[Boys Audition to be Strippers]
The bare lights on one boy’s porky skin roast him pinker every minute he is under them. He watches the other boys being liquid on the stage and wishes he could dance, bicep & breathless, as women shout for the loss of his clothes, for the last strip, his thong a bacon rind torn off & chewed between their teeth. He looks in their eyes and sees his mother, those mornings when she used to dress him, the clothes still warm from the radiator. They watch as he undoes all her good work.
[A Boy in a Blue Suit]
In the changing room, a boy strips down to his boxers before folding himself into a new three-piece skin. Mirrors bounce this boy back at himself. He pulls his trousers up, buckles. He looks at his blue, blue, blue shape and mimes all possible movement: reaches, bends, dances. He whispers a secret to himself boy, you look beautiful, as he buttons himself into the ocean and brushes his waves of flesh. He braces for the outside world, prepares for the oooooooos & aaaaaaahhs like he is the spark of blue in the middle of every flame.
[A Boy is a Poet]
with clean skin & combed hair & no neuroses, only the work, managing to apply himself to it fully, understanding the fluidity, managing a balance between art & financial viability. This boy’s desk is a mess. When interviewed he says yeah, no, mess is actually a part of my process. He puts his mother & father in a poem and they both promptly die. He kills his darlings and his best friend along with them. Would he be happier as a policeman or a glass blower or a mechanic? His hands couldn’t hack it. Do they all lie as much as he does? He is an actor, a bad one. He is never finished, simply abandoned. He shaves his head, wears baggy shirts & ripped jeans & quotes Bukowski un-ironically & worries & feels ashamed & lies about not having neuroses, and when someone asks what sort of writing he does he flusters, says it’s journalism mostly.
Born in 1993, LEWIS BUXTON is a poet, performer and arts producer. In 2020 he won the Winchester Poetry Prize. His first collection Boy in Various Poses will be published by Nine Arches Press in 2021. He lives in Norfolk.