For a Man


Women make better friends, they said

Nails bite like incisors into soft, warm flesh

Women are fluid

 

Then I took

A man with big hands and enormous feet

Whose hair tickles parts of me

About which my Mother didn’t tell

Fingers that sing tricky tunes of love

The bee’s sting of desire

 

I know women

But I love a man

 

I am not a traitor to my sisters’ cause

Punching my fist in the face of ideological rejection

I am the projection of

Purity

Love

Truth

Merely human

 

Louise M. Hart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ode to Ruby Rose


Your hair is sunlight

 

Illuminating your face

 

Strands like fingers

 

Supplying

 

Sweet caresses

 

To your skin

 

Of silken lace

 

 

 

Mine is brittle

 

Whose strands betray

 

And belittle

 

The pulp that lies

 

Beneath my eyes

 

Flesh ruddy and hostile

 

 

 

Your breath kisses the wind

 

Mine is stained with the scent

 

Of cigarettes and sin

 

I have lived amongst men

 

But love only women

 

You love none

 

More than yourself

 

And display your body

 

For a living

 

I display my mind

 

And am a dying monument

 

To life upon the shelf

 

 

 

Your eyes shine like cerulean

 

And the diamonds you wear

 

Suggest the wealth of your talent

 

If only I could rest my head

 

Between your breast’s

 

Heaves of submission

 

And be reborn as beauty

 

Love, truth

 

And death in remission

 

 

 

You are an illustrated woman

 

Your flesh frames

 

Each picture you portray

 

So, I read you with a lascivious look

 

Devour your painted form

 

Like an open book

 

And then I look again

 

And imagine

 

That you have stamped

 

My library card of a heart

 

With a kiss of approval

 

 

 

But you are no more real

 

Than the love I feel

 

When I gaze at photographs

 

Of you

 

For you are young

 

And I am too old and ugly

 

To be loved by one

 

As beautiful as you

 

Rent Boy


By Louise M. Hart

He silently sits in a busy underpass

Raggedy man reflecting his soul like glass

“Only the poor give to the poor,” He thinks

A benefit scrounger inserts a pound coin

Between his teeth

And drops it into raggedy man’s hat

He eats empty plates of thoughts for dinner

And dreams of being fat

His heart has no home

Less, his body resides in the West Midlands of nowhere

He does not even own a cat

Called Bob

Man, it is boring here

Where he cannot afford a beer or a filtered cigarette

His brow is lined with the sweat of circumstance and distress

And all because his Mother called him, “a sinner”

He was big in Moseley once

Now he is invisible in an underpass

Wanker banker leaves work at 5.33

He passes Mr Raggedy

And notices the curve of his lips

His hungry brown eyes

And delicate finger tips

He rubs his wallet

Tea at Nanna’s


By Louise M. Hart

 

Sit at the table girls

Remember to say, “Please,” and “Thank you”

And never use bad words

Like, “Oh God,” and, “sod,” and “bloody ‘ell”

Children should be seen but never heard

Except by those who wash their underwear

 

Pretend to contentedly defer

To your superiors; the vicars and doctors

Who will one day fear

The glare of your exterior

Nose studs which endear you to the great unwashed

Bovver boots yielding you to trample underfoot

The mass who speak with crap

Leaking through the cracks of their posteriors

 

Sterilised milk makes our guts heave

But we say, “Thank you,” when it is poured into our cups

Butter sandwiches, a slice of ham inside

Nanna watches us eating, almost pulsating with pride

Tinned peaches as slippery as brine

When eaten with butter and bread

And combined with love and twinkling blue eyes

And the cakes…

 

We all like a bit of what you fancy

 

Mine was French

And encased in perfectly pink skin

Creamy upon the touch of my tongue

And slobbering chin

But taste is subject to change

So I subsequently deferred to a bit of brown

Being slim the aim in mind

Pink became the colour of yesteryear’s mistress race

A lick of brown replaced my love heart dress and fear of clowns

 

Forced to nibble pink

In an exhibition of familial love

I closed my nostrils

And thanked God above

For supplying fish for supper

 

 

 

See


By

Louise M. Hart

 

Whilst I was drowning

She waved

“…you’re breaking my heart

You’re shaking my confidence

baby”

 

The birds on the breeze

Didn’t whisper my name

But the birds in the bar

Tweeted, “A pint please,

Louise”

And I answered them

With indiscreet wheezes of

“Yesss, please”

 

(Help me!)

