Dissecting Devon


SKU ebook Category

175 in stock


By Zekria Ibrahimi

ISBN: 978-1-78382-183-9
Published: 2015
Pages: 47
Key Themes: Mental Health, Mental Illness, Poetry, Schizophrenia


‘Dissecting Devon’…
Is about the clash involving me as a city person, and the countryside…

Shyly implies the tension between what is English and what is ethnic…

Is deliberately strange, intentionally macabre…

For poetry cannot succeed…

If it chooses to be merely ordinary and conventional, bourgeois and unforgivably tame…

About the Author

Zekria Ibrahimi (born in 1959) is defined by his schizophrenia. It first hit him long ago, in his late teens. He is fifty four years old now, grey and frail, almost a pensioner, with all the aches and injuries of age, incontinent and impotent, lame and with constant tinnitus, and he does not always want to remember how, as an adolescent in the late 1970’s, he suddenly became afraid of everything surrounding him, and, worst of all, of himself. He would run around the countryside and knock at the doors of strangers because he feared the apocalypse was pursuing him … He would pick up rubbish outside in alleys and streets and hoard it in his not very palatial lodgings … He was always wandering away from home, searching for … what would never be found again … the straight route, the level way … He was a tramp, freezing during the nights in public toilets where he had various unsavoury insects as company on the cold concrete …

There were years of pain when his schizophrenia became almost his only companion- albeit a sadistic one, punishing him even as he hugged it. Perhaps, to echo both R. D. Laing and Emily Dickinson, it is the entire globe, it is general society, that is truly insane. Schizophrenics simply burrow all too deeply under the surface. They reach the very core of the savage reality in us all. Most varnish over the anarchic truth within through the superficial sham paraded as ‘civilization’. Schizophrenics prefer to be uncomfortably honest barbarians.

Eventually, after much psychotic shouting on Hammersmith Broadway, the hapless Zekria was confined at the Charing Cross unit in the West London Mental Health Trust. Following the unsafe unstable freedom of his schizophrenia, came the restrictions of Section 3. He would not have survived without the multi- racial compassion of the individual doctors and nurses in Charing Cross. Yet the overall SYSTEM remains an ogre of rules and restraints, and the INSTITUTION of psychiatry can be as cold and vicious as in the days of lobotomy and insulin shock.

He is an extreme liberal socialist, despairing of the tendencies towards cruel inequality and vicious intolerance across this planet.

Zekria is all too elderly, but still he muses about being locked up, drugged up, about how, with schizophrenia, the treatment can be worse than the disease…

Book Extract


The horizon, the same as the rainbow, will always recede;
We can never reach it;
We may veer towards it,
Only to find it as elusive as a dream.
I stare at the horizon now,
Which is a straight line indeed;

It is the sea’s horizon, seeming so precise;
It is vast and intimidating,
In the chill of November.
Nearby, the grey, hysterical waves blast themselves against the shore,
A lot less serene than that horizon.
I think about my own chaotic days, their vanity and vice,

And I have never truly been able to look beyond
My personal obsessions and preoccupations
To the broad, all-encompassing edge of existence;
God, Love, Hope, those huge colourful concepts,
Have all flown away from me;
It is only my own pettiness of which I have been fond…


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