Clive Oseman is a Birmingham born poet currently based in Swindon. He enjoys all forms of poetry but considers himself primarily a performance poet. His first spoken word collection, called "Happy" is being published by Bx3 on November 9th. He travels widely to listen and perform, appearing regularly in Birmingham, Bristol, London, Cardiff, various places in Devon, Cheltenham as well as co-hosting (with Nick Lovell) an event in Swindon, Oooh Beehive, at the Beehive Pub, usually on the second Tuesday of each month. His work has been widely published in journals and anthologies, and he was a finalist in the Poetry Rivals contest in 2014-15, as well as being shortlisted for the final of the same competition at the Royal Albert Hall in 2015-16
(IN)HUMANITY Love and compassion survive, cling to their lives by the thinnest of threads as darkness thrives, hides in every crevice until the time is right to strike at the fabric of our being. When the lights go out on one, or forty nine, or any number of our people through obscene beliefs of twisted minds- the pits of those who despise difference so aim the guns of their insistence at the innocent and decent- The world stands still for the blink of an eye then moves on in the same direction as everyone forgets no lessons learned nothing done, as if their fate was earned. The only certain bet is that whoever is taken next the world will go on turning for the rest, and no matter how many lives are shattered, it's like they never really mattered. Hatred flexes muscles, spreads its wings and fans the flames of bigotry as it sings destruction, brings grief to every function of a compassionate majority, a decent society. As we boycott The Sun for Liverpool the Express and Mail lead the fools down a dead end of intolerance and the fascist Britain First sates a nation's thirst for scapegoats as we sleepwalk into conflict and despair. The lessons of the past are there with a mass of thoughtless sheeple unaware. NOVEMBER 74 Some tragedies are firmly installed on the hard drive of a nation's soul, recalled, commemorated, replayed so all those who are old enough can always say where they were that day. Others have to fight for recognition with those most damaged on an impossible mission to let the ambivalent see their scars Any disaster will leave its mark. Deliberate massacre leaves images so stark as to stalk us all our days. My accent tells you where I'm from. My heart remains in Birmingham November 21st 1974. some recall it instantly. To most, it means nothing at all. To us, it's when innocent people were blown limb from limb or through brick walls, their remains sprawled among rubble and electric cables or impaled by sections of mangled tables, with a massive crater smashed into the concrete floor, the stench of burning flesh the blood and gore. My eldest sister was in town that night, at just twenty five still older than many who died. She got lucky with a change of plan and didn't go to the Tavern in the Town, unlike 18 year old Maxine, who arrived at the scene seconds before the blast and was walking right past the device as it spewed destruction into the night. The average age of fatalities in the Tavern was under twenty three. How can it be that such a tragedy should evade the psyche of the masses who still hold vigils on National TV for victims of other tragedies? Twenty one lost their lives, others were left blind or paralysed, and in order to calm the baying mob six men arrested and forced to confess through torture- beatings, mock executions cigarette burns inflicted by uniformed yobs to the shame of Britain- Six men convicted through withheld evidence, deeply flawed forensics from a man named Skuse and the refusal to let the jury see the written confessions which were full of contradictions. The identities of the killers were known to the authorities long before the roof caved in on official insistence on the guilt of the six. None of them faced justice. The cowards who used the codeword “Double x” but didn't give specifics as to where the bombs would explode next, are morally insolvent. No cause, no wars, can ever absolve them. But subsequent events- the cover up and pretence which left six men to do their time was another heinous crime against the people of Brum, which trampled on the dignity of victims as surely as did the murderous scum. Brummies have made less noise than some others in injustice to sisters, brothers and the laying of their ghosts. But when it comes to injury, the quiet ones are often hurting most. INTERNET DATING Dear Zoosk. I need your help I think it would be good for my health If I could stop playing with myself so often. Some say I'm a moose and a social recluse. I know I tend to spit and slobber and people think I'm a bit of a nobber but I'm top quality if only they'd bother. They say honesty is the best policy and so I have to confess I'm desperate for a shag! I want rumpy pumpy interaction don't care if she's shaped like Humpty Dumpty and is a bit of a hag and irredeemably grumpy or permanently pissed on whisky or cider if she wants a bit of brummie inside her. But I never get a sniff, you see. All I get is an empty promise and a swift retraction when they cop a whiff of me. So I decided to try dating sites in search of pumping paradise. I wouldn't join match.com though. I'm not gonna be defensive I found it too expensive and you know what they say. There must be something wrong with you if you have to pay, that you must be fifty shades of strange. Instead I pursued my wish by joining Plenty of Fish, and wowsers! Despite my dentures and piss stained trousers I got myself a date. Would it be the first of a spate? Would we even get to conjugate to negate the need to masturbate? But no, she lied to me she wasn't a leggy Polish miss in search of a nuclear scientist, at all. I was appalled, and so it stalled. I could tolerate the moustache but dishonesty bugs me why tell lies just because you're ugly? (Yes, of course I'm a nuclear scientist. I just don't like to boast about it) And anyway, I know I'm a poet, but “nagging all the time” may rhyme with what I crave but it's not the phrase I had in mind. Not with a liar, anyway. Dear Zoosk. Fat ginger men get as lonely as Hell. Please find me a blind nymphomaniac with a poor sense of smell.
All poems are copyright of the originating author. Permission must be obtained before using or performing others' poems.
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