Cul-de-Sacrilege!, Barney Ashton-Bullock, Polari Press, 2022, 12.9 x 19.8 cm, 86 pages, PB, ISBN: 9781914237096
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CUL-DE-SACRILEGE! is Barney Ashton-Bullock’s first full-length solo poetry collection. Previous collections have been associated to one of the two pop / poetry / performance acts he writes for – Andy Bell of Erasure’s ‘Andy Bell Is Torsten’ alter-ego and the Downes Braide Association prog-pop band featuring Geoff Downes of Yes, Asia and Buggles with super-producer Chris Braide.

CUL-DE-SACRILEGE! displays Ashton-Bullock’s signature unrelenting wordplay and intricate sense of rhythmic force at its most radical and unbridled.

This collection compiles the best of his poems as published in various worldwide poetry journals and blogs over the past few years and combines them with many all new works which form a semi-fictional narrative suite of poems; a sensu-sexual, impressionistic tract of outsider queerdom. The florid trauma of a rural childhood and the formative cataclysmic loneliness of a queer youth. Departing for the promissory distant promiscuities of the city and the volley of unsatisfactory anonymous encounters and thwarted, unrequited loves thereof. The menial grind of first jobs, the sexual exploitations wrought of naïvety, sub/dom relationships gone wrong to the misplaced consolatory coping strategy of illicit drug dependency, societal lockdown, nightmares of pending armageddon and its waif and wastrel, reductive aftermath.

A celebration, nonetheless of a cul-de-sac life, an invert Everyman survivor of our disconcerting age.

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