And a poem prompted by knowing I was going to see REBEL DYKES OF THE 1980s a few hours later

BELLTIME

Belltime black spark.Joints passed on iron stair
Red smear kiss quick in mirror broken glass
Love sudden random hand deep on your arse
Splashed stale smoke lager sweat in short blonde hair

Mandala painted leather. Broken zips
Open to breast dark armpit sudden heft
Hand clutches. Know who made love when they left
Who sweated lonely, memory on lips

Which did not follow through. Until next week.
Two years we cycled through and lust around
Went love hate glory pain. The things we found
And then the music. Memory’s a tweak

Pinches old scars. We danced there for a while
Now gone to weep the tears that make us smile

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A sort of meditation on talent, and genius, and self-assurance. Prompted by Mapplethorpe

Fame spurs magnetic gravity dark pull
Scorpion whip stings poison gets us high.
Goal glimpsed revolves in mineshaft or the sky
Strings nerve to Braggart knowing never fool.

You know them when you see them. Glitter dust
Features in eyes before their work is done
Chosen beloved be Mused. Not everyone
Who does good work. Theirs is the work we trust

That we see coming fated as a train
On iron tracks that rushes swift as light
Of rocket starshower. Burns out? It might.
Leave gold ash glory. Something will remain

Envy bite this. Work’s good but theirs is more.
Rest cannot know we last but they are sure

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I’ve started going to BFI FLARE and there will be reports, but not yet. In the meantime…

ON VIEWING ‘MAPPLETHORPE’ at BFI FLARE

When we cry for the dead, it is ourselves
We cry for. Images in black and white
Flicker through tears. Sharp bone pale
In the night
Across the years. His memory on shelves

Refrigerated so that it might last
So that the silver printing cannot fade.
Sweat stank on leather each time he got laid
Penis like tender orchid curve carved mast

He celebrated fame and flower and fuck
Worked as a demon with dark angel hair
Love sex chose models and they are all there
Ambition art cash checkerboarded luck.

Faustfisted bargain passion love and fame
Boiled monkey skull will always call its claim.

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An election poem written in compassion

HRC

We have become the thing that we abhorred.
We did worse things that they might not do worst.
Vile things they planned to say we uttered first.
And wounded all our friends with blunted sword.

That they might think us bought we took their cash.
To gain respect from killers blooded hands.
We hang and torture while the gallows stands.
To tear it down too soon would be too rash.

While murder smiles and prays and thirsts for blood
Beloved of many we must match his pace
And hide regret behind a smiling face.
Dissimulate that one day we’ll do good.

We have not earned and yet we ask your trust.
Believe us bad, they’re worse. Be wise. You must.

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My black hole gravity waves poem

DARK

Dark in the dark where light has gone to die
like sharks they circle mate their teeth don’t shine
all appetite approach pull drag entwine
vastest of things that are the case. We try
to know through observation comprehend
no fact alone escapes to tell in clear
what’s done in darkness where things disappear
weigh down so heavy all that’s true must bend
And so we see where there can be no sight
awe looms and pulls the strings of real so tight
perhaps this is the image of our end
doom draws together binds distorts consumes.
As dead love eats us whole in dark sad rooms.

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My poem for the trans mental health zine Dysphoria

BLUE MONDAY

Over again paws shove. Upon my back
Lie weep am shattered. Blues dog fades my soul
and breaks pride armour sheathing. Like a foal
tottered new legs when young. There is a crack
true mirror over false that I must mend
over again. Skin peels, scars. I must burn
unsightly. Body memories return
bad dream. Past life will never be my friend.
And blues dog is the sad I can’t afford
It has my scent although my scent is change
I toss my hair. My clothing I arrange
Style neatly. Lipstick smile the lush curved sword
Cuts world. Snarls hint of teeth. Dog slinks away
Hound on my track. Not this but every day.

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My poem for the History Festival Launch

THREE PATHS

There is a path of faith. Humility
Bending to pray. And small acts that are kind
And taking all the comfort you can find
When saying Lord what do you want of me
And sometimes hear a wordless inner
Voice
Mouse whisper or sometimes a thunder chord
Some great CMajor. It is not the Lord
You fear and every day you make the choice
To act as if it were and unconsoled
You live in hope and love and some small trust
That all will be for best. You know it must
For it was promised. There outside of time
Life and eternity one tidy rhyme.

There is a path of law and blood and fear
Of righteous drama. Mercy is a lie.
The greater kindness is that they should die
So sin no more. You will not shed a tear.
Think rather of the innocents misled
Or never born. It is thos would save
You think. For sinners rotten in the grave
You feel no love. Are glad that they are dead.
Nor worry justice mercy love the law
You claim to serve. Tremble. The sin of pride
Makes angels fall and to your soul you lied.
God whom you serve will never know you more.
They do not hear God whisper in each breath
Turn loving kindness into fear and death.

There is a path of honest simple doubt
Faith died or never was. For its own sake
The path of Truth and loving-kindness take
Some do it for their God. You do without.
There’s logic to the choice. Do as you would
In the imagined world and not the real
You’d not be stolen from so do not steal
And in cold reason find a spring of good
To water dryness. And do not despise
The godly harmless kind. Fear in the night
We share. They too resist the brutal might
Of killing faith. You see deep in their eyes
Faith’s love and doubt’s more nearly sibling same
Than those whose worship kills befouls the name

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