(watch “Penelopiad” and read Jade’s process notes on Youtube)
First 5 came, then 50, 120!
But what could I do? What could I say?
I am just one woman, I can’t make them go away.
It was love, or so the story goes.
Flattery disguised as unkindness, friends acting like foes.
Then another 5, another 50, an extra 380!
But I couldn’t stop them coming, I couldn’t make them not stay.
I’m just a fragile human being, I’ve got to live each day by day.
It was because of their desire, their passion, the supposed ‘force of nature’,
That made them behave like animals, like sickly beastly creatures.
A final 5? The last 50? A total 730?
But. No more buts, I’ll use my wit to succeed.
No more oppressed female victim.
I’ll use my will power to achieve.
To help me in this task I chose my four favourite maids.
Kerthia, Narcissa, Selene and Melantho of the Pretty Cheeks,
But though they promised me their faithfulness,
They deceived me like, whores, no less.
Then a mere man came and saved me, a hero concealed.
And killed all in sight just as I, the woman, had willed.
No more 50 or 380 or even maids to comfort me,
But this is what I wanted, to be an independent woman,
A mother and a wife, with just her husband and her son.
Who needs maids? Who needs the hundreds? Who needs anyone but herself?
Who wants love? Who wants comfort? Just shroud me with my wealth.
Jade Anouka is an actor and poet. Combining the two, she has a love for performing poetry and has featured at many venues across London and New York. These include Farrago, Apples & Snakes, Proud Camden and The Bowery NYC.
She has just been offered a poety book contract from Poetry Space and is looking forward to launching her first collection of poems.