COMING-OUT GAMBITS

 

Castle

 

Your own she-papoose

Fished with questions about your sex.

 

DidnÕt your thumbs soft-talk JohnÕs striptease hips

As Alma tug-o-warred open the bedroom door?

 

KnightÕs Move

 

What is your magnetism to otherness, your hot-blood for same?

 

Where were you when its loose tongue got out?

 

Tell all; lay bare, so I can float these glasshouse petals.

 

End Game

 

IÕm unbuttoned.

 

YouÕre of the moment.

 

A white knight on this chequered bedspread.

  

-----------------------------------------------------

 

Crush!

 

Our eye studs locked.

I have bravura, trousered in carbon-black velvet,

A sun-blink yellow shirtwaist in tickly nylon.

 

Our eye studs locked.

His face flickered (a pick-me-up)

A gibbonÕs mischief in each latest-wrinkle pose.

 

Bluebeat on the transistor sharp-cornered our limbs

While denim impounded his rock-a-bye rump.

A buttoned-down collar struggled to attention.

 

Our eye studs locked.

 

In a stoop-down his crew-cut brushed my thigh.

 

-----------------------------------------------------

 

Compute

 

Mine was man-handled from a hothouse

By worker-bees in mouse-coloured suits,

Tile-white shirts

Where words of The Good Book

Are branded on the door.

 

It can do involved missions for you;

A silicon soul lights up each machine.

 

Mouse-tailed modernisations

Godsend the homely;

We inflated IBM to puff Saigon.

 

 

© Christopher Barnes, UK

 

Bio:  In 1998 I won a Northern Arts writers award.  In July 2000 I read at Waterstones bookshop to promote the anthology 'Titles Are Bitches'.  Christmas 2001 I debuted at Newcastle's famous Morden Tower doing a reading of my poems.  Each year I read for Proudwords lesbian and gay writing festival and I partake in workshops.  2005 saw the publication of my collection LOVEBITES published by Chanticleer Press, 6/1 Jamaica Mews, Edinburgh.

 

On Saturday 16th August 2003 I read at the Edinburgh Festival as a Per Verse poet at LGBT Centre, Broughton St.

 

I also have a BBC web-page  www.bbc.co.uk/tyne/gay.2004/05/section_28.shtml and http://www.bbc.co.uk/tyne/videonation/stories/gay_history.shtml (if first site does not work click on SECTION 28 on second site).

 

During Christmas 2001 The Northern Cultural Skills Partnership sponsored me to be mentored by Andy Croft in conjunction with New Writing North.  I   made a radio programme for Web FM community radio about my writing group.  October-November 2005, I entered a poem/visual image into the art exhibition The Art Cafe Project, and the piece Post-Mark was shown in Betty's Newcastle.  This event was sponsored by Pride On The Tyne.  I  made a digital film with artists Kate Sweeney and Julie Ballands at a film-making workshop called Out Of The Picture which was shown at the festival party for Proudwords; it contains my poem The Old Heave-Ho.  I worked on a collaborative art and literature project called How Gay Are Your Genes, facilitated by Lisa Mathews (poet) which  exhibited at The Hatton Gallery, Newcastle University, including a film piece by the artist Predrag Pajdic in which I read my poem On Brenkley St.  The event was funded by The Policy, Ethics and Life Sciences Research Institute, Bio-science Centre at Newcastle's Centre for Life.  I was  involved in the Five Arts Cities poetry postcard event which exhibited  at The Seven Stories children's literature building.  In May 2006, I had a solo art/poetry exhibition at The People's Theatre; why not take a look at their website http://ptag.org.uk/whats_on/gallery/recent_exhbitions.htm

 

The South Bank Centre in London recorded my poem, "The Holiday I Never Had.Ó  I can be heard reading it on www.poetrymagazines.org.uk/magazine/record.asp?id=18456

 

REVIEWS:  I have written poetry reviews for Poetry Scotland and Jacket Magazine and in August 2007 I made a film called 'A Blank Screen, 60 seconds, 1 shot' for Queerbeats Festival at The Star & Shadow Cinema Newcastle, reviewing a poem...see www.myspace.com/queerbeatsfestival