What is there
I can’t force you
I don’t want you to
So I try real hard not to
And I smile and wave to you
As I turn my smile slips and
I just cry
© Kait King, 2016
before proven innocent
the unwilling participant
Assume the best
and prepare for the worst
Expectation costs nothing
but disappointment hurts
© Kait King, 2015
Touching many or touching none,
the joy it brings just touching one –
with a torrent of words cleverly writ,
from the coolest phrases in ancient Sanskrit
or perhaps a scribe in a guttural foreign word
is the sweetest thing anybody had heard
And the English language with it’s redonkulous rules
where no matter how good you are it still makes you a fool
© Kait King, 2016
Just because he’s fat
you can’t leave him out
And even if it’s so
inside he’s like you,
And even when we’re angry
and think we are not wrong
it’s best to love and forgive
and learn to get along
Just because she’s different
and cannot see by choice
take a moment to listen
to her gifted singing voice
Because everyone’s born perfect
from different points of view
and the world would really be
if they were all like me
© Kait King, 2016
I feel like you’re one of us
When I see you on TV
I really feel you’re talking to me
And you say life is
when yours just seems
and It’s not money that plays that part
but the love
beating in your heart
© Kait King, 2015
Please be kind to all animals!
I walk in
I can’t speak
sucks the air
out of me
in shapes of love
for all of the animals
bestowed from above
And if it is what
they say to be true,
if I’m shaped like the shape
of a god, just like you,
I know that I am duty-bound
to share that love for all
© Kait King, 2015
Please Be Kind To All Animals
I think there are two kinds of people in the world;
Those who will take everything
and those who would give anything
© Kait King, 2015
I just wanted
to be happy
As baffling as
that may seem
I just wanted to
Remove the idea
of being mean
I just wanted
to have Peace
As impossible as
but it’s ok, they say,
to always have dreams
There is no need to
“stand your ground”
It isn’t yours, for a start
It will still be here
When we’re not around
It’s much better to leave
a piece of your Heart
© Kait King, 2016
This is a true story!!
A long, long, loooong time ago….well it certainly feels like that, I sort of stumbled along into acting and modelling. That had to be said as I was doing some extra work on a vampire movie out in an area I live not far from now, Kings Seat. Typical film day, we had to be on set at 4-fricken-am, and in make up after signing in. So it’s cold and wet and windy. The location is an abandoned insane asylum. Big luminous floodlights are set up inside and outside of the main empty building. Spitting rain plays invisible/visible as it passes through the light – gusts of dark wind causing frenzied flurries – mesmerising, hypnotising, vampirising – so yeah, it was perfect for filming a horror/vampire movie.
A bunch of us headed up to the gloomy entrance of the building – I was desperate to take a look around and needed to find a partner in crime. Somebody else who liked having the begeezuz scared out of them. Everybody clattered into the front hallway and across to where the lamps could be seen and bizarrely enough, the smell of bacon was coming from. Trestle tables were scattered in some haphazard order, if that’s even possible and there was hustle and bustle going on where breakfast was being prepared. The area was huge, with warped wooden floors – dusty as hell, doors hung off hinges as did cobwebs off every corner and chandelier or light fitting. I wasn’t hungry at 5 am but I could do with coffee and anyway I needed to convince someone to come exploring with me. Someone who didn’t mind if they missed getting picked for some opportune moment in the movie because they were missing…
So I settled in next to someone who looked friendly enough and sipped on my coffee – it sucked, it was not real coffee and I don’t do imitation anything if I can help it – and coffee is a miracle and should be treated as such. Anyway, I’m listening quietly to the discussion I’ve intruded on. I recognise a few faces, the “usuals” and I guess I was one of them too… we swap a few early crinkled grins and raised eyebrows as acknowledgement of each other. Fuck knows what your name is but I usually don’t forget a face.
