Note from the Editor:
Here is an engaging, humorous and beautiful poem sent in by author Emily Phipps. We welcome all content at The Met Online and if you have anything that you would reviewing for publishing then please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Reader discretion advised.
- Lucky number Five
- The fight
- Copy and Paste
- The FROG in the room
I AM -The bringer of joyful DESTRUCTION.
This is me.
Do you like it?
I seek pleasure out of people’s pain.
Once upon a time, I got my first Barbie. It was a time of pulling up carpets, eating crayons and wetting myself. I was four – a loud, snotty-nosed, hyperactive little kid.
I love Action Man but Daddy said they are for boys.
I have a Barbie.
Barbie has long blonde hair and blue eyes. Her eyes are sparkly. I like sparkly things. Barbie has two lumps below her head that look like hills and legs that are very long. Action man has clothes that make him look like a tree and he has a really fast car to catch the baddies.
I want an Action Man and I don’t want my stinky Barbie.
My Mummy has short hair, so will my Barbie. I have bendy chop-chop things that can cut Barbie’s hair, but I have chewed them at the ends. They’re tasty.
How do I hold them?
Yes that is it.
In my right hand, Mrs Smith told me to use my pencils in my right hand.
This feels nice.
It is hard to cut Barbie’s hair, the chop –chop things do not work. My teeth will be able to chomp through her hair. I am a dina-sor-us.
I am a big girl.
My teeth are big and pointy. Toothpaste makes them shiny and strong, I don’t like toothpaste or veg-e-tables. I like sweeties but Mummy says I am too silly when I eat them. Mummy doesn’t let me do anything.
I want to be a boy then I can play with Action Man.
Barbie’s hair is now wet and a lot shorter than Mummy’s; she looks like a hedge-e-me-hog that lives in the garden.
Barbie tastes yucky and my teeth hurt.
Barbie’s head is squashy.
I like it.
Barbie’s head has come off.
I pulled it off with my hands.
I wish I could pull Mummy’s head off so she could not tell me off all the time. I am standing on her head to see if I can squish her like I do to the creepy crawlies in the garden .It is fun, but I cannot with Barbie because her head is bouncy like a ball. I can kick her head and see how far I can kick it. I like football but Daddy says that is for boys too. I go to dance school and look silly because I have to wear a pink thing and shoes that you wear for bed. I dance like an ele-pha-phant, the girls in class laugh at me and make me sad.
Barbie’s head has gone under the bed now.
I should pull Barbie apart and hide her in the boxes under my bed.
Only I will know that she is there.
Mummy should go under my bed as well, so I can have Daddy all to myself.
Barbie’s legs are coming off first.
My arms hurt.
It was harder to pull off Barbie’s legs than it was to pull off her head.
Now Barbie’s arms have to come off.
I want her to feel what I feel.
Barbie is really broken now.
Will she go to where my hamster has gone in heaven?
Please don’t tell Daddy what I have done.
No one has to know.
It was the early 90’s- it was all the rage to have your own pet that wasn’t on a tamagotchi screen or on a poke Môn card. I was ten– a loud, hyperactive kid who demanded what she wanted when she wanted.
LUCKY NUMBER FIVE
‘Here fishy – fishy-FISHY’
I like the way Lucky feels on my finger tip as I stroke her orange scaly body. She is beautiful and alive like a glow of a flame, swimming around in her own little world. She has her own pink palace where she lives amongst the sea weed; a bridge and a pretend fish friend called Bubbles, so she doesn’t get lonely. This is a world that even Little Mermaid would be jealous of.
Bubbles has seen a lot of friends come and go in his time. It all began a few years ago.
Lucky number one died naturally of old age.
Lucky number two got eaten by her brother- Lucky number three.
Then one day Lucky number three got flushed down the toilet, by me. I hated the fact my sister had a pet all to herself .Katie is two years older than me and thinks that everything belongs to ‘just’ her, she is stupid. So every time ‘we’ get a new pet, I kill it. I wait a few weeks before killing the fish, so I don’t get caught. I pretend to be upset when I find it dead and then burst out crying and tell Dad because it means he will spend some time with me. He believes everything I say- unlike Mum she always believes whatever Katie says- she would.
Lucky number four got eaten by the neighbour’s cat Pebbles when ‘someone’ left open the back door. I know. I was there.
Today I have decided to kill Lucky number five. Death by poison. I’m going to kill her kindly because I am rather fond of her. I grab a bottle of Katie’s favourite perfume, unscrew the lid and give it a good whiff. I pour it in, the water is already dirty and Lucky is starting to look less orange swimming around in her little world. Now she is floating on the top.
She is dead, this time I cannot pretend Lucky died on her own. I have to play stupid. I open the study to find my Dad reading the paper and tears are pouring down my face.
‘Daddy , I was making Lucky smell nice by putting perfume in her bowl because she hasn’t been cleaned in ages and now she is floating on the top of the water.’
‘It’s okay, at least you tried to clean the bloody fish unlike your sister, we will replace Lucky before she gets home.’
