Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Chris Port Blog #341. Suicide in the Bedsits

Suicide in the Bedsits
© Chris Port, 3rd July 2012

(with apologies to Siegfried Sassoon and Suicide in the Trenches)

I knew a silly dancing girl
Who spun her luck an empty twirl,
Fucked loudly through the lonely dark,
And watched men going with the lark.

In winter bedsit’s yellow gloom,
With glass and ice and rotted bloom,
She put rat poison in her gin.
She wanted to be Marilyn.

You bulging suits with drooling cash
Who bank your dancing girls on lap,
Sneak home and smirk you’ll never know
The hell where working daughters go.

*    *    *    *    *    *    *

Suicide in the Trenches
by Siegfried Sassoon

I knew a simple soldier boy
Who grinned at life in empty joy,
Slept soundly through the lonesome dark,
And whistled early with the lark.

In winter trenches, cowed and glum,
With crumps and lice and lack of rum,
He put a bullet through his brain.
And no one spoke of him again.

You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
Sneak home and pray you'll never know
The hell where youth and laughter go.


  1. I once saw a dead body in a bedsit, I expected to find it and it's just logged under forgotten, we become so conditioned to callousness.

  2. Many years ago, I once worked as a cleaner in a run-down hotel. I only did one morning shift.

    Most of the 'guests' were actually homeless people in temporary accommodation. They were supposed to be out during the morning while I cleaned the rooms.

    As I started work, a group of drunken prostitutes came in. They asked me if I'd like to join them in one of the rooms. I politely declined.

    The first room I cleaned had blood and vomit on the wall.

    I walked into the next room. There was a young woman sitting on the bed, staring into nothingness. I asked her if she was okay. She didn't reply. I don't think she even heard or saw me. I just cleaned around her. She didn't move or speak the whole time I was there.

    I half expected to see a dead body in the third room.

    I finished my shift, then went to the duty manager. I said I wouldn't be returning but didn't want any wages for my morning's work. I'd received an education instead.

    The whole place stank of decay and hopelessness and suicide. I didn't want to become conditioned to that. So I understand what you mean.