Thursday, 19 May 2016

Grief

I want you all to fuck me.

I want you to fuck me, and I want you to fuck me, and I want you to fuck me, and I want you to fuck me, and I want you to fuck me, and I want you to fuck me, and I want you to fuck me, and I want you to fuck me, and I want you to fuck me, and I want you to fuck me and you get the idea. I want you all to fuck me.

I want you all to chain me up against a wall and use me. Do me. Do me
until there is nothing left of me to do. Do me until there isn’t anyone to do it to.
Is that something you can do?

I want you to understand that there is going to be a point during all this when my survival instinct is going to take over. A point where I am going to start screaming and pleading and demanding that you stop, a point when I will try and fight back, and I want you to promise me you will ignore that. Ignore that and plough on, despite what I might say to make you stop, in spite of my increasingly feeble attempts to fight you off, I do not want you to stop even after I slip into learned helplessness and simply let it happen. I want you to keep going and going and going until I am a fucked-apart dead thing and then I want you to grind my corpse to powder. I want the life fucked out of me.

 I want you all to fuck me.

(with thanks to Brad Neely for the phrase ‘fucked-apart dead thing’)

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Becoming an Image

When I apply foundation, I shun sponges: get my fingers wet
and smear the clay directly on my face, blending with strokes
both light and heavy, until I have primed the surface
for shadow, blusher, the red infill of the lips, the smirking
challenge of a smoothly rendered brow. These are the choices
artists make: of medium and tools, and self as medium – the way
we best make use of limitation. We have learned
the craft of painting faces, got the knowledge
down into the muscle of our hands. A man who, boldly,
slaps oil to the canvas with the bare tips of his fingers
would be thought a daring artist, but when we perform
the same act on our faces it’s dismissed as mere frippery,
as feminine, as faggotry: the Pollock pose is only open
to the kind of guys who, blackout drunk, point their
Lacanian index at the lino, and unleash a stream
of tepid, coppery piss. We are thought miniaturist,
unacademic: ours is not a history of art. And if
we do decide to go as bold as Fauvists we are told
we look like clowns or drag queens.  We are feminine
until the point where what we make begins attracting notice
as deliberate, as willed, at which point, if we’re lucky,
someone asks us who decided on our look.

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Shabby God Story

They call it 'a journey', expecting it to be
as straight as they are: linear, from
A to B, two points on a binary, from x
to y. They never realise that lines on maps
can lie. Can simplify. Projected fictions
only simulate the richness of the road,
the twists we'll take, the hands we'll hold,
the fists we'll raise, the quilts we'll sew,
the things that we can only know
because we read the secret code
in gazetteers too rarely sold by those who  keep to the safe roads and toe the
single hetero line. Our roads will intertwine like Mobius Medusas: through our
abusers, our seducers and the people
truest to us, who are fewer than the first
two but mean more. There is a story
in the fact that signs on maps read
'legend', I am sure. The way to there from here
is never straight - it's absolutely queer.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Downlow

Let me fuck you in the arse
and tell me you’re an alpha.
Talk about your salary, the car
you bought for cash, the targets
that you smash, how much you lift:
God's gift, sure, but nothing hits that itch

like a trans bitch who doesn’t give a shit how rich
you say you are, how much your boss might tell you
you’re a star, how nice the sky looks in Dubai - you say
you visit twice a year? You're here twice-weekly,

coming back repeatedly, you'd come here more often
but I ration out your frequency, there are other people
that I need time in the week to see, people who
don’t creep around and only see me secretly,

because you can surmise what all the other guys would say,
the way the way your colleagues look at you would start to change,
what they'd say aloud, and what they'd just insinuate,
the way the office would become a more intimidating place…

Imagine that! An office full of alpha-banter-blokes,
and you no longer sure you're not the butt of all their jokes!
Well, tough shit, sunshine: that’s the life with which
I had to cope, and who's come out on top, however much
you like to boast? So, cis boy, tell me you’re an alpha
while I fuck you in the rear: we both know you keep this
downlow 'cause you’re too scared to be queer.



Tuesday, 3 May 2016

This Hand on Shoulder Horseshit

Where do they teach it, this touching the hand
to the shoulder? What soi-disant guru maintains
it aids persuasion, builds togetherness, whatever
happy horseshit  it gets credit for? And have they,
perhaps, at any point, considered that for some

of us a hand to shoulder seems unlike
what any friend of ours might do
out of the blue? That some of us
can only be reminded of the times

our bodies had their tenancies rescinded,
an exercise of eminent domain
that left us without papers
in the country of the safe?

Would they be happy to accept
such feedback? Might they stop?

(listen to a recording of this poem here)

Monday, 2 May 2016

But why are you so angry?


Do you ever have one of those moments
when you catch yourself in the mirror
and think I have become the kind of woman 
I would fuck? I know I have:  I don’t know if
it’s just a dyke thing but I know I have seen flashes
of the women I've desired in my body
and my face, and seen that body and that face
reflected in the bodies I have thrilled and thrilled to

and I cannot have this conversation with you,
because I know the line your brain is quoting
from The Silence of the Lambs, and the difference
between us means we do not see that reference
as a bomb our shared good humour can disarm.

To celebrate my body as a thing
worth being attracted to
is to risk crankish diagnoses:
autogynephilia, porn fatigue;
to see yourself as fuckable
is a right you will still find contested, true:
but I will face a harder fight than you.

Feeling Helpless Safely

I make my own safe space, build my own panic room
with smoke and the gap between mirrors
either end of my bed. A Mobius Cordon:
closed, infinite. I fill its air with the words

I imagine you whispering: the way your American voice
gives words like cunt a different, harsher meaning,
fingers tracing my tits as I picture your fists,
I relinquish hypervigilance, relish

this sense of safety that comes
from knowing just who’s going to hurt me.
Slip into sleep by feeling helpless,
safely.