I remember the sodium light.
Surrounded by cracked paving stones
The heavy pain as my skull impacted the ground.
Back of mum’s car
I felt the warm wet on my face and the sting of the split skin.
We went to the police station but I do not remember.
Did I sit in a chair?
I remember laughing.
How many drinks have you had?
9 minutes until the ambulance arrives.
I was so confused I told them which direction he’d ran
Sat in circles
On chairs that stack.
The six of us
We learn why we have gathered
The damage that others have caused
The remnants of pain that have burrowed down. We gather round and rip and pull.
She pulls the skin off her fingers and feet.
We laugh at the cruelty.
Out the window is brick.
It feels like the bricks are right outside.
I imagine being bricked behind a wall.
The hair on my arms caught on the surface, the smell of chalk.
I feel myself float upwards out of the chair out of the walls and the walls. I can feel my body push through the air towards a familiar space. I hang upside down. The blood thunders in my ears.
Then it’s blank
victim impact statement
Don’t step on the cracks or the devil will drag you down
North wind, slit breath
The rattling of the sparrow call
The creaky bed, the fictile womb
My poor godless mother
Skin of her hand, creased sheets
There she sits and feeds her young
Naked baby blackbirds, bulging eyes and gawping beaks.
That melts to a shriek
Feet ache with the frost bleeding through
Learnt secrets in the wilderness
mingled with a cup of water
Till your head is a stone
Entrammeling wind, Strangle of branches
Pick the worms off me like syrupy string
The viscous black I swim in
Bubbles from my mouth drift high
Riddled with holes cannot float
The words slip out like water over wet moss
On your palms where you have sinned
Fist of impact into face
Split lip, shredded knees falling down
The penny tang of blood
White knuckle, soap coloured sin
Sour Breathed, ‘shut the fuck up’
Bruises blooming, pink to blue, purple to green then yellowy brown.
Full set of teeth, dislodged
Spongey scalp. Solid skull
Stitches on skin
Spite and spit and sick
Lurching into my mouth
My everything sting and swollen
Thrown from childish comfort into adult abyss
An eye between two white lids that will not shut
Disturbance in the mirror, nameless reflection
Hurt me. Until I am outside pain
Impalpable self doubt
Dead in follicle dead in root
Cauldron, talking and cackling.
The flames shall not sear you
On screams brink , held in mouthfuls
Writhed in convulsions of pain
Into ash you shall return
Wooden spoon worse
Cleaver to my mouth
I squirm. He. Got. Me
Is the confinement at an end
I am above I am not
Wrenched from the vessel
I eat men like air
I kept memorising the quotes from Doctor Faustus worried that they would fall out of my head
‘hell is a frame of mind’
Have I had relations with the devil?
Regurgitating the blood from my nose into the bed pan
Examination external, internal
Every inch of my body photographed it’ll still be on the system
Diagram of a man’s body and my injuries sketched over- face- ribs- knees- genitalia
‘Suspected rape’ they said ‘suspected witch’
The face of the police officer loomed at the end of the bed,
Squash the scream down my gullet into my stomach where it dissolved.
They found a sample of his DNA when the swabbed my insides
Gave me a pair of knickers out of a plastic packet
When I got home my mother lowered me into the bath
Scrubbed till I bled
Vomiting till I’d thrown him up and out
Police are appealing for witnesses
after a woman was sexually assaulted
as she was walking home in Glossop.
The 18-year-old woman was walking
in a church yard off Church Street,
near the Duke of Norfolk school,
when she was assaulted.
The victim suffered serious facial injuries in the incident,
which took place at about 3am on Monday, May 26,
and was later treated at Manchester Royal Infirmary.
Detectives want to speak to a man who was seen on
Church Street South shortly before 3am the same morning.
He was wearing a white t-shirt, blue jeans and trainers
What did he look like?
I don’t remember his face
Sex attack they told me- the weapon sex?
No- the weapon is power
Nameless and faceless, where is he now
Around the corner. Waiting
Then I heard his name and he pleaded guilty
Burne her, Burne her
Ghirlanda delle streghe
(Italian witch garland of feathers)
the medieval cosmos with angelic movers
Original text by Cecil Williamson:
'West country witches retain a strong Celtic tradition in much of their spell making incantations, such as repeating a thing over and over and over again. So using witches' knitting needles which must be blunt, thick and made of glass, they repeat the spell stitch by stitch. Black wool for cursing or revenge magic and other colours in keeping and related to the work in hand for beneficent magic making. When the spell is regarded as being real strong the knitting is taken off the needles and burnt.'
The indelible corpse sits upon my chest
emptied of air
I spilled my blood over the tiles
It was black
Maybe now you’ll believe me.
My death- a revolution
Thousands of years have passed
Yet my daughters still sit in court
Yet to be believed
My body was never my own,
It was built on secrets and promises never to be kept
wrote and read
I hold hope
Lucretia, by Rembrandt (1664). This painting follows the likes of other iconic depictions: Lucretia clutching the dagger moments before she takes her own life.
Mermaid’s Pool near Kinder Scout in Derbyshire
witch pricking needles
A common vision under the influence of Fly Agaric is of flying, and it also induces massive distortions of time and space. The Sami of Lapland and Evenki of Siberia are reindeer herders and northern shamanic cultures. They use Amanita for ceremonial and spiritual purposes. Wary of the mushrooms toxicity, they sometimes employ toxin-filtration via reindeer-kidney. Reindeer enjoy Amanita and get high, shamans drink reindeer piss and get high safely. Another way to reduce the toxicity is to dry the mushrooms. When out collecting, the shaman lays his mushrooms out along branches to dry, producing the effect of fir trees decorated with bright red baubles. When picking is finished, the harvester collects the mushrooms into a large sack and distributes them to the homes of their people, who continue the drying process by hanging them in a sock near the fire.
A mushroom or toadstool is the fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting body of a fungus,