19 May 2010
Deaf Bitch presents a selection of poems from a Deaf woman's experience
My poet self is a hidden self that only emerges when no-one else is looking or listening and often at times of great emotional upheavals in my life.
My deaf self and my gender are constant triggers for emotional upheaval because I live and (mostly) function well in a world not set up to meet my needs as a woman, let alone as a deaf woman.
Sometimes the emotional upheavals are on behalf of other people in the world experiencing discrimination and oppression. Some of my poems come from happy emotional upheaval; sheer bliss from living where I do, from my enjoyment of my family and my dog and from the essential spirit in us all.
understand the tarot and clairvoyance - a talk at a local hotel
experience quality corporate hospitality at the race course
see the new amazing play about women’s lives visit the new multiplex cinema - special showings
network over lunch, go for a walk, apply for that super job
oh, and did you fill in that questionnaire about what women really want?
oh yeah? great you may think lots of opportunities there, eh.
IF(uck them all) you can hear,
IF(uck your benevolence) you can see,
IF(uck your “access policies”) you can walk, stand, sit, talk, read,
understand what they are talking about, writing about,
THINKING ABOUT, FEELING ABOUT
sure the opportunities are there...........just go for them
Well I will IF(uck your sympathy) you gotta ramp,
IF(uck your caring) you gotta loop
IF(uck your charity) you gotta signer, my dog can come too, and my PA is welcome
and there’s a loo I can use
AND IF I MATTER LIKE YOU MATTER.
sure, I’ll come IF...........
I’ve had enough....
suggesting gently in ladylike tones
hinting it might be a good idea if....
proving the business case
explaining the law
taking the barriers down inch by painful inch
brick by careful brick
I want to
all in one go on one perfect day of ecstasy
“a loop will be provided for hearing aid users”
singing my favourite hymn
in school assembly
happy, wordless, soundless
all things bright and beautiful
unheard mother behind me suddenly shockingly
plugging the pigpink mould into reluctant ear
trailing wire, box and batteries encumbering
shock of cacophony of voices blurring
“there dear, you can hear now!”
all things dull and uglified
the barbed wire anaconda of despair
is snaking down inside me
scraping my throat
lifelosses rolled in a porcupine ball
surfing on tears
the first loss shadows everywhere
nothing in my ears but whistle and groan
what would it be like to skim life’s surface
without the dark deaf nights of my soul?
the double gag
come to the party
famous role models
ok fine I said
of all the famous women deafies
that hearies know about...
it didn't take long
herstory's a muffled, stifled, silenced one
bound by deafworld for the most part
and by the double gag
that confines ourstory
to local rags
"brave victim" tales in the gutter press
and women's mags.
deafbitch at 50
hot flushes or power surges?
mood swings or being the real me?
wrinkles or lines of age and experience?
bag or crone?
what shall I look to now -
grey hair, no got that already
specs, hearing aid -
got them too but what the hell -
my hearing aids sparkle,
my specs look good,
my grey hair suits me,
my wrinkles are smile zones,
and wow what a mind I have now.
the reticulated chainlink is inserted into
the bloodied channel uncovered by the scalpel
that carved a vicious gouge out of
the delicately made skin behind her ear.
eyes sealed with tape, unknowing the assault,
or the outcomes on waking, save what she’s been told:
you’ll be able to hear the birds dear
and cross the road more safely
and maybe you’ll even be able to TALK PROPERLY
well here we are, let’s pop this in
CAN YOU HEAR ME SWEETIE?
let me adjust it,
there we are that’s better isn’t it?
NO? a buzzing noise? it hurts?
WELL, YOU DO NEED TO ADJUST, OF COURSE.
COME BACK IN A FEW MONTHS TIME
AND WE’LL CHECK IT AGAIN, all right dear?
she leaves, to grow her hair long
to cover the scar
and avoid the netball court and pop concert scuffles
and wonder who she really is
and what they meant when they told her
YOU WILL BE ONE OF US NOW