(New Residents) 1/2
Keep our first flat keys.
Keep that first flat smell.
Throw away baby Kenny’s cries from all that moving in noise,
Keep the nice lady next door’s ‘hello’,
Throw away her smashed up gnomes – that’s an eyesore,
Definitely throw away the old gran across the road who just
stands by her window glaring.
Keep our first kiss in front of our first front door, damn.
Then the door slammed and we were locked out,
Keep our new Tesco opening just as we got here.
Throw away the hoodies and the corners they huddle in,
Throw away the dodgy corner store fella with the creepy smile
and the jacked-up prices,
Keep the artisan pizza, oh yes please.
Keep the street art
Throw away the graffiti
Keep the familiar brands, there’s safety in store chains,
I can’t wait for the Starbucks to open.
Keep the teal wood tables.
Keep the evening stroll as the sun recedes like a dying rizzler.
Keep late Ubers and the bus rides to far away parks.
(New Residents) 2/2
Keep the parking space
Throw away the late-night sub woofers and their clientele
The roads smell of pee in the morning.
Keep the peace and quiet.
Keep the cameras.
Keep all the new restaurants that all look so lonely and amazing.
Keep welcome parties with the other new couples,
from the pricier flats,
They seem nice enough and they keep to themselves like good neighbours,
like we keep to ourselves.
Keep & Throw
Young people from across the ArtsTrain project worked with poet and musician Joshua Idehen (https://slam.poetrysociety.org.uk/joshua-idehen/) to create a series of spoken word pieces in response to gentrification from the perspective of four different groups – New Residents, Old Residents, New Businesses and Old Businesses.