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PLEA FOR A HISTORY OF WORKING-CLASS LEEDS

by
 I want a true history of my city

FUCK THE DE LACY FAMILY AND DOUBLE

FUCK JOHN OF GAUNT ESPECIALLY

And all his descendants

With their particular vilenesses -

I met one in the sixties

Who had all the coldness of Himmler

So svelte and adored by the cognoscenti.
I want a history responsive To the needs of the working-class One that will minute the back-to-backs Spread over the city like a seamless robe SO FUCK CUTHBERT BRODERICK’S TOWN HALL BRIDEWELL AND MAGISTRACY.
I want a history of the culture Of the working class and not Hoggart’s slimy gone-up-in-the-world Jabber for the curious bourgeoisie He was especially maladroit On working-class sexuality A voyeur picking humorous moments To show the ignorance of the class He sprang from.
“Anything was an occasion” - Or did he mean ‘excuse’? - “for intercourse, Even a visit to the chip-shop”.
O for the gentleness And the quiet intimacy And joyful spontaneity Of working-class sexuality Reading Shelley’s ‘Defence of Poetry’ Sitting on a bus by a girl who, smiling, said, “I told Jack if he was finished with me He wasn’t having any but he pulled me Into the bushes laughing all the way So what could I say?” I want a history of the warmth Of working-class mothers Explaining the mysteries of periods.
To their adolescent daughters and the Revelations of working-class brides.
I want a history of family outings To Temple Newsam where I saw an ass Eating straw from the steel manger Of Christ.

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