Archive for the ‘violence’ Category

There He Goes Again

November 12, 2007

There he goes again
That mad megalomaniacal monarch
Severing heads and hanging heathens
With one look we could condemn ourselves
One word out of place is treason
And often he executes without reason

He sits on his throne
A sumptuous feast spread out before him
He watches as the executioner does his work
He slurps amd slavers as he anticiptes
Future killings and bestial bloodlettings
While all around him subjects shudder

‘Your Majesty, it was not I,’
They cry but it is rather like addressing
The indifferent sky. With a gloved hand
He waves them away. He has never had
So much fun. Power makes him high
Power makes him fly….

….And his reign has only just begun

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Stepfather

October 1, 2007

I am merely an object moving through space
Out of place and lacking in grace and you begin
With a disclaimer. You tell me I am essential
But incomplete. You desecrate my disordered dreams
‘Your mother is gone. She died in the night’
No one cried and then the great divide arrived
You only die once, after all. You move in on me
You disagree with my methodology. You disapprove
Of my every move. My words are unheard and undeterred
You detach me from all context and you begin,
Slowly and deliberately, to deconstruct me.

The Queen and the Great Revolution

September 28, 2007

Little empires crumbled
Miniature kingdoms toppled
As the princess became a queen
And men knelt, grovelling
At the feet of this new matriarch
She loved no one but herself
The peasants that lined the roads
Were but money-making machines
Fairy tale figures – Snow White,
Rose Red and Little Red Riding Hood
So pure, so soft, so good
To be trodden underfoot

They threw flowers at the motorcade
A rainstorm of roses aimed at that princess
Her feelings were suppressed
By vodka, vodka, vodka
‘She is an angel,’ they said
But that was long before
The Great Revolution
When this new Queen dreamed
Of cutting out the tongues
Of rabid republicans
Now she is still the centre of attention
She is still the star of the show.

But she is not adored anymore
And up in that dock she can smell
Her own blood, her own death
And those who once revelled in her grace
Will dance jubilantly,
Madly, on her grave.

Awakening

February 28, 2005

I awake to hear the nurses discussing me, right outside my cubicle. ‘For some reason she chose to sleep beneath her mattress, rather than beneath her sheet.’

Another nurse whispered, ‘And she had no knickers on when she came in.’

I wonder what they made of me with my nose dripping blood, my red stained velvet dress. What kind of woman did they think I was – some kind of prostitute beaten by one of her clients? No questions, just assumptions. As always. But what else have I come to expect from the medical profession? ‘Ooh, what kind of woman is she, turning up in Casualty at this time of the morning? She must be some low-life whore or something who’s been beaten up by her pimp’ It’s easy to think in such stereotypical terms when your own life is so simple and uncomplicated.

So there I was, speaking to the young, pink-faced junior doctor on his ward round. He was kindly but inscrutable. He asked me to wait for a psychiatrist. Now, I was feeling pain. It radiated up the length of my spine, particularly when I sat down (which was a little inconvenient given that there was little else to do on the ward) and my face felt like a stiff, bruised mask. I spent the time fiddling with the television beside my bed and desperately trying to let somebody, anybody know that I was here. The nurses made it clear that, to them, I was not a priority. So I tried to leave. I imagined myself as a ghost, slipped though the curtains of my cubicles and made my way out through an open firedoor. But soon a blonde female nurse was pursuing me. ‘Where do you think you’re going?’ she demanded. ‘You can’t just leave like that.’

‘Why not?’ I wanted to ask. ‘You have no legal basis to keep me here. I haven’t been sectioned. The only authority you have over me is that uniform.’ But I was in no mood to argue so I obediently followed her back inside where a female social worker and a male community psychiatric nurse were waiting for me.

