I went to a poetry reading in Second Life and an American woman came and read a poem she called the type of poetry ‘slam’ poetry, or slam verse, something like that. It just sounded like a rant, with lots of ‘fucking this’ and ‘fucking that’, or ’fuck you’ etc. I’m not averse to the use of that word in the right place, and there was no doubting the passion and heartfelt conviction of her words. I wondered if I’d be able to come up with something on the same topic – given that I am British, not American, and rather middle-class and not that young. So this is an example of rather genteel British slam poetry. I started by calling it ‘Slam dyke’, but the name morphed after a bit.
Sex Love Hypocrisy
The careful hypocrisy of the English on sex
Really gets me rather vexed.
Tiptoeing round. Planning darling Arabella’s wedding.
You can tell she’s posh, getting married so soon.
Their seventh year together come this June.
Not twenty years and three kids down the line
And now we can finally afford it.
Cackling with laughter at the thought of wearing white,
Wondering what they’ll do that’s different on their special night.
“In my day the only things that lived together
Were a girl’s two knees
Firmly clamped together till they crossed the threshold,
Preferably carried in the arms of a banker, or lawyer, or a good doctor.”
“Yes, granny, but I am the doctor,”
Bawling into her hearing-aid while twinkling at Mummy
Over the pale peach organza, and tiara.
Shagging like rabbits they are,
But we don’t think of that, only
Wonder what to put on the present list
When they already have everything
In their lovely home, they’ve already bought in joint names.
“And what about you, dear? “
Bawled at mad Aunt Cath in the corner there.
Dark and out-of-place in the organza-laden room,
Strangely young and hip actually
For someone who’s really just an old spinster.
“That husband – couldn’t hold onto him?
Was it that you couldn’t have children, dear,
Or did you just want a career?”
The disapproval hangs in the air.
Never stated, of course, but really-
How selfish, we never put career before children in my day.
“No, Granny, it’s because I’m a Lesbian,
Never found a woman I wanted to have kids with.”
The flushed-cheeked, closed-mouth look of disgust,
Saying nothing but eyes avert
As if she’d dropped a particularly smelly fart.
(But she hadn’t - she went before she came)
Such directness will not do,
Not with pale peach organza.
But God doesn’t hate you, dear.
Love the sinner, hate the sin.
We know they can’t help it,
Apparently they’re born like that,
Or so they say.
But it doesn’t make it right.
After all, we are Christians
In a tepid sort of way.
Even if Arabella has been shagging
For seven years, not married to that chap whatsizname,
It’s not the same.
It’s not like she’s on the game
Or having babies just for benefit gain,
Like some slob, with sixteen kids and never had a job.
Ah, but now anything goes, all standards are lost.
We must draw the line somewhere, whatever the cost.
And we’re drawing it with you.
You stepped over the line of holy tradition
Living a life of open sedition.
Live and let live, I suppose. But don’t you
Shove it down my throat.
As if you, when you smugly gloat
In your comfy, unquestioning normality,
Two point five children and a widow’s pension
In a nice granny flat in your daughter’s extension,
Aren’t shoving your heterosexuality in my face.
But God loves you, you’ll surely be saved,
He’ll let you in the pearly gates.
It’s quite simple to follow the rules,
It’s alright to ‘be’, just not to ‘do’.
We’ll let the gays be vicars and deacons,
And Lesbians too, don’t let it be said
We stop anyone going to bed
With their dearest friend, their life’s companion.
As long as you’re not actually doing sex.
The minute that bloke says he likes cock and not pussy
Well, then we turn frightfully wussy.
Oh no! That won’t do at all
To be a PRACTICING homosexual!
“Practicing, darling?” I always say,
“Oh, no, I don’t do that, no way,
After all these years of being gloriously gay,
I’m not practicing. I’ve already got the hang of it.”
“Oh! You can joke if you like,
But listen to the words of Christ.”
I left those three lines blank
Because that’s what Jesus said about all that
“Well, he didn’t need to, did he?
Plenty in the good old O T
Not to mention dear old Paul
Telling us to get wed or burn in hell.
Sex? He disapproved of it all.
But we’ll just pick out the bits we want
Giving it an exaggerated slant.
And you, Mr. Evangelical
Standing on the corner, preaching on the street
“Cast out the sinners amongst you, send them to hell.”
Only one sin you care to name,
You bleat and bleat and bleat
You call on others to beat and beat and beat
The shit out of that faggot you saw leaving his club,
That crop-haired dyke who chose not to love
Your cock, you fine male bod.
Do you feel proud, Mr. Preacher-Man?
Reading the papers over your toast and jam.
Gay man murdered, Lesbian crippled for life.
You think they caused their own trouble and strife.
Not you, not your words,
Preaching the gospel,
But of course, God loves you, you’ll be saved.
You’ll get in through those pearly gates.
You’ll all go to the same place
You call Heaven
But we call