I am in bed with you. The room varies. But I’m always on the
left. I am pulling the pieces of myself into myself. In the winter
I left myself behind in the 90s. I’m coming back now. You
can see the light touching me. I can see layers of tissue finally
making a body. And once I have a body I have a head. And in
my head are these thoughts.
—From ‘I am in bed with you’
Playful and fluid but completely serious, Emma Barnes’s surreal phantasmagoria I Am in Bed with You leads us through the very personal worlds of sex, gender and the body. Barnes cracks jokes, makes us uncomfortable, shows us a little tenderness, leaves a lot unsaid and does it all with language that provokes and confounds.
‘I’m a mentally ill, / married, chronically ill, queer woman with two feet underground’, the author reveals. ‘I birth Sigourney Weaver’s android baby’, they tell us next. This collection is personal and fantastical, funny and excruciating. It’s poetry in the process of unravelling most of what you thought you knew.