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Blog - Richard Downes

642; Roomie

Yellow bunk beds

Photograph: Magalie L’Abbé via Flickr. Used under Creative Commons (image links to license)

642 things to write about instructs the writer to give testimony to a favourite room mate. I never had one. I considered giving the names and status of all those roomies who never became a favourite. DAO have recently discussed whether we are in a pre-disability arts era. I have a dream. Unusually vivid for me. I write;….

642; Roomie

Frightened eyes
Beneath elongated fringes
Cast furtive glances
At the Roomie

The blue door
Has a glass window
Look out to see nothing
Look in to retain control

The Roomie stands apart
From you in the ordered lines
Sharing his name through
The osmosis of a register

Or the despairing wail
Of the house master
As another bout of Roomie
Clumsiness creates chaotic halls

We stand at night
In fear of the Roomie
Or the silent tread
Of the prying would be world leader

Yet from time to time
We demonstrate
Another way forward
Through the collective will

The eleven boys
Make a losing team
Of willing triers
Mastering the art of the pass

The pavilion room
We painted orange
The red dansette
The melodic noise it makes

If only we could have
Held it all together
Building, making,
Painting brighter colours

Clearly we could have been good roomies given the tools to create, clearly we had a chance to build community through segregated schooling. There were 120 kids in my school. I can name 7 of them. Coercion never lead to cohesion. Where did you have a chance for a community that was never made?

12th December 2018

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