Tag Archives: theartoffalling

16 Days of Action Against Domestic Violence #Day9


Day 9

Over half way through 16 days of action.  It’s been both harder and easier than I thought.

Now I am returning, I’m interested in how the mode of address in the sequence changes – that there are more and more poems addressed to a ‘you’ as it progresses.

It’s like walking in a place I’ve been to before, but seeing it from horseback instead of from the ground.

Or like I’m on a boat, and the place where I used to walk is flooded, but with the clearest water, and I can see straight down to the path, straight through my own face reflected back at me.

I have an aversion to poems with the word ‘memory’ in them.  I decide I don’t like them.  Although I love the word ‘remember’.  It is the vagueness of ‘memory’ I don’t like. Whereas ‘remember’ feels like a physical thing.

And then I find this poem called ‘Memory’ by Lawson Fusao Inada and it is full of memory and I realise I don’t dislike this word at all, that I have made up a rule to keep myself safe from poetry in some way, and that my rule was arbitrary and stupid, because I love this poem.

Memory is an old Mexican woman
sweeping her yard with a broom


Your Hands

I can’t remember your fingernails
but I remember the quick movement

of your hands, how you rolled each
cigarette, your tongue licking the paper.

For months I found brown twists
of tobacco in the creases of clothes,

filters in their plastic sleeves
or delicate papers spread like wings.

I can’t remember a single thing we said
to one another but I remember your

black leather jacket, your one pair
of good black trousers.  I remember

arguing all night, but not what about.
I remember sleep was something

that did not belong to me.  I swear
I remember nothing, just your outline

at the foot of the bed, you are shouting
as if calling me from some distant shore,

but there’s no such thing as sound,
no such thing as shore.





16 Days of Action Against Domestic Violence #Day8


Trauma is not stored as a narrative with an orderly beginning, middle and end.  Memories return….as flashbacks that contain fragments of the experience, isolated images, sounds and bodily sensations that initially have no context other than fear and panic
The Body Keeps The Score
0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 Bessel Van Der Kolk

This is not a narrative with an orderly beginning, middle and end.

This might be a narrative with an orderly beginning, middle and end.

This is a flashback

This isn’t a flashback

This contains fragments of the experience

This doesn’t contain fragments or experience.

These are isolated images

These are not isolated image, these are not sounds

This is a bodily sensation with no context

There is context, and this is a bodily sensation

This is fear and panic

There is nothing to fear and panic here

When Someone is Singing

When someone is singing the old carols –
the earth hard as iron, snow on snow,
when cold brings the world to silence,
when the name of the city we lived in is spoken,
when lorries are parked in lines at service stations,
when making a decision, when another year ends,
when a coach ticks to itself in the heat,
when I see a couple arguing in public,
when I hear someone shouting or swearing,
when I see boats or think of the sea,
when I remember I know how someone can break,
if somebody spits on the pavement, if somebody spits,
when I stand at a bus stop, when I visit the doctors,
when I get in a car with someone else driving,
when I see bouncers in nightclub doorways,
with the taking and giving of pain, when I’m afraid,
it’s only then I think of him, or remember his name.