The Only Job


The bricklayer I begrudged

Is in a rigmarole, bomb-thunder.

A tented field – flesh-creep aeronautics;

Sewer gas of the reign offshoots.

His fondling’s hands are age-to-age

In a chawbacon world.

They’re high volume, dumb-founded.

The action undertaking rank

Realised itself

In the fettle of ‘losers’.




We’re All Fugitives Now


Scoured with random acts – the offspring

In derogatory-job tactics,

Skivvy writs.

Disengage – oddball –

Sign nothing!


Abandon confidants

At the subway (the stylophonist

Shoots up from a flourish).  Wriggle into…

The ghetto at twilight;

A galaxy of searchlights go out.


I qualify instances of home-sickness.




Fortune Telling


A gate swerves, whines.

Wasted sourwood mutates, grander each day.


A racketeer searchlighting desire,

Drags a chain, cowers,

Ruffling the leg

Of a flinching ghost

As you hour-glass your eyes, doze…






In preparation

I single out the arms-length

Unthreading lip-wisdom slogans.

Propaganda’s a side blow.

Be fit for what won’t be blinked.


Almost ready,

Shaving, overlaying the jacket,

A once-over –

In tallying ways.

Clankingly the penny drops.


To war.

I card-index laid traps,

Musk evening’s silver air.

Stretch a point with daring.

Muffled drums are hitched.


© Christopher Barnes



Bio:  In 1998 I won a Northern Arts writers award.  In July 200 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 and (if first site does not work click on SECTION 28 on second site.


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, 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 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  On September 4 2010, I read at the Callander Poetry Weekend hosted by Poetry Scotland. I have also had art criticism published by Peel and Combustus magazines.