As part of my activity during lockdown in Spring 2020, I used what was to hand to make some booklets of poems. I revisited a poetry sequence I wrote that drew on guides and instructions for ‘proper’ speech, rules for social and public behaviour, the 1967 Sexual Offences Act led to the partial decriminalistation of homosexuality, and the policing, control or modification of the body in social media. The work is made and published in a limited run of 20 copies. The text is formatted in Big Caslon, with headings in Copperplate. The cover papers come from a Soviet era book on the buildings of Prague.
Parts of this text formed the basis of the score for the performance Threaded Inserts. First performed as part of Tears in Rain, for Plymouth Art Weekender at Plymouth Athenaeum, September 2017. Threaded Inserts was also presented at the Projectivisms symposium, organised by Wanda O’Connor at Cardiff University, May 2018 and at STREAM: a Series of Transdisciplinary Rituals & Experiments in Art & Music at Dartington in September 2018.
from Threaded Inserts …
I wish I could too.
Forget tales of eyes looking around
knowing your visible beating breast
attempting to commit firm stir outwards
and ask if this is the moment that
honour and courage oblige like common distilled waters.
As a young man, I’ve seen flashy things
forever moving to the right.
If, and only if, these hothouse serpentine stripes
are wilting fast,
a portion of depressed hair has fallen down,
huge flowers endow, arouse most attention.
This is the time to disgrace himself, and offend his hearers
and look at their meltdowns,
plough one foot across the other,
it has blocked the forehead area.
Wherever increased effectiveness in delivery
could secure attachment with another man,
not eddy but heady,
against the scruff of his cheek.
Prompting yet, a strong presumption from his expression,
a preparatory striking to the left, winking;
with swollen knee patens, fingerless mittens,
and happily snuggles against his chest.
But, I keep staring at this one …
If you do not see it,
please waft other minds on common ground.
It should be on the buff cheek,
arm on waist swung and missed
with eyes looking downwards, uncle.
But what has he done to warrant a person going
where a wider hand may be raised vertically?