Si Philbrook

Guest Poet

Author of ordinary words

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Si vs THE POETRY SLAM

This is not poetry.

This is standing with a mike in hand
and bandying words to make it seem
we’ve seen it all and heard it all before
as if we know the score.

This is not poetry
if we do not scream that we have seen
that abused child
(not the Daily-Mail-social-workers-failed-arms-length-version)
but the kid next door
who you heard crying for the hundreth time
when his mum swore at him
and his dad gave him a drunken beating
just for being late back from meeting his mates.

This is not poetry
unless we are prepared to speak and deal
with what is real
not hurrying by that homeless guy on Western Road
mumbling something about having no change
no change,
nothing will change unless we see it
feel it.

This is not poetry
unless it strives to make us see
that words cannot set us free
if we don’t hear them
fear the power in them;
they should kick us in the balls
and punch us till we fall, knees bent in prayer
that we have dared to let things come to this
this stinking piss of a world
where no one takes the time to know their neighbours’ names
but do take the time to sky-plus
all those mind-numbing talent-dumbing-1p-in-every-hundred-quid
-is-given-to-charity shows,
it goes to show
that they will get away
with what they can.

This is not poetry
unless there is a burning desire
to light a fire under stale ideas…
like killing a million Iraqis
with bombs and bullets and starvation and disease
puts us more at ease
makes us safer,
these are paper houses
tear them down with the sounds of your words
your voice, you ideas,
let that be heard.

That would be
poetry.

 

More from Si: three poems about death