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Peter Street: From A Nothingness/Still Crumpled Up

Image: Unsplash, downloaded ( 01.05.2022.

Mum gone to sneeze cotton

while me and house

shared empty my feet

dangled over that mornings

sash windows stretched out

onto the carpet until

legs eager frustrated

decided to escape

from a nothingness

and walk me up

to school for morning tea

in the boiler cellar

with Mr Crompton

Benefactor station

Nykoping bus station

this side of ‘tidningskiosk’

reading out the days

news headlines

where Liz all five foot

bohemian naturalist artist

who funded me

and my autism to Sweden

breaking the sound barrier with


shout skittles over

travellers bunched

together waiting to push their

every inch onto the bus

back to Stockholm

when Liz complete stranger

hugs me

May 1993

i know that shirt

hanging by a thread

with that drip of blood

it was on the line outside

orphanage in Lipik

bombed machined gunned

out of all recognition

its same shirt

now look all

these years later

still crumpled up

like that little boy

who’d witness his parents

being executed

that’s his shirt

i knew i’d seen it before

Author about Himself: My name is Peter Street. I am a widely published author and poet.

Until I was 32 my literary age was that of a 6th grader. After a serious spinal injury I began to take everything seriously, including my education. I failed at everything, but I had found poetry. The poet Matt Simpson suggested I write my extraordinary life, especially my years as a gravedigger /exhumer in poetry form. Two years later: 1992 My first book: “Out of the Fire” was published. Twelve months later I was invited to read my poetry on BBC Greater Manchester Radio, where I eventually became writer in residence. 1993 while working for BBC I hitched a lift to the Balkans war as a war poet. I have been writer in residence in Cat A and B prisons, schools, Greater Manchester Health Authority. Three more books of poetry followed. I have been funded and promoted to read my poetry in America, Sweden and Iceland. My memoir “Goalkeeper” (spondylux) about growing up in the 1950’s before autism was made known. My autism has made me who I am.



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ISSN 2459-9379


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The image of Quasimodo is by French artist Louis Steinheil, which appeared in  the 1844 edition of Victor Hugo's "Notre-Dame de Paris" published by Perrotin of Paris.


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