Stark

Standard

In the middle of the night, I will find you,
And maybe along the way, I’ll find myself.
It has never been my intention to blind you
Into mistaking this for anything else.
In the harshest sunlight, shining starkly,
Irradiating everything within its touch,
Would it be an imposition for you to think of me,
Or is such courtesy an inconvenience too much?

Like what you’re reading?

🏳️‍🌈Spoken Word Poetry for Pride Month🏳️‍🌈

Standard

Hello 🙂

Here’s a (very) small selection of some beautiful, talented, amazing slam poems. These were supposed to be posted throughout the month but I messed up my queues… enjoy xx


(Michael Monroe: Bisexual Breakfast)


(Laura Banka: Bisexual)


(Natalie Zakon: B is for Bisexual)


(Abbie Wells: I’m A Myth)


(Spencer: A Poem on Being Asexual)


(Thomas Hill: Pray the Gay Away)


(Keith Jarrett: A Gay Poem)


(Elliot Darrow: God Is Gay)


(Joanna Hoffman: Pride)


(Wyatt Fleckenstein: Labels)


(A W: Witch Hunt)


(Ethan Smith: A Letter to the Girl I Used to Be)


(Ollie Schminkey & Wyatt Fleckenstein: Small Towns)


(Rhiannon McGavin: Art Class)


(Denice Frohman: Dear Straight People)


(Zev Verdoner: Dear Rosie)


(Andrea Gibson: I Do)

Poetry in the News

Standard

Hello 😊

Here’s your poetry in the news for today, I hope it’s a good one for you!

A great interview with US poetry laureate Tracy K Smith.

Here‘s some really beautiful poems from Steve Straight (love Vincent!).

This is beautiful. The House of Iraqi Poetry, directed by Hosam al-Sarray, is a cultural organisation that is reaching out to young Iraqis and reclaiming the streets with poetry. Beautiful, beautiful, give it a read.

Thom Young’s experiment with ‘pop poetry’ in Instragram has attracted some attention, and in this interview he talks about the need for poetry for the younger generation.

When I first read the headline for this, I laughed a little, thinking it sounded a little ridiculous. A student demanding that her grade be changed to an A and taking them to court to get that done sounds pretty ludicruous, but reading this piece over a couple of times and I’m not sure what I think. Scratch that, I do, I feel a bit like this person makes a mockery of poetry and is stamping their feet because they haven’t got their own way. Poetry is supposed to be all-embracing, liberating, a place to get out those thoughts in your head and let you breathe. By exposing yourself to poetry you don’t necessarily agree with the principles of, well. We can all learn by stepping outside of our comfort zone, can’t we? Poetry is a safe place to do that. And to anyone that would argue that there is a lot of LGBT ‘stuff’ around us at the moment like it’s a big influx out of nowhere, uh, no? Firstly, have we not been shoving heterosexuality in peoples’ faces forever? Secondly, we have always had gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, asexual, non-binary, gender-fluid, and other people in our societies who don’t fit the heteronormative stereotypes that have been instilled on us all our lives; we’ve just ignored them, mocked them, persecuted them, or pushed them into corners so we don’t have to look. Thirdly, have you even seen poetry? Seriously, if you aren’t aware of the ‘hidden’ sexuality in our classics, can’t imagine that some of our most celebrated poets were gay, lesbian or otherwise, well. You might need to do yourself a little research and prepare for a shock (here’s a little heads up for you).

Alright, I’m dismounting my soapbox now, back to more poetry in the news.

Here’s a nice article on poetry as meditation.

Alice Oswald talks about her poetry and winning the International Griffin Poetry prize for her Falling Awake collection.

Trudy Howson dedicates a poem to Hastings Pride.

And finally, 14-year old Olivia Walsh from Manchester has written a poem in response to the attack.

