Brighton androgynous

West Pier Skeleton, Brighton

she is androgynous,
and suddenly i understand that word,
proud and pale she walks the lanes
like whorehouse owners– still

i feel her femininity, ache
to gain her trust and want to
lie with her under a feather blanket,
wondering if she‘s man enough
to fuck me– or

we’ll sit and drink,
strictly behaving unisex, hide
deep behind our poetry &
dressed in latex boots, suspenders and
pink plastic corsets,
spit the growing night unto us–

either way is fine

i observed her on the beach,
putting herself onto the waves,
next to the west pier skeleton
and back comes seasick fun fair shrieks,
carried by the wind and damp
with longing to move on–

this is why i‘m here,

lying in this tiny room
of a victorian mansion house,
drinking red wine off the bottle
and she’s slipped her hand
under my flower print pajama,

when i close my eyes, i hear the sea &

like a slut with broken legs,
she‘s woven gold strings in her hair–

and her lovers lick her empty


so this is how this city feels to me after my first day here in brighton..walked the beach for hours yesterday and tried to get to know her a bit…smiles..the “slut with broken legs” refers to the West Pier Skeleton (above pic)
linking up with dVerse OpenLinkNight, hosted today by a marvelous Natasha Head..gates will swing open 3pm EST

84 responses to “Brighton androgynous

  1. good morning claudia! hope you are having a wonderful day there….you know i love this…the intimacy with a place or city…love the shock value of certain lines…that knock you a bit…very raw…and passionate and i love it…

    so maybe i understand that word a bit better now as well…so off to get some coffee cause i have yet to even have that yet…only 7 AM here…

  2. Hi Claudia,

    that’s impossible. You can’t write such intense words day by day. I’m totally fascinated. All your images I can see and feel. So, so intense. Like it so much.

    I would like to post this in my blog – just, if you want. If not, it’s O.K. No matter. Reading your Poems is little bit like travelling by myself. Enjoy the big braek, the immense Images, all…



  3. I’ve stopped breathing reading this …you’re so talented. Awesome. Oh, and I hope you’re having a good time here in England. Apologies for the weather…it was lovely at the weekend. (honest!) 😉

  4. I’m glad you’re off being broody and wandering the beach in the English rain. This is an exceptionally moody and steamy and subtle poem, full of the sense of a place personified, and a feeling that wells up and builds till it has to find expression–just like some of those laser saxophone riffs from Trane. If this is how you write on vacation, you need to be taking them more often.

  5. Brighton Beach, English Drizzle, Coltrane, what a special day!

    This is a very well constructed poem — more impressive than the Brighton Pier. Such a wonderous line: “and back comes seasick fun fair shrieks” with the three strong accents at the end, like quarter note triplets, creating a nice rhythmic displacement

  6. Made me look up that word, geez how rude..hahaha. You really delved into the combination of both and really delved a bit into harsh land, but sucked me in and loved it.

  7. Fan-freaking-tastic! (Mind you…I may be blushing just a bit!) The imagery, the language, the shock factor….AWESOME!

  8. I love the way you described your trip-to-date. Such a masterful use of metaphor. Really, enjoyed the write, thanks:)

  9. Ah I know him/her fair & sunny serving up DoverSole seaside. Observing, sitting on the beanbag rocks so worn and round they shape around you as the sea foam rushes around your feet. The sounds of a million visitors and the scratching of a thousand poets’ pens are still heard. Up the hill just about half way to the minarets of the Royal Pavilion, just off the main street is a tiny ice rink where you can sometimes see Robin Cousins, John Curry, Torville and Dean. The kitchen ware at the Royal Pavilion came with the building of the house and it still looks almost new. What grand rooms..Victoria didn’t love it there and sold it to the city!

  10. A very sensual write. It’s funny because when I visit a new place, I’m very much alive to its vibe but I rarely think in terms of gender and your poem has really opened my eyes. Now I’ll be watching out for a feminine, masculine or androgynous vibe of a town when I travel.

  11. Things always do seem to get hot and heavy at the beach. Love the layers in this and, as always, you put me right there… in the poem. Now I must go cool off.

  12. Some advice I got a few years ago from a very talented female writer was , “Never be afraid to use the word fuck in your poetry”.. I use it and it just makes the poem that more real..

