Luke Wright

Luke Wright is a spit and sawdust wordsmith. His poems are inventive and engaging, documenting 21st century British life with wit, humanity and panache. He’s toured his wares around the world for twenty years, performing with snarl and spit at literary events, music festivals, arts centres, theatres, and even down your local pub. Eschewing the formal structures of his first two collections, Wright’s latest batch of poems are splenetic, free-wheeling and the most personal of his writing to date. Catch him on the road with John Cooper Clarke, or headlining his own tour. In 2020 he’s touring his third verse play—The Remains of Logan Dankworth—as well as opening for the The Libertines, and finishing off a new batch of poems ready for publication around Christmas time.

Photo: Andrew Florides


The Remains of Logan Dankworth »

The latest verse play from spoken word stalwart Luke Wright

Sun 8 March | 15:30 - 16:30 | £5.50/£4.50 | Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Studio Theatre



In concrete 1980’s parks my mother
found a place to watch: I need to keep

an eye on you, she’d say and so she’d sit
and swing her keys or turn a True Life paperback

as I fell through an inky pool of time
to lose myself. Her eye on me: a length

of twine around my toe to pull me back
for air. But I grew up, as we grow up

and scorned her eye, and burned the twine
dived drugged and drunk in dirty pools of bass.

I wasn’t lost. I had myself, and lungs
the size of concert halls. I had it all,

a stomach full of life and all these eyes
on me, an easy job, a wife.

I’ve finished, Miss, a smug glance
at the clock. I gazed down at my navel

as if it were the world. I had myself.
I had myself. So nothing much,

as it turns out: a twang of id, a shallow
scrape of man. It’s just, these days

I take my own sons to the park
like nothing’s wrong.

I watch them play and say I’ll keep
an eye on you. And there are times

I cannot breathe to know they only
have my eye on them. This eye that darts

around. This brittle twine. Then when I sit
on empty nights and hold my knees

to watch them sleep, or see myself -
reflected in a screened-off call,

in debts that grow like Pigmyweed,
in callow words I barely mean

and sense there might be something ugly
deep down in my soul I long

to feel an eye on me, a length of twine
around my toe again. So can you?

Will you keep an eye on me
and should I need it,

                              pull me up for air?


Luke Wright

From After Engine Trouble (Rough Trade Books, 2018)