Willow Lake Press
by Christopher Barnes © 2006
The following are spoke word compositions. These works are fiction and bear no resemblance or likeness to anyone living or dead. All opinions and interpretations expressed here are entirely the authors. Copyrights are held by the respective authors.
The Secret Visitors
Christopher Barnes © 2006

A heightening of awareness.
Jiggers jump.
An anfractious rustle upon the flanks of the dog.
The Ridges Mother
Christopher Barnes © 2006

She sang trawling shanties,
a parlance now gone.
Sipped ginshop draughts,
the grubby corner of The Wooden Dolly,
modest below booming piano.

Lingering spice of Tyne upon her,
she washed clothes to its waves,
stirred pots to its turnings.

Some horizons were buoyant,
a spot grew larger,
becoming her husband,
others empty, a returning keel.

Winters cracked fingers stinging fish-gut,
summers breezed sheets on a line.

She could wring the neck of a pigeon,
ignore gurgles in a sack of kittens,
kiss a scuffed knee,
making it better.
The Redundancy-Insurance Museum
Christopher Barnes © 2006

"The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles. Freeman & slave, patrician & plebeian, lord & serf, guildmaster & journeyman, in a word oppressor & oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes."
- Karl Marx

Barons in black satin, hands white snow, pitching cold conversations. Chrome yellow crushed under thighs as they sat. Bewigged, ruffled, well-groomed men. Madonnas of unmanageable purity looked on. A griffin in this domain, stone, about to bark. Cold nudes, seven, dancing love tarantellas, demolishing the male gaze, marble flesh. Even Greek athletes wrestling hold desire, muscular beams ends. A crowd of busts gathering slips of dust on teak-lined shelves.

Remembering the House of Windsor clearance sale is a dumbfounding sensation. When the canvas of The Conquered City was removed, all that was left was a bucket, detergent, scuffed Marigold gloves.
The Prick-Absorber
Christopher Barnes © 2006

It's a quest of outstanding debt
though the landings were rid this morning.
She procures them with go-slow hands,
the insidious skin-poppers of junkies,
infectious puncturers on grey concrete,
a falling-off of blood-letting
on scuppered walls, spit, ammoniac acid.
She walks the mainline through the nerves
of this tenement.

And now she is a failsafe net,
a one-off she can bunker,
the nipper of her steady flame,
John, John, dead and gone,
sarcomas last spring snuffed him out.

She was herself a vein zapper,
shot up thunder from the heart,
whiz warmed up
on an unneigbourly candle.
The cough's a blue funk
and the t-cells overspending.

Irked by the tremors
more than once she's pipped herself
with thrilling little tingles
seesawing memories on the highwire.
The Phototherapist
Christopher Barnes © 2006

Her office is to gloss still-life,
trace intumescence over murmuring skin,
interpret the cysts, viscid pits,
each wire-spiked dint
and keep the flushing in spotlight.

Light, the ellipsis of it, whits
in the air, on magnetic wings,
dead scales squalling
the veer of a buttercup shaft,
and fine fragments,
the perpetual hover of molecules
that all cells return to.

She pets defects of bloated crimson,
near-to-pus lesions,
with a talon of scintillation,
guards the tint of a prism
in synthetic visa,
blubbers not one magnolia tear
as she obliterates human flesh.

Undrawing stains is her trade,
she is the artist going backwards,
the power that lets in light.
The Pesky Matchmaker
Christopher Barnes © 2006

(after John Donne's The Flea – a poem arguing
that 2 flea bites conjoined a virgin's blood with her
suiter's, so why should she resist fooling around,
as they are already a blood marriage. Roger and
I were bitten in Exhibition Park…)

Skin bursts.
A cocksure gnat gnashed us both.
These two red spots
could light the spit of tongues.
In that infusing bowel
we're inextricably linked.
Strangers yes
that's but a nest-cuckoo (think love birds)
- we may as well go Dutch
lick the juice, grapes.
How about a bath
to scratch our itches?
Lovebites perhaps?
Don't get knock-kneed
'cause we're already bitten.
If the hose was not
why should we be twice shy?
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