Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Good news on many fronts!

When I first saw the news this morning I couldn't quite bring myself to believe it: it seemed too good, too perfect to be true, after all this time hoping, and praying, and going on about it to anyone who'd listen and quite a few who wouldn't...but there it was, in black and white:

'The Bathroom Thing' has finally passed the 1000 views mark!

And in little more than a year too! Huzzah. Oh, also longtime enemy of this blog Michael Gove got sacked from the Education portfolio and demoted to Chief Whip. It would, of course, be churlish in the extreme to use his ill fortune as a cheap excuse to post a video of me ripping the piss out of him on the open mic at Jibba Jabba earlier this year.

Best do it, then!

Saturday, 12 July 2014

That the City, after this enormity, may be renewed

They told me that my sex drive would be
'ruined' - the exact word that they chose,
as if the hormones were a bomb
that would destroy the proud erections
of an engineered city.

What they didn't realise
was that my metropolis
already lay in ruins:

behind the neoclassical facades
of banks, the people gathered
'round the fires that burned in drums,

bartered shoddy goods under the tarps
slung far beneath the shattered skylights
of the covered market;

that taps gasped air and dirt
in sailors' bars beside the silted harbour:

and here, hormones came as wrecking ball
and blueprint for renewal, as mortar
in the sense of both explosive and cement,
as the new broom in City Hall,

and that, where once I had a Miesian libido,
gridded and predictable, what sprang up in its place
is more like Gehry: complicatedly

amazing; twisted and baroque,
always apparently about to

tumble in upon itself, but stronger
than the mess it seems to be.
Where once I was the New York Subway,
now I'm Harry Beck's map of the Tube

reimagined as a rollercoaster
(though I happily will go
South of the River):

complicated, multi-coloured, centripetally
alive in all directions, and I know
that cut-and-cover, and the pounding
of the tunneling machines

can look like demolition
but they aren't. I'm not in ruins:
this chaos that you hear and see
is not a war:

 it's just my future,

Monday, 7 July 2014

Bootstraps (draft of a new poem)

Let’s talk about these
double-helixed through the eyelets
of the shoes that you lace up
when you go running down
these streets where you feel safe

when you go running down
the folks who say they aren’t safe
in these streets

when you go running down
the ones whose dna laced different patterns
through the eyelets of the chromosomes
you use as shorthand,

Big Bang Theory boxset scientist,
who thinks toilets marked by crosses
like a plague door are a joke
to like and share

like the experiences
the lips that suckle
at your breast,


Let’s talk about this nature:
let’s talk about the boys who bleed
each month and hate the stuff,
let’s talk about top surgery,

let’s talk about the tits that I am growing
which will never feed a child
and grant me
Mumsnet kinship,

let’s talk about the womb I’ll never shed,
the uterus that Lili Elbe died
in transplantation of,

let’s talk about the
cock which
- even clothed! –
makes me a monster,

let’s talk monstrances
and transubstantiation
because that’s the kind of
that you’re talking

how many murdered trans women of colour
can dance in the space you routinely leave out
between adjective

And if you say ‘cis is a slur!
into the weeds on the waste ground
in back of the Dairy Queen
where Zoraida Reyes’ body was discovered

does that still make a sound
like your dog whistle words
on how the revolution came to you
as a woman on the cover of a magazine

who wasn’t butch
and white
and happy to play MichFest
until challenged?

Let’s parse the
of claiming
‘gender hurts’

and ‘morally mandating’
that the care which cures the pain
should not be given;

let’s rule on who’s allowed to use
which lavatory in Heaven...

we’ve been saying since ‘11
that this maze has intersections
snaking like the laces
on our shoes you tied together
while we slept

for shits and giggles,
while you claim it’s not an issue
if we wriggle free and hurl those shoes
above the wires
while saying that we’re done...

but hey, success is not for everyone.
Let’s talk about the hard work you’ve gone
through, and all the things you had to do,
and reassure us that we’re all just like you,

as we ignore the faces
that we don’t see in this room.
Come: talk to us about the laces
in your big man’s
cis man’s
straight man’s
white man’s
safe man’s
Great Man’s


Thursday, 3 July 2014

An Ode to James Franco

Hello, James.
This is AJ.
Your poems are
fucking terrible
but then
you know that
don't you?
'Fame raped me,'
you wrote,
'And I raped it,
if you know what
I'm saying.'
No James.
I don't
know what you're
In what way exactly
is fame akin to rape
outside the cringeworthy freshman dreams
of the first-semester workshop?
James, you're
the Jesus age
but sadly alas
you will not
be literally crucified.

P.S. To be fair
I did think you were good
in the Spider-man films.
The first ones,
with Tobey Maguire,
before they got