So it turns out, besides an abandoned insane asylum being creepy enough, it was haunted too. Haunted with psyche nurses who had killed themselves apparently in absolute despair. Now there were two kinds of people sitting around sipping crap coffee listening to the ghost stories. People who get more and more creeped out and just want to cling to the fluffy teddy-bear image they have of life, and then there’s people like me. People like me become more entranced and fascinated with a bad, never done before, you will never make it, you can’t do it, story… and I was sold. When you’re wired like this, you learn to pick out others who see the sick fascination in everything bizarre, unusual and usually incomprehensible. And there they were – two of them who seemed to know each other already. I had never seen them around any of the other jobs I’d been on. So I kept quiet and watched and listened and learned. They were funny and adventurous, curious and tough – I liked them and we all clicked as soon as we started chatting. I introduced myself and as we chatted away and started talking about the creepy old place, a very effeminate, obviously gay man dropped into the conversation and also fitted in perfectly with our twisted fascination of ghosts and things not of sound mind, or body for that matter.
So we slunk off to have a look around at this grey stone, intimidating building. We were in one of many – there was a place where only children were kept. The bunks lined the wall, not two up – but three. The bunks were so close together you would have to be a pretty skinny kid to squeeze your way down to the floor. The so called play ground was a fenced area with one dead, leafless tree or a twisted skeleton was sitting sadly in the middle of a patch of dirt which had become mud now, in the drizzle. The area seemed way too small for all the kids that might have filled all of those bunk beds at one time…even half of them would be a crowd. You could almost see them standing in the rain, clothes dripping, hair clinging to their unloved unwanted skulls. A great sadness hung around this area and it made us all pause and be grateful that we were on the other side, even though Kings Seat was empty – even though it didn’t quite feel like that.
Behind us was the building for the criminally insane. Razor blade wire sat on top of a chain link fence glinting dangerously at us in the flickering lights from afar. I wondered how many desperately crazy people had dreamed of being able to slice their arms on that wire and escape the hell they were in. This place was for those charming individuals who danced around with their mother’s skin draped over them in the moonlight – naturally Ed Gein springs to mind.
We held our mobile phones up to see where we were going and to read or look at things that caught our attention. We moved up to a general patients building. Were they just generally insane? Or did they generally behave under medication? Generally harmless? There was a broken window at the back above a walkway area – possibly made for wheelchair access. We all managed to clamber in after chunking bits of glass off the windows’ edge with a stone. It was incredibly dark and scary. The four of us clung together like shit to a blanket – I didn’t care if I was the blanket or the shit, I just wasn’t letting go come hell or high water.
So there we huddle, like a pack of startled rats. I wanted to make a circle out of us, y’know so we just could shuffle around but our backs were always protected. This started out as a good idea but became obvious very quickly that it was impossible to move through doorways, use stairs or get down hallways with any stealth or logic. We file behind each other and end up in a big open room with huge dormer windows. Bird poop, dust and time had smeared the windows to a level where it wouldn’t have mattered if the sun was shining, nothing was getting through those. The rain against the windows didn’t even manage to make a running pattern against the concreted bird shit and grime. Scattered over the floor were pictures, pictures that had been drawn by the patients who had once lived here. As we wandered through the open room and our eyes became a little more acquainted to the bad light we could see pictures still pinned to the walls. Tendrils of wallpaper hung around the pictures pinned indiscriminately with sometimes only one pin. The paper was yellowed and brittle, the pictures childlike – perhaps used as some sort of therapy. The room looked as if someone had just torn loads of pictures off the walls or out of cupboards and scattered them over the floor, leaving just the odd cluster of those who had time to be pinned. As I looked through some of the pictures I noticed some that were drawn in black, red and purple crayon – angry, hurt drawings. It was weird, standing there, looking into personal demons of strangers. Wondering why there are so many stories of the people who care for the crazy ending up crazy themselves or worse still, dead.
