It has been said of Greer Dewdney that her poems are like monkey bars, with powerful swings of narrative throughout braced at either end by solid, grounding images. A mild-mannered archaeologist by day, Greer brings the ideologies and experiences of a young woman native to London into her work, which has been nurtured and challenged through collaborations with Jacob Sam-La Rose, Pascale Petit, Karen McCarthy Woolf, John Hegley and Ian McMillan amongst others. She is a Barbican Young Poets alumna, and has performed in venues from the Tate Modern to the Birmingham Rep Theatre.
My brother was born on a blue beanbag on the living room floor.
I lay oblivious in my parents’ bed
and in the morning he seemed swaddled in the black and red curtains.
Three weeks later, I threw a two litre bottle of pop across the same living room.
That was my first attempt to get rid of him.
My second attempt involved scrawling his name in chalk
across the upstairs hallway.
Yellow calligraphy as high as my head
spelling out the unnecessary presence.
I was foiled by his not yet being able to hold a pencil.
Having failed with cunning, I returned to brute force,
let him smash his head in a revolving door
and didn’t make a concerned face quite quickly enough.
As my father carried him concussed through our grey front door,
I realised perhaps he was a permanent fixture.
Later, he decorated
the television set with oil paints and pushed wax crayons into the gas fire.
He blamed it on me, but I couldn’t be angry
because by then,
I was ready to kill anybody who tried to hurt him.
written by Greer Dewdney