Emma Lee




It was impossible to exit stage left
(Princess Charlotte, Leicester)

It’s my stage. Framed
by two speaker stacks,
sounddesk either left
at standard rock setting
or frantically manipulated
by the band’s sound engineer,
in the low ceilinged room,
carpeted by beer and dust.

The stage saw fall-outs,
make-outs, splits,
brilliant solos,
every single mirror-
practiced posture,
without comment.

After a walk home
starting with shoegazing indie
from open car windows,
traditional Serb folk
from the Saxby Street B&Bs,
moving through a bridge
of bangra, walking past
that hippie household,
before being blasted
by urban and rap
then shutting the door
and letting that night’s
gig reverberate to fade.

My job was to review
those who played on
that stage,
the uneven floor
scattered with gaffa tape,
abandoned plectrums
and the random splatter
of dark red, spilt paint.





Emma Lee‘s most recent collection is “Ghosts in the Desert” (IDP, 2015). She was co-editor for “Over Land Over Sea: poems for those seeking refuge” (Five Leaves, 2015). She reviews for The Journal, London Grip, Sabotage Reviews and The High Window Journal and blogs at http://emmalee1.wordpress.com

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