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Streets with the same name

By: Yessica Klein

About The Poem

Brixton and Peckham were the first places I felt at home in London. The place always reminded me of my grandmother and her hometown, São Paulo (Brazil). Her address – Augusta Street – has been dramatically changed by gentrification, and I wanted to draw a parallel to what was happening in Brixton as well.

The Poem

Coldharbour Lane: once the most likely place to get shot in London
but bangs burst / slice time from Greater São Paulo
1989’s knavish homicide champion

fast-food burgers / fast-food coffees as seen on Oxford Street
once shone across the once infamous #13 balcony on Augusta Street
silent on Monday nights only / a former Red Light district turned Red Bull

with pointed fingers at overdrafts / credit card dreams
paint showers over millionaire graffiti
French Grey by Farrow & Ball

my 92 year old grandmother picks okra in Brixton
antidepressants, they sign, dementia
heavy life folding over more skin / stiff knuckles
foreign coins / life aphasia / blank maps
I know they will taste better deep-fried, she says

the flat’s empty rooms never looked smaller
engulfing their own dimension / collapsing onto themselves
psychedelia of ageing enlarges limbs

distorts proportions / unravels again in Rye Lane
streets physically loud with colour
table service for tobacco infused cocktails

prostitutes’ after-work parties / echoing warehouses
art students spread tattooed left-wings
gentrification, they sign

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