‘Okay Daddy -Sorry Daddy.’
Easy as that.
The millennium past, The Simpsons was the new face of channel four at six. Pot noodles, coca cola and NME were major players in my adolescent life. I was fifteen– a loud kid who was STILL struggling to fit in at school.
‘Oi you, MacDonald’s eye brows.’
That’s the nick name I have got stuck with. I have no eyebrows. Some girls pinned me down and shaved them off behind the P.E changing room a couple of weeks ago – I didn’t cry. I wouldn’t let them see me cry. So from then on I have to draw them on with eye liner before I go to school, they look like the bloody MacDonald’s arches logo. People shout ‘I’m loving it’ at me. My dad says I’m beautiful and that no harm will ever come to his little girl. Yeah right.
‘What are you staring at?’
‘What – I’m not staring at anyone?’
As if I just answered to Rosé Radford. She is one of the bitches that pinned me down. I have to sit next to her in every class because Phipps is near to Radford in the register. She kicks under the table, hits with her bendy ruler, stabs with her compass, and burns my pony tail with her lighter. Yeah she got excluded a few times, but that doesn’t stop her making my life living hell.
I keep walking out the school gates, my back to her face. I just have to go round the corner to the bus stop and then, I’m safe.
She is behind me.
I quicken my pace.
‘OMG! Come here you little slag. Why are you walking away from me? I aint gonna shank you up or nought, you sket. I just wanna talk to you like, in it.’
I stop. I feel her there. Breathing down my neck. I start to shake. I can’t run. I can’t move. I just stand there, my head glued to the ground. She pulls my hair hard and I fall to my knees. I am a spectacle in front of a staring crowd, who are egging her on, to teach me a lesson.
‘You’re gonna learn respect girl.’
I look up. She spits on me.
‘Dog, stay on your knees.’
My mouth starts to open; I feel a rage inside of me and get up and wipe away the spit from my face. My hands begin to shake but I keep them down by my side.
‘You know what I don’t have to listen to this, especially from someone as stupid as you, I might have MacDonald’s eyebrows now but you’ll be working there in a few years, so fuck you.’
‘OMG, what did you say?’
‘You heard me.’
Her face turns bright red. I pick up my bag, get rid of the dirt on my legs and push through the crowd. I can see her attempting to follow me, but the crowd of people that circled around us just keep shouting at her.
‘You got owned.’
She walked off defeated in the opposite direction. I’m glad there wasn’t a fight; I don’t think I would be able to control my urges.
Over the years I figured that I could hurt people psychologically instead of physically, brains over brawn was my NEW motto. It was the end of the Noorties. I was at university, I had an assignment due which I fucked up and hurt myself in the process.
Hello third year. I got a slap on the wrist for plagiarising.
Twenty One- Moving on-Keeping strong
THE FROG IN THE ROOM
I take off my hat, ruffle my hair and gasp a sigh of relief-then fart. My feet up on that battered alcohol soaked sofa. All I want to do is curl up and smoke a cigarette. I look to the floor, I notice for the first time a large, wrapped box in the middle of the room. I’m curious, but assume it belongs to my housemate, Holly, as her 21st birthday has just gone.
‘Oi Holly, why haven’t you opened you present yet? It’s bloody huge mate!’
‘What, what present?’
‘The bloody huge thing sat in the middle of the room!’
‘Nah man that ain’t for me, that’s for you.’
Fuck, my face is red.
I get my arse off the sofa and rip open the contents of the box, the wrapping being flung everywhere. There is no address on the box – I rip some more. Inside the box is a massive green and yellow frog. As I heave it out I can smell a familiar perfume sprayed all over the box. It smells of an ex that- I love to hate. I am staring at this frog. I heave it over my shoulder; take it to my bedroom and stare at it some more. I told my ex that I wanted a frog, to keep in my bed when she wasn’t there. This was a long time ago.
I got dumped -after two years – on holiday.
Yes I was heartbroken.
Yes Ben and Jerry were my best friends.
I am over it .I am with someone else now. That’s the reason why she came on a- three hour journey- to my- house -to give me-a big ass- mother-fucking frog- because I’m with someone else. Or is it from her? It also reminds me of him. He tried to contact me via email recently saying that I am still his little girl, but if he loved me why did he leave me for ‘her’, that other woman. How could he have known my address?
It can’t be from him.
FROG IN THE ROOM PART TWO
‘Babe, move over will ya?’
‘Just move over’
‘Why? Come here’
I have a needy girlfriend; our intertwined feet poke out from underneath a crumpled duvet. I roll over. Its late .I can’t sleep or stop staring at that fucking frog. Its head moves with mine. Why is it-still here- in my room? I shake off the arm wrapped around my chest .Get up, grabbing a hoodie off the messy floor. I open the door and kick the frog into the living room. I detest the frog. It’s taunting me. Now she will get what she deserves .I mean ‘it’. I pull up the sleeves of my hoodie and walk with purpose down to the kitchen. I grab the kitchen knife with the yellow plastic handle, rub off a smear of butter with my sleeve and walk up the stairs.
