What seems to be happening over the course of these poems (in a thoroughly non-linear, non-sequential fashion!) is that the interior conversation I am having with others is becoming more dialogic. I wrote a huge novel over the course of 2000-2001 which left me exhausted and in something of a relapse, a piece of work in which I revisited my university days but without the cathartic release my 'dejected' poems had offered me. But that's by-the-by for during 2002-2004 I turned to stage plays, composing a handful in which I thoroughly enjoyed writing dialogue between the acting parts.
In autumn 2004 I started my next course (this time in scriptwriting) and I think this is why the conversation in these following poems comes more to the fore. Mengele is a weird piece of verse though in that I don't think its structure is sound and the whole effort is a bit vague; I've got dead people who are talking to me (not The Sixth Sense but Seventh!?) in effort for me to change the world (again) and the last section is woeful as stung by the nettles further along the path of Error I equate God with the Auschwitz doctor and the serial killer Harold Shipman.
It's just a bit tasteless, or if does have taste it's like sour milk; I'm obviously preoccupied through reading about him by the horrors this dreadful Nazi exacted on his victims, but the language is at times ordinary and my reasoning well below par. Interestingly, it's my further reading of the Nazis which finally brings to a close The Magical Kingdom, my attempt to write a handwritten 10,000 page poem stalling in the six thousands (but which I ensure retains no mention of that dreadful regime's existence).
I'd be interested to hear any thoughts from you dear reader on this piece because it flummoxes me at times, and I think it's of Malak mould in its naivety and flakiness. This is Mengele...
My uncle died tonight.
And I, in subsumation of his mortal frame, fled with him.
This is what I saw – four grandparents, a fifth my best friend’s his,
My father’s brothers, two track coaches, my racing hero,
And that poor guy dead at school.
I made that journey, as I do, did see them stitched them back to back, and asked them how they did.
‘Not good,’ said Patrick, he the younger of my father’s two, gone in ninety five,
‘Not good at all, my boy. ’Tis up a nearly decade and the world I left behind is still the same.
What do you? Do you slack? Do you read on Joe Mengele and not have the will to back, the goodness,
We watch, lad, we wait for action, might we rest in peace. What do you? Speak.’
I studied hard his face. Not angry, well, impatient, so I spoke.
‘Nuncle,’ said I, ‘do I all my best, but nature of this place is such that punch the dark is punch the air,
Or punch me something so fat that it swallows up my hand.
I try my best, but may not alter that…’
‘Quiet,’ on the turn, did speak my grandparents, five as one, ‘you have support the grave.
We love you and we left you, and we here decree remember Captain Miller,
Remember Ryan brothers, remember all the souls who landed on the beach to free us all from him.’
They pointed, my granddads, gentle, irascible, my grandmums, loving, cheated,
Pointed through the ether back upon my cosy room, where sit I write this piece.
I looked. Water. It sat upon the second shelf my bookcase, still, clear, undisturbed.
A short time back I’d used it so to swallow medication made me fat and sane.
Would Mengele might have had the stuff. Would Hitler. Eichmann. Et al.
Mad, surely, criminal, in seventh circle fiery place? What mean I?
This – limbs off, chords cut, typhus i’th veins, searched I, some keys, envelopes, the West Wing series II.
Ah, the House. They stop tyranny oppression. ’Tis evil think it starts there.
What say I? Well, I looked me back, the stitch had turned, twas my coaches,
Of another time, bid me pump my arms the harder as I moved my way the track.
Stopped, I did, turned to both, said ‘Stan, John, talk to me the war.’
They sighed. Like they not, these veterans, speak of that experience.
‘Twas hell on earth,’ they said, ‘yet choice we had we none. Lost the war,
Lost our lives, homes, freedom. So know this – fight, always fight, for darkness
Doth descend if only lift we not our shoulders. Struggle never ceases, you must war.’
‘So tired,’ I said, ‘so tired, the crushing weight paralysises, I may not bear it. Help.’
But gone they were, and in their stead the stitch now bore my Senna and dear Scott.
That hurt, that hurt the most. First death and a hero death smart the worst.
I almost couldn’t bring myself to speak, just thought of where I sat, now, in restaurant,
Frustration at the man beside me splutter, cough, and snort thick mucus down his throat.
‘We are filthy,’ I say, ‘go into toilets and hear brutes fart, piss, and talk on base inanity, breathe relief as drop their bombs the bowl.
Can’t stand it. How will this race move it on when its lead sex lies so beaten?
Ayrton, Scott, tell me.’ But they didn’t. They looked, stared, and suddenly became
A pair of eyes, times two, in a jar. ‘What happens,’ I cried, ‘why are you…?’
But gone, the stitch went, and a Nazi walked the room. ‘Mengele,’ I yelled, ‘are you stupid?
You mayn’t create a perfect race – what part would you, your master, and your henchmen have mongst blue-eyed, blond-haired folk?
You idiot! Go sort yourself.’
But he ignored me. Just walked on through, grabbed the jar, opened, took, and pickled all four eyes his Fascist gob.
Transformation? Well, he spoke, like Nazis in that film, wide-eyed, aggressive,
Grinning as the oeils passed through his oesophagus to tummy.
Tried, I did, to comprehend his change from war camp commandant to humble worker South America.
Surely killers want to kill? Always. But that the rub – Shipman got away with it for years.
Because he looked like granddad. Evil? Must I God, who self-destroying his own
Frame injects pure poison all our veins, that blood which flowed through Adolf’s
Arteries came transfused straight from He? Fits. This sophist point that all
Arose from Him – was pure coincidence so many men in pow’r positions though the
Same this way? Like I not such history of cruelty – study it, I will, and to the
Memory of my uncles, coaches, grandpares, Scott and Ayrton shall I dedicate
Examination how to
And Mengele? He smiled, rubbed his stomach, called for fresh eyes to swallow.
Last I saw of him, he travelled through the door that read Perdition.
Trouble is, I followed him.