Petra daughter of the revolution. A tale about the Socialist Patients Collective (S.P.K.).
The dark allurement of revolution and sweet aroma of introspection are intertwining like phantoms in this squat in 1975. Petra, a small round woman of 19 is sitting in the smog of contemplation. Her hair is brown, untidy and short, it sits on her head like the crown of a recently resurrected Rosa Luxemburg. A brown tee-shirt with embroidered flowers around the neck emphases her plump physic and faded tight black jeans combine to say that she is a goddess of the underground and nymph of primordial night. Smiling vaguely at a middle-aged man who looks like he comes out of some 19th century Russian novel, perhaps he keeps a chronicle of the demise of his shrink into madness, she suppresses a smile:
'Comrade…but let's just cut the shit
baby, what kind of crap are you lying
Peter slowly strokes a long ginger beard which seems temporarily, to Petra, to be creeping across the roach littered floor boards like a startled lizard. He mumbles:
'It's like the movement needs a push
to tip the balance, the proletariat are
in the mood for poetry, we have to
become their calligraphers, you dig'.
'O I dig man, I really dig, know what I
The rapid rattle of a typewriter sends waves of disturbance through their awareness, it's like an automatic rifle firing into a black chasm of zero, like the relentless march of the masses into nirvana, muses Petra. In her mind there are images like water forming into vapour, into clouds which sometimes obscure the sun, now they spill their seed upon soil in a shower or in a deluge, either to fertilise seed or to wash it away in a torrent. Peter is pondering whether he should scatter a little fertilizer in this garden, the Garden of Love, where iconoclasts are welcome and encouraged to participate in its rites. But he decides, with a jolt from the intellect, that everything is subordinated to the struggle. He wonders what the dynamic of the armed struggle is, some of its shadows were illuminated and a solution had surfaced during those group therapy sessions with the professor, now imprisoned himself for activities against the State and Capital, where they had discussed the dialectics of liberation. They had discovered that for them, those especially damaged by capitalism, that their situation was more complex than for their comrades without psychiatric problems, their liberation from illness was directly linked to active participation in the emancipation of all the oppressed, it must be an attempt to grasp the full implications of the "death of God", but more than that, it was to be an active assassination of God, of the patriarch and of all his oppressive relationships and the, consequent, rebirth of the child. He murmurs to Petra:
'The struggle, all of it, is about regaining
innocence lost when we were children.'
A shadow passes across Petra's face:
'Yea man, you're talking 'bout
the armed struggle, call it just cool
baby, self-realization, just getting
rid of all the shit they put in the head.'
Peter says: '"Have you read the poetry of Sylvia
'Of course, 'Daddy'…that's hot
poetry, it's really groovy."
'Sylvia had grasped something of
the essence when she wrote that line:
"Daddy I had to kill you"'.
Petra becomes animated; a crimson flush was rising in her face:
'She wrote those lines, there're like
furrows in my mind, yea know, "Daddy,
daddy, you bastard, I'm through" that's
just real man, wow, so real. I've something
to tell you, I'm Lady Lazarus, yea know, like
in the poem'.
Peter's gaze tightens; he looks intently at this young woman:
'You attempted suicide?'
'Yea, I guess I did'.
'Do you have a name comrade?'
'They call me Petra.'
The incessant bashing on the typewriter continues without relief, it is thumping through the wall and invading Petra and Peter's consciousness. This is the remorseless beating of History:
I have a name, it is Peter. Take
my hand daughter, daughter of the
A loud explosion, a blaze of orange light flashes into the room, black smoke billows and then their disembodied screams reverberate in the chaos:
'Shit, man this is heavy!!'
Hard and sharpened steel voices jab them like poisoned spear heads:
'Freeze it's the police… don't move, down, get
down you scum'.
Petra and Peter are thrown against the floor, then heaved up and pinned to the wall:
Peter shouts: 'Resist them.'
Petra yells: 'Defy them baby, I love you.'
- N.S Pearce.
Three core members of the Socialist Patients Collective (S.P.K.) in the 1970s :
Some of the imprisoned members of the Socialist Patients Collective (S.P.K.) were not released until early in 2008.They had been refused parole because of their continued condemnation of the capitalist system in all of its manifestations.
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