History Month 2014 is upon us and with it comes flairs of creativity from our members. Check out some poetry from our top notch poet Patrick Cash and a wonderfully written film review of the new PECCADILLO  PICTURE ‘Stranger by the Lake’ from Peter Herbert.

Patrick Cash Photo


Disco by Pat Cash: And out on the scene, the gay man hits his favourite East End basement disco club… 


Down to the steps of the club I go

Stumbling in from the Dalston streets

In search of hedonistic heat

I need a drink, I need a dance

And I need a party

I’m gonna work this bitch

Like I have a Masarati

Sharon Husbands with the list

Looks me over, gives me a kiss

Says: ‘get down there babe, get laid’


It’s the heat that hits you first

Rollicking and rolling

Steaming with the sexy sweat

Like a caressing fist

And the music

Bowls right through you

Beats in your bloodstream

Trembles down your veins

Sprials about your spinal cord

As the lights are flashing

The lasers dance and dazzle

I think ‘yes babes, I’m home’


I fling off my fur coat

Make sure my vest shows my muscles

Adjust my hair

In a tranny’s sunglasses glare

I smirk and flirt and pout

My way through the crowd

At the bar I slam down a twenty

‘Get me a whiskey

And as many tequilas this vends me’

After knocking back five

With the salt and the lime

I’m in the queue for the cubicle

Where a nice lad from Leeds

Sneaks me a bump from his key

We share a quick kiss

Before back into the party’s bliss


Now I am ready to dance

I’m on the floor, I’ve got my plan

I’ve got my stance

DJ, tonight I’m easy

You’re gonna weave right through me

Loosen my mind

And dream my half-dreamt time

The beat begins its tease

In the tremors beneath my feet

Rising into my limbs

Through nerves that sting

An irresistible tingle

I’m fluidly moving

To an internal groove

An instinctive jive

Reminding me I’m alive

In the excited eyes

Of the dance floor’s guys

I am framed in fame

Etched into sex

Here we are united

By music and all who like it

A collective belief

In the higher feats

Of the DJ’s throbbing beats


I’m smiling, I’m saved

I’ve forgotten I have an age

I’m a one-man daydream nation

Here, I’ve found my salvation

I’m chatting to people I know

And chatting up people I don’t

Inside this laughter’s bubbling

Like silver fingers stroking subtly


But then Bitchy Ritchie

Makes his entry

And even though I find him witchlike

I’m having such a good time

I greet him with a smile

Say: ‘what’s cooking, good-looking?

Let’s get wild!’


Bitchy smirks;

His lips curls in sardonic twirl


‘I’ve heard something horrible about you,’

He states, with guileful smile


The music gets less loud

I suddenly feel crowded

Fleeting beats are leaving

Silver laughter’s darker

But I force a grin

Say: ‘well, fill me in’


Bitchy says to me

His face delighted:

‘I’ve heard you’ve got HIV’


A million thoughts are falling

A deluge like the Indian monsoon

Rain is pouring into

The reservoirs of my brain

Spilling and sloshing in pain

How do I lie? Can I even try?

But I knew this was coming

I can’t go on running


‘Yeah, I have,’ I say


Bitchy turns his back and walks away


I’m suddenly, incomparably alone

I feel very, very old

Like I’m aged and ancient

Alive only through witches’ tricks

I try to search for that kernel

That I held from the yoga

When I was gonna end homphobia

–       but now it’s gone

And what was golden

Is now fallen

I grin, a bit bitter

It seems now so silly

All those plans and whims

To improve my way of living


I find my way to the smokers

I blag a fag

Off a man in a white choker

I thank him

But no, I don’t want to chat

I wouldn’t usually light up

For fear of a wrinkle

But tonight, I no longer care


I sit alone in the corner

Where it’s less warmer

To be lost and numb and cold

Then this voice from my side

Asks in small talk disguise

‘What does LOLO mean?’


I look at him;

You can tell that he’s thirty

But that’s not such a bad thing

A couple of tattoos

A wink of smile

A dashing of stubble

And a body that’s not muscled

But supple


‘Laugh out loud once,’ I say

He says: ‘I bet I can make you laugh out loud twice’

I smile and say that would be nice

But maybe not tonight


Yet he’s persistent

I say ‘I’m positive’

He says he like optimism

I say you don’t know what I mean

He says: ‘I know what you mean

But have you heard of the condom?

