Play Poetry

DIE, VIRI FORTES | Sarra Culleno’s poem is a nostalgic ode to nineties raves.

Poetry

by Sarra Culleno

on the Tube dim lit, we’re in giggling fits.
to Rocket on Holloway Road, or Bagley’s Double Dipped.
20/20, ten B&H, passing round the Vicks,
double dropping doves and too much water;
die, Viri Fortes, sons, daughters
bonded in chemical unity
a children’s community
we’ll see in the next day
it’s important for kids to free-play

strobes bombard the ocular
we watch ourselves get jocular
rebox adopt the ultraviolet glow
DJ drops bombastic energy tempo
base line rumbling reviving the soul
junglistic MC gets with the flow
whistle whistle blow blow
cherubim and seraphim, melodies echo
‘…now it’s time, time to let go…’
samples through the smoke machines of Toni Braxton
then to the sound of Bow Bells we hear East London
we go Ragga Ragga we go Jamaican
blended together in a combination
we Brap to the Junglistic-breakbeat-hardcore-hooligan
‘…get on the dance floor hooli hooli hooligan
mashing up the Massive with the hardcore sound…’
hearts race
pulse soars
tempos pace
sweat pours
pupils dilate
hips undulate
limbs gyrate

limb by limb we’re rushing,
we’re rushing like voodoo magic man
but we wanna beat the crushing so leave earlier than planned
someone’s boyfriend offers to be our taxi man
in a red Ford Fiesta five of us are crammed

he drops us off, as far as Richmond Upon Thames.
we jump between the boats.
we see the sun come up.
we break morning’s first bread,
on the Tube back to Endz.

Audio recording of extract from ‘Die, Viri Fortes’, written and read by Sarra Culleno

Sarra Culleno | @sarracullenopoetry 
I am a London-born, Manchester-based English teacher and mother of two who loves to write and perform both formal and free verse poetry on identity, womanhood, motherhood, age, education, modern monogamy and the environment.