Sarah Jane Vespertine was born in 1873, just across the road from Hillaire Belloc, and is only just permitting her work to be shown in public, now that she is absolutely sure he is dead and therefore unlikely to sue. She is sure that the rowdy uncouthnesses of today's young people are solely due to a lack of Stories Told in Poetic Form with a Strong Moral Grounding. Or something akin to a strong moral, anyway. A point, at the very least, moral or otherwise. She is basing her main ongoing project around the theme of the Freak Show, as she has wanted one since she was a small girl. Also, a brief glance at the current crop of glossy periodicals has led her to believe that this is the only way to reach the Uneducated Masses, so in need of her guidance in these troubled times. She begs your forgiveness for her occasional lapses into lurid phrasing or repugnant profanity, whilst asking you to recognise that this is the Only Language They Understand These Days. She hopes to perhaps have a short, uplifting pamphlet or chapbook published , just as soon as her necessity to the upkeep of the nation's morals is realised. Or before, if possible. Perhaps you would care to write to your MP or Buckingham Palace in support of her mission. Or buy her gin. Whilst not busily engaged in this vital work, she also likes to spend her time cruising the city streets looking for dank and squalid places to write little odes to, as she feels the stinking, sordid alleyways of our cities are often sadly neglected. Sometimes she just writes poems, too. A lady needs a little relaxation, after all. And the occasional very dry Martini. She is based quite near to the lovely city of sunny Manchester, and can often be found in one of its many dens of iniquity. Doing research. Yes.
If I could make a fox my pet, I'd never let its brush get wet. I'd let it sleep with me in bed, And cradle its sweet pointy head. If I could make a fox my own, It would never want for meat or bone. I'd love it as I've loved no other, And I would be its foxy mother. * Short Street My strumpet sisters surround me, Casting the shadows that hide me, With their botox-bland coquettishness And too bright neon eyes. They'll do anyone and everyone, Then, smiling, spit them out the other side, Spent, and oh so knowingly used. But me, I promise different pleasures. The scent-trails of abuse Send out a call to the connoisseur. Tattooed, scarred, branded, Cut, kicked and pissed on, Every mark, every stain, adds to my allure, To those who know, To those who desire me, To those who need to leave another layer On my filthy finery, Their tracks down my rotten, stagnant veins. Men have died in my arms, Fallen at my feet, Pressed themselves into my most secret places, And never crawled out again. I am, after all, A way, a means, And an end. So, I have outlasted all the comings and goings Around, and inside me, And I will be here long after My sisters' transient tinsel is gone. Because there will always be those Who dare my dark, dank, Desperate touch. There will always be those Who know that sometimes This Is the only way to go. * From the introduction to Sarah Jane Vespertine's Fabulous Freak Show of Modern Monstrosities Ladies and Gentlemen! Girls and boys! Step right up, For after all, there's little choice. Pay your money at the door. Leave your morals on the floor. For, by the end, You're always after more. It's warm inside, So you'll not need those wooly graces. We want to see clearly The delight upon your faces As you let yourselves relax And enjoy the show. For after all, there's always So much further you can go. Like a motorway pile up, You have to stop and stare. And, after all, No one's asking you to care. Without judgement, without empathy, None of that messy sympathy, You'll appreciate the spectacle In the way that it was meant to be. So open up your eyes To the wonders within. For after all, Weren't we all Born In Sin? * And one more Freak, for good luck And now, for your delectation, And possibly, your education, Stand well back, as we present, All the way from Darkest Kent, Murgatroyd, the Monstrous Child! Whose parents thought him meek and mild. Until, one day, they disappeared... In circumstances rather weird. And so, his social worker ran At last to claim the little lamb. He let her in, and made her tea, And sat and listened carefully, As she told him how his life would change, And all the fun that she'd arrange. No more asbo's instead of hugs. No more arson, no more drugs. No more junkie mum, or drunken dad, Or whatever it was that made him bad... But then he saw her cup was empty, So he took her hand, and said, quite gently, "I don't know what you're going to think But I've put poison in your drink..." And as she looked at him aghast, He told the story of his past. "You seem," he said, "to be confused. Because I've never been abused. My days were full of stimulation, And every healthy occupation. I always ate my five a day. No violent games for me to play. Just an uplifting tale each early night, Then I'd escape, and set stuff alight. I burned down schools and pubs and churches. I stole cars and bikes and old ladies' purses. But, whatever I did, I was still adored. And the truth is, I was fucking bored! The greatest thrill I ever had, Was when I killed my mum and dad. Once I'd done my bunny rabbit, It just seemed to become a habit. I soon moved on from fluffy creatures - The postman, milkman, several teachers... There's stacks of them now, in the cellar..." But any more, he couldn't tell her, For she had succumbed to murder. And he really hadn't thought much further. So Mugatroyd, with little fuss, Came at last to live with us. He really seems to like it here, On his new diet of chips and beer. Violent games keep him entertained, And the rest of us from being maimed. So here's a moral, thrown in for free. Children behave inappropriately. Tell them off when they need it, let your patience have ends, They need to be children, instead of your friends. And, let them be wicked, from time to time, Its the always the quiet ones commit the worst crime. * I know, they don't all look that frightening, But at least their stories are enlightening! And yes, our freaks aren't all that freaky. And ok, some do seem quite peaky. But since our tattooed lady stopped being unique, And our wolfman's waxing twice a week, Our bearded lady's gone transgendered, And is guesting on Eastenders. Our problem is, we are everywhere! So who can be bothered to pay to stare? * Thankyou for your kind attention SJV
All poems are copyright of the originating author. Permission must be obtained before using or performing others' poems.
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