It’s this great new invention

It stops the spread of disease

And if you’re on medication

Then I know you’re not a danger

I’ve had my education

And at least you know your status’


I begin to listen to him

I laugh a little

I laugh out loud once

And then I laugh out loud twice

He says: ‘score, you’re mine for the night!’

I don’t put up a fight


We’re dancing and drinking

And we’re laughing and winking

Everything’s just kinda easy

Then in the taxi when we’re leaving

I’m full of this strange feeling

This one isn’t gonna be fleeting

So I lean over to feel his heat near me

I kiss him and whisper

‘By the way, do you like yoga?’


 Pat Cash is a creative writer, journalist and spoken word artist living and performing in London. He began performing in Paris and has since set up the night Spoken Word London (facebook.com/SpokenWordLondon) and also runs the theatrical showcase event Dark Fabrics Cabaret (facebook.com/DarkFabricsCabaret). This series of poems ‘A Day in the Life of a Gay Man in London’ were commissioned for ‘Icy Gays’ at the ICA in December 2013. 




Film comment by PETER HERBERT

Antonioni’s seminal swinging London film BLOW UP in 1966 involved a man agonizing over whether he may or may not have photographed a murder in a London park. 47 years later a new French film STRANGER BY THE LAKE directed by Alain Guiraudie quite early on shows a man cruising in woodland beside a lake. As twilight beckons, he observes a man forcefully drowned by another man. What difference times makes. In our current climate, the dilemma is not so much what the man will do about what he has seen, but more how far he will be drawn into an obsessive infatuation with the tall dark handsome killer.

STRANGER BY THE LAKE is an assured piece of film-making. Eschewing music for natural sounds of wind and birdlife, Guiraudie goes one stage further by setting the film entirely within the summer months of French cruising woodland. In this mesmerising location, the film creates a convincing impression of a classic gay milieu. There is nudity so natural as to be de-eroticised and flashes of humour involving a portly voyeur. Observant shots of cars parked beside the lake are choreographed with dramatic irony and there is at least one very explicit sexual moment. Codes of behaviour involving sex with and or without condoms, camaraderie and degrees of friendship between strangers are observed with real precision. Every emotion is here with a thriller element involving the killing of a gay man that is less Agatha Christie but more detective like in the cat and mouse manner of cerebral thrillers by French film-makers Chabrol and Melville.

What is remarkable about the film is its moral compass. We are left at the end with questions about the central character. Astutely played by Pierre Deladonchamps, his obsessive desire for the man of his dreams remains linked to a shocking death about which he is being interviewed by a detective. How far do we go observing a man who has blurred lines of complicity separating guilt and desire?

The film has a lingering close-up of light darkening around the face of the central character.  Is this a victim or has he lost whatever innocence he once had?  STRANGER BY THE LAKE is well worth seeing and further evidence that gay cinema is coming out of a ghetto. This move into mainstream cinema is encouraging for both cinema and gay culture.



pbherbert@gmail.com    12/1/14  v 2

New Zealand born Peter Herbert is a film buff. But his day to day life is photography. He photographs the world around him in an idiosyncratic, subjective way that combines elements of composition and colour with varying degrees of abstraction.

The subjects vary but whether it is landscape, portrait, documentary reportage or fantasy, the photographers delight with the camera is always evident. 

Peter Herbert attended The Wellington School of Design, New Zealand, where he graduated with a Diploma in Graphic Design. 

While working in administration for the NHS Peter Herbert curated over 70 exhibitions in health care locations. These were highly acclaimed and publicised in various magazines including Time Out. During this time he successfully completed the City and Guild Photography Course at the Working Mens College, Kentish Town, London (2003/04). He also attended Birkbeck University of London where he gained a Dipolma in Arts Management (2006/07). 

Peter Herbert is currently the Curator Manager of The Arts Project in which he curates 4 gallery spaces located in inner city health care locations. His current exhibition runs from Monday 10th February at St Pancras Conference Centre and is the highly regarded Loudest Whispers – a joint Arts Project and Camden LGBT Forum initiative.

Members Blog – Pat Cash and Peter Herbert

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