London Poetry: Shoreditch Serenade By Siddhartha Bose

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 104 months ago
London Poetry: Shoreditch Serenade By Siddhartha Bose

Image by Liam Davenport
Poems about our capital

Siddhartha Bose is a poet and performer based in London. He grew up in Bombay and Calcutta, followed by a seven year itch in the USA. Selections of his work have appeared in the anthologies City State: New London Poetry and Voice Recognition: 21 Poets for the 21st Century. Bose has recently completed a PhD at Queen Mary, University of London. He is playwright-in-residence with WhynotTheatre, Toronto, and was dubbed one of the 'ten rising stars of British poetry' by The Times. His debut collection, Kalagora, was recently published by Penned in the Margins, and he premieres his solo stage show at Rich Mix on Thursday 21st October.

This poem was published in City State: New London Poetry (Penned in the Margins, 2010), which showcases the work of 27 London writers. From hyperlinked walks of Battersea bombsites and guerilla gardening projects to jagged urban lyrics and dark hymns to the East End, City State presents a confident, entertaining and truly diverse snapshot of the best new poetry from London.

She hones

I hurled you

              Into my arms, the

                          Cat in my voice a queen.

You, ever in reserve, shied.

Around us, East London took effect—

           A Pole, two Sicilians, married, two Greeks drinking Cobra beers,

                       Fang in hand, Emily the scouse violinist, a German who

                                      Thought Berlin too small.

As we floated like

                            Bottletops, scrap-paper, haymoss,

Towards the estuary where Bethnal Green meets Brick Lane, I

                            Felt I'd lost my wallet.

                            I, artisan.


He groans

You order me, again, to

               Glen them to a bar where two summers ago Naphtali

                              Spun me in axes.

                                             (You'll be there in a minute, you say.)

I lead your followers past bagel shops, hookah bars, offlicence glory,

              Cops prowling, the becoming dinosaur of the overhead rail, the

                           Bombed remains of

                           Cheap vinyl, soggy crêpes, torn jeans, pillpoppers.

                            I am a helicopter.


She streaks

Cityboys them fucked off.

As I walked towards you, ma money in ma pocket, through

                  Graffitishocked streets, colours

                               Bled me with the damp of a morning star.

                  Squatters them sclattered in the

                                 Dungeon of a broken house, peeled windows.

                 Some paint on scorpio bodies. Others hiss on cheap blow.

                                My eyes trance in redn'green shapes.

City State is available to buy from Amazon and Waterstone's, £9.99. Kalagora by Siddhartha Bose is also available from Amazon and Waterstone's, £8.99. Siddhartha's solo stage show is at Rich Mix on Thursday 21st October, 8pm, £8 / £6. See the Rich Mix website for more details.

Last Updated 19 October 2010