The knife feels heavy in my hand. The hours I’ve spent thinking about that fucking frog.
I rest the cold steel blade against a crease in the frog’s neck. I press down hard with the knife and the frog reacts instinctively .My hands are trembling. I slide the blade into her body slowly then- withdraw it quickly .The frog’s eyes are displaying an understanding that he has taunted me for the last time. I can’t resist. I want to destroy him .I get the blade and stab it over and over again in the stomach with the rhythm of a sowing machine needle .This feels great, I rip the head off those staring eyes.
I wish I fucking ripped her head off holiday. I had no way of getting home, stuck in Italy for a week, with a person who knew they were going to dump me before we even got on the plane. They were ‘just friends’. Yeah right. I felt stupid.
Now I am in control -I open the front door and shove the mutilated frog out on the curb with the rubbish. I know it wasn’t the frogs fault,
But it felt so good.
As you can see
I act like this for a reason
THE BEAST IN ME
In the autobiography section, the representation of the ‘I am’ is influenced by everyone. In life, good and bad experiences can affect a person. I created a self who was vulnerable yet revengeful and became empowered by becoming ‘a beast’ to tackle ‘inflicted’ anxieties, which was shown in a humorous manner yet projected a troubled mind.
I AM – the bringer of joyful destruction.
This is ‘me’ –
Do you like ‘it’?
The reader is introduced to the method of detachment and dehumanisation. The transition of ‘me’ to ‘it’ enables personal detachment of the label ‘beast’ and distancing from the reader allows myself to reveal information without receiving offence or judgement, because of the use of a rhetorical question. Dehumanisation can be portrayed in novel Enduring Love:
‘Stiff little black stick’. (McEwan,1998 p7)
The narrator describes an event from a retrospective viewpoint of a man who is falling out of a balloon. The narrator cannot connect personally with the tragedy because a man died and this memory causes him anxiety. This can be seen is in correlation with ‘The fight’ in the autobiography.
‘She kicks, hits, stabs, burns’
I presented the idea of detachment by missing out the word ‘me’ when describing the action of a memory, to suggest it caused anxiety. Another form of detachment can be presented by De Quincy, the exaggerator. He tries to masquerade his opium addiction as an ‘intellectual researcher’ to prevent judgement, because his ‘self’ was enslaved by his addiction as ‘I’ am enslaved by ‘the beast in me’.
Life Writing is 90% fiction and 10% ‘fact’. It is a developmental progression of narrative of the self. Everything we write is immediately in the past when written. The form and style of Blake Morrison’s When was the last time you saw your father? Gave an insight into splitting events/ memories of my life into categories, which made the autobiography coherent and concise to follow from present to past tense, even though the mind of the auto biographer seemed slightly psychotic and chaotic. I tried to deliver a real representation of connecting events with family background that surrounded the ‘self’ portrayed through a fragmentary style to convey emotions of jealously and sadness, like Morrison achieved to connect with the reader.
De Quincy convinced me I am in control of portraying myself. Everyone’s perspectives and interpretations are different. I tried to present subtly and controversially Freudian’s Electra complex within the autobiography to show how the ‘I’ could posses psychosexual desires and wanted possession of her father over the mother. I tried to manipulate the reader by introduction this suggestion to let them pull the meaning apart.
‘Mummy should go under my bed as well, so I can have Daddy all to myself.’
‘If he loved me why did he leave me for ‘her’, that other woman?’
Developing a grasp of language to depict the development of the self was interesting and exciting. Writing language from a perspective of a child was inspired by James Joyce. I developed language as the ‘I’ moved into different stages of life, every six years. I began the language process in sync with the ‘Childs eye’ to let the ‘inner self’ phonetically spell sounds of letters instead of the actual letters that spell a word to create an entertaining childlike quality:
‘Chop –chop, Dina-soar-us, hedge-e-me-hog and veg-e-tables.’
Furthermore, I concentrated on developing language in a negative colloquial fashion to depict progression of violence towards people over the years:
‘Stinky-Stupid-Lame- Bitches- Motherfucker’
Finally, written experience differs from lived experience and can be hard to make ‘real’. I had hardship presenting a realistic representation of an inner city adolescent’s sociolinguistics from memory and ended up sounding like the character Vicky Pollard from Little Britain:
‘I aint gonna shank you up or nought, you sket. I just wanna talk to you like, in it.’
I found the task difficult to edit down yet an essential tool in learning how to condense my work. Also I experienced hardship when trying to identify with the ‘self’ on a personal level. However, through personification of ‘Barbie’ and the ‘Frog’ I was able to express my dark desires through actions to reveal ‘the beast in me’. This can be shown in ‘The frog in the room’.
The frog became ‘alive’ and changed sex from ‘Her’ to ‘Him’ representing the hostile feelings towards the Ex and reflects supressed desires for the father, which displays how the ‘self’ was affected by relationships encountered in life. This idea was influenced by the ‘Black Cat’ By Edgar Allan Poe.