Ode to Ruby Rose


Your hair is sunlight

 

Illuminating your face

 

Strands like fingers

 

Supplying

 

Sweet caresses

 

To your skin

 

Of silken lace

 

 

 

Mine is brittle

 

Whose strands betray

 

And belittle

 

The pulp that lies

 

Beneath my eyes

 

Flesh ruddy and hostile

 

 

 

Your breath kisses the wind

 

Mine is stained with the scent

 

Of cigarettes and sin

 

I have lived amongst men

 

But love only women

 

You love none

 

More than yourself

 

And display your body

 

For a living

 

I display my mind

 

And am a dying monument

 

To life upon the shelf

 

 

 

Your eyes shine like cerulean

 

And the diamonds you wear

 

Suggest the wealth of your talent

 

If only I could rest my head

 

Between your breast’s

 

Heaves of submission

 

And be reborn as beauty

 

Love, truth

 

And death in remission

 

 

 

You are an illustrated woman

 

Your flesh frames

 

Each picture you portray

 

So, I read you with a lascivious look

 

Devour your painted form

 

Like an open book

 

And then I look again

 

And imagine

 

That you have stamped

 

My library card of a heart

 

With a kiss of approval

 

 

 

But you are no more real

 

Than the love I feel

 

When I gaze at photographs

 

Of you

 

For you are young

 

And I am too old and ugly

 

To be loved by one

 

As beautiful as you

 


Fucked up

I wish that I could shut up

Should be in a lock up

Decay of mind and spirit

Not quite with it

 

I am the portal to insanity

For my mind is my only true reality

But my heart is almost free

 

So lay your head on my chest

And listen to the beat,

Beat, beat me

Into a pulp rhapsody

Of thoughts

Which broadcast from me

Like white noise from a turned off TV

 

Open your pocket

And place my heart within it

Like a time bomb of a watch

I shall tick against the skull of your belly

Until you tell me

That I have saved you

From sanity’s padded cell of luxury

And the concept of materiality

R.D. Laing and the Politics of Madness By Louise M. Hart 26 years after his death a biopic has recently been released about the life of, “acid psychiatrist,” and counter cultural guru, R. D. Laing. Whilst a range of theorists, writers and even some of his former patients have attempted to discredit Laing’s theories and practice, his star continues to shine. Supporting this is the primacy and currency of discourse about the man and his world view. Ronald David Laing (1927-1989) is most famous for challenging mainstream psychiatry. His legacy, also, includes his much wider attack on the dominant model of scientific reason and western post-enlightenment thinking. Laing uproots traditional belief systems and rather, reconfigures psychiatry in a framework that is both socio-political and philosophic. Influenced by existential philosophy, Laing argues that the diagnosis of mental disorder, or madness (his preferred term) should not be based on patients’ presentation or behaviour. He believes that treating behaviour medically is false epistemology. Accordingly, a patient’s mental health is no longer a signifier of conduct but a consequence of how their beliefs impact and shape their behaviour. Laing famously writes about the experience of breakdown/breakthrough as a regenerative process. He encourages patients’ personal growth and claims that a psychotic break does not have to induce psychical deterioration. Rather, he perceives the process as a transformative experience comparable with a shamanic journey and argues that a positive outcome should involve a freer and more humanistic treatment of patients. In 1965 he opened the now notorious, Kingsley Hall as an alternative to traditional psychiatric hospitals, which promote a medical model approach to mental health. At Kingsley Hall patients were allowed to act out their psychosis free of tranquilising, anti-psychotic medication and offered in contrast, illegal and hallucinogenic drugs. Laing recognised that anti-psychotic medication sedated and dulled the mind to the more metaphysical symptoms associated with psychosis. He believed in contrast that hallucinogens expanded consciousness and promoted the free expression of thought, feeling and behaviour. Laing proposed that his revolutionary approach to mental illness, backed by the use of hallucinogenic drugs constituted a more effective treatment option for those affected by psychosis than the traditional medicalized approach. The Laingian model promised the possibility of healing through spiritual and psychological renewal. At best the Kingsley Hall experiment produced mixed results. At least 2 patients died jumping from the rooftop. But, it represented an important landmark in the aetiology of mental health theory and practice and opened up the debate about the use of medication. Today’s mental health recovery movement is one of the more progressive social change movements and arguably would not exist without Laing’s influence. It is progressive because it challenges not only mainstream psychiatry, but the ideological basis of received thinking in contemporary western society about the normative principle. Laing and recovery model advocates argue that the concept of normality is the prerequisite for the construct of madness. Consequently, were we to eradicate the notion of normality, madness, also, would be extinguished.


