Us, Near The Amusement Arcade


Within hearing of a nicotine-clad sports bar

sussed waitrons ring the ear,

neon appulses 4.20.

Forward to wide birth

this persuasion of delirious excitement,

short we are, sure

but park-skating celestials

or further-out, elves on magnets.


No wincing today.


Will ozone deplete the mirage?


Pluck my hand,

the hooked are incorruptible soft toys.

This is when free-speaking's hot, shouting puppets,

where air is slice-and-diced

step aerobics from the 2p slot machines

and the opinionated jostle

in a turf war bingo circle.



Specimen No. 77076


Renata's misplaced self-reproach

was that it needed an epitaph,

she's up on its ontology,

segment of flittermouse,

a clipping off Quentin.

It has a cougar's lumbar -

this made a colmnist hush,

"Its already got the mein of extinction.

Shatter it."




"He Hit Me And It Felt Like A Kiss"


A succinct proof

on yours truly

will unriddle

how ticklish each speck

is to a pounding.


Inflict hurtles on hale surfaces

dingdong times a day,

conditioning the sideline of hands.


Sheer off the instep, short-lived,

when your let-'em-have-it

has been set about on flesh and bone foe.


But most pressingly -

belong to you.





Christopher Barnes, UK 



Some bio details...

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 theEdinburgh Festival as a Per Verse poet at LGBT Centre, Broughton St.


I also have a BBC webpage and (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, his 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, Bioscience 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 I had 2006 a solo art/poetry exhibition at The People's Theatre why not take a look at their website


The South Bank Centre in London recorded my poem "The Holiday I Never Had", I can be heard reading it on


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