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Below are 20 journal entries, after skipping by the 20 most recent ones recorded in Roz Kaveney's LiveJournal:

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Tuesday, May 10th, 2016
12:50 am
And another
FOR PATTI SMITH

She goes on living working. On her skin
age verse grief love write complex telling lines
beauty transmutes remains deceiving signs
laughter's own creases change them. And within
she feels sixteen but tired. Late night sweat
lust for his ashes to regenerate
wishes to sleep aches it's so very late
her flight's at dawn. Wants several minutes yet
of memory of muscle at her back
arm curve that gave a backbeat to a song
so young she has been singing it so long
crow caws pearl note. But no one hears the lack
she hears it mourns it welcomes every loss.
Art the skilled throw the hazard wily toss.
12:36 am
New poem
DEATHLESS

All writers are imaginary friends
who whisper in my ear, throw shady looks
over my verse and prose. And move dark rooks
castle my lines with unexpected ends.

Each other's muses when the muses sleep
engaged in sly erotics of shared soul.
Die maybe done or not. The bells that toll
new measure of how reputations leap

to classic or remaindered as obscure
and then return allusions make us smile
echoes that linger. Always for a while
long life perhaps but deathless is unsure

My mortal colleagues voices in my head
may I too linger somewhere when I'm dead.
Thursday, March 31st, 2016
10:38 am
MY TDOV POST
In August 1979, when I definitively transitioned, I made a decision to be entirely open about being trans. This was not particularly about being virtuous - I reasoned that at 6 ft 4 I was always liable to be read and that if I wanted to write and review and write reports on novels and television scripts, I was always liable to run into people who had known me at Oxford or at Yorkshire Television.

It also meant that I could write about being trans - this became almost immediately relevant because of the publication of Janice Raymond's book.

It was consistent with the liberationist politics I had held during my GLF days and with how some of my older friends like Rachel Pollack had chosen to live their lives.

I did not intend it as a rebuke to those of my friends who wanted to live in stealth or who had been chivvied into stealth by their GICs; I was lucky to have a psychiatrist who accepted that my reasoning about my career was valid.

I have never regretted being either trans or visible. Generally, I have the level of acceptance as a woman who happens to be trans that I am comfortable with - occasional idiocies aside...

Plenty of trans people do not have the level of privilege I had and have; you do what life lets you do.
Saturday, March 19th, 2016
5:39 pm
And a poem prompted by knowing I was going to see REBEL DYKES OF THE 1980s a few hours later
BELLTIME

Belltime black spark.Joints passed on iron stair
Red smear kiss quick in mirror broken glass
Love sudden random hand deep on your arse
Splashed stale smoke lager sweat in short blonde hair

Mandala painted leather. Broken zips
Open to breast dark armpit sudden heft
Hand clutches. Know who made love when they left
Who sweated lonely, memory on lips

Which did not follow through. Until next week.
Two years we cycled through and lust around
Went love hate glory pain. The things we found
And then the music. Memory's a tweak

Pinches old scars. We danced there for a while
Now gone to weep the tears that make us smile
5:37 pm
A sort of meditation on talent, and genius, and self-assurance. Prompted by Mapplethorpe
Fame spurs magnetic gravity dark pull
Scorpion whip stings poison gets us high.
Goal glimpsed revolves in mineshaft or the sky
Strings nerve to Braggart knowing never fool.

You know them when you see them. Glitter dust
Features in eyes before their work is done
Chosen beloved be Mused. Not everyone
Who does good work. Theirs is the work we trust

That we see coming fated as a train
On iron tracks that rushes swift as light
Of rocket starshower. Burns out? It might.
Leave gold ash glory. Something will remain

Envy bite this. Work's good but theirs is more.
Rest cannot know we last but they are sure
5:36 pm
I've started going to BFI FLARE and there will be reports, but not yet. In the meantime...
ON VIEWING 'MAPPLETHORPE' at BFI FLARE

When we cry for the dead, it is ourselves
We cry for. Images in black and white
Flicker through tears. Sharp bone pale
In the night
Across the years. His memory on shelves

Refrigerated so that it might last
So that the silver printing cannot fade.
Sweat stank on leather each time he got laid
Penis like tender orchid curve carved mast

He celebrated fame and flower and fuck
Worked as a demon with dark angel hair
Love sex chose models and they are all there
Ambition art cash checkerboarded luck.

Faustfisted bargain passion love and fame
Boiled monkey skull will always call its claim.
Sunday, February 28th, 2016
3:49 pm
An election poem written in compassion
HRC

We have become the thing that we abhorred.
We did worse things that they might not do worst.
Vile things they planned to say we uttered first.
And wounded all our friends with blunted sword.

That they might think us bought we took their cash.
To gain respect from killers blooded hands.
We hang and torture while the gallows stands.
To tear it down too soon would be too rash.

While murder smiles and prays and thirsts for blood
Beloved of many we must match his pace
And hide regret behind a smiling face.
Dissimulate that one day we'll do good.

