Thursday, 19 October 2017

Flashback



I had a strange turn a couple of years ago whilst on hols. This came about as a result. I have written in the style of a famous Shakespeare poem; "The rape of Lucretia" although the content is very much my own and this is much shorter.

Flashback

As high as a kite

My mind is adrift today, flying high.
I let it glide awhile in the gentle breeze
As high as a kite, soaring in the sky,
Contently drifting and controlled with ease,
Like a loved pet or child, easy to please.
Precious possession under my control,
I’ll pull you back safely, child of my soul.

A boy of nineteen

Long ago, I was a boy of nineteen,
Perhaps not mature as some my own age.
I had not the wisdom to calm my spleen,
No lover to still my frustrated rage.
I wore a clown’s mask and numbed that sad stage
Of my life by getting drunk, taking drugs
And hanging around with dropouts and thugs.

Does that sound familiar? That chestnut
Of teenage angst and unsatisfied lust?
Youthful frustration’s a pain in the gut,
A hard path to tread, but tread it we must
(And some never make it and turn to dust).
Yes, we’ve all been there at some point I guess.
Alone, despairing, our heads in a mess.

But now to return from that digression,
Back to a night; August 1980.
I had some acid in my possession
(It being fashionable incidentally,
These being the days of pre – ecstasy).
“Ying Yangs” were the blotters I scored that night
In my quest for psychedelic insight.

In the early evening I took two,
Waited impatiently to no avail,
Till another dealer I barely knew
Entered the pub with some “White tiles” for sale.
He said “These will work for sure without fail”.
So I purchased two and took those as well;
Thus began my unwitting trip to Hell.

With Simon (a friend), I took a taxi
To the Essex University where
I bought a blotter immediately.
I’d already had four, I didn’t care
And I took the fifth one just for a dare,
Then (God!  My brain hurts to think of it now)
Took a trip to the top of a tower.

I peered o’er the edge of a balcony,
Watched the ground, like a giant lift rising
And I had a kind of epiphany;
Stepped over the edge, not realising
My mind was playing tricks and disguising.
The distance between the top and ground floor
Wasn’t two feet but a hundred or more.

Let’s pause for a second (as I did then).
Would be Buddhists, meditate on this:
Was God contrived by superstitious men?
Did Satan tempt Jesus at the abyss?
With a voice, gentle as a mother’s kiss
Saying, “Isn’t it strange the ground so near?
Jump off the edge now, there’s nothing to fear”.

Was that you, my mad mind, talking to me?
If Simon hadn’t stopped me, I’d have jumped
Like a happy child into a warm sea
And my young heart would no longer have pumped,
My immature life, by death would be trumped.
The memory of this cuts like a knife.
I thank you Simon for saving my life.

(Speaking of whom, I wonder what became
Of Simon; he was a strange one for sure.
After that night things were never the same
We both found each other hard to endure.
I heard he succumbed to heroin’s lure,
But still later (I heard) he took the bar
Though I can’t imagine he got that far).

Sitting in a flat on the highest floor
Surrounded by people I barely know,
Talking nonsense. There’s a knock on the door,
Someone opens it and outward we flow.
The spiral staircase to the ground below
Goes on and on and on and on and on.
When we get to the bottom, my head’s gone.

”Infrared complex”

The memory of this causes me pain.
Alas for the truth, it’s necessary
To re-view the line between sane and insane,
And lay it bare so a reader might see
An account of a boy’s insanity 
That arguably was the price of a thrill
And so long ago, yet it haunts me still.

I’m sitting in a bar, sipping a beer.
I’m feeling agitated, paranoid
And inferior to everyone here.
I’m an insipid bore, one to avoid,
Open to ridicule, or else destroyed.
My face is a book, a bland one indeed,                                                                           
Very wide open and easy to read.

A man of superior intellect
Looks at me and says “Infrared complex”,
And those two words have a profound effect
On me. It’s like he knows his phrase reflects
Exactly how I feel and my reflex
Response is to feel humiliation
And lose my bent of communication.

I suddenly find myself in a room
Full of people watching a video.
I sit down with Simon who I assume
Has led me here but I really don’t know
If I can concentrate on a film show.
There’s a “Clicking” sound from behind somewhere,
I turn around but I see nothing there.

I try to watch whatever’s on TV.
“Clickclick, cliclclick, click….”What the hell is that?
I can hear laughing too, but I can’t see,
It’s way too dark, “What are you laughing at?”
Simon simply gives me a shoulder pat
And says “You’re making it a bad one mate”
And right now, I’m in a pretty bad state.

