Dear Pre-Pandemic Me, Don’t ever shrink yourself again…

You started well, but you got lost.  You realised the importance of community; a community you connect with.  In the absence of love, you turned to appearances in a desperate attempt to change your circumstances.  It did not work.  You met the wrong people and did the wrong things, but it was not a waste.  But it did feel like it…

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A poem about roots (that constrain me)

CW: Sexual assault/violence

A poem about roots (that constrain me)

Why do you grip that rock there
That place in particular
It is not exceptional yet you sniff
to find the resource jackpot with little thought for my feelings.
One flaking and one green 
You are Brand new 
colonising my mind and making my forces act through different lines
Where do I lean today
On what soil do I make my stance;
hallowed ground?
I want to move yet you tell me I can’t
And they look at me funny and it is all due to you
Lost in assumption not to be talked
To but by, they see how I curl and retract 
Wishing I could fly but indelibly in contact 
with the ground of my past 
politics routine
Each little xylem strand has length running resources
to change and nourish my self.
And I regret you
Despise you
You are unsatisfactory 
For keeping me so still
Retaining my right to freedom.

I wish I could wiggle and dance.
Enact and be my dream
I steal the freedom to be who I want to be
A fairy woman at the end of a long voyage
My narratives an endless strand of silk
to wrap around your neck.
You see you would love the me
That’s exciting and proud and flamboyant
With endless presents and
pockets that bulge

I wiggle my wing rigs
and struggle to see how they care for me
grateful I should be for these life sustaining lines
for time and a past and events I can learn from
They connect me
Brushing up to me with knowledge
Drowning me in memories that
keep me so separate
I am an entity to sustain and condense
Yet not to be.

By Anonymous

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Transcendence – Nov 2021

A joyful queer club night at The Mash House, Edinburgh that raised over £1,500 for Mermaids Gender: https://mermaidsuk.org.uk . The event was in honour of Trans Day of Remembrance, sitting…

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Do you know how fast a hedgehog runs?

Do you know how fast a hedgehog runs?

Night hangs and I, nocturnal, scout the grounds,

the hedgehog, shuffling insomnia-laden under the moon,

head among worms, I cannot see the astral dancers make their rounds,

trapped in a homeland of windswept grass and rainswept loam.

My patter a ritual, earth’s epidermis feigns a heavenly taste

yet so anti-celestial, living from night to night to night 

mired, the entanglement of root and briar and living wasted, 

ensconced in darkness, I’ve forgotten what it is to see the light.

The hedgehog senses predator, confronts her choices

tight entombment in a prickling shell, waiting for teeth,

or else to flee. Do you know how fast a hedgehog runs?

I curled so long I no longer remembered what it meant 

to live without a spiny wall, self-made sarcophagus, dark and tight.

It took the gouge of jaws to make me race away, seeking freedom, seeking light.

Clare M Coombe 

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Personal Grit

Personal Grit

NEED ANSWERS, understanding & more
MARK the path beyond research.
To find out more Create TIES And switch OFF
The constant need to be visually rich, bright, useful and a resource for the creative
& DEPART FROM 
If ur happy PLANTING A RAINBOW
YOU CAN APPRECIATE inspiration,
>>> YOU FEEL READY TO SOW AND GROW ROOTS SHOOTS BUCKETS AND BOOTS
HELP EACH OTHER TO SURVIVE.
BUILDING HERITAGE A NEW WAY
Browse, Explore, Enjoy, ADVOCATE Live Better
YOU are a priority

Jenny Harvey 

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Hummingbird

Hummingbird 

The morning comes into consciousness
And bathes the blue-throated hummingbird in light. 

They sit, they hold.
They listen. 

For what? 
For whom?

My mind is compounded 

From the sky 
This mother voice hollers
So sickly sour
Through some orifice of heaven

For all we do 
Is dance in the rusting leaves 
Waiting for her to 
Call us inside for sup’ 
As streetlamps buzz 
And the dew and the dust 
Settle 

Am I to abide by the father’s voice? 

One that does not recognise
Why the hummingbird changes colours 
 If perhaps pink and white take their fancy 

One who is so flippant 
Omnipotent 
So potently 
Distasteful 

            Disgusted
At the ferocious ideas that unfold from under The beating wings 
Of patience personified 

Are they to give up on body, 
But not the world? 
I should not think so. 

For if we
Too 
Sit, hold, and listen  

Perhaps 
The earth will call out, 
Or reach out a hand, 
                     Bathed in light. 

Alex MacPhail 

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Biphobia and Me

Like so many things in life, my sexuality makes so much more sense in retrospect than it did when I was in the stages of “figuring it out”. I now know I have been bisexual all my life. I either just didn’t know it earlier on, or didn’t know what it entailed.

