Writing Place 2021

rounded corner
meeting place graphic element

Cupboard of Shame

By Alison Paradoxx

 

The cupboard of shame has no

custom-made mirror doors or

uber-kitsch plastic paneling

 

… it has no extendable

his-and-hers shoe rack

 

You can’t buy a

cupboard of shame from

Ikea or bid for it on

Ebay

 

You can’t buy a

cupboard of shame with

money or even find it on the

side of the road for

hard rubbish collection day

 

The cupboard of shame is built

by you

and personalised with

your own

regrets and denigration

 

uncomfortable secrets

taunts and humiliation

 

It is made

of whispers and asides,

scoffs and judgement

 

hidden secrets

and denial

 

it is made of that time your

own father walked

down the street thirteen

paces

ahead

of

you

 

so that nobody could tell

you were his

daughter

 

it is all the

times your body was exposed to

doctors eyes as an exhibit in

the museum of sickness

 

it is made of the assumptions of your

mental state by men in

business suits with folded arms

who reek of mid-range

aftershave…

… who think they know you and what you

are made up of

 

it is the root

of your addictions

the bane

of your afflictions

madness and pain

sane or insane?

it’s all locked away safely in your

cupboard of shame…

 

it is all the fractured ribs

and grated knuckles

 

all the bloodshot eyes

and lost dreams

 

all the regret of

youth disappeared

 

it is going to sleep at the age of

eighteen

and waking up

at the age of

thirty-two

not remembering

who

you

are

 

But the cupboard of shame

is just a cupboard

and cupboards can’t last forever

 

they get damp, mildewy, they start to

rot and pieces

fall

away from their once

solid structures

 

yesterday I began to construct a bonfire

I slowly peeled small

splinters of wood from the legs of

the cupboard of shame

… I unhinged its rotting doors

and put an axe to its broken frame

 

and some day soon

I shall be warmed

by its bittersweet flames

 

until all that remains

are the blazing ashes

of memories

 

 

left from my

cupboard

of shame

 

About Alison Paradoxx

Alison Paradoxx is an Award-winning Disabled, and Chronically-Ill Performance Poet, Producer, Event Host, and State Poetry Slam Champion. Their work explores the clinical violation of the body, and a journey through the paradoxes of humanity. Weaving stories of stoic persistence as a childhood burns survivor, through experiences with scoliosis, eating disorders, surgical violation, and congenital disease, they challenge social assumptions of the disabled body as an object of ‘pity’, or ‘fear’

 

Back to Writing Place

rounded corner graphic

Register your interest

Register to receive news and updates about Meeting Place

Host

Presenting Partner

Funding Partner