Shocked and repulsed by my expression of love your virtue pervades the air like tea steeped too long always you tried to contain me in the same blue box where you live your life your neat little frock and neat little face hiding the big black pool of nothingness that exists inside you aren’t my mother mothers cry rivers when their child disappears but you don’t worry for me because your worry is for you you won’t be the mother of that child better to lose a good daughter than to keep a bad one alive Dad knows the grief of losing a daughter howling like a smelly beast that’s fallen into a well but he leaves it to others to speak the words wishing that he could solve everything with money not with talking checks and pleats writing cheques and balances wishing for restitution.
I wrote this a little while ago in response to The Monkey’s Mask by Dorothy Porter. If you are familiar with the book this poem will (hopefully!) make a lot of sense. If you don’t know it, it’s a hard-boiled detective novel written in verse. Yep, that’s right, a crime novel in verse. I will admit that I was so sure I wasn’t going to enjoy it that I put off reading it, but then I picked it up and wham! I was hooked and finished it in one sitting.
That being said, reviews on the book are mixed. While it’s true that the plot is predictable, for me the book’s intrigue does not come from the plot, but rather from the way Porter has brought together a mash of things that on the surface don’t look like they’ll work. Yet, work they do and in spectacular fashion at that.
You might like to check out Still I survive which was also inspired by The Monkey’s Mask.