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New Poetry, Fiction, Essays

The Poetry and Voice of Tom Hade

Tom Hade is an English & Film student at University College Dublin and still fairly new to the Dublin poetry scene. He has performed at slams and open mics around the city, along with competing in the 2017 InterVarsity Poetry Slam and having had his work published in UCD’s Caveat Lector. He rarely sticks to the same set of poems lest he get bored of listening to himself. His work generally represents whatever is currently most relevant in his own life.

 

 

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Early Injustice

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Do you remember the first one

Who prised open your legs?

The first scratches on your flesh

From a fight you could not win

The first handshake to be twisted

Into a sign of your submission

The first time you awoke

With the taste of him in your mouth

Do you remember?

 

The first time the name sweetheart

Became a gun to your head

The first uncle to leer at you with his

“You’re a woman now, love”

The first priest to avert his eyes

Shameful at the length of your skirt

The first warning from mother

Never to walk Dublin’s streets alone

Do you remember?

 

The first seeds to germinate

In nonconsenting fields

The first swell of your stomach

With a life besides your own

The first voyage beyond the sea

To become an anonymous statistic for your sins

The first time holy water

Became acid on your skin

Do you remember?

 

Or have you, like so many of us,

Lost count of these

Early injustices?

From birth to death,

Ashes to catcalls,

Rape kits to dust.

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holy state // expanding universe

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holy state // expanding universe EditThe blackened virgin faces the cornerThe blackened virgin dreams of stars

 

Cracked concrete to splintering galaxies

There are so many worlds in her mind

// so many worlds beyond her own

 

(their God cannot find her up there

cannot beat or cage or betray her up there)

 

every lash on her back in a lesson

“There Is Nought In The Stars But Heaven”

the holy sister’s whip carves the scripture

“Blackened Virgin, Face The Corner”

 

A man touch

/ filthy hand /

Brought her to this place (place without starlight)

 

The all seeing eye of their God

Sook out the space between her legs

“He Sees Your Sins, The Labour Will Cleanse You”

 

Penny for her hair, Tuppence for her baby

( (i hope my baby has known the night’s sky) )

Without virginity / without worth / “Earn Your Keep, Girl”

 

She faces the corner

turns Godless eyes skyward

dreams of freedom; interstellar travel

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Honeybee Boy

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You touch my cheek

And feel the soft fuzz of my skin against your fingers.

The happy buzzing of my heart,

Vibrating out from my chest;

Sweetening the air around us, sugar crystallising in our mouths and in our lungs and in your eyes.

You bloom beneath my lips as I kiss and kiss and kiss and kiss you —

And I wish this summer would last.

Would last until the sun swallowed the earth

And there was no life left without us to live it.

 

I was born into a cage.

Already encased in this sticky sweet thing we call Girlhood.

Forced feminisation, menstruation, castration, sissification;

Pupating in decay until they,

They who knew me,

Split open my shell and nursed me on dreams and laughter and poetry.

The men and women and neither and both

Who left a trail of blood and honey for me and you and us to follow.

Blossoming, morphing, growing, ascending–

One is easily lost without a colony.

 

Behind my eyelids winter comes

And I, droning,

Am cast out from your arms into the cold.

Coarse sugar granules scrape bitter in a once welcome embrace —

You’ll have no use for a man like me.

But hush, my love,

My sunshine sweetheart;

Here, now, today,

Lace your fingers through mine

And rest awhile.

Let me remain your honeybee boy

Just a day longer.

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don’t call me boy

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pretty boy girly boy

born in a pink blanket boy

face too round boy

never be a man boy

i’ll never look how i see

my skin is a prison

soft lips

perky tits

why can’t i breathe

when my chest is full

of slurred words

poison and spit and

grit

crunching of your jaw bones

learn to sleep alone

they can’t love you

can’t blame them

already a corpse in life

girl blood

and a bloated soul

old name

on a shiney new

gravestone

pretty boy girly boy

sugar sweet cunt boy

melt in your mouth candy boy

crush between your teeth boy

spit me out into the dirt

when im no longer of use

a quick fuck

ass up

face down eyes closed

don’t you fucking look at him

boy

see is

believing

and if you let the monsters in

they will chew at your heart

it’s easier

to forget

don’t let him touch you in your dreams

urgent tears silent screams

bury him

hands and sharp nails and drawn teeth

under lock and key they can’t hurt you

they can’t hurt

they can’t hurt me

what i don’t remember can’t hurt me

he

hurt

me

pretty boy girly boy

eyes wet with tears boy

weepy boy scaredy boy

don’t forget what mammy told you, boy

world’s too wide

to walk your own stride

please be simple

be standard

be safe

dry your eyes, boy

it’ll all be over soon

boy

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