Monday 15 June 2020

Cathi Rae, "Your Cleaner Hates You and Other Poems"

Congratulations to MA Creative Writing student Cathi Rae, whose debut poetry pamphlet, Your Cleaner Hates You and Other Poems, has recently been published by Soulful Publishing. Here, you can read about her work and book. 

Cathi Rae has been described as an exciting emerging voice on the spoken-word scene. Joelle Taylor says she is "a contemporary spoken-word icon" and Lydia Towsey describes her work as "clear eyed, detailed, beautiful and necessary."

Cathi is a multiple slam competition winner and has performed extensively in pubs, poetry events and festivals.

After a very long career working with teenagers at risk of exclusion from education, she now pays the bills by cleaning other people's houses and has the head space finally to focus on her writing and performing career.

She is currently completing an MA in creative writing at Leicester University and working on her second collection.

Your Cleaner Hates You and Other Poems is Cathi Rae's debut collection, published by Soulful Publishing.

The work covers a four-year period and includes work originally devised as spoken-word pieces and more traditional page poetry.

The work aims to be quietly nuanced and use every day accessible language to create poetry for both experienced readers of contemporary poetry and for those who have never considered reading poetry.

Featured below is one of the poems from the collection.

There is more to your cleaner than meets the eye ...

This one gets up at five
Runs as fast and far as heart and lungs can bear
Revels in the recognition from other early morning pavement pounders
And then puts on the uniform of tabard
Bleach stained leggings 
Becomes invisible again 

This one knows the name of every star that's in the sky
And more than that
Can tell you why they are so named
Has spent so long on hands and knees 
She fears she may have lost the knack
Of looking up

This one's boyfriend is banged up again 
Working double shifts
She curated a collection of childcare
So complicated
That in a gallery 
It would be labelled
Or DNA of every day

That one says she's lucky
In a refugee camp far away
At fifteen
The soldiers said she was too old to rape
She was left alone

This one speaks five languages 
Knows exactly what your husband and his mates 
Make of her arse
When she bends down
To scrub your skirting boards
Laser jets from lowered lids
If looks could kill

This one holds a broken bird
A touch so light 
It's if her hands were wings 
And not these red and swollen things 
Fingerprints burnt off with bleach 
She always thinks
Should she start a new career
As master thief

And this one 
This one's writing poetry 
Verse as vicious as vipers 
Mouth so acidic 
It makes diamonds bleed
This one's writing poetry
There is more to your cleaner than you will ever see.

1 comment:

  1. A slam of a poem. I loved the theme and was particularly taken with the line 'Mouth so acidic / It makes diamonds bleed