Offcourse Literary Journal
ISSN 1556-4975 

Three Poems, by Christopher Barnes.

The Right of Way


On the hungry planes
a hegemony of elephants
with drear prehensile trunks
flatten like history
with oblique reference to the pre.

The wicky-up and the crop
will fall to the big-footed morning;
the defining organ is not the trunk
but the sole.

Iko sits wide-eyed
where a Coca-Cola sign
on the mongrelised
brown brick mish-mash
of the empty store.

He taps his hands;
a frigid desert wind
weighs cold disappointment
blowing black squeaks
to the ventriloquism
of his African belly.

I read an article:
an elephant can be called just
about anything
as long as people agree about it.




The Sea in My Cup


Deep acid like a warning
at the edges of the sea
blister-bubbles tent corners
of the red round cup
death still bleeding.
Magic-haystack of steam
terrier-fringe tan
and an impression which left
the heaviest smile.



The Seaside Music of Postponing Rocks


Walk in sixths, toeing tips of gullies
is a bird across the crisp
diadem of ocean,
slap-dash irruption.

Waves wet into wet, rolling
greyer than sky, taps turned on
(asphodel sand
caught in the sun's thumb-thrum

wavering through lighthouses
incondite shivers flashing — inklings
darkling middles, chords


Chris Barnes says: Some bio details...

  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 partake in workshops.  2005 saw the publication of my collection LOVEBITES published by Chanticleer Press, 6/1 Jamaica Mews, Edinburgh.
     On Saturday 16th Aughst 2003 I read at theEdinburgh Festival as a Per Verse poet at LGBT Centre, Broughton St.

  I also have a BBC webpage and (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   funded by The Policy, Ethics and Life Sciences Research Institute, Bioscience 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

Christopher Barnes' work has appeared numerous times in Offcourse. Find it in the complete index, All Issues Index and Search


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