~Charley Genever: Down the Local~

Charley Genever

Charley Genever is a poet, writer, and creative producer. Living and working from Peterborough, she is a former Peterborough Poet Laureate, vice chair of Syntax Poetry Festival, and manager of the Laureate programmes. She has worked with the likes of Tate Britain, The Mighty Creatives, METAL, and Nene Park Trust. In 2019 she was long-listed for the category of ‘Best Spoken Word Film’ in the Out-Spoken Prize for Poetry awards. Her debut collection, ‘Unsexed’ was published in 2017 (BX3). She has also been published in multiple anthologies including ‘The Great British Write Off’ (Bonacia), Poetry Rivals 2015 (Poetry Rivals), ‘Madder Than We Look’ (Write Minds), and ‘WOMAN’ (Mud Press).

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Down the Local 

By Charley Genever


She texts: wanna go out?

and before I know it I’m down the local

where pints are beacons:

liquid flames flickering from hand to hand

like the passing of an Olympic torch.


Here, we’re all chasing something:

lulled lights, a spot on the open mic, a night soaked

in hope. She asks what I’m having and I laugh

babe, I’m a Genever, my surname is literally Dutch for gin.

Here, we’re slices of the same lemon:

where little monkeys hang from mum’s glass of pop,

where let’s get a round in means one for the gent

sat at the bar, his black dog sleeping at his feet.


Here, the walls don’t talk because they’re listening.

We get to the pith of a person so easily,

all segment smiles and pip-like teeth

spilling stories into brickwork seams.


We spend our weekend here, sitting cosy ‘til closing time.

Safe, warm, watching a stag do dance with the WI

while we squeeze in another round.



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