We have not earned and yet we ask your trust.
Believe us bad, they're worse. Be wise. You must.
Friday, February 12th, 2016
12:00 am
My black hole gravity waves poem
DARK

Dark in the dark where light has gone to die
like sharks they circle mate their teeth don't shine
all appetite approach pull drag entwine
vastest of things that are the case. We try
to know through observation comprehend
no fact alone escapes to tell in clear
what's done in darkness where things disappear
weigh down so heavy all that's true must bend
And so we see where there can be no sight
awe looms and pulls the strings of real so tight
perhaps this is the image of our end
doom draws together binds distorts consumes.
As dead love eats us whole in dark sad rooms.
Friday, February 5th, 2016
10:51 pm
My poem for the trans mental health zine Dysphoria
BLUE MONDAY

Over again paws shove. Upon my back
Lie weep am shattered. Blues dog fades my soul
and breaks pride armour sheathing. Like a foal
tottered new legs when young. There is a crack
true mirror over false that I must mend
over again. Skin peels, scars. I must burn
unsightly. Body memories return
bad dream. Past life will never be my friend.
And blues dog is the sad I can't afford
It has my scent although my scent is change
I toss my hair. My clothing I arrange
Style neatly. Lipstick smile the lush curved sword
Cuts world. Snarls hint of teeth. Dog slinks away
Hound on my track. Not this but every day.
10:48 pm
My poem for the History Festival Launch
THREE PATHS

There is a path of faith. Humility
Bending to pray. And small acts that are kind
And taking all the comfort you can find
When saying Lord what do you want of me
And sometimes hear a wordless inner
Voice
Mouse whisper or sometimes a thunder chord
Some great CMajor. It is not the Lord
You fear and every day you make the choice
To act as if it were and unconsoled
You live in hope and love and some small trust
That all will be for best. You know it must
For it was promised. There outside of time
Life and eternity one tidy rhyme.

There is a path of law and blood and fear
Of righteous drama. Mercy is a lie.
The greater kindness is that they should die
So sin no more. You will not shed a tear.
Think rather of the innocents misled
Or never born. It is thos would save
You think. For sinners rotten in the grave
You feel no love. Are glad that they are dead.
Nor worry justice mercy love the law
You claim to serve. Tremble. The sin of pride
Makes angels fall and to your soul you lied.
God whom you serve will never know you more.
They do not hear God whisper in each breath
Turn loving kindness into fear and death.

There is a path of honest simple doubt
Faith died or never was. For its own sake
The path of Truth and loving-kindness take
Some do it for their God. You do without.
There's logic to the choice. Do as you would
In the imagined world and not the real
You'd not be stolen from so do not steal
And in cold reason find a spring of good
To water dryness. And do not despise
The godly harmless kind. Fear in the night
We share. They too resist the brutal might
Of killing faith. You see deep in their eyes
Faith's love and doubt's more nearly sibling same
Than those whose worship kills befouls the name
Friday, January 15th, 2016
12:34 am
Alan Rickman reads this poem in Truely Madly Deeply
THE DEAD WOMAN (after Neruda)

My love, I shall live on when you are gone.
I hate to say it. Out there in your night
I would be silent. And there is the fight
Blacks beaten men in prison. When the sun
shines as last victory that's not mine but ours
I must still live forgive me from your grave
For living still when rising like a wave.
Sun warms blind face. If dumb still sing dark hours.
Your death falls tatter red and yellow leaves
rain soak fire burn cold freeze. My broken feet
Stagger from death where you and I would meet.
You wanted strong unbroken one that grieves
walks on. The people march. I am among
them writing singing marching am their song.
Tuesday, January 12th, 2016
12:03 am
Here is a very long autobiographical poem which is amazingly triggery because it's about owning and dealing with a bit of my past that includes abuse and cathartic partial revenge.

I was a very bratty twelve-year old. My then best friend's name is obscured to protect the not entirely innocent

Collapse )
Monday, January 11th, 2016
8:24 am
I wish this were not my job
DAVID BOWIE

We danced. He played. We listened. Down the years
he changed remade himself. The music throb
changes remains. It is the artist's job
to be chameleon. He's dead. Our tears
are for ourselves and how he helped us be
ourselves through change. Let's not talk of his flaws
today – so many. Wash them in applause
For now. I weep he helped me to be free.
Life is, death is, a cavalcade of grief.
We know, we feel, we dance. And then we lose
who made us. So we put on our red shoes.
Lets dance contempt for death, who is the thief
makes life and dancing matter. In the sky
a starman waits. He knows and tells us why.
Wednesday, December 16th, 2015
10:58 am
SOMETIMES i GET VERY ANGRY
FOR A SECRETARY OF STATE

We did not choose to know. He did not lie
Precisely. Talked of overwhelming need
For change. 'If you would garden you must weed'
He never said he wished that these would die.

