Offcourse Literary Journal
http://www.albany.edu/offcourse
http://offcourse.org
ISSN 1556-4975 
 

Four Poems by Christopher Barnes.

In 1998 Christopher Barnes won a Northern Arts writers award. In July 200 he read at Waterstones bookshop to promote the anthology "Titles Are Bitches". Christmas 2001 he debuted at Newcastle's famous Morden Tower doing a reading of his poems. Each year he reads for Proudwords lesbian and gay writing festival and he participates in workshops. 2005 saw the publication of his collection LOVEBITES published by Chanticleer Press, 6/1 Jamaica Mews, Edinburgh.
"Monuments" and "A City of 1282 Bridges" are from The Amsterdam Poems. The poets maintains a web site at:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/tyne/gay/2004/05/section_28.shtml

 


 

MONUMENTS

Land set aside for bartering
before the fill of hoarding terminuses,
storage barrels girdled, stout mamas,
tipple-stores rippling light-headed hops.

And have you considered the briny moat,
mark of Orange, silks, spices
raised from slippery canals,
twinkle of ramshackled maisonettes,
skin-sheading stucco, moth-eaten emulsion?

Memorials structured around museums,
definite slopes, chinks, light,
trees dappling jade leaves,
boxes, albums nudging the past,
exposing paling, giddy-arched arcades.

This is Amsterdam with its leaf-choked sky;
the Nederlandse Bank is a dike
to squeeze tangy breakers.

Summertime, sculptures, moonstong cenotaphs
sombre with the eclipse of visitors.

 


A CITY OF 1282 BRIDGES

(Socialism) "not of the clenched fist, but
of intertwined fingers, the erect penis, the
escaping butterfly..." - Van Duyn
The Kabouter's Manifesto

Into the scuttling tram we huddle
a richochet, blenching-point.
Hooked-up at the whim of wayward springs.

You talk years.
Thrashed from a diary,
the crack of scrawl
spells the name Kabouter.

A cartology, impossible revolutions,
jittery slip down Leidesplein.

In turn our scuffles were microfiched.
Glimpsed from side to side.

In pungent bazaars we keep late hours
inhale essence of time,
string via twinkles, lamplights
to the tug of the busker's pluck.

What's more we're mouldering. Slow grumbling,
we moor along the glacis
where tumbledown dredgers
corrode indelible paint.

Cutting edge of conscience,
a window of Cafe Kadinsky,
we've won a free and easy
liberal sort of life.

 


A SAILORLESS PORT

Not a backbone on the shoreline.
You're at Soppit's Bar.
I stalk abroad, a loose fish,
circumcised, shrunk.

What's a vacant hour for?
To be tickled with a straw

This disgust-of-life voice
buoys a complaint.

 


POST-MARK

On second class stamps
paper-castle margins flake
and midmost the queen's
a fossil-punch blueprint.

Swash your tongue in slaver,
dribble on sticky gum,
thrust a stop-at-nothing thumbprint,
squash that haughty nose.

I'm due a letter.

 


 

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