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The Slowman


We’re delighted to be hosting Tim Fletcher’s first spoken word piece on Vent, entitled ‘The Slowman’. Read the poem and what Tim had to say about why he decided to write this particular piece for Vent below:

“This poem is ostensibly about depression but perhaps not about the sort of depression that effects people for months or years on end. It’s more about those days when we wake up and just feel a sense of dread about all the menial things we have to accomplish. On days like this I often feel like I’m not ‘there’. 

“I think it’s important that days like this fall somewhere on the spectrum of mental health. I sort of view them as the mental equivalent of feeling ‘a bit under the weather’. We might feel like this occasionally and perhaps it’s nothing to worry about if they’re infrequent. This was just an attempt to explore how I feel on those days. Hopefully you get a sense of the feeling I was trying to explain.”

The Slowman

By Tim Fletcher

Outside the Slowman’s duvet womb
There is no task too small that it
Will not be a slog. The looming threat
Of the toothbrush gag, the caustic mouthwash,
The jagged catch of a month old razor
Putting colour in his cheeks.
Too-weak cups of tea; the wait to let them
Steep is far too much without distraction.
The water is too cold. Turn the knob a fraction
And it’s scalding.

The Slowman dreads the day ahead. Squeezed
Into train cars. Over priced and over roasted
Coffee. A bad taste in the mouth.
The sun too bright. The clouds too thick.
His heavy lids pining for their rest
Having only been prised open an hour past.
Weightless words pass out and through
And float about as clear balloons
And burst without a sound
Around his head.

The Slowman’s foes creep closer as the sun
Steals up and shows it’s pallid glow around
The edges of the blinds. They wait
Beyond the bedroom door for
Him to climb out of the womb and
Face the dawn and all the gloomy
Drudgery of morning. Legs over the edge.
Nails tap the bed frame in their
Familiar way. Deep breath. Hope for the best.
It’s one of those days.

You can read more poems like this in our poetry section.


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