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God Is A Womxn – Jan 2020

To celebrate 1 year of Clitbait, we hosted a night of spoken word, drag performances and live music. We were honoured to have had the wonderful Grace and The Flat…

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Cancer in the time of Covid

Don’t dare to go outside, my sweet lady

Although we’re just a bubble, ever-ready to burst,

You’re safe with us, I promise

I remember catching a bus a day before we would meet again

Crying, because I thought I was going to kill you,

For I had stepped into a world

Which was trying to live with covid while you have cancer.

And it feels like I can’t breathe knowing you won’t,

Between the grief-stricken gasps, gritting teeth through glaring tears

One might be assuming symptoms of that thing, when they are effects of the other

And I hate how the two interchange,

How our fear is preyed upon by them both.

What is going through your sweet head?

While I usually wear my heart on my sleeve, I stiffen up

When I see that you are guarding yours behind secret chambers,

For you’re a headstrong rationalist, a chin-up kind of woman,

But when the night has been rough to you,

And you wake up vomiting, with words I’ve never heard come from your mouth before,

That proud chin drops in your hands

And what I see before me is a scorned child with a distasteful gaze

As I try to hand you your peeled grapes or spiceless daal.

I’m sorry sad one, I feel like a terrible parent,

When we say the world outside is too big and bad for you right now,

For best intentions look so opposite

When the blue-suited baboons control what comes next.

I felt like I couldn’t offer much at first,

Helplessness hurts the most.

But I’m trying, really hard, to be your doctor,

Your friend, your mother, anything you want and need,

Even if that means at moments I have to stop being your daughter

So that I can get you to keep on being my mother.

It’s selfish, I know. And I’m sorry. 


-Anonymous

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We Need to Stop Calling Young Girls Bossy

From a young age, I was always told that I was a bossy person, and I just accepted it and took it as the criticism it was intended to be. Thinking back to when I was labelled bossy, it was when I took charge of a task and put myself in a leadership position in order to do something. This adjective has never been used to describe one of my male friends, but many of my determined female friends.

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When I’m Angry I Write Letters: A Photo Series

Writing letters is something a therapist suggested to me as a way to cope with my emotions. It was a very difficult time for me; in one year I had endured a sexual assault and also had made attempts to take my own life. I was angry at everything and had grown reliant upon unhelpful practices like substance abuse, disordered eating and self harm. I told her about a typewriter I had and we thought together it would be cathartic to punch out my thoughts onto paper and keep them somewhere safe. That way they wouldn’t be in my head anymore.

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Clitbait’s Recreate Art Series- ‘The Two Fridas’ by Frida Kahlo

Go read more about this incredible painting in an article by our wonderful Arts and Culture Editor (and organiser of the recreate art series!), Manvir Dobb: The Two Fridas and finding the balance between normalcy and reality. Manvir explores how Kahlo grappled within her disconnected and counter selves as well as reflecting on our relationships with ourselves in Lockdown.

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The Two Fridas and finding the balance between normalcy and reality

A few days ago a large number of houses in central Edinburgh experienced a power cut. My phone was on 5% so I went to charge it and then realised that I couldn’t do that. I also had to go to the loo and as I made the trepid journey out of the safety of my covers into the dark abyss of all two metres I tried to turn the bathroom light on but also couldn’t do that.

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CB Recommends: Black Scottish Artists

Black artists have traditionally been marginalised from the mainstream conversation, despite their respective brilliance. Since the majority of our team is based in Scotland, we thought we would shift focus and shine some light on some of our favourite Black Scottish artists…

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Clitbait’s Recreate Art Series – The Statue of Liberty

Here is the gallery for our second recreation in our recreate art series! For those of you that don’t know, we have decided to invite the Clitbait community to join us in recreating a piece of art for each of our monthly themes! Since this month’s theme is independence, we have decided that the recreation will be the Statue of Liberty!

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Clitbait Recommends

A while ago, we reached out to a few of our favourite feminists for their feminist recommendations for books, films or albums. As predicted, we received brilliant and inspiring submissions. Have a scroll down to check them all out!

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Clitbait’s Recreate Art Series – Fanny Eaton by Joanna Boyce

For those of you who don’t know, every month we have decided to recreate a piece of art that goes along the lines of the theme of the month. Since this month’s theme is beauty, we decided to honour the Pre-Raphaelite model, Fanny Eaton. Eaton was a black Pre-Raphaelite muse, and as a result beat many beauty standards of her time. She was a symbol of diversity in beauty which is something we strongly stand for here at Clitbait…

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