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The Scum Gentry Alternative Arts and Media
The Scum Gentry New Poetry Magazine, dark poems and poetry online.

The Ghost of Frida Kahlo - poem by Des Mannay

Did you see her
at the conference?
She throttled
Theresa May

Being worn,
an appendage
on that clammy wrist,
was an affront to
Frida’s bisexuality,
blood red Communism.

Poltergeist Frida
ripped words off walls
the way she tore
through life;
with eyes like fire.

‘Diego Rivera Reloaded’,
painted a new mural
with a p45 on,
and a laughing Frida Kahlo.
Who the hell
needs Banksy anyway?

Des Mannay is the winner of the ‘rethinkyourmind’ poetry competition (2015). Placed 2nd and highly commended in the Disability Arts Cymru poetry Competition (2015). ‘Gold Award’ winner in the Creative Futures Literary Awards (2015), shortlisted for the erbacce-prize for poetry (2015, and 2016), Welsh Poetry Competition (2015), The John Tripp and Idris Davies poetry competition; part of Rhymney Valley Literature and Arts Festival 2016, and the Disability Arts Cymru poetry Competition (2016)

Des has performed at numerous venues, including the ‘Unity’ Festival, ‘Maindee’ Festival, ‘Hub’ Festival, ‘Stoke Newington Literature Festival’, KAYA Festival of World Music & Arts, Merthyr Rising, The Seed Festival and Walls:Muriau—Welsh mental health arts festival. He helped organize a refugee solidarity fundraiser - performing alongside ‘Attila the Stockbroker’ as part of the ‘Arguments Yard’ tour. He is also instrumental in setting up ‘Poets On The Picket Line—South Wales Chapter’; delivering solidarity stanzas to people on strike.

He has poems published in ‘I Am Not A Silent Poet’ online journal, ‘The Angry Manifesto’, ‘Proletarian Poetry’, ‘Yellow Chair Review’, ‘Indiana Voice Journal’, ‘Stand Up And Spit’, ‘Red Poets’ and work in a number of poetry anthologies. Des is on Facebook as “The stuff wot I wrote’ Des Mannay – hooligan Poet” and Twitter as @hooliganpoet

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Beige Heterosexuals - poem by Kevin Higgins

after Jameson Fitzpatrick

Oppression is a brown woman,
who used to be beige and called
Gerald, until she discovered it
an unfortunate name for a girl,
taking up no seats on the bus
because she prefers to travel
in the luggage compartment,
despite always buying
at least three tickets.

It is also my both telling you,
and yet not telling you, how she looked
when she emerged with the rest of the luggage
a little less brown than when she dived in there
but, so far as we could tell, still heterosexual
and no longer named anything like Gerald.

Oppression is also her body’s distance,
socially and physically, from the lavatory
—which is no great shakes anyway—
on this bus she is taking from
Ballina and I am taking
from Sligo. And how

my finding her bladder control,
in which I must put my faith, impressive
makes me no more likely to ask,
should her gaze meet mine,
why the fuck anyone would
choose to travel that way.

What I’m trying to say is distance
is the problem with formerly beige
heterosexual women
who choose to travel in luggage compartments.
I’m not one of them, so I can both write this poem
and at the same time
not write it.

Distance, because it offers
the possibility of her not being there
when the luggage is claimed;
that she may turn out
to be imaginary and never to have been
either beige or called Gerald.

Oppression is both me being unable
to find a place for my suitcase
because the luggage compartment’s chock full of
now brown heterosexual women
each of them originally called something like Gerald
—an unfortunate name for a girl—
and me later on denying these women’s existence.


Kevin Higgins’s Song of Songs 2:0 - New and Selected Poems will be published by Salmon Poetry in April. His poems have been quoted in The Daily Telegraph, The Times (UK), The Independent, and The Daily Mirror. The Stinging Fly magazine recently described Kevin as “likely the most read living poet in Ireland.”

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As the Drums Sound - poem by Annabelle Kang

     You are empty and loud
     Just like the drums that sound
     So close to me that my body quakes
     I am five years old again
     Hiding under the table
     Bruised knees pressed on hardwood floors which have seen spilled blood and wine win against flesh and bone
     The conductor writes fortississimo—
     The whole house obeys



Annabelle Kang is an English Literature student at Concordia University in Montreal. 

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