JANITA (a scenario)

(Eighteen. Long ragged mousy hair. Bruised sunken-eyed gaze – bloodshot – “SLEEP…” Op-shop clothes, tattered, dirty, disgusting. A bare bulb, mattress, blanket, chair. On the chair a candle, bent spoon and glass of water.)

Wailing her story –
she stops, injects
and ventures smiles,

She takes another shot

The belt bites
purple veins struggle to emerge
Finding one she prods
Draws blood and pumps… life
Smiles, forgets
rejects temperance

She smiles that smile that says
“I know it all! I know it all!”
Her head falls forward as her eyes roll back

The telephone calls
A voice on the wire
(and she’s wired)
Silence falls

“Ah! An offer to good to refuse!” she says, “Ummmm, ahhhhh
 back soon, okay? You wait and I’ll… ah, um, yeah,
well, listen I’ll be back soon, okay?”

(She throws on a filthy gypsy wrap and disappears….
I watch the walls and see –
crimson on purple streaked cream flesh.)

Wailing in memory –
then smiles, forgets
sends pictures
smiles, forgets.

(The door bursts open.
Agitated, beaming,
she draws twenty-six
silverfoil packages from hidden folds.
She smiles and says
“We’re ON!”)

(A week later)
She’s got an empty glass locked between her knees
She stares at the paper, closes her eyes
She sits and feels the power
She sits, counting minutes, counting hours… of pain
counts the minutes, counts the hours
“Any second now, I’ll be insane”
“Johnny”, she whispers, “you’re getting so crazy”
“Dear John “, she writes
Then her telephone rings

Johnny’s lying in an alley
with a 38 slug in his chest
bye bye, brave boy

(written around 1975)


2 Responses to “Janita”

  1. jvonbargen Says:

    The underbelly ain’t pretty, but it’s damned real. Brilliant, Phill!! You’ve captured it and made it neon, mate. So in awe…

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