catherine ayres

Ignoring Alicia by Catherine Ayres

Read all about it!
Man has fifteen kids from twenty mothers!
Man achieves world record number of appearances on the Jeremy Kyle show: “My arm looks like a heroin addicts with all the DNA tests I’ve had,” he says proudly!!
Single mum pops out a kid every six months for the benefits and lives in a mansion on the hill !!!
Man asked to explain how he can you feed ten pit bulls when he can’t feed his own family!!!!

mansion for scroungersOkay, so the above are a bit surreal, but given the way in which the ‘free press’ is able to demonise people on benefits and more recently asylum seekers, I don’t think it is that far-fetched. I honestly wrote, ‘the mansion on the hill’ before I read the Sunday Express headline, “Mansions for Scroungers”; and there are plenty more of these types of ‘stories’ meant to turn working class people against each other, hence the prevalence of the term, ‘hard working family’ – no politician worth their weakness would use a term such as class anymore.

catherine ayres picThis was one of the reasons I started Proletarian Poetry and it has been reinforced when reading Catherine Ayres, sharp and angry poem ‘Ignoring Alicia’. I had no idea of Catherine’s intention with the poem when accepting it, but it stayed with me (which is usually the sign of a good poem). I talked about it with my wife, and it made her think of White Dee from the fly-on-the wall documentary Benefits Street, about a street in Birmingham where a number of people (not the whole street as the media claimed) were on benefits. (more…)