Yevgeny Salisbury

Yevgeny Salisbury



Yevgeny writes short stories and regularly performs his poetry. The current vice-president of Leicester Writers’ club, he has won several prizes for his short stories and a prize for the start of a novel. Having had some success with his artwork, he is also a sketch portraitist at Leicester Poetry Brothel events.           

Yevgeny was born and brought up in North West Wales to English immigrant parents, although he also boasts some Russian ancestry. He was educated at home until the age of ten, before attending school. He studied Fine Art at the University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne but was later forced to turn down a place at Cambridge because he was suffering from M.E. Nonetheless, he had some interesting experiences along the way: he work-shadowed an M.P., climbed a minor Alp and faced down three armed militia men in the Republic of Georgia.  None of this prepared him for life as a supply teaching assistant in Leicester.

Creative Work


The lights flash and glow around the bar
Mandy flings an arm around Charlene
Charlene in her heels, in her lashes
And the world is far too loud tonight
And Mandy pink about the neck
And, “This girl’s like my daughter,” Mandy yells.

“I love you, sweetheart, don’t I? Like my daughter,” Mandy yells.
Climb the hill to Mandy’s house
Her family flat that gazes at the curtains of another across the street
And there they sit: her two younger sons
Her youths
Her adolescents
On their bunks.
They’re quietly contented with their room
It’s how they want it: in their favourite shade of pink
Just like the cast
Set about the awkward broken wrist of the elder
Who crawls in unsteady with the uncertain sun
At a frosty and unspoken six a.m.
And he’s never any trouble.
Not a moment’s trouble.
And he fishes out the vodka from the box he keeps his socks in
And his brother, two years younger, hums the tune to Spiderman
Counting off the days until his teens,
Searching for his biceps in the mirror.
“Think I might give Lucy head. We’ve been going out for weeks.”
“Then I'll tell mum,” his elder brother says.

And yet it’s all OK
And no one’s grassing anyone
And friends don’t ask no questions
And bullies pass them by
And life is what you make of it
Since Dave was put away.
Charlene in her heels and in her lashes
But faithful still to Davey, as she tells it
And the world is far too loud tonight
And Mandy pink about the neck
And, “This girl’s like my daughter,” Mandy yells.
“I love you, sweetheart, don’t I?
“Like my daughter,” Mandy yells.



It was hard for me to choose a piece for this page. I am equally committed to poetry and prose and so I have ended up picking what is either one of my most sparse and narrative poems or one of my most poetically formatted stories.           

‘Mandy’ means a lot to me. Although the characters are constructs, the situation depicted is real. I was interested in the devastation wrought by a son being sent to prison, a situation that affects two families I have come to know and love. Since coming to Leicester, work and housing problems have brought me to the heart of a world that is harsh and short on options. It is a place where sensitive people are stalked by gaol, breakdown or early death. Where they must claw together all the dreams and drink they can. I am lucky; the poverty I grew up in was a broad and open rural poverty. What's more, for all the lack of central heating, we always had shelves upon shelves of books as our insulation and our inspiration.  Mandy has not been so lucky. With her eldest son literally imprisoned, her fourteen year old on the bottle and her twelve year old announcing serious plans to embark on sex, you could dismiss her as nought but a failed parent. Yet to do so would be to deny the honesty with which she fights for better. As she tries to sell her vision to Charlene, there is nothing idle in her words. It isn't only to make herself heard that she yells.





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