We’re having a row now, Simon and I.
He’s annoying me as much as that sound.
I get up, chairs, tables and glasses fly.
Somebody screams but I don’t turn around,
I’m heading for the exit, homeward bound.
I have no money for a taxi fare
So I walk. Now begins the real nightmare.

Madman on the road

A madman wandered along a dark road
Toward his landmark; a water tower.
He watched it jumping around like a toad,
He bade it “STOP”, (but he had no power).
He bowed and drank piss (it tasted sour),
He looked up, noticed the tower had stopped.
Then looked down again; his trousers had dropped.

Some drivers (teenagers?) mocked him and japed
And others remarked as they passed him by:
“A lunatic from the mad house escaped,
Standing in the road like he wants to die”
And, “There but for the grace of God go I”,
“Another casualty of drugs or drink”,
“I wonder, what must his poor mother think?”

He wandered and wondered “Why am I here,
What is my name and where do I come from”?
He saw the water tower disappear;
In his head, a mantra beat like a drum
And then it exploded into a maelstrom
Of despair, anguish and things meaningless
And he quite forgot his name and address.

That was when he knew that he’d lost his mind.
All his inhibitions had gone away.
To reason, meaning and logic now blind,
His world view was warped and in disarray.
He’d no concept of time, of night or day
And if he could talk, he then would have said;
“I hate this feeling, I’d rather be dead”.

So then, a grim choice before him was laid;
Life as a madman or death as an end.
This considered, his decision was made;
Death’s end was an incomparable friend.
As from buildings afire jumpers descend
His suicide, born of desperation,
Was an instinctive consideration.

He jumped in front of an oncoming car,
That knocked him down but alas did not kill.
He smashed his head back against the hard tar
But unconsciousness evaded him still.
He smashed it again and again until
The driver came over to remonstrate;
“Why did you do that? Are you all right mate?”

A crowd had gathered around him amazed
(They’d come from the pub where they’d been drinking)
He looked at them all as they stood and gazed,
Oblivious to what they were thinking
And suddenly asked with eyes unblinking;
“Am I witch? Are you coming to take
Me off somewhere to be burnt at the stake?”

A woman approached him, her face concerned,
And asked him his name and where did he live?
Not knowing this, a reply he returned
Asking if she had some water to give,
(His voice cunningly disguised and plaintive).
She gave him a glassful which he smashed
And screamed as his neck with the glass he slashed.

An ambulance came and took him away.
As life vividly flashed before his eyes,
He thought of his Grandpa; what would he say?
Only then he began to realise
That Heaven’s a place for someone who dies
By whatever fate deems, but not suicide.
He was for Hell then destined to reside.

To Hell’s gate the ambulance soon arrived.                                                
A demon - policeman disguised - asked his name.
He thought of an answer and then contrived
To fool the demon with a truthless claim.
He stayed silent until more demons came.
Being dead and with his memory restored,
He was wheeled to where Hell’s furnaces roared.

“Police brutality”

Demons disguised as doctors and nurses
Placed me on a high bed and lay me there.
I uttered unrepeatable curses,
(Being dead, resigned and beyond despair)
I swore and spat and punched and pulled hair
And kicked and smashed a cabinet of glass.
They held me down and injected my arse.

As the needle went into my backside
I screamed at the demon’s effrontery.
And like an apathetic child I cried
And questioned their methods and their cruelty.
One demon shouted “Police brutality!”
Then I was handcuffed, my legs were bound tight,
I was left tied up and drained of all fight.

I lay there for hours in Hell’s waiting room
(If time can exist in infinity).
I pondered my fate, considered my doom,
Questioned my small role in humanity,
And the path that had led to calamity.
And as I lay there alone, in deep thought,
I knew that my life’s summation was nought.

Come down

A policeman held my head in his lap.
As my mind came slowly down from the brink,
He then proceeded my legs to unwrap.
And asked if I wanted something to drink.
And as reality started to sink,
I looked at that kind human being
Scarcely believing what I was seeing.

They drove me back home to my bedsit flat,
Read out some charges and made it quite plain
That I was in trouble, but for all that
They were pretty decent and humane.
They said, “We don’t want to see you again”
I apologised and away they sped;
I was fairly copped, it has to be said.

I awoke the next day and felt my neck
And the bandages placed there by a nurse.
I was a mental and physical wreck,
But still alive for better or for worse.
And to dwell on that, is to weaken this verse;
The young foolish boy’s long since departed
And his history can’t be restarted.

Flashback

My mind is adrift today, flying high.
I let it glide awhile in the gentle breeze
As high as a kite, soaring in the sky,
Contently drifting and controlled with ease,
Like a loved pet or child, easy to please.
Precious possession child of my soul,
I’ll pull you back while I still have control.