heart block is a slowness or abnormality in the heart’s rhythm
due to a fault in its electrical conduction system.
tread wrong here and the needle jumps —
skrt-skrt-skrt. iggy pop plays the songs
on christmas day, picks from discs
wrinkled as his skin and john lydon
flogs butter all gussied up and english
gentleman; tells you what proper means
like getting on is getting out and that’s the rub.
overnight, your heart rate
registers seventeen beats per minute —
takes a rest of five whole seconds.
do you feel it, the slowing?
or does it lurch like a record played at the wrong speed?
jo-leeeeene a drunk clutches a table,
fingers the vinyl, begs the spin stop;
all these revolutions coming back around,
change and change again, until your knees ache,
your back bent with all this wisdom,
and i am seven inch and stupid,
hopped up on song,
like you were back when punk was young.
i am my father’s son
still sick with hope,
proud as oak that breaks before it gives.
they set the pacemaker to forty-five —
do you remember how, when the time came,
you sold your singles, settled down?
come on dad, once more with feeling.
call me fool again and mean it.
Jonathan Kinsman (he/him) is a trans writer from Manchester. As well as being founding editor of Riggwelter Press, he is also a BBC Edinburgh Fringe Slam finalist. His poetry has appeared in many anthologies and journals, including butcher’s dog, fourteen poems, poetry wales and under the radar. His debut pamphlet & was joint-winner of the Indigo Dreams Pamphlet Prize 2017 and his second, witness, was published by Burning Eye Books in 2020. Genderfux, a pamphlet of transmasculine poetry co-written with Jem Henderson and JP Seabright is available now from Nine Pens.