This audio poem (that used to be called 'The Bed') is a collaborative reading by me and a patient at St Christopher’s Hospice for the Visualising Affect exhibition, Lewisham Arthouse, July 2013. You can download a pdf file of the poem.
You can read about and view images from the exhibition on the Visualising Affect website. My essay on our collaborative installation is included in the catalogue.
Here is a short film of Les Back talking about the IVSA conference and the exhibition.
The Prince And The Pee
Intent concern accompanied the glinting blade
that sliced from hip to hip.
meandering down into dry recesses of manliness.
A cut so deep so low
folds of distinction reopen.
Hard layers. Moist untouched spaces.
Shiny black skin. Striated muscle,
flow into tired, needy sinews of a pure new
He has a story to tell.
He doesn’t know
Since she gone, he says
he has not slept one night in that bed.
Do I miss her?
Perhaps. But I have to break my mind to de condition init?
An de reason, mos of my reason is because
throu my tablets, I pass water often.
To walk from de bed is a longer
On dis chair
I jus roll off, pee in de bucket.
And that bed is wide. Very wide
In the shadows of nightfall
he again feels the knife.
This time in his heart,
In this place of dislocation
he marks his loss. Silently,
Rolling saltiness around his mouth,
he leans forward slowly
pisses into the bucket.
The prostate is a gland about the size and shape of a walnut. It lies underneath the bladder and surrounds the tube (the urethra) that men pass urine and semen through. In the UK, about 1 in 8 men will get prostate cancer at some point in their lives. Older men, men with a family history of prostate cancer and men of black African and black Caribbean heritage are more at risk.
You can find out more about prostate cancer from The Prostate Cancer UK website
You can also speak to the charity’s nurses on 0800 074 8383