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Jacket 15 — December 2001   |   # 15  Contents   |   Homepage   |   Catalog   |

Helen Lambert

Judge Schreber, Unmanned

All of Oxford Street would love
your judicial swagger
leather-wrapped & delicate
scarlet ribbons as twisted
as your nerves,
tufts of hair pulled
into dolly curls.

All of Oxford Street would be in ecstasy
at your overweight chest
the milkless, unsupported
breasts, oh how they rise
& fall through that rough
asylum dress.

Onlookers would not shy away
from your singlets torn
to receive the sun’s divine
voluptuous rays, &
when your trousers are removed
we would clear table-tops to witness
your manhood sink into a hole.

We would pay you to tease
a barful of wigs, no need for memoirs
the price is too low,
just flounces
of your soul.

Judge Daniel Paul Schreber (1842—1911) was well known as a legal figure in nineteenth century Germany, but became more famous for his ‘illness’ than his case work. As he descended into delusions and paranoia, Schreber became convinced that God was ‘unmanning’ him, and he wrote of his unwilling transformation in his famous treatise Memoirs of my Nervous Illness, a book which intrigued Freud and other psychiatrists.

Oxford Street is the site of Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

Jacket 15 — December 2001  Contents page
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