    Cities have a way of slipping next to us like a lovers touch.. well done Claudia!!

  13. OMGoodness, now I feel quite homesick. I was born there and spent 47 years of my life there (give or take the army years and when I lived up north for a couple) Gosh, Brighton is so well known for its reputation as the next biggest city to London and the place where all the married people go for ‘dirty’ weekends with their lovers.
    I miss it all now, the Lanes, the Royal Pavilion, the pier. It’s such a shame what they allowed to happen to the West Pier. As a kid I remember her with a theater where well known actors/s would perform and even remember the house where we lived then had a guy who did like a Houdini act on the end of the pier. He was all padlock and chained, put into a tied sack upside down and dropped into a circle of flames in the water. Gosh, talk about a trip down memory lane.
    Say Hi to her from me and blow her a kiss too, please!~! Enjoy the pebbles. 😉

  14. Brighton is not far from where I grew up. You bring the tawdy lanes to life, the gaudiness, the blatant joy, the roar of the muddy sea over the shingle and the rickety pier flailing with crazy fairground rides!
    Made me homesick 🙂
    The analogy of the girl is wonderful! I’m actually blushing though;)

  15. shock value…your write jars, shakes & shatters. Love it!
    I don’t know if English is your primary or secondary (or even tertiary) language…but, you’ve got the handle down pat.

    Love this poem, Claudia. You are so adept with mental pictures and innuendoes.
    great lines here.
    in a nutshell, a damn good job.

  16. Smiling here… that would be some steamy kiss then wouldn’t it… no wonder it’s foggy there… rising from body heat … ~Smiles
    Nothing wrong with flirting, if it isn’t hurting 😉 (Takes a deep breath) haha

  17. Dear Claudia,

    You’ve given me the inspiration to travel and explore more in this li’l world. I find this very intimate and dedicated – i salute your ability to transfer your sincere emotions in every poem you make – very equally affected. Thanks for the poem.

    Good day!


  18. upfront, in your face, no holds barred – I love how you give this city (and whatever else comes your way) personality, character…

  19. such emotion wrapped around the environment you expose,,,very well done…actually, one of your best for me


  20. You go places and you take them home with you. Their entirety, nothing is left behind, the McDonald, river dirt, the beach sand. The ending on this one says it all.

  21. I’ll join the group and make a threesome. 0-0 I really love it. The sensuality, shifting away from it and back, is alluring. The imagery so solid … I love seeing inanimate things come to life through words.

  22. Wow Claudia, I love this…the grittiness and reflection melding to show us your unique perspective. You’ve take the word androgynous and made it into a living being…superb poetry.

  23. I luv your descriptions of cities and places, and personifications, and images, and illusions, your uber cool way with words. You describe a place I would not want to visit, but am intrigued to study. Your perspective is always so unique and interesting and bold. ENjoyed this very much.

  24. Claudia, you express things I don’t even think of… and bring them out as powerful visuals… inviting me to brave new worlds I have never been to. You’re a magician with words… amazing me by pulling things out of your sleeves, hats and bedsheets =)

  25. Biting, like the English rain and cold sea; nothing romantic about this one, but a love poeme all the same, no? I dig how you captured the era of the picture so well…most wonderful write, indeed ~

    (now I wonder, which album?)

  26. Powerful images, obviously, extremely subtle while shocking with their honesty. I really like the shape of the lines and how you break the flow into a series of vignettes. To tell the truth I was surprised to learn that the poem was about the beach. Surprised in a mysterious way. It makes sense, but I wanted it to be about a real unisex bombshell! Bit perhaps that’s the power of this, wanting it to be that but knowing otherwise.

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  28. Hi Claudia. You already know I’m a big fan, right? Love all your poems but this…I have a special soft spot for. Totally relate…Brighton is one of my favourite places here in the UK. Great that you captured the androgynous sexuality of this great city. Gay and hetersexuals alike feel at home here. You are more likely to see gay PDA here than anywhere else in the UK, lol. I love the openess…it’s the SanFrancisco of the UK in terms of its tolerance of everyone…though most of southeast UK is cool like that anyway.

