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News From The Front by D.M. Thomas and Sylvia Kantaris
(Lancashire: Arc Publications, 1983)

News from the Front is a collaborative work concerning a fictional encounter between a businessman and a Portuguese woman on holiday in London. It originated with a poem by Sylvia Kantaris based on a suggestion by D.M. Thomas, and from that foundation we each proceeded to explore their relationship in our own way, sending poems and drafts to one another as they were written. Each of us wrote sometimes from the point of view of the male character, sometimes of the female.” – S.K. & D.M.T.

The bitch was Communist...
‘Santa Teresa thought an angel...’


The bitch was Communist and Portuguese, on heat.
I called her Slut.
She liked me saying she was nothing but a slut
so ‘Slut’, I whispered, ‘Slut, Slut, Slut’,
and let her have it.
And then she got me to reverse the roles.
I lay there, legs spread wide, like a tart,
and she, the bitch, sat on me,
bore down on me like a tank
until I threw her off and 
bit her left tit hard and watched it bleed.
I am no masochist nor sadist either
except in London, just that once, with her.
I’m sure she liked it.
That same year the Communists were routed —
massacred — in Portugal, in the polls,
thank God. A decent liberalism prevails.
For all I know the crazy bitch is dead.



‘Santa Teresa thought an angel came to her
with a lance tipped with fire’, she said,
working herself up.
‘She had to have her ecstasy complete
with punishment, even in a dream. We are all
crippled by the myth of original sin.’
And then she confessed that even she
was prey to masochistic fantasies of men
who punished her for their own pleasure,
although she knew she could expect only
tenderness from me, and so on. I smiled,
imagining her spreadeagled on an altar,
sopping wet but ranting about patriarchal
attitudes even as some stooge advanced
towards her with a poker. And there she was,
trying to justify her own nature
by dragging Christianity in the dirt.
I told her she was born like that
whether she dared admit to it or not.
‘The plain fact is’, I said, moving in on her,
‘you’re hooked on the rough stuff, and anyway
a cunt like you needs it, to stop your mouth.’



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Sylvia Kantaris
Last updated: 06 December, 2000