Topsy-Turvy
 
In widow’s weeds, the bull, the sun,
the flower, the light bulb – it clings
to room 7 of Centro de Arte Reina Sofia,
Guernica, the fizzled-out horse, the woman.
                                                                Ma’am
                                                                so long as I
                                                                assimilate themes
                                                                from a cubed root
                                                                suchlike ‘whole pictures’
                                                                in gone-bad colour
                                                                you will remember:
                                                                gun-burst at railways
                                                                 Jose on the bicycle,
                                                                 rose-tinting an escape
                                                                 in the blackness of your lace.
 

 
 
Torchlight

(after Talglicht by Paul Celan)
 
Crisping from the viewfinder
my past voice cuts in.
Overturning heavens mix-up flossy airspace,
the tripod ferments to a swingle tree.
 
Estranged September unfolds your hair.
Blue-black, amber twists together
developing a noosed bouquet.
You shriek of duncish childhood
as the shrunken-eyed chaperon
scratches barbed wire lips
across our stiff faces.
 
                                            Time happens –
an ash-blond boy pipes up,
a hiss like runaway gas.
 

 
 
Tourist Trade
 
Tom-toms.
In constrictor-scarred short shorts
with boa-feathered wristbands
the Witch Doctor’s knees-up boy
slithers by.
 

 
 
Trepanned
 
Clanking nuts and bolts
embedded in Theobald’s cerebrum.
As dream turnscrews mangle
his shiny brain gasps
sinking into black vapoury pillows.
 

 
 
12. Up Sticks
 
We pull it off
-          The Elyse Palace by moonlight
With a bung of needlecord,
Fish forks, soup spoons, a clod
Of meadowsweet soap.
 
In a muttering wind
The gypsies come,
Costermongers, caravans,
Wise women.
We mooch a ride
On the carryall.
Papa thumbs the leaves of Le Temps
(A squint).
In louring incognito
Gloom
Mama allows herself a flow of time,
Nonchalance.
 
This one’s hair
Is black and grey
And she has a face
That comes from Brittany .
 
Later.
Wide awake –
The stench of salt
And metal.
Rush-at-run-at waves
Of Calais .
In the sea fog
A full-space bogy staggers.
We star rise
To its silver back
Then it treads water
Widthways to England.
 

 
 
UFO Flock
 
Americans tip us infectious behests,
Heady fixed facts
Of our time-out-of-mind lives
                                     Mingling –
We are an exhaustless spirit-muster
Of Lord House beings.
 
He surfs the channels of stars,
19 evaporable rock-ribbed mountains magnetised
And like those different-shade articles of Faith.
 
Our preferment of souls,
Embody a rose-bed trembling energy
In galaxy-visited communion.
 
Stand-aghast sayers
Jesus, Buddha, Krishna etc.
Were E.T.s dipped from the kingdom of Heaven .
 
We are temporised
To size-up The Signs.
 

 
© 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 theEdinburgh Festival as a Per Verse poet at LGBT Centre, Broughton Street.
 
I also have a BBC webpage  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.
 
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 my 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 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 http://ptag.org.uk/whats_on/gulbenkian/gulbenkian.htm
 
The South Bank Centre in London recorded my poem "The Holiday I Never Had"; 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