Where Have All the Dancehalls Gone…
those double sharp keynotes
chief justices of teenage flair
finger lickin’ good as answering back
sass in yo rebel yell generations
the pre-Limited Co. of black tunefulness
underground bass clef records
the deckouts which cocksured you
red gold & green crowns on the brows of Rastas
and the muse of dancing
too hot to handle from Toots & The Maytals
in the skank alleys of playgrounds
pulling through the veins of Haile Selassie
the Aswads the Wailers Misty In Roots
here are time’s rpms
a landfill postmortem o.d. of dj’s PAs
the revolution rub-a-dub sound engineers
the anti-racist jingle
the slick far-reaching collars across Prince Buster
and Jimmy Cliff’s bed-hop eyes calling out
dis ya hat style
mek me rock OOOoooooo
© Christopher Barnes, UK
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 theEdinburgh Festival as a Per Verse poet at LGBT Centre, Broughton St.
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, 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 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"