Enjoy the rest of your weeks 😊

Poem of the week: A History of Sexual Preference, Robin Becker

Standard
We are walking our very public attraction
through eighteenth-century Philadelphia.
I am simultaneously butch girlfriend
and suburban child on a school trip,
Independence Hall, 1775, home
to the Second Continental Congress.
Although she is wearing her leather jacket,
although we have made love for the first time
in a hotel room on Rittenhouse Square,
I am preparing my teenage escape from Philadelphia,
from Elfreth’s Alley, the oldest continuously occupied
residential street in the nation,
from Carpenters’ Hall, from Congress Hall,
from Graff House where the young Thomas
Jefferson lived, summer of 1776. In my starched shirt
and waistcoat, in my leggings and buckled shoes,
in postmodern drag, as a young eighteenth-century statesman,
I am seventeen and tired of fighting for freedom
and the rights of men. I am already dreaming of Boston—
city of women, demonstrations, and revolution
on a grand and personal scale.
                                                       Then the maître d’
is pulling out our chairs for brunch, we have the
surprised look of people who have been kissing
and now find themselves dressed and dining
in a Locust Street townhouse turned café,
who do not know one another very well, who continue
with optimism to pursue relationship. Eternity
may simply be our mortal default mechanism
set on hope despite all evidence. In this mood,
I roll up my shirtsleeves and she touches my elbow.
I refuse the seedy view from the hotel window.
I picture instead their silver inkstands,
the hoopskirt factory on Arch Street,
the Wireworks, their eighteenth-century herb gardens,
their nineteenth-century row houses restored
with period door knockers.
Step outside.
We have been deeded the largest landscaped space
within a city anywhere in the world. In Fairmount Park,
on horseback, among the ancient ginkgoes, oaks, persimmons,
and magnolias, we are seventeen and imperishable, cutting classes
May of our senior year. And I am happy as the young
Tom Jefferson, unbuttoning my collar, imagining his power,
considering my healthy body, how I might use it in the service
of the country of my pleasure.

Love is Love

Standard

The stars did not go out tonight.

No inky canopy lost its sparkle, nor did the light grow dim.

No flames were extinguished tonight.

Embers still caress wicks and flare a rainbow of colours in their kiss.

Hope did not fail tonight.

Dreams and wishes still whisper their wisdom and are kept, nurtured, alive within.

Love did not fade tonight.

No hatred, no torment, no blistering evil will ever grow strong enough to stop this.

Because love is love, and we are love,

And we are stronger with it than without,

And to those who wish to destroy love,

Well, let there never be any doubt:

Love will win, every time. Even for those we have never met.

Because love is love, and love will shine. We will not forget.

Favourite Poets: Edgar Allen Poe, The Valley Of Unrest

Standard
Once it smiled a silent dell
Where the people did not dwell;
They had gone unto the wars,
Trusting to the mild-eyed stars,
Nightly, from their azure towers,
To keep watch above the flowers,
In the midst of which all day
The red sun-light lazily lay.
Now each visitor shall confess
The sad valley’s restlessness.
Nothing there is motionless—
Nothing save the airs that brood
Over the magic solitude.
Ah, by no wind are stirred those trees
That palpitate like the chill seas
Around the misty Hebrides!
Ah, by no wind those clouds are driven
That rustle through the unquiet Heaven
Uneasily, from morn till even,
Over the violets there that lie
In myriad types of the human eye—
Over the lilies there that wave
And weep above a nameless grave!
They wave:—from out their fragrant tops
External dews come down in drops.
They weep:—from off their delicate stems
Perennial tears descend in gems.
Okay, on to a next favourite poet, which was off to a bad start to begin with because there’s just so many. The Valley Of Unrest is typical Poe, conjuring the most beautiful imagery with perfectly chosen words, it’s short, simple, yet really effective. Beautiful poem, start to finish.

A Study In Pride

Standard

Don’t tell me you’re proud of me,
When it’s nothing but a fucking platitude,
A balm to soothe the wounds of your words,
Or to pull out the barbs
Of your own lack of worth from my skin.

You don’t get to be proud of me,
Show me off like a trophy of your achievements,
When your dismissal’s etched into my surfaces,
Marking me forever scarred.
You are not proud of me.

You scorn anyone who’s ever praised me.
Laugh, sneer, joke like I am one,
Until I become one.
Until your song is the only one I remember the lyrics for.
I have allowed your pride in me
To hollow out this shell.
To carve this non-life I’ve believed
Is all I deserve to exist in
To be nothing but this.
What even is, this?

You are not proud of me.
The word proud has no right getting past your teeth,
And I don’t need the lashings of your tongue
To remind me of that.

But I still hear that.
Any second I let me believe in myself,
Or listen to someone that’s not you.
And I don’t want to anymore.

Because you are not proud of me.

And I don’t need you to be.

I am not you.