By Charlie Rawcliffe
Location: Curry Mile, Rusholme
Indie Kids drift out from Saki Bar carried on a wave of their own pretention
They maraud down the sunset strip we know simply as curry mile
A thousand takeaway wrappers catch a thousand heated updrafts
And drunken artists mix with switched on individuals
Echoing chants originate from the top floor of magic buses
And those with anything to hide find it thrust out in the open
This country’s next golden generation huddle over piles of vomit
As rain clouds threaten but recede and drift by
Neon signs illuminate a thousand hopes and dreams
As you board a 142 to Piccadilly
Blushed cheeks hiding dreams of a quite temperate life
A longing glance at the John Rylands goes unnoticed by all
While the unmistakable stench of Sambuca clogs the air
It’s the heavy breath of human sacrifice
Factory bouncers crack knuckles in preparation for long overdue fights
This is Manchester
And this is Friday Night.
Charlie Rawcliffe is an American Studies student at Manchester University. He’s 19, originally from Nottingham, and has been writing seriously for just over six months.
By Justin D. Dooley
Location: Worldwide Supermarket, Rusholme
I watch them from my window scuttling
with their arms clutching crying bundles.
They are catching starlight in puddles,
scurrying around full bins and loose tins
and cars and trolleys and the trees with
their beggared branches reaching out, as the
sharp moon scowls. They slosh through
yesterday’s slush prints as leaves mulch
beneath their feet. Pleas sketched on scraps
with white knuckle palms pressed together.
Escape is not an option, there are
no passports for people pending.
As the curtains close, you slide into
the shadows in silence.
Justin D. Dooley has just graduated from MMU with a degree in Business and English. He is one of the founders of UNSUNG, an organisation that has been producing a free magazine and various arts events throughout Manchester since 2008. His writing has been published in Mental Virus, Best of Manchester Poets and Bewilderbliss. http://www.justinddooley.blogspot.com
By Sophie Le Bec
Location: Manchester Peace Garden, St Peter’s Square
In the peace garden
There is a canopy of trees
And chewing gum on the floor
And it is lovely there
Just for being what it is.
On the outside
It is a different story
And we are scared
Just for being what we are.
A woman walks through
Under the shade
In her tummy a tiny bean
Dances for the first time.
She smiles, remembering the darkness
Of firecracker nights
Resonating in her rib cage
Where now there is joy.
‘I wait for you; my soul waits’
The last man says
As he bursts into flames
And the city melts.
Sophie Le Bec is a scruffy emo poet from the suburbs
By Darren Thomas
Location: Oxford Road
A thousand nameless faces
under which hang
tell a world
what it already knows
not a single smile
just a melody
of melancholy played
through buds which
drift into the saps of youth
and the wood
of huge working men.
Chewing gum stars
inside a pavement’s heavens
shining brightest at night
and every deepest thought
is carried with the weight of sirens
or lost in the flash of city blue.
As God’s rain frowns
complaining that it works
too hard in this city,
resting on each
of those thousand faces
religion’s chime to toll
and the Priest
checking a wrist
and the fading shine
in a lifetime of shoes.
Darren Thomas is a mature student at the University of Manchester. His work has been published in The Mental Virus, in various websites, in and around waiting rooms of Wigan train stations (as part of the NXNW Festival) and is featured in the book The Best of the Manchester Poets, published by Puppywolf in 2010.
By Cathy Bryant
Hear the laughing barging student’s running feet,
heading hopefully for myriad buses. Smell,
smell those buses and hot food and bustle.
Taste the excitement, the urgency, or
briefly for foaming coffee, fuel for it all.
See so many people, damp waving trees,
clouds rushing by in bus-like packs,
and feel the life, feel the snapshot life.
Cathy Bryant is an award-winning writer who is a regular on the live poetry circuit in and around Manchester, and at events around the country. Her poems and stories have appeared in Poems for Big Kids, Midnight Times, The Ugly Tree, and The Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine. Cathy lives in Manchester and is passionate about the city, language, politics and passion itself. http://cathybryant.co.uk