John Tustin: “Clubbed into Submission”

Clubbed into Submission

Clubbed into submission with the buzzing
Of the alarm.

Clubbed into submission applying soap
In the shower,
Applying toothpaste to the toothbrush,
Looking in the mirror,
Trying to comb my hair.

Clubbed into submission gliding along I 70,
All of us on our way to another soon forgotten day.

Clubbed into submission with the taxes taken out,
The child support, medical, dental.
Eating the shit and climbing those steps
Ever upward to nowhere,
Forced to grin and bow.

Clubbed into submission eating a sandwich.
Not even tasting it.

Clubbed into submission
Sitting in the same chair,
Hearing the same music near the same shuttered window,
Drinking the same beer with the same books stacked
High, reaching up and up
To the same ceiling
That seems to lower a little
Every night.
I am nearly bent in half.

Clubbed into submission at the keyboard
Remembering the few good times.
The phone call unreturned.
The doorbell unrung.
Remembering the few good times,
Sitting alone with this bloody face,
Bruised knuckles,
Kicked-in heart.

Clubbed into submission,
Lying in bed, thinking,
Turning out the lights.

Clubbed into submission in the total darkness,
No one to see the bruises
Much less soothe them.


John Tustin is currently suffering in exile on Elba but hopes to return to you soon. contains links to his published poetry online.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s