Contemporary poet Amy Knight describes her first night alone in Newcastle during the recent heatwave when she found a man on the quayside, hot and hungry.


Bounce Back

I took fists to my face and slaps to my psyche

I don’t give a shit if you hate me or like me

I drove on through two basic trainings — both of them aces

I was houseless and homeless but I never was faceless

I rode the highs of manic elation

I heard false voices tuned to my station

I dived to the depths of suicidal depressions

I rhymed in my head and learned from their lessons

A vise was implanted inside of my skull

It turned and squeezed without any lull

My body was searched in an insane asylum

Without any clothes — not even one item

I took harvest from a brain that was deeply disorganized

My ego grew huge, much larger than super-sized

I smoked cartons of Camels and hit a few joints

I looked to the Universe and pondered the point

I lived with the knowledge that I was going to die

I had the urge to kill — that’s no fucking lie

I fought with The Reaper from week to week

Please tell me I’m delicate, please tell me I’m meek

But before you degrade me and lessen my past

Put your foot in my shoe, then see if you last

Because I survived more than most people could

And I bounced back — I always knew that I would

May 02, 2019

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