I am not one for throwing myself in front of unsympathetic trains,
Or hanging from stiff rafters.
For me the more exact act is to haul a heaven out of life
By boiling eggs, buying shoes or dusting tables,
When the world with all its things that we have labelled
Is shouting ‘Hell’, and taking the hell out of you.
Hanging here or splattered there is no annihilation
When the brain can eat itself a lifetime over.
No heated hemlock hero, when the pure poison belongs to Hamlet
And the whole damn lot who swallowed themselves whole
To find their bodies rising out of bed to put their pants on in the morning.
Paying the milkman, singing ditties and doing a million things besides,
Are thousands of unsung heroes committing heavenly suicides.
Susan Jeanne, 1984
Susan Jeanne has been writing and performing poetry since being read nursery rhymes. She likes to use the humdrum, animal imagery and symbols drawn from nature to deal with life’s ‘elephants in rooms’. Her poems are written to be read out loud; sound and rhythm being as important as the images and meaning.
She is grateful to Bex Snotflower for her striking and sensitive illustration.
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