Counter Café

Amy Evans


Barclays biked down the canal

Boris-blue by Olympic scene, green

gone to fence edge & T-

shirted tourer

barged out barges serenely on


Cootling-lined nests acquire

sites for construction

near tead sits, screw driver drives

noisily on boat This Place

is a buillt environmeant

Wet Waste paints

unsorry lorry underneath

flight path

Oppose It your eyes




Hackney Wick, May 2012




Counter Café was a canal-side café in the Stour Space gallery in Hackney Wick, East London. Following the construction of the Olympic Park directly opposite, the café remained open as “one of the few independent businesses operating in the Olympic shadow”. The café closed permanently in November 2016.

London’s public bicycle hire scheme, initially sponsored by Barclays Bank, was popularly known as the “Boris Bikes”, after Boris Johnson, who was the Mayor of London when the system was launched in 2010.


Amy Evans is a poet and classical singer based in London. Recent publications include The Report of the Iraq Enquiry (ff press, 2017), the broadside Stalking Gerard Manley Hopkins (Salient Seedling/Woodland Pattern Book Center, 2016), and her third chapbook, CONT. (Shearsman, 2015). Her poems and montages appear in Jacket, Dear World & Everyone In It (Bloodaxe, 2013), and elsewhere. She performed at Poetry and Sound at the ICA, London in 2016. Her at-sea poetry installation, SOUND((ING))S, takes place across the UK-France border in the English Channel ( She teaches at the University of Kent.

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