You could almost see a body hanging in a doorway, someone scratching on a wall, another rocking back and forth in some vortex unknown. We took our leave and headed back out through the window and out into the dank dark morning. As we crunched our way around the weed riddled gravel roads we came across a pen type building. There were hoses attached and metal bars that looked like they would pin a human against the wall. We all agreed that this felt like a place where people had been forced to be cleaned or washed. It felt desolate and wet, cold and unforgiving. As we moved through the property we found ourselves in a very oppressive place. We walked through a heavy metal door, we didn’t want to touch it and all of us managed to squeeze through it’s unwilling opening. I stood in the dusty darkness, I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I was in a narrow low corridor, about ten rooms ran opposite each other with steel doors on each. The rooms themselves were all made of cement – the floor flowed into a cement bed, up into a cement wall and a grater type covering sat over a small oblong window. You wouldn’t be able to put your face up to it or look out onto anything. The whole room was cement, nothing movable. I could feel so much pressure on my body it was weird. As we walked down looking into the rooms we found sad memento’s of those forgotten. A filthy comb on a cement bed, a piece of hopeful rope, a blood smattering, or smear in just about every room. These dungeons stank of pain, sadness and death – death of spirit…
It was so oppressive we all became desperate to get out, panicky – overwhelming stuffiness and cloying glue air. Clambering and squeezing through the impossibly heavy door we fell out of the corridor into an open room and looked at each other, exclaiming how awful that was. We had all been frightened by this creepy old building and the grounds. We had all felt the sadness and suffocating oppressiveness but for some reason it was overwhelming in that close, dark corridor of cement rooms. We made a hurried journey back to the main building, strangely quiet in the slowly iron grey morning. Once we got there amongst the lights and bustle we kind of relaxed a little. The thought of anyone being locked up in those cells made of cement, like a tomb, it was incomprehensible. So with a hot drink in our clutches we tried to warm up a little. Some of the people who had been chatting to my new found friends came over to our huddle and asked us where we had escaped to. After telling them in great detail about our scary travels around Kings Seat we were all called to set and had to stand around for a while in silence most of the time – very tiresome. Anyway at morning tea it seemed that a little tour guide gathering had decided we were going to take them to the creepy tomb-like cells where the insane must have thrown themselves against the walls, clawed at the grater windows till they bled, banged their heads against those concrete walls and some would have killed themselves in there too, no doubt.
We arrived at the huge concrete and steel door into the corridor to the cells. We couldn’t move the door either open more or closed so those who were able and willing, slipped through the gap and into the squashing atmosphere of the tomb. There were lots of ooOOoo’s and aaahhh’s – a shriek and giggling. Slowly people dripped back out of the tombs’ corridor and into where I was standing, unable to go back in after the way I had felt there. No one seemed to be too fussed, I think there were too many of us to feel or allow anything to feel.
We returned to the main building – the adventure had been creepy and mysterious to all of the others but they had not felt what we had felt. The four of us had made surreptitious eye contact, realising that no one else had experienced that suffocating horror, or silent desperateness to get out. None of us had spoken while we had been in that corridor, looking into the cells – it was almost out of some religious or spiritual reason or respect that we were unable to do anything initially and then just want to escape a split second later, with absolute needy desperation…it was strange.
We continued filming after the morning break and lunchtime rolled around. One of the research guys from the crew invited me to sit and have lunch with him. We had met before and he always knew what was going on and when. So I told him what we had been up to and that I thought the place where the psychiatric nurse would have committed suicide would be in that tomb room that the four of us had felt strange in. He looked at me with a slightly confused look on his face.
“Which psyche nurse was this?” he asks
“Well, I think there was more than one who committed suicide because of the patients…” I said, trailing off. He was shaking his head. “Uh uh…that’s not what happened there. You have the wrong story.”
So I ask him to tell me the real deal. Apparently that cement cell block held the most dangerous patients – and was generally full at any one time. The ratio for patient and nurse was one on one due to the nature of the beast. Somehow one of the patients overwhelmed his nurse, a male psyche nurse and suffocated him. He then stealthily crept to the next cell and helped the next patient kill his nurse and so on and so forth until all ten severely violent and disturbed psyche patients were free. As the gathering group moved down the cell block the killing became more and more frenzied as they realised there was nothing that the nurses could do when there was seven of them and only 3 nurses left. Some patients threw bodies against walls and smashed the victims heads open, dangled brains over themselves and ran around screaming.
