COLLAGE (2019) Mixed media © Lee Campbell

SEEING/NOT SEEING

by Lee Campbell  

Discover the same other whilst under the cover 

Creeping seeping peeping 

covert operations

my teenage fascinations 

awkward altercations with non queer populations 

Sensations that taught me if  ever they caught me 

side cautiously err, deliberately blur 

words that infer derogatory slur 

I got very clever, very clever at seeing without being seen 

Spending longer looking at George Michael than learning his song

lyrics

Chelsea v Arsenal

Dad watched the match 

I watched the players 

Dad remembers the midfielder’s tackle

I remember the midfielder’s tackle

Brighton, first gay pub, Queens Arms George Street

Heart a flutter, legs like mush, street was George, my previous crush 

Early noughties in my early twenties

Kings Arms Soho 

I discovered bears and cubs don’t just live in the forest 

Cruising you 

will you cruise me back? 

men bruising me 

‘you’re the wrong kind of fat!’ 

Some Bear Over the Pain-bow 

invisible queer seeing and looking

imagineer here

Lookin teen magazine 

look beyond fear 

see and be seen

Discover the same other whilst under the cover 

the brilliance of being through my resilience of seeing

A live art performance of this poem can be viewed here


Dr Lee Campbell is an artist, experimental filmmaker, curator, lecturer at University of the Arts London and founder of Homo Humour, the first of its kind project on contemporary queer male film and moving image practices that explore humour and LGBTQ+ storytelling. His recent moving image and live performance work revolves around his personal autobiographical perspective and explores (gay male) identity and desire. Comedy is an integral part of his work. He uses it to engage, disarm, and highlight. He also describes himself as a queer punk performance poet and has recently performed as part of INCITE!, SPEAK= AT HOME, London Queer Writers, SPORK! QUEER & STILL HERE and POETRYLGBT.  Find more about Lee and his work at www.leecampbellartist.blogspot.com and follow him on Twitter @LeeJJCampbell