The trouble with Jason (suicide by cop)


At school (when I knew him):

His ringed finger points from out of his hammer fist,
cygnet glints, not of pretty stones, nor amethyst.
There for maximum damage should he need to strike with it:
angular, aggressive metal indexes his digit,
his ring appears to have legitimacy –
knuckleduster disguised as fashion jewelry.

As adult (in the news):

He wanted to go out “in a blaze of glory”,
but, his death was futile, tragic, somewhat gory.
He chopped..his own..finger off, call..the cops.
He ran at them with sword and fake gun.
No choice, but to end, what he’d begun.
The bullet entered his chest and heart, he would soon be dead –
Last words: “Nice one mate, but you should have shot me in the head!”


36 thoughts on “The trouble with Jason (suicide by cop)

    • I hadn’t seen him since we were about sixteen, but when he died at 27, I could clearly hear him say the words (reported in the news) in my mind..they were typically him.

    • He was only the second person to be declared a suicide via provoking the police (in England). He gave them little choice, and the policeman who pulled the trigger was also the first to try and save him..hopelessly sad.

  1. Oh, this breaks my heart really. I wonder if he gave any clues, if somehow there could have been a different conclusion. Strong poem….

    • I think there were always clues…the problem was the seeds had probably been sown even before he started school (I was in primary and secondary school with him, and saw anger and humiliation in the tears he occasionally cried…someone treated him very badly at a very young age).

  2. damn. immediate and arresting…and if only it could have been seen before….what a parallel too with the fingers from then til now…suicide by cop…how sad a reality to get to there, you know….

    • This particular event was triggered by his wife wanting a divorce, and the fear he wouldn’t see his five year old daughter again…now she doesn’t have a Dad.

    • If I’d had chance to reply sooner, I would have said read one more on a happy topic, as I wouldn’t want to be responsible for any dark dreams. I hope you’re sleeping well…wishing you rainbows and butterflies : )

  3. My lyrical friend, what a tragic portrayal of this world, The melody and visions seem in contrast; sureal like the news, things we cannot understand, I would like to know the backwrite on this, the notes, the inspiration. A very strongarmed voice, holding our attention from start to finish. Very effective!

    • Henry, I’m happy to provide extra details. Jason was in my form class at primary and secondary school (when not truanting and burglarizing). He was always troubled: no close friends, overly sexualized, and I had a sense of his pain, humiliation, and anger. The pointing finger that I started with came from a memory of him pointing at me with a smile and a wink..his expression read: everyone thinks your good, but you’re not all good. I remember thinking: and Jason your bad, but not all bad. I had a soft spot for him in school, but would steer clear of him outside school (I didn’t trust him not to be coercive). Somedays the police would show up, just on the off chance he was in school, so they could arrest him for something he’d been up to. I found it hard to understand how no one seemed to do anything despite the fact his distress was obvious. I lost contact with him after he left school, and I moved away. The next I heard was the news all seemed inevitable, yet I was still shocked. The quotes in the poem, are the words he used (as reported in the press), and I can well imagine him saying them. He did wear rings for maximum punching impact, and he did cut his own finger off (covering his soon to be ex-wife in his blood, as he’d taken her hostage – he feared losing his daughter), so the two stanzas have a connection through the finger. The contrast between the melody and the content, I think is somewhat similar to Stevie Smith’s work (almost sounding childish, but on a grave topic)… though I hadn’t intended to imitate her style, it’s just how it turned out. In the end it’s just my way of remembering Jason. He comes into my mind now and then, and I still find it hard to be reconciled to the idea that nothing could be done…

      • I would just add that because he was so often truanting, he isn’t in any of the school class photos I have. The only one I have of him is the one featured here.

  4. …difficult times sometimes are the easiest to savor and the hardest to let go… he’s quite of guy i know many today… at least i read this after all my works are done and soon to head home…. smiles…

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