Sunday, February 10, 2013

A Chris Wallace-Crabbe Poem

Chris Wallace-Crabbe


Not, please, this creeping elaborate pain
and not slow parody of how lives end,
nor policemen in mufti playing a dirty god,
not the stinking underside of Elsewhere,
regimes of colonels or generals or psychopaths,
not fascination with seeing just how far a body can be made to go
nor the treatment of survival as precisely equal to dying.

Please, not a battering on the door at three in the morning;
not, I'm afraid, you're going to have to come with me.
Not the large plain dull old car
waiting outside your door with motor grumbling
for the quick take-off,
nor the bareness of a shabby room with overbright lighting.
Not Them, moving in.

Certainly not having to take off your clothes;
water, the truncheon, the cold, the blaring, the slaps
and long standing still in one damned place,
not the prodded humiliation of your nudity,
clothed ones treating you as a slab of meat,
not the drawn-out thickness of questioning
and not the detumescence of hope.

Not the naked genitals like frightened mice,
not something hard inserted in the vagina,
not pints of liquid trickled down your throat,
not a bully's foul breath up against your face
as concentration goes,
not the pummelled phonebook against your guts
leaving no distinct bruises.

Not the electrodes.
Fuck, no, not the electrodes
and not your buttocks beaten, then beaten again,
not something pushed right up under your fingernails
nor a bloody gobbet hacked off your left ear –
which you are then going to be forced to eat.
Not weeks without food.

Bodies have been designed frail, by and large, by and small,
ready to be tormented and taken apart.
The shit may run down your cold legs.
You may die.
You will suffer and die.
You will survive, language holding some trace of you for years,
And the mourners, too.


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