polemical poetry to prickle the politics of "permanent austerity"
thistles stretch their prickly arms afar
The 51st State of the DLA
Three grey stooges assessing my case
Cross examining like Soul assassins
My ‘claim’ for cancer and a great big op
Two years before
How elementary there’s Dr Watson
And a solicitor and a mister
Whose names rhyme and whose paradigm is cock!
Fuck me! I’m in the dock: questions like
‘by this time could you cook say an omelette and some peas’
No Dr Watson I didn’t really eat!
‘Was the friend you had staying just for reassurance’
Well Yes! Mister Cock
‘so he didn’t help you in the bath’
I couldn’t get in it!
‘do you have a hand rail?’
No I don’t Solicitor ..OH NO I failed the crucial tick
The trick of these inhuman assessors
Belittling me because
I’m not like them ‘cause
My road wasn’t theirs, straight and up the M1
I’ve had A roads and B roads
Wine-dy lanes and slippery slopes
Inn-clines and declines, my hopes
I’m not like them
My path is scattered with trying and flying and dying
What with this humiliation and Actors Centre rejection - I am a failure
The devil works for RADA
Brother can you spare a dime?
Brother can you spare a rail?
The tears start to fall
I’m embarrassed with it all
Telling of my ablutions
I plead it’s more than ticking boxes and
I’m looking at the man in the middle
Who tells me they’re not here to give me this
or give me that
I say just give me what I need
To lead a normal life!
And leave before my dignity is tick boxed to D HELL A!
In the corridor my humour’s saved by a man with a knobbly stick embedded with two different coloured eyes, shaking it at the whole establishment…like a shaman, a Druid on Acid – he’s a good he’s a good he’s Ebenezer Good body who flails and rails and he’s still at it on the street…he’s angry they made me cry… But as I wander around the city of hypocrisy trying to find my bus the anger kicks in and I’m...
Wendy Young reviews for Disability Arts Online. She has had a sequence published with Natterjack Press (after reviewing Rite of Passage for DAO and being encouraged by Peter Street) and has also been published in South Bank Poetry. She blogs for DAO and performs quite often (Survivors, Shuffle Festival, Liberty, Together 2012 etc). She also has a page on Creative Future's website. Her most recent collection is The Dream of Somewhere Else (Survivors' Poetry).
Swing Low Judas Iscariot
Comin’ for to carry us off
The pendulum swinging above us
Has come to chop off our heads
To make us go
It’s scalped us slow
Sliced at our necks
Swung us high
Swung us low
Jargon junta munchers
(Here they come the jet set munchers)
Waft Business diplomas
Degrees coming out of their suits
More managers than doctors
Meeting after meeting
Discuss over coffee aromas
Our lowly livelihoods
Decapitate our frontlines
Put us into a pyramid
On a PowerPoint chart
Boxed and accounted, neat and smart
Not even a one in 10
We are percentages
0.67 surplus to requirement in fact
I’m one of 6.66
In a sub paragraph
Of an acromyn collective
Is this how a thrithjungar of the West Thryding/wapantake should be treated?
If Remploy are employed no more
What the hell chance have we for
Survival of the death knell of the NHS
Swelled by greed and selfishness
20,000 soldiers aren’t wanted - what hope have we?
How low can you go?
The new sport
that keeps me ticking
for the system
and doing my head in
tick for this
tick for that
Tick for my sanity
Tick for my gravity
Tick this box if you’re mad
Tick this box if you’re sad
Tick this box if you’re bad
Well I’m ticking for the whole of humanity
To blow you up
Ticking an explosives box for you
tick tick tick tick boom!