too!

  5. Thank you for such lovely feedback. I worry that when I eventually do find a job I'll lose all my frustrated inspiration and start writing 'we love capitalism' sonnets!

  6. Wow, this is really good. Haha, it's like you have popped into my head and dragged all my thoughts and emotions out.

  7. Fran, I performed it at an open mic the other day and it was filmed along with another poem. If you'd like to watch it you can see it on Youtube here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HE_et6pXXbs