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Friday, 26 December 2008

Poem - In Hell

Poetry will become an integral part of my little blog; I hope to write about 1 in every 5 of my posts in poetic form.

My poems tend usually to be quite self-indulgently dramatic. I find it strangely alluring to slip into another character; I find it easier to do so when writing in the poetic or lyrical form. I'm sure I'm overstating the case here; as well as probably overestimating my abilities as a 'poet' to control readers emotions etc, but a little disclaimer is to remember that the poems are taking on a characterised persona - this coming poem in particular isn't a plea for help or anything - it's just fun to write in the guise of a maniacal prisoner.

Here's the little background to this poem. I cannot remember for the life of me what the book was that I perused, but in an antique bookshop back in Cambridge, I found a little collection of odd and unsettling poems. There was one that was called 'Captain (or maybe Colonel) ... then a surname' but I distinctly remember it was labelled as anonymous. It had a really creepy technique of repetition that I didn't expect to find in a collection of acclaimed poetry. The line that I use, from which I take the title 'In Hell' is direct plagiarisation (or as I prefer to view it 'comprehensive allusion'). The idea of the poem I read was very good - the stream of consciousness of a desperate and dying criminal. Basically, this poem was my own exploration of the idea - the intention being to throw a character into the face of whoever reads it and to be so up-front and uncomfortably blunt as to develop a sense of vague curiosity about the ... troubled narrator.

In Hell (if you copy or reference this poem, it may or may not be legal. I'd advise against it, on account of it being altogether a bit shit. It really would be your mistake.)

Now they're locking the door, locked the door, locked the door
Now they've locked the door, locked the door.
And I'm hitting the walls with my fist, with my head,
With my cut and damp fist and my head.
I just want to be dead, to be dead, to be dead
Oh my life, how I wish to be dead!

Now I'm punching my neck and my head with my fists
Now I'm hitting the walls with my fists.
Now I'm banging and banging my face on the floor
On the floor, on the floor goes my face.

Now the man he comes in, he comes in, he comes in,
Now the man with the badge he comes in.
Now he's dragging me out to the nurse, to the nurse,
To the nurse with the squiggly hair.

And now I'm alright, I'm alright, I'm alright
With this drug in my gut I'm alright.
Now I'm falling asleep, fast asleep, deep asleep
To my slumbery sleepness I'll creep.

OH now I'm awake, I'm awake, I'm awake
Not asleep in my dreams, but awake!
A small knife, their mistake, I'm awake, I'm awake!
This small knife, what a treat, I shall take.

Now I'm back in my cell, in my cell, in my cell
In my cell, in my hell, in my cell.
Now they're locking the door, locked the door, locked the door
Time for knife, time for knife, time for knife.

Now I'm stabbing my thigh and my feet and my knees
And my chest and my throat and my ears
And my hands and my eyes and my nose and my lips and my...

Now I'm in hell, I'm in hell, I'm in hell.
And now I'm in hell, I'm in hell.
There's the man and the nurse here as well, in my hell
In the hell, here as well, in my hell.

* * *
Just so we don't leave this festive post on a down-note, for I am in a great and happy mood, I will leave you with some nice little noun-phrases which can be used to perk up the mood.
Jim-jam banjo. Floofy noodles. Mushroom snuffleys. Leafy leaves. Smiley old Mabel. Cabbage Pudding.

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