They turned out, as I had expected, to be pretty useless. They questioned me about who was responsible for my injuries. ‘Dr. H’s star pupil,’ I replied bitterly. Dr. H’s is my consultant psychiatrist. Unfortunately, he is also Andy’s and he is a star misogynist so there is no doubt whose side he will be on. The social worker actually tried to make excuses for Andy. ‘I’m sure it was a one off. He’s probably feeling terribly guilty about it now.’ Sorry? Did I imagine that? Is this the Land that Feminism Forgot? No, obliterate that from the record. I know it’s the Land that Feminism Forgot. Dr. H’s ‘Team’ doesn’t think much of me and, frankly, the feeling is entirely mutual. How horrifying it must be for them to have to deal with a young woman who is an openly committed feminist (when did that become a dirty word?), vaguely intelligent and conscious of her rights. I have little faith in Dr. H’s’ ‘team’ I have witnessed a social worker sitting in Andy’s flat discussing the merits of various forms of hashish. ‘Great,’ I remember thinking at the time. ‘Encourage his useless, feckless lifestyle, why don’t you?’ Andy reported that when he escorted the social worker back to his car he commented (referring to me), ‘She’s a nice girl, isn’t she? Very attractive.’ Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match but preferably not to a raving psychopath, thank you very much.

‘I don’t find Dr. H’s team all that helpful,’ I told the bespectacled CPN.

His response stunned me. ‘That’s okay. There are a lot of people who don’t.’

I nearly fell off my chair. Hello??? Did this half-wit realize what he had said, that he’d just admitted to his own sheer incompetence. The social worker, a thin, pale, dark-haired woman who wouldn’t have looked out of place on a long stay eating disorders unit gave me a look of open hostility. It was clear that she thought I was somehow to blame for the attack, that I had somehow ‘provoked’ Andy. At one point she said, ‘Perhaps he was jealous. Perhaps he saw you talking to another man.’ Hmmm, methinks she knows more about the situation than she was prepared to admit. Centuries of feminism had clearly been wasted on her. Mary Wollstonecraft, Simone de Beauvoir, Betty Frieden, why did you bother? I saw the suspicion, I noticed the raised eyebrows.

I’m not much of a psychiatrist (but then neither is Doctor H. His days are numbered. ) but Andy has clearly been misdiagnosed. He is no manic-depressive. He is a psychopath. And they know it too. But to admit it would mean that they would have to deal with the situation. And they are afraid of him so they adopt the ‘blame the victim’ mentality. Who wants to back a loser? I suppose it’s understandable and perfectly (tragically) human. In short, his team is pretty damned useless. Andy has been in their care for the last ten years and he has not taken a single step forward. His life still consists of repeated hospitalisations, unfulfilled dreams and procrastination.

‘Will you be all right?’ asked the social worker. ‘How will you get home? Can we get you a taxi?’

With no money?

‘I’m touched by your concern,’ I responded sarcastically.

Becoming a Statistic

February 22, 2005

I have become a statistic.

I sat on the bed in the hospital cublicle, my face and powder-pink dress encrusted with blood, talking to a cherubic young junior doctor. ‘I suppose that statistic was right.’

‘What? The one that states that one in four women will be the victim of an assault by someone she knows in her lifetime?’

I nodded. ‘Indeed’.

Something I never believed would happen to me has happened – I was physically attacked by someone I thought was a friend. Andy, a person I only ever tried to help. Andy, a person who just a few months ago said I was one of his most faithful companions (I dread to imagine how he treats those he considers unfaithful).

I remember very little of what happened. I’d merely visited his flat for a cup of tea and a chat, just as people do every day without consequence. (One thing I will concede – Andy is/was a damned good conversationalist – something I shall miss). Then some male friends of his arrived and some more and soon the room was filled with the stench of testosterone. I recall flirting with a rather handsome blond guy called David. ‘I’ve always fancied you,’ he said.

The next thing I knew I was being slammed against the wall by Andy. He was hoving his palm into my face. Apparently he was punching and kicking me but I felt no pain – the mind is an amazing thing, they say. I think what I was experiencing is called primary shock. I then remember being pulled out of the flat and dragged upstairs to my own flat by David.

Then there was a long, yawning gap in time.

I awoke in the middle of the night in hospital. I was dressed in one of those nightgowns with a flap at the back. (Oh, how they appear to love humiliating their patients). I stumbled, half-blind, to the bathroom. I stared into the mirror. I looked quite hideous – like something from another world. My hair was fluffed around my pale face – drained of all colour. Blood dripped from my nose. My upper lip was blue as though it was stained with ink. I tried to rub it off before realizing it was a bruise.

I stumbled back to my cubicle and slipped beneath the single sheet. It was like sleeping in an ice box so I slipped beneath what seemed to be another sheet. It was an undersheet. It added little warmth. My mind was still protecting me. I shuddered and fell into a restless sleep.


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