A Trick of Perspective

by Gary Carr

Those towns are like school fashionistas, failing
to see the purpose of geeks, ridiculing their clothes.
Towns where history is worn as a stylish straightjacket,
or worked into a pseudo Georgian-Victorian-Edwardian
quilted blanket to comfort uncertain councillors
and prevent them, subtly, from effecting change.

Our constants are their ephemerals – a cologne
who’s components bring malting, Marmite,
vulcanised rubber, casting’s burnt sand, Indian
and European food, carried in gypsum-laden water.
We sit in a confluence of Dove and Trent, industries
and nationalities, flowing together into the wash of time.

Burton’s history nests on hidden ledges, second storey
window frames, hollow ground behind wine bars,
beneath bright plastic facades, avoids eye contact.
It is not individual, flaring matches, bright
only against the background night, but corporate
strip-lights in hidden offices, a path to prosperity.


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Gary Carr
I am an established poet, born and currently living in the Burton-on-Trent area. Naturally I wanted to support this local poetry project. Burton is often maligned by people from other, prettier, historical towns. I wanted to say “look, we have history, too, but we have more, we have a future”. – Gary