GHOST WALKS 6 -10. A Poem by Christopher Barnes.


…Marilyn Monroe’s eyed up as a Stalinist,
Wheel-cog in a pack.
The vogue Manhattan telephone book
Roll calls her as homie.
We’ve sussed from Mrs. Nosey Parker,
Whose quirks aren’t blown open,
The whack, damn all, or skimpy oddments…


Friends parting at Battlesden House.
The hot-bricks poltergeist of a double-faced Steward,
Tumbles pails,
Amends for his red-handedness –
Peddling watered milk,
A conscience twinge unaging.



… (Won’t blab) sightsaw Marilyn Monroe, 5pm,
In rents at Hilton’s Hotel Continental
Scheduled by Arthur Miller’s union dues hang-outs.
Xerox to Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Our man in the dusk
Is on the Special Correspondent’s List…


Rosata, the cold-shouldered nun,
Kneads her offsprung paunch,
Scowling to a curfewed heart-throb.
Underlinen seethes, late-moon ashy.
On a shoe-snow midnight
Candle-flames reduce.
In Chicksands, the buried
Nor insects sleep.



…A subordinate out-of-ordered Marilyn Monroe’s
Dial-up risk, death warranting her.
His faults are relentless.
Jitters creep in dime-a-dozen shoes.
He’s a foreboding in a cinema,
Row 14, pull his coat.
Tinsel Town’s wayward one
Is a sheer daydream…


Daisies and ripe wood flinch.
A whirlblast makes faces at Pegsdon Farm,
Spiriting timbre from Knocking Knell.
Our Majesty stoops in the barrow’s relics,
Thudding the gewgaw coffer to be let out.



…Marilyn Monroe’s love mis-match,
Arthur Miller, safeguarded the Party’s tactic.
Vetoed all split hairs.
Dusted off Communism, absorbing, casting about.
Foreshadows penmanship and life.
Head shakes to decry
Or labour these points…


A tread overruns Bury Hill.
Smog purges nightfall.
Moon-sweats bead a hell-born witch
Immersing the prayer-house,
To stonewall mortality.
Unveiling, we tame the phantom’s coach.



…Marilyn Monroe, shadowed to Mexico,
Away-daying with intimate coteries,
The American Communist Group –
A moveable soiree, dance partners, FBI undercovers,
Revelling in sun, afterplay, firewater
And well-read confabs…


Above soil our tender aged
Haven’t the stomach to go
By the ustrinum,
Overstrung into unfathomed night.
On unseamed freeholds
Side-lining Ashwell Street
The casualty list gabble.
From earthenware relics
Bust possessing disputes.

Christopher Barnes
Some bio details…

Christopher Barnes
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 partook 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 (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 written Art Criticism for Peel and Combustus Magazines. I was involved in The Creative Engagement In Research Programme Research Constellation exhibitions of writing and photography which showed in London (march 13 2012) and Edinburgh (july 4 2013) see . I co-edit the poetry magazine Interpoetry


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