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Colin Hambrook puts on a man suit

I am pleased the way that the blog section of DAO has taken off in the past few months. Having the opportunity to publish work continues to be a pleasure that I am very grateful for.

When you've grown up with the idea that you need fixing in some way it makes parenthood even more of a challenge...

Man Suit
This baby place
remembers you,
newly made
a smile,
perhaps imagined,
and a way of holding
the little finger
outwards,
as if grasping an invisible
cup of tea
at a garden party.

All-consuming,
you transformed lives;
brought the seemingly
unobtainable
within reach;
eager to climb rocks,
when even crawling
was dangerous,
slippery.

I grew several
heads in a bid
for reinvention;
searching each
face for self-belief
as a father.

Love was easy
as leaves,
in the woods
making dens
of our soft
hearts.
I could
fall into you -
a place of stories
and play.

Caring was
plain as pudding -
not like now,
watching you
shun a mans' suit;
without hands or feet;
and barely a mouth
to describe the new
skin trembling
to grow into the gap
between realities.

© Colin Hambrook

Posted by Colin Hambrook, 28 July 2010

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 29 July 2010

A poem on experience of ECT from Colin Hambrook

I try hard when writing poetry… sometimes too hard. Scanning this drawing into the computer somehow gave it an even more oppressive feel. Playing with the contrast made it that much starker.

The drawing wasn't made for the poem, but the mood of the drawing sums up some of the suppressed rage in this poem. There is a central figure in battle with demons and strange fizzing machines rising above him. So many of my drawings express different aspects of psychosis...

In many ways my life has been shaped by the moment the psychiatrist took me into my bedroom, aged ten, and subtly demanded to know all the 'mad' things my mum had been saying, on a promise he would make her better.

He took her away and gave her so much ECT she couldn’t remember her children when we came to see her in hospital.

Burning
Held fast in the youth chair;
vacant, rebellious,
you are a broken cup
that smashes
a little more
every time
I try
to pick you up.

Your expression
burns my skin
reminds me of
that recurring dream
haunting early childhood
memory;
a black and white
movie picture of mum
melting;
the smell of burning
rubber,
waking me
night on night
till, finally…

They burnt her temple
lobes with their 'all
for the best' ethos
that’s fucked us
generation after
fucking generation!
 

Posted by Colin Hambrook, 14 July 2010

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 15 July 2010