LIBERTY ATOMS
by Christopher Barnes    Liberty Atoms 6
 
Cormorant beak-walked an eight yard string,
Rebuking tide.
Pratfalling crock – sauce duxelles.
Maisie hassled tufts
–       Lost wit’s fingers.
Sunset on a rubberstamp:
“Everything seemed inevitable”.
  






Liberty Atoms 7

Shellac disc
Rumpled under needle, jilting an overture’s tingle.
Parakeet erupted, groggy.
Maisie bumped as Styrofoam teemed,
Head joggling over night-weary candles –
A spoon’s dome attended to.
Reminder on a page:
“Don’t worry – it’s not time yet –
For me to go”.
 








Liberty Atoms 8

Our soot-dim mirror
Narrowed the fullness that wasn’t there.
Blankness.  Carping resentments.
Maisie’s doll-heads passed up a snigger.
Libra couldn’t be balanced.
Felt-penned on resin tombstone:
“Mother May, being older,
Had no clear role”.
 







Liberty Atoms 9

Waveband tunesmiths
Plunked cadences rearwards
To an insubstantial nucleus.
Maisie flounced, blasting a decanter.
No one strong-lined her to polonaise.
Each chorus hoarser.
Rippled on our tarn
Silvered words:
“I know you are a callous liar”.
 








Liberty Atoms 10

Overnight infinity sultried anti-glow,
Wizening roses to backbones.
Flesh crept on Maisie’s countenance;
Daddy’d promised she’d never be hatched.
Far off, the byre’s pebbles spelled:
“Edward had taken hold of her dress”.   About the Author: 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 poems.  Each year he read for Proudwords lesbian and gay writing festival and partook in workshops.  2005 saw the publication of his collection LOVEBITES published by Chanticleer Press, 6/1 Jamaica Mews, Edinburgh. On Saturday 16Th August 2003 he read at the Edinburgh Festival as a Per Verse. Christmas 2001 The Northern Cultural Skills Partnership sponsored him to be mentored by Andy Croft in conjunction with New Writing North.  He made a radio programme for Web FM community radio about his writing group.  October-November 2005, he 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.  He 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 his poem The Old Heave-Ho.  He 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, including a film piece by the artist Predrag Pajdic in which he read my poem On Brenkley St.  The event was funded by The Policy, Ethics and Life Sciences Research Institute, Bio-science Centre at Newcastle’s Centre for Life.  He was involved in the Five Arts Cities poetry postcard event which exhibited at The Seven Stories children’s literature building.  In May he had 2006 a solo art/poetry exhibition at The People’s Theatre. The South Bank Centre in London recorded his poem “The Holiday I Never Had”; he can be heard reading it on www.poetrymagazines.org.uk/magazine/record.asp?id=184  In August 2007 he made a film called ‘A Blank Screen, 60 seconds, 1 shot’ for Queerbeats Festival at The Star & Shadow Cinema Newcastle, reviewing a poem…see www.myspace.com/queerbeatsfestival   He has also written Art Criticism for Peel and Combustus Magazines.

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