No one would go in there. The staff believed they would calm down when it came around to meal time and the nightmare could be dealt with then. Well the patients managed to hole up in there for 5 days, eating the bodies of the dead nurses. Then they turned on themselves. That is why there is no Kings Seat Asylum for the Mentally Insane any more – they ate the staff and the clients – real bad for business….
© Kait King, 2015
Andy has a problem
he doesn’t know what to do
there’s a monkey glued to his back
and it’s really chewing through
his bank account,
his tired soul
Andy has a problem
he doesn’t know how to say
that he doesn’t want to be here
not for another single day
in an angered mind
Andy knows this problem
he knows what he should do
but it wraps him up and chokes him
and he can’t see his way through
another single day
with no way
Andy can’t reach out for help
that would just mean pain
How can he reach out for help
when his hand is trapped
© Kait King, 2015
It’s a Universal sickness
where nobody seems
Our priorities are different
and now we don’t know how
It’s a Universal sickness but
does anyone really want
Does anybody even notice
the hopeless standing there?
Please show me a place that’s different
where people have a sense
of Universal share
© Kait King, 2016
I saw a man dragging a puppy
that didn’t want to go
And everyone else in the street didn’t want to know
“Don’t get involved!” said a nervous Mr Hay
And he crossed over the street
to walk the other way!
I saw a brother pinch his little sister
on her tiny arm
How could anyone want to do
another body harm?
“Don’t get involved!” said a spiteful Miss Melissa
She won’t play with me at school
and is meaner than her sister
I saw a man shout
and push a woman to the ground
She bowed her head and was crying
but you couldn’t hear a sound
“Don’t get involved!” said a crabby Mrs Mend
And I wondered for over a month
if that poor woman had a friend
But now I’m older and I know better
I want to pass this message on
If there’s a body in need
you must always take heed
Because nobody wants to go through it
© Kait King, 2015
So nobody’s home
Just cardboard cut-outs
posed in my brain
Memories I can’t let go
A way to survive
Somehow to numb
Somehow to stay
Merely a distraction
Something to hide
Anything to avoid
© Kait King, 2017
I loved university. I loved being up to my eyeballs in something I was fascinated with. The challenges and deadlines were all bonuses on top of the actual subject and I rose to greet each one. Anyway that’s by the by, so I’m in the lecture theater and the lecture is about to end. I know I’m getting a phone call very shortly so I excuse myself to go outside to wait for the call.
I get outside and there’s a kid doubled over, sitting pretty much folded over on the side bench. I wander to the bench, my phone out, texting and looking up as I walk. And I sit down on his right side. He shuffles over a little to make room. He is not moving much and my curiosity gets the better of me and I surreptitiously glance sideways at him. Yep, he is totally bent in half, but I do see his phone in his hand and he’s got his left hand side of his face plastered to his phone. Not the left hand side as in, his ear and talking, I mean like with his eye and not talking. Possibly taking a picture of his eye? Or the pupil of his eye? So without thinking for another second I pipe up with “I think you need glasses by the looks of things!” and chuckled a little, breaking the ice and everything. And this is my problem – my brain doesn’t engage with my mouth or vice versa – they work independently (against me!) so this is where I have ended up with this Foot in Mouth Disease – I’m a a frequent flyer.
Well, this kid looks up at me and one eye is covered with that cloud, the cloud that means that they can’t see much of anything out of that eye and the other one is scarred too.
He says, “It’s the only way I can see my texts – glasses won’t help…” I’m sitting there like an idiot. But I did what I usually do and chose not to ignore the elephant.
“So what happened to your eyes?” I asked.
