OUTspoken: Local queer talent at Perth Poetry Festival

Jakob boyd

OUTspoken is returning for a second edition for this year’s Perth Poetry Festival, celebrating incredible local queer talent.

Ten authors will be reading at the event, including PFF 2016 feature poets Alex Biddle and Jakob Boyd (pictured), Ben Marchant, Luka Buchanan, Kai Schweizer, Jesse Oliver and MC Scott-Patrick Mitchell.

All are welcome to try their hand at wordplay on stage during the open mic section, and all proceeds from the evening will be donated to Equality Florida to support those effected by the Orlando massacre at Pulse Nightclub.

Scroll below to read six entries from some of the best local voices on the poetry scene.

OUTspoken is on Friday August 12th from 7pm at the Balmoral Hotel, 901 Albany Highway, Victoria Park. $5 tickets available next door at Crow Books, 900 Albany Highway, Victoria Park. 

Perth Poetry Festival runs August 5th – 14th. For more information visit WAPoets.net.au.


I forget I’m supposed to fear for my life

I forget all the statistics in my blood

cause i was raised in a house

where the worst was being kicked out

on my own terms

my daily problems are pronouns

progression is my social adjective

I forget

that there are days I don’t pass cis

I pass as the chance of being 1 in 12

being the scattered roses Orlando bloomed in blood

being the spit I have felt on my cheek

being every knife I have witnessed on the news take a swing at everything we fight for

im told i gotta

trans-ition quick! be as safe as you can

be a model, be a man in a can just with extra waist band

I forget, that there are days no one would even question my gender

I am safe because they do not know

I am safe only because they do not know

what would happen if they know

I do not know

I only know

I am not a statistic today

i forget that


Alex Biddle


Im sorry I let you go after holding on for so long

Its just that I couldn’t keep my head above the water without you.

I felt betrayed.

I can barely swim by myself

I mean, I got in by myself

But you told me you were a mermaid

And I waited frustrated for undated days

amazed that we were slowly drowning

Before I realised I had dived into a world

That wasn’t meant for me

and I could never be

with you in it.

I placed you higher than the air that I breathe

convinced that all I would need is you

but you had me holding my breath for longer than I could bare

leaving me down there in the dark depths

where the only steps I could take

were the same mistakes I make

to put me where I thought

we would be swept by the same current

I don’t blame you for being a mermaid

if you think that matters to me it doesn’t.

It’s just, the thing about being a mermaid

is that I never told you I wasn’t.


Jesse Oliver


there is

no art

to describe


on arsehole

there are

no sounds


with the roundness

of cock

there are no films

about these

slender legs

the way they

announce it

no one

talks about


in the right way

no paint

could portray

the taking

of this second virginity

these images

in the dark

of hot cradled hands

on temples

no word in my mouth

could cum out

like this

or being sober

the whole time

and watching

as sex clocks




to the turning

of phallic fantasy

into fact

he gave me a lift home

and you cannot imagine

the unacknowledged


in the car


Jakob Boyd


his heart was an

arcade fire, band

width banded to

get here turn left

& keep running

do not look back

for your lot is to

burn as white as

salt & when the

horns kick in we

pull over, seats

made for loving:

the speed by

which we cum

shall not break

our necks : there

is no guilt in us


Scott-Patrick Mitchell


Monday morning

We woke and waned

With glitter on our cheeks

And vomit on our shoes;

Enveloped in a sadistic

Kind of sadness.

We’re living in homes

Made of makeshift bones,

Shedding our blood like

Milk teeth.

My melancholy mornings

Turned to melancholy months.

I shivered awake in strange suburbs,

Warmed my head

In kettles and coffee pots

And caught the hungover bus home.

I saved you a seat.


Kai Schweizer


i don’t believe in god

but i believe in poetry:

our voices rising up a tidal wave of politics

and fear

still as the sand, we wait

holding each other together like tape on a shipwreck

and with the explosion of panic still ringing in our ears

we pray.

we pray for the woman with poetry written

in the lines of her face

we pray for the ghosts of poems abandoned

and the ghosts of whoever we used to be.

we pray for the empty night sky

and to all the gods who turned their backs on us.

we pray for ourselves because the universe is expanding

in the same way the distance between us is


god wrote a poem for us

to bring us back to life

and it appeared in the sky as a sunbeam but we couldn’t read it

it fell on our faces as rain but we couldn’t hear it

it came to us as a flower but we overlooked it

so we wrote it ourselves.

god tore the sky in half

and told us we were kidding ourselves

he told us it was an echo that would die in time

old light that would never make it halfway across the galaxy

but we knew better.

we sang it a thousand times

until the moon knew our names

and it was writ in the stars

and the sun whispered it in summer

and cried it in winter

and it lives on in the throats of forgotten people

we never needed a miracle:

we rise from the wreckage like we always do

anxiety dust and ocd shrapnel

pulling shards of depression from our skin like glass

we whisper final lines of that forsaken poem

it spills from freezing lips like hourglass sand

and then

it hits


Luka Buchanan


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

You must be logged in to post a comment Login