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Gordon Meade – EX-posed

Meade profile LEPW Feb 2021

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Live Encounters Poetry & Writing February 2021.

Gordon Meade is a Scottish poet based in the East Neuk of Fife. His tenth collection of poems, Zoospeak, a collaboration between himself and the Canadian photographer and animal activist, Jo-Anne McArthur, which uses poetry and photography to examine the experiences of animals in captivity, was published in 2020 by Enthusiastic Press in London.

Alligator (EX-posed)

I am green.
I am brown.
I am grey.
I am black.

I am belt.
I am bag.
I am shoe.
I am hat.

I am sight.
I am sound.
I am touch.
I am smell.

I am eyes.
I am teeth.
I am tears.
I am hell.


Skulls as souvenirs, USA. Jo-Anne McArthur

Bull (EX-posed)

I am power.
I am glory.
I am loyal.
I am Sun.

I am bold.
I am strong.
I am determined.
I am one.

I am fought.
I am defeated.
I am discarded.
I am bled.

I am head
over heels.
I am hanging
by a thread.


Inglorious death. In the horse yard of the bullring in Azpeitia,
a bull is hung by his hind leg to bleed out before being butchered
at the local meat works. Spain. Aitor Gernamlia

Cock-fighting (EX-posed)

I am sun.
I am dawn.
I am song.
I am morn.

I am wit.
I am sooth.
I am voice.
I am truth.

I am game.
I am bred.
I am tested.
I am bled.

I am gaffs.
I am spurs.
I am pitted.
I am dead.


The tradition of cock fighting  stretches back thousands
of years, but the result has never changed: a gruesome death.
East Timor. Aaron Gekoski  

Fox (EX-posed)

I am dog.
I am cat.
I am scent.
I am scat.

I am quick.
I am brown.
I am lost.
I am found.

I am fur.
I am farm.
I am henhouse.
I am harm.

I am swift.
I am fast.
I am electric.
I am gas.


In Finland, foxes on fur farms can be legally kept in a cage
less than one square metre. Foxes are often anally electrocuted
to avoid damaging the fur, though the method is painful
and doesn’t ensure the animals die before they are skinned.
Finland. Kristo Moorimaa  

Rattlesnake (EX-posed)

I am body.
I am spirit.
I am Earth.
I am Fire.

I am Time.
I am Space.
I am taste.
I’m desire.

I’m revered.
I’m reviled.
I am risen
and I fall.

I’m beheaded.
I am skinned.
I am pinned
to a wall.


Visitors are encouraged to skin snakes and leave
their bloodied prints, with signature, on the wall behind
the killing stations. By 2020, over a quarter of a million
snakes had been slaughtered at this annual festival.
USA. Jo-Anne McArthur

© Gordon Meade