He looked up from his phone again – well, as best as he could, and explained that he had been walking down Queen Street and it was winter. A super stormy day, and Queen Street can become like a wind tunnel on days like that. He had a jacket on that zipped up and as he grappled in the wind with it, the zip sliced across his eye, blinding him totally in his right eye and severely impinging on his sight in his left.
“I’m so sorry dude – really impressed you’re at university…I didn’t mean to be rude by the way….” I trailed off. He smiled, “It’s OK,” he says to me, ” at least you didn’t just walk away – that’s the worst. Everyone knows something’s up with my fricken vision. Lots of people don’t know what to do when they’re confronted with something unexpected…”
We were silent for a split second.
“I’m sorry this happened to you…. but I see in spite of a universal fuck-up in your life, you’re still here, still givin’ it all that!” he laughed at me and I laughed too.
“Often people so let the wrong things define who they are, or the worst things. The fact that you rise above this defines who you are.” He looked at me with a serious frown, somewhat created due to his lack of vision.
“Thank you for that, I needed to hear that right now…” he said.
I didn’t know his name but I did know much more about him than just some letters to identify him to his friends, family, fellow students and work colleagues. Not only that, but I found out even more about myself, or maybe about people. We all share commonalities – common likes, enemies, feelings, injustices etc. We all share bonds and those deeper threads of what make us who we are are far more interesting and important than your name, your clothes, your home, car, bank account…we truly are here to fill our souls and not our wallets. I take my soul with me when I go – I will leave my earthly belongings behind.
© Kait King, 2015
I was standing at the front desk, chatting to another work colleague and an awkward scrawny middle-aged man came up to the counter. I was in the watch-house at the Police Station. Being closest, I turned to talk to him. Behind me, I could feel everyone else cringe. I wasn’t sure why, but it dawned on me as I chatted with him to find out what he was here for, why the audible intake of air from my colleagues. I was just in work zone and had been troubleshooting all day.
Let me start from the beginning. When I turned up for work that morning – it was like 4 am or something horrific, being shift work. Anyway, we had three women and a man in our team that night and as shift changed over everyone caught up and swapped information – did the hand over thing. Of course we all gossiped about things we had dealt with, seen or heard that day, what the constables had been up to, failed at, succeeded in catching, blah blah blah and of course, some real oddities and this was one of them.
A young detective came into the office after his shift to catch up with us. I must say, he looked a little green around the gills but I didn’t think anything about it at the time. He gathered those of us who wanted to see (only myself and the guy I worked with), some evidential photographs of a case of abuse. It took a couple of seconds for him to get his personal screen and files up. He knew I was interested in the abuse of the vulnerable, certainly children, but the animals, handicapped and elderly were all in my sights and desperately needed help. So the photos upload to his screen and I take a second to understand what I’m looking at. I thought a burnt body initially and then realised she was on a gurney in a hospital with tubes and an oxygen mask swallowing her “White-walker”-type face. I turned to the detective and with a rather incredulous tone asked him if she was actually alive.
“She is,” he said, “she’s still alive. This woman’s son was supposedly looking after her. Somebody who managed to finally get into the house found her and called an ambulance.”
“I just can’t believe someone so thin is still sucking in air! And how old is she?” Her dirty, mottled skin was just managing to cling to the bones of her body. She was filthy – hadn’t been washed properly in years.
“She’s 92. When we got to the hospital they told us that it was a miracle. I personally think maybe not – poor woman. Her son hadn’t fed her properly or washed her, medical needs ignored. She had maggots crawling around in her vagina…”
“What the fuck! Are you serious man!?” I was mortified.
“I knew you’d love this case Kait,” he said smiling up at me from the desk chair. ” Not only that but her toes had fused themselves together – there was green mould and a stink you would never believe possible. She smelt dead but was breathing – the living dead, literally!” he looked quite pleased with himself at the reality of his reference.
“I’m absolutely stunned! So what did her son say…has he been arrested then?” I ask.