 

I swallowed greedily

Licking windows

And clits

 

 

For whilst I was drowning

She was charming

The baby dyke

Whose fringe

Swept me off my feet

Like gold dust

From her plump eyelashes

 

She was a whole number

To my oddness

 

Whilst I was drowning

She waved

Right out to sea

Until it took her

As I had not-

She who had washed

Her hands of me

Many years before

 

…and me

 

…always remembering

The lingering scent of her fingers

On shifting sands

Of my receding memory strands

And pubic hair

Viewed furtively on demand

 

20 years on

She drowned

Whilst I wobbled

Elephantine

On land

Dry and firm

 

She had drowned

Whilst I was waving

 

To all the Girls I have never Loved before


I dedicate this poem

To the loves

I have not known

The nights I have spent

Alone

Chastising myself

With my belt of desires

On a bed

Of moist memory foam

And sheets

That drip with sweat

And dread of exposure

 

I dedicate this poem

To the hearts

I have not broken

With my roaming eye

And my tongue tingling

Love tokens of longing

For the tasty pink delight

Of womanly wonders

 

Beneath the swooning

Fist of night

My heart thrives

On its passionate cries

But my body celebrates

Celibacy

With cross-legged frigidity

 

Though my mind is insecure

In the grasp

Of its moral duplicity

I secretly acknowledge

The tenuous tightrope

I tread

Of illusory hetero

Homogeneity

 

I am as anonymous

As I was not made to be

And spread my legs

Only for the wondrous words

I create

Never under cover

Of the beds

Adorned by those

To whom I dedicate

This poem

In my head

 

This Charming Man


“Punctured bicycle on a hillside desolate”
(Morrissey and Marr)

Salford in the late 1950’s formed a landscape of entrapment. Back to back houses confined back to back people to a life filmed in black and white. There were no intermediate shades. One either was good or bad, right or wrong, a working class hero or a self-aggrandising snob.

Geoff pushed his ailing bicycle down the hillside. Flatter than Jo’s bosoms, its front tyre flopped against the rough terrain. It was nearly 5 miles home and Jo would be waiting for him to cook dinner. “Bugger me,” he swore under his breath. He was hungry and anticipating the long walk home made him feel even more dreadful than the inevitable and unenviable task he faced, mending his punctured bike.
Making his way to the road, Geoff stumbled over a stone and landed on the ground with an embarrassing thud, his bike crashed on top of his skinny legs. “Ouch.” Geoff pushed aside the bike and clung to his right knee. Oblivious to the figure who sauntered behind him, he imagined blood seeping from the wound beneath his trousers and felt quite faint.
“Poor boy, you look quite ruffled down there,” Said the stranger. Surprised to see the elegantly dressed older man peering at him, Geoff looked down at his feet and screeched,
“And I’ve scuffed me Italian Casuals.”
“Let me help you up,” Said the man. His strong arms reached out to Geoff and he gripped his shoulders. The man’s masculinity merged with his own fragile form, their muscles straining in unison to secure Geoff’s safe ascent.
“Thanks ever so much,” Said Geoff, now erect. He looked up at the stranger’s handsome face and felt his cheeks flush.
“Can I offer you a lift…anywhere?” The man’s offer was tempting. “I am staying at a nearby hotel. I could take you there and tend your wounds.” Geoff could hear his heart beat inside his ears. The beats reminded him that not only was he alive, but that he was free to do what he chose. He briefly thought of Jo and the dinner he had offered to cook for her.
“That would be lovely,” He replied.
The man, who claimed to be named, Rex supported Geoff to walk to his car, which was parked nearby. Once again, Geoff felt giddy. He had never ridden in a Jaguar before. Rex opened the passenger door and Geoff crumpled inside. The seats were made of mahogany coloured leather. His fingers caressed them, eager to experience sensuous pleasure.
The hotel was situated only a few minutes away. It was the one where all the swanky people stayed. When Geoff walked in he looked at the floor, afraid of suspicious stares. Rex, however, seemed unrepentant, gaily abandoning any fear of others’ disapproval he might have possessed. Rex’s room was suitably grand and his bed as appealing as the silk pyjamas that were folded beneath his pillow.
“Would you like a drink, Geoffrey…a little something to calm your nerves?” Before Geoff could answer, Rex picked-up the phone and requested a bottle of champagne. Geoff had never tasted champagne before…but there was a first time for everything.
Whilst they were waiting for the drink to be delivered, Rex offered Geoff a cigarette. He did not smoke, but failed to inform Rex. Gauloise were very sophisticated and now that he was on the threshold of sophistication, Geoff felt that he should prove himself a man.
“Thank you ever so,” He spluttered to his companion.
When the champagne had been delivered, Rex poured 2 drinks and sat on the bed. “Why don’t you come and sit with me, my boy. You look awfully lonely over there.” Geoff summoned every ounce of courage he possessed and sat beside his new friend. They both drank quickly. Rex looked at Geoff in a way no one had ever looked at him before and said, “Take your trousers off. It’s time to tend your wounds.”
2 hours later Geoff arrived home in a large red Jaguar car. Jo had tired of waiting for him and eaten over an hour earlier. “Where have you been?” She asked, as he entered the house carrying a shiny new bicycle.
“Wouldn’t you like to know?” He replied. Though his body hurt inside, his spirit felt feather light, for his nature had finally, transformed him from nervous boy into a man, who would one day have charm on his side