The old sick lame mad noisy idle queer.
He had long lists as angry statesmen do
You'd never know until he listed you
Except some of your friends would disappear

The social death of never having cash
No fares or shoes to go where people meet
You do not talk or write if you don't eat
Nothing as crude as ovens full of ash.

They'll ask us how. We'll weep. Do not forget
Many might live. There are high lampposts yet.
Tuesday, December 15th, 2015
12:10 am
Just as I am getting over the cold from Hell, a request poem...
POEM FOR AN ASTRONAUT

All of us fear to, really want to go
Beyond the storm clouds out beyond the air
No troubles because little else is there.
Beneath the human world rotates so very slow
It almost sleeps and will when we are gone
To grave dust all our towers go away
Our words works sins and kindnesses decay.
As the world turns our lights die one by one

But not today not yet. Today you ride
Phaeton unfailing Icarus on high
Collective wisdoms place you in the sky
We dream that we are winging at your side.

All that we make will fall. Perhaps the best.
To reach this height before we come to rest
Saturday, December 5th, 2015
1:13 am
They are tearing down the Munchen
LESBIAN BAR FIGHT 1987

He took a long draw of his cigarette
then threw it in my former girlfriend's hair
affronted she ignored him. We were there
me, her, her current girlfriend. I forget
what I was drinking. Had to throw it quick
to quench the burn. Schwarz threw him to the floor
and punched him. And we all got shown the door.
Perhaps because his quiet friend was sick
I hurt his hand wrenching away the glass
he emptied tried to brain her with. My nails
dug in a pressure point. That never fails
You twist in, they collapse, down on their arse
they fall. And there's the thing. What point is love
if you don't hurt men when push comes to shove?
12:52 am
OUT OF THE QUARREL WITH OURSELVES WE MAKE POETRY
SYRIA DECEMBER THIRD

My words are useless. They will not prevent
a single starving child or stitch in place
an arm torn-off or smooth acid burned face
or turn aside the bloodiest event
heart can conceive. Perhaps announce my grief
in organ tones of sorrow, bring a tear
to hardest heart's stone eye. i disappear
from my best work. A poet is a thief
who stands inside the mirror of her eyes
watches the world bleed, but I cannot change
the pieces that I steal, that I arrange
in pleasing shapes. At best I offer lies
pretend that art can make what's damaged whole.
I damn myself pretending to console.
Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015
11:32 pm
Too sick at heart to write well
To 67 Labour MPs

Gold tongues and lion hearts are worthless trash.
Virtues that history will not recall.
We do not care what reasons made you fall.
Ambition, pique, or principle or cash.

It is the crime and not the motive weighs
so heavy, breaks our hearts, loses our trust.
It's hard to hate you now but hate we must
to keep our anger hot. When each page says

how right you were to take us all for fools.
You are the clever ones with clear bright eyes
yet sell yourself so cheap, tell stupid lies
corrupt your virtues into broken tools

All that you were for this one day you sold
For jobs which go with power which goes with gold.
2:07 pm
End time bollocks
Here's another amplification. As I understand it, one of the differences between Al-Qaeda and Daesh/ISIL is that both have an end time theology but that Al Baghdadi believes himself entitled to declare himself caliph with minimal authority from theologians and start the clock ticking whereas Al Qaeda defer to the major universities to let them know when the end times start.

This is private Islamic business - which I may have hopelessly mis-stated - and for Muslims to sort out among themselves.

However, one thing that the Christian world could do is de-escalate Christian theology about the End Time. The Christian Right in the US and elsewhere started the clock ticking long ago, and this has particular ramifications for politics. Part of this is the assumption that eg equal marriage is a provocation to god and evidence for climate change is a sign of his wrath.. There is also the stuff about Obama or Putin being the Antichrist. More importantly, in relation to Middle Eastern affairs, there is the backing of Israel beyond all reason on the assumption that the Apocalypse kicks off with a lot of Israelis suddenly converting to Christianity and the rest all dying horribly. The Israelis find this belief on the part of most Republicans and many others convenient - bar the conversion/horrible death stuff.

I am suggesting a convention of those major branches of Christianity who think this is all impious bollocks to say so, loudly. I don't normally think the Pope should tell other Christians that something is heretical nonsense, but in this instance...

If you want to put out a signal, that might be one of the ones to put out
2:04 pm
More Jarvis bollocks
Some amplification.

Intelligence about command and control is of two kinds. 1 Electronic tracing of GPS chips etc. This tells you where the chip is but not who is there with it - thus, blown up hospitals and schools readily provided for propaganda purposes.
2. Special forces infiltrators on rooftops with binoculars and laser sights. That might mean you get someone you want to kill but bombs aren't bullets and you get eg the building he is next to eg school or hospital.

Also, of course, Daesh believe in 5 caliphs before the End. Al Baghdadi expects he will die. Leaving him alive buggers up the prophesies he relies on.
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