Saturday 24 May 2014

Bitch Get Stronger: a poem in response to RuPaul

When you say I play the victim card,
you show me your whole hand: show that,
like all bullies, you see victim status
as a weapon you can wield to further torment.

When you say 'Bitch, get stronger!'
you tell me you envy our strength.
Bitch, even weakened by oestrogen, 
I could snap you with just one shrug of my arm:

but such muscle as I muster is
the least strength that is in me.
You, sybaritic, sycophant-surrounded,
cry victim when a segment gets deleted,

when your network bars your lips
from hurling slurs that you have no right
to reclaim. I have no entourage.
I walk and work alone, and draw the world's eyes

to the victimhood of those who
suffer far worse than I do:
on the streets, on benefits,
doing the work of survival

at the end of phonelines, 

looking into webcams,
in flats rented from landlords who,
they hope, won't pry; in prison,

military, immigration or civilian,
adult jail before they'll have the right
to buy a drink without the chance
of being carded. Suck mimosa

through your straw and tell me what
Jane Doe or Chelsea Manning, Fallon Fox or Chloie Jonsson,
have to do to get as strong as your
strung-out and skinny ass?

We're waiting. Well, we were:
we'll wait no longer.
Next time you think about throwing out slurs,
bit- no. NO slurs. Be better. Be STRONGER.

Saturday 10 May 2014

NaPoWriMo Catch-up: Fait Accompli

I left the books behind today:
a coward's way of telling, but a
start, a quiet declaration
of intent, a footprint
left deliberately in snow.
Soon you will know:

no need to ask or tell,
or sit amazed to find you so incurious
about my lipstick and foundation. 
At the least, no need to phrase it
in a big, dramatic way.
A minor-key enquiry - you've read them?

A reply which will be all I need to know:
the signs of thumbing on the cheaply-printed pages
which will tell me they've been skimmed
as sure as tracks sing sagas to the hunter,
as curtains strangely shut provide
a signal to the spy.

NaPoWriMo Catch-up: Bloody Noxious Politics

Your bulldog's badly photoshopped,
your soldiers are all thugs
with medals for the Battle of Hoth
blu-tacced to their jugs;

your priest's a skinny Simon Beale
playing Reverend Bantheburqa; 
your leader loiters in a field,
an agricultural lurker,

inspecting sheep's ethnicity
by feeling their equipment,
and reduced to begging that we
watch a cartoon on your website

which looks like it was knocked up
by Rolf Harris on remand:
it's the election broadcasting
equivalent of spam,

and bizarrely predicated
on a mystifying basis:
that Nigel Farage, basically, 
just isn't PROPERLY racist!

NaPoWriMo Catch-up: I heard the Leader speak about the poor

Sign on every day. Become a spectacle
for the self-righteous to masturbate
their sense of amour-propre over.
A hanging without broadsides
or the last words from the scaffold.

Wear a uniform. But not too much of one:
we want to see your unqualified muscles,
laugh at the folds that your skin has developed
from months eating poverty food.
So, no cloth then: tattoos will suffice.

After all, we have skyscrapers 
to erect, floorspace to let.
Our troops must be supported
to fight wars against those countries
whose aristocracies don't purchase
real estate in our capital city.
The banks who make donations to our Party
must remain going concerns.

This is the Law of Recovery:
no pittance without penance,
no gruel without abasement.
No butter without guns.

NaPoWriMo Catch-up: Avant-garde and topical

Nigel                           Farage's
name rhymes             with 'garage'.
It doesn't rhyme with            'bellend'
- but poetry doesn't              HAVE
to rhyme
so you can call him a               cockwomble        too.

NaPoWriMo Catch-up: Catch Up

Just because I'm now Deputy Editor of an internationally-read online LGBT magazine that doesn't mean I'm gonna let unfinished business on this blog slide. So I wrote thirty poems for NaPoWriMo this year, and I'm gonna make damn well sure I get all thirty of them up on here! Appropriately enough the first of this final batch is called Catch Up:

I can't catch up on the years
I should have spent learning

I can't catch up on the hours and nights of sleep I missed
reading Caitlin R Kiernan's run on The Dreaming
and thinking someone understood
but why'd she have to live in Alabama?

I can't catch up on the episodes

of Game of Thrones
and Once Upon a Time
I missed while I lay
in the respiratory ward.

I can't catch up on the nights I could have spent dancing
without worrying I looked too much like a girl

but I intend to.