Blatant by Robert Garnham

This is who I am.
The only trick that nature pulled
Was to instil its hate in you.
I’m still your son.
There were childhood days of sun
But this isn’t playtime,
It’s very real.
If I could change the way I feel
Just to please you, I would.
I haven’t strayed.
The path is as obvious as it always was.
I will not sully your house
Or your name.
The touch I crave is not alien, nor supernatural,
But human.
I’m not the first to feel this way,
Even if I am your only.
Why would you want me
To be lonely?
This is who I’ve always been.
There was no switch,
I didn’t press a button
Marked with unwitting defiance,
I was not inspired by soap opera shenanigans,
Nor whims, nor fashion statement,
The suburbs will not catch fire
Because I have transgressed whatever manly
Aspirations are normally thrust on the first born,
I’ve never sought undue attention
And this is not the start of it.
You know me.
And you know me, really.
You always did, only you preferred
It would never be addressed,
You preferred an alternative narrative,
It hardly makes a difference.
I can only think that you hoped
I was the only one who didn’t know.
This is who I always will be.
Your comfort, your solace, your tutelage,
Your charity, your benevolence, your humour,
Your decency, your honour, your respect
Live in still in me and will do always
That I should exist in each moment
Wrapped up in the man that you created,
Presented to the world
With pride and with love, still, your son.
This is who I am.
And while I cannot understand,
I can certainly look you in the eye
With absolute truth.
The only trick that nature pulled
Was to instil its hate in you.
Robert Garnham is a comedy spoken word artist from Devon. Although light in tone, his work deals with LGBT issues and social representation and has an undercurrent of seriousness. His first collection was published in 2016 by Burning Eye Books, and he was long listed for the Saboteur Awards in the category Spoken Word Artist of the Year. He has narrated and appeared in a short film, ‘Professor in the Bathroom’. Robert provides workshops for adults and sixth form students in comedy poetry, and has been Poet in Residence at the Artizan Gallery in Torquay, and on the LGBT radio magazine show ‘Listen Out’ in Exeter.

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