I’m not Paranoid, I just don’t Trust anyone


By Louise M. Hart

Don’t look at me

Don’t-look-at-me

Does my face threaten your subjectivity

Or put you off your cup of tea?

I took my tablets today

So now I’m symptom free

What do you see…

When you meet my glare?

I pull out my hair

And worry that you can see my scaly skin

Through the tear

In my jeans or smell my underwear

I pretend not to care

But I am crucified inside

Like Jesus Christ mounted on a cross of mind

After forty days and forty nights in the wilderness

Of my turbulent mental flight

Like squabbling lovers my thoughts scream and shout

I try to quieten them

In case you can hear

But you laugh in fear

Don’t look at me

Don’t-look-at-me

I look at you

And suddenly remember that you are only three

Rent Boy


By Louise M. Hart

He silently sits in a busy underpass

Raggedy man reflecting his soul like glass

“Only the poor give to the poor,” He thinks

A benefit scrounger inserts a pound coin

Between his teeth

And drops it into raggedy man’s hat

He eats empty plates of thoughts for dinner

And dreams of being fat

His heart has no home

Less, his body resides in the West Midlands of nowhere

He does not even own a cat

Called Bob

Man, it is boring here

Where he cannot afford a beer or a filtered cigarette

His brow is lined with the sweat of circumstance and distress

And all because his Mother called him, “a sinner”

He was big in Moseley once

Now he is invisible in an underpass

Wanker banker leaves work at 5.33

He passes Mr Raggedy

And notices the curve of his lips

His hungry brown eyes

And delicate finger tips

He rubs his wallet

Tea at Nanna’s


By Louise M. Hart

 

Sit at the table girls

Remember to say, “Please,” and “Thank you”

And never use bad words

Like, “Oh God,” and, “sod,” and “bloody ‘ell”

Children should be seen but never heard

Except by those who wash their underwear

 

Pretend to contentedly defer

To your superiors; the vicars and doctors

Who will one day fear

The glare of your exterior

Nose studs which endear you to the great unwashed

Bovver boots yielding you to trample underfoot

The mass who speak with crap

Leaking through the cracks of their posteriors

 

Sterilised milk makes our guts heave

But we say, “Thank you,” when it is poured into our cups

Butter sandwiches, a slice of ham inside

Nanna watches us eating, almost pulsating with pride

Tinned peaches as slippery as brine

When eaten with butter and bread

And combined with love and twinkling blue eyes

And the cakes…

 

We all like a bit of what you fancy

 

Mine was French

And encased in perfectly pink skin

Creamy upon the touch of my tongue

And slobbering chin

But taste is subject to change

So I subsequently deferred to a bit of brown

Being slim the aim in mind

Pink became the colour of yesteryear’s mistress race

A lick of brown replaced my love heart dress and fear of clowns

 

Forced to nibble pink

In an exhibition of familial love

I closed my nostrils

And thanked God above

For supplying fish for supper

 

 

 

Awakening Time


Awakening Time

By

Louise M. Hart

 

In exchange for my mortality

I was sentenced to purgatory

Shunning the luxury of life

I escaped the descent of death

Yielding no being no body

No voice or breath

 

Today I stand on insentient land

For I would rather be insentient

Than subject to death on demand

 

O’ children of life I banefully cried

Deserted earth

And parted the sky

And whilst the goddess above

Beckoned my love

The demons below

Seduced my soul

 

Torment chose their eyes

Hers winked

Like the stars

Above which she knitted

A complicit pattern of survival

 

Awaiting the world’s arms

Lay a shadow of dreams

Supporting humanity’s potential

For spiritual need

A need forever on the periphery

Like an infinite why

Conceived from the loins of a materialistic lie

And nurtured in the garden of truth

 

The awakening time is here

This life is queer

My awakening

Time