We are not this script Though we act it well – and with vim
Extracts taken from This Script
By Jenny Lindsay
Published by Stewed Rhubarb Press
a part-univocal poem in and about ‘I’
Since six, it imprints in skin –
this girl script, this birthright which kills spirit
whilst timid lips twitch Shhhhh, girls
Swirl mildly within this
is itch in this skin, in this script
Whip nit-wits stingingly with livid riffs!
This script stinks!
It is shirt lifts. It is skirt shims with impish grins
It is slits pink, bikini tits. It is
pricks infringing with victim scripts
It is in birth til infirm
this script, this girlish mimicry…
Grim risk if girls wish trim bits within knicks!
If thigh-ripping thick skins in big biffs shirts
bits binding within rigid distinct ticks ID-ing with
script-ish wish-lists is inspiring? PFT!
It binds ‘I’ within slim-picking piddling limits!
Misfits flick digits. Fists twitch. Indignity fizzing.
Is it implicit? Is it ID?
This insipid script – is it simply right?
Writ in birth? Identity? Cis?
(is this msprnt??)
Kick it. Stick it in bins brimming with skin flicks!
High-five other ‘I’s!
Let a collective ‘I’ light up within winning shin-kickings!
Bitches, reclaim this script!
Be singing: one is not born, one becomes WOMAN!
oops… off script…
It’s illicit thinking, skirting kinship with siblings whilst
hissing indignity within isms splits ID from ‘I’s –
Schisms rip Twit’ring vigils
Timid girls flit, sighing:
Skirmish! Irk! Pitching in is visibility! Crisis-rid!
Kick it. This script?
It’s ‘I’ ridden
‘I’ is limiting
‘I’ is ‘I’ first
Tight-knit wiring gives wind chill
We are not this script
Though we act it well – and with vim
‘I’ stands still, individual,
while a collective head wricks necks tae listen.
The Imagined We
We are never permitted to be human
poets, writers, journalists, whatevers
We are female poets. Women
writers. We are murdered women
We are statistics
We are problems to be solved
We are problems to be represented
Each of the imagined we who rises up
becomes us, whether we like it or not
Do not tear them down, sisters!
Do not tear us down, women folk!
It is not womanly of us, to us
to be at each other’s throats
not when they are our throats
not when sirens are the soundtrack tae our newsfeeds
or, we are slashed at the throat
We are severed heads weighed down with rocks
in bin bags chucked far from our bodies
our humanity shucked off
by default humans’ hands
We stand in the shower
The blood trickles down our thighs on
One of those days
One of those days
One of those days
Where we’re encouraged
Alone with chocolate!
Alone with scrummy bubble-baths in delicious flavours!
Misogyny Mud-pie and Mint?
Creamy Dreamy Cum-dumpster Froth?
Raspberry Coulis and Kool-Aid? Mmm!
Paedo Pear with Jojoba and Argan Oil
We plug it in all holes, don’t we?
We lean our heads on the tiles and
watch our blood plop and pool
because the plug-hole is blocked.
We imagine that an epic car-chase
followed by fist fights led us here to
this bleeding from a hidden wound –
and that we are renegades! We are superheroes!
(or perhaps functioning drunk anti-heroes)
We have trauma in our pasts and we are
Setting Things Right!
The Imagined THEM! The bad guys
have been left in pools of writhing regret!
Some of them have stakes sticking out of where
their hearts once were – some of them
turned tae dust in front of our eyes.
And we are bruised
We are injured
But we are alive
We are just temporarily crunched over
tenderised, bleeding from the fight
This script writes itself
In our silence…
PICTURE THE SCENE:
Strings rise up
are soon accompanied by brass
as the camera angle switches
from our point of view
It starts at polished toe-nails that
sparkle through our bloodied feet
pans up smoothly – at the same speed
as that constant little trickle
The lens ensures a glimpse
of our shaved mound
There’s a sloooo
ooowing at un-suckled nipple
And then, our face
our face in tight-lipped defiance
and then a sudden SNAPPING OPEN!
Clearly, fierce pain inside
The scene ends with our fists
punching and then
pummelling the tiles
our strangled throats expleting
our knuckles bloodied too now
all this fucking PAIN!
At which an audience will cry:
What fighting spirit!
Triumph over adversity!
All those banished demons!
and the removal of awards.
Rewards limited tae a fist
smashing another fist
and being told it’s the fights against us
that make us who we are?
And that we must love the pain of this at all costs.
We must love the pain of this at all costs.
An Invite to your baby shower or your child’s birthday party
They don’t make them like they used to.
Don’t make women like yer Gran did.
Nor daughter’s like yer Ma did.
Or girls like this absence
in the shape of a child.
I’ll send best wishes. Maybe
I might come sip
awkward prosecco at the barbie,
get accidentally pished like
my ‘aunties’ did.
But never ask me of ideal worlds,
or if this choice is choice,
or look at me knowingly when
you hear I’m in love now –
there is no path but the one that’s walked.
This Hello, welcome to the world! I wish you wonder!
Joy! Nae Larkin!
is all I have to give at present.
This cradled hope, though
no gifts were asked for,
no gifts demanded.
This Script by Jenny Lindsay is published by Stewed Rhubarb Press, priced £10.99
‘We owe a great deal to Telford and others for creations that have stood the test of time, built wit …