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Wendy Young - disability arts online
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Slappers! / 29 January 2016

The art of disabling a life, the art of stifling progression, the art of crushing is the job of the Slapper!

Trying to follow the rules of the 'so what' theory in that I was advised to expand on depressing poetry by making it readable I managed to get this one on page and then try and make it jolly!  Well, it ended up quite rhythmic 'cause sticks and stones can break your bones.....

Having read a self help book (the name of which I forget now), I did cling to the idea the writer's advice to write all the names I had been/you had been called and pin them to a coat.  In line with Tracy Emin's 'Tent' and her fantastically cathartic name dropping, I have often thought of the names I have been called (which are a fair few and some blinders!) but I feel I wanted to get down (some) of the physical hits I have receieved.  

This poem covers my childhood Slappers and Kickers but it seemed a natural progression to be hit, punched, kicked by a 'boyfriend' so more later I guess!  Also, I have never forgotten the little girl I saw on a bus going up Upper Street in the 90s who broke my heart and she is in here too.  When I meet people who have never been touched in this way, I admit to feeling envious, but at least I got a poem!!!

SLAPPERS

1.
Sister Glen when I said, aged ten,
I’d wed Glyn when we were 19
Slap! Bang! Wallop!
What a welter
Right across me face
Putting paid to
A playground fantasy
I never got hitched and he’s a gay vicar

2.
My old man, the bastard
Slapped me across the face
I think I showed my nerve at him
I think that I said NO to him
And that was excuse enough

3.
Julie Fox for defying her
Smacked me into shock
Guilty as sin
She demanded
‘Why dunt yer hit me back?’
I shook my weightless head
I turned the other cheek

4.
Biggest selfie slapper was me!
Finger rapping good
Knuckle dusting clapperboard
Stomach, thighs, face, head
To hurt yourself hurts no one else and you’ve got a slapper on tap!

5.

Slapper Mama!
Slap slap bang!
Round me head and shoulders
I’d driven her mad
And now she turned
On her messed up 17 year old

Working her up to kingdom come
Her tired soul was irked
Ranted and railed until she erupted
Over bloody youthful lip
Her angst was mine was hers was mine
I’d give anything now to change it
It maybe cliché but the saying goes round, youth is wasted on the young

6.
Slapper Bro!
First to whack, kick, blow
Certainly gave it to me
Evil little bastard
Followed the trait
Early violence
Family tree

Bloody encounters regularly
Planted me my first
The hits, the kicks, the stones, the throws
Slaked a sickening thirst

The affable Mr Marshall
Who lived across the road
Said ‘When you were just a bairn
No bigger than a rose

He gave you a reight humdinger
And yer sat on t’causey edge crying
Mamma Mamma Mamma’
First slap is the deepest but no defeatist then, I screamed and shouted, before I ‘died’ did my family hear?

7.
Punches I could pull ‘em
Out of a hat
When lads showed lasses who was boss
I was a prime target
Lucky dip for a lippy kid
My face invited their wrath

Anita ran but I stood firm
My back against the wall
It wasn’t me they were after but
My defiance was a taunt

Watson the pink faced piggy
Dearden scowling ‘n’ skinny
Bwannan the geek who couldn’t pronounce R’s
All three had a go

Like a weevil wobbling
I didn’t go down but
My feet were lead in tar
Punch! Punch! Punch! No first of the month! My nose! My nose! My nose!

8.
Kicks in the coccyx meted out
By Shocker when I stood
A valiant fool on Valley Road
I was stuck like a spud in mud

I thought he’d pass me by
How wrong I bloody was
When we worked in the pea fields
When the rain had swamped the ground
This kid booted mud covered toads!

He was after me mate
But she ran off
And all I got was a sneer for my tears
And a spine chilling
Shocker boot thud!

John Fairweather, he was no friend
I didn’t run to the last post
Playing Rounders in the Juniors
Gave me a pain that I feel now
‘cause he kicked me right where Shocker did
I almost collapsed
Nearly toppled me in two
Little martyr me, told nobody but he emigrated to Australia and I hope and pray that the anti POMS, pelted him with shit and regalia!

9.
Tiny Asian girl on the 30 bus
On Upper Street, sweet and jolly
‘look daddy look daddy’
She wanted his attention
Excitable little dolly

But the fucked up little rat
Gave her a slap
A real palm burner to turn
Her pretty smile into a frown
Crying, sinking, into the deep deep down

I bet you had to please
In many other ways
The little weasel’s
Wants and needs
Keep ‘daddy’ happy
Anything to appease

I hope you found your buried glee
Are you smiling now?
Or is it just a cover?
How many breakdowns?
Do you conceal bruises round your eyes?

Make up, hide the dirt, SLAP IT ON!

From on line dictionary: dislapper/ˈslapə/
noun a promiscuous or vulgar woman. informal term for slap shot.