    Brighton has an interesting history about a King and his mistress once upon a time. You should check out where they used to stay in the middle of town. Shopping is good too:) I look forward to reading more of you on your travels. Have a fantastic time, Claudia.

  29. Claudia…you are such a powerful, courageous writer…these words knocked me flat…with their honesty, beauty, and impact. I envy your ability with words…I can be there, whereever you are, taking in aromas, feelings, sights. Thank you! Your talent is unique, startling, enviable. xxx

  30. I admire how you make the pier a portal into the psyche.

    “i observed her on the beach,
    putting herself onto the waves,
    next to the west pier skeleton
    and back comes seasick fun fair shrieks,
    carried by the wind and damp
    with longing to move on–”

    This stanza is my favorite. I see you changing the inert form into something gathered in your imagination. Very fine poem.

  31. “androgynous” has always being a funny word to me/ I live in Greece/ it’s a word that they use here for a man and a woman tied with the union of marriage, supposedly after the marriage the two people should live as one … though many times that’s not the case.

    It was fascinating how you connected the word to the West Pier Skeleton, I like your imagination! Enjoy your time in Brighton …

  32. Ouch. Stunningly portrayed (literally stunning!) – what a powerfully unexpected portrayal of a city. This one won’t be forgotten quickly. 🙂

  33. Really love how you have dramatised Brighton here.. cutting staright to the chase..perfect personification of borderlines… androgynous.. slut with broken legs… the smutty-sexy-pastitsbest-alivesness of it… Great poetry

  34. You are amazing. I’m always a bit awed reading your work. This was no exception. Love the seasick and fun fair shrieks line especially.

  35. Wow, you have brought this place to life, made it sensual, a bit naughty, very alluring. I agree with the commenter above who said this poem has a flavor of Nin. Awed by your work, as I read this morning.

  36. These are my favorite lines:

    “wondering if she‘s man enough”
    “hide deep behind our poetry”
    “drinking red wine off the bottle” (I love your choice of “off” here, as if you are licking the side of the bottle as the wine runs down the side, as if the bottle represents other things, other bodies, other pieces of glass, the cutting nature of life and city although both can be bold and delicious)

    I love the staccato sound of this line when it is read aloud; it gives the words such a punch:

    “and back comes seasick fun fair shrieks”

  37. Woah! Now that one snapped me awake this morning. Goodness, Claudia, you certainly do have a way of grabbing the attention. Such life, such raw, sensual power within the depiction of a pier – personification indeed. how do you always managed to press such steamy power into your words? So bold, so very bold…I remain, as ever, in awe of your craft, hoping one day I might reach the heights that you yourself have conquered. Very, very well done.

  38. Wow! The sheer sensuality of this — and it’s abotu a place?!?

    Years ago I spent summer weeks and weekends at Ocean City, Maryland, staying in another down-at-the-heels old hotel, renting bikes to ride the full 120 blocks of the boardwalk in the early mornings, quaffing wine coolers at the cafe on the boardwalk there, reading away the long, sunny afternoons away on reclining chairs under umbrellas set up for us every day. Even slipped my hand some places. But I never had the imagination to make such stunning poetry out of it.

    Huzzah! Huzzah!

  39. The images are stark and out there ” a slut with broken legs” … “and she’s slipped her hand / under my flower print pajama,…” WOW.


  40. Wow, Claudia, this is as elegant and about as sensual as can be.

    You rip the seven veils apart with this one.


    Lady Nyo

  41. your words are very sexy and powerful,
    I have to bow to your talent here.

    Thanks for making such admirable showcase for all to share.
    Appreciated your kind words on mine.


  42. Very daring and intense portrayal of feelings and emotions associated with place. Narrator seems utterly seduced. Kudos. 🙂

  43. Claudia,
    It is so intriguing to see femininity splashed in a city. It takes some form to arrive at a definition of personification.You recognized it fast and that’s great!


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  45. I just did what I rarely do: read all the comments. Reason? I wanted to see if this poem had the same effect on your other readers as it did on me. It certainly did! And what Joe Hesch wrote sums up my feelings (I was going to say it packed a punch also). You are a remarkable poet, Claudia.

  46. you can use this language effectively. it doesn’t degenerate at all. you somehow elevate your sensual images with hard core words. if i used them, or most writers, we would write very base stuff. i’m jealous:)