Liberty Atoms 26/30. Poems by Christopher Barnes

Gagged, straitjacketed effigy
Blinked an impenetrable announcement.
Thunderbolt frogged a lump-cloud windpipe.
Maisie galloped circles –
Haunting our bathmat.
Sitars wanted to decline.
Nail-varnished on the record’s label:

“A shadow fell beside him
And he jumped up”.

Quote: Iris Murdoch, The Nice And The Good

Polkadot-lens specs
Invariably gaze at TV.
Our unbolted laboratory kitten
Spasmed on Maisie’s dirndl, clucking.
Teardrops flick window
Impeding distinctness.
Blazoned across yellowing t-shirt:

“When Stuart had left him
Thomas sat motionless at his desk”.

Quote: Iris Murdoch, The Nice And The Good

Ballerina gyrated
In musical box
To some neglected chorus.
Logs glistened, infuriated.
Maisie slung cellophane bellflowers,
Hexing between yaps.
Needled into throwover:

“You lack the gift of ordinariness,
Perhaps essential for your programme”.

Quote: Iris Murdoch, The Nice And The Good

The clamped philanderer
Wouldn’t flap athwart the screen.
Draughts gave netting persuasion
To choke Maisie.
Tight-lips earnest, vernal.
Sheer-drop chess pieces in relief:

“One has to learn
To read it”.

Quote: Iris Murdoch, The Nice And The Good

Ferroconcrete soufflé
Nadirs light hearts.
Convivial wasp
Burned out on pillow,
Had shed gravity to emptiness.
Maisie tut-tuts at aerospace
For dissembling blue.
Ransom note leftovers inform:

“We always change in the evening,
We put on our pretty dresses”.

Quote: Iris Murdoch, The Nice And The Good


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.
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.
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… 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)
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times ; You may visit Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

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