“No, not yet anyway – he’s coming in to be assessed by the psyche team and questioned. Apparently he didn’t know he was doing anything wrong…whatever!”
“Good grief! Who’s he been sleeping with if he thinks it’s normal for flies to come out of a woman’s hoohaa!” We had a bit of a giggle – it’s like that in the face of horror. Apparently she had gangrene as well, on her fingers and other extremities. One of the worst abuse cases I’ve ever seen and I’m sure many of the police – even seasoned ones – felt that way too.
So the day carried on and we had all sorts of shit hitting the fan – parolees, detainees, people who had lost kids, found kids, P cooks, drunken idiots, abusive situations – just the usual crap.
So anyway here is this awkward guy in front of me. I am my usual helpful self and ask him what I can do. He tells me he’s here for an interview with a certain detective. I contact the right detective to come and get him from the watch-house, in the meanwhile I say “So are you having a good day?” just to be polite and make his wait in a police station a little less awkward. I had no idea what he was here for – he could be being interviewed as a witness for all I knew. Well this was a trigger question for him as he just spilled his guts to me about how he had hurt his mother even though he was trying to look after her. He told me about the maggots and the mould – as if I was giving him the interview. It only took him a few minutes to vent his story and he stood quietly with his head down in front of my counter.
“How come you didn’t clean her or help her to clean herself?” I asked cautiously, making eye contact with him.
“Well….I….I….” he bumbled along.
“It’s OK,” I said “you don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to…” I trailed off.
He looked pleadingly up at me and I could see tears peeking out of the corners of his eyes.
“I want to.” he whispered.
I kept quiet.
He took a deep breath in and said “That’s my mum y’know ? I don’t want to wash her there or her top chest or anything! It’s not right…I’m her son – not even a daughter – I couldn’t do it!” The tears fell off his face. After initially feeling slightly ill talking to him, I found I was feeling sorry for him.
“Hell, I can understand that.” And I certainly could.
“So can you tell me why she’s so thin then? Why didn’t you feed her anything?” I pushed on through because there must be some accountability here. How can he get out of this one? Surely if he’d fed her she wouldn’t look like this. I tried to keep the picture of the poor old woman in my head, the decrepit, stinking semi-corpse that was his mother, to give her justice and keep a strong mind in this.
“I tried – I tried everything but she wouldn’t eat anything! I tried to force her but she choked so badly I was afraid to give her anything…I know now that this was wrong…” he looked down at his shoes, the tears still rolling off his nose and landing on the stations’ loud carpet. “She was my mum and she used to beat the crap outta me if I talked back or didn’t do as she bid. So I listened to her when she shook her head away from the spoon or growled at me, I left her alone….I was scared…” A slipknot of snot was making it’s way out of his nose and I tried desperately to keep a gag down. I managed. I passed him a box of tissues gingerly – not wanting to touch his skin at all.
Thankfully the detective who was going to do the interview arrived and took him through the security doors to an interview room. I stood there for a moment and realised where the blame lay in this. Society, society was to blame. Yes, he was at fault for not contacting the hospital or some sort of care for his mother, but he didn’t know anyone would help him. Surely if his neighbours had just said hello once in a while to the slightly, strange, creepy guy he might not be suffering endless guilt as it dawns on him in his slow mind what he has actually done. And his mother would not have had to suffer the enduring starvation and pain she had. It is about accountability – but who is accountable? We call ourselves a welfare state but whose welfare are we really caring for? I consider this man and his mother both victims in this instance and a severe failure on our many organisations parts. He was charged with numerous offences relating to the abuse of the elderly. I wondered if he wanted to lay charges against his mum for what she had done to him – for the monster she had created in him who would become her living nightmare.
What’s really sad is he will more than likely end up like his mum did….
© Kait King, 2015
He could see
a slavering beast
He could smell it’s
see it’s sharpened
It wanted him
It felt like the
Devil with Hate
Not his usual state
but any Angel
was going to be too late
It said that nobody
And do everyone a
slit your wrists
Kait King 2016