"lately done to deathe"

Pattie McCarthy

joint & several, mine
     an askew—
as nauger begat auger     thus endeth
the first examynacyon

askey looking aside     asquint or awry     assay proofe or a triall
     the history of the world is always played out at dawn

then he asked me, why I had so few words ?
I am not she that list

     & it is here that I went astray, here
     that I was mistaken, here I was
     unmade at newgate
allow me to add     something about fire—
I might (he said) deny it later vexed sore sick     cease & desist

the sinews & the strings & the spaces between
all the matter that holds one together. albeit unsavory, there is this odd
resemblance (thys unsaverye symylytude)
     notwithstanding, after much ado & reasoning to & fro—

asked & answered, mine
     an askew—
     (as woodcut)

an ugsome something

for certain words by the spoken against (an onlye signe)
     alack poor mouse      coy dame     unshamefast whore
     alias escue (as sign only)
I Anne Askew of good memorie      I Anne Askew of good memorye
women & chicken are           easily led
so be it [. . .] so be it. by me.

for certain words, a penny dirge— the law turned wormwood
I might (he said) deny it later (if need were)
               when the bodies pile up we
               call that history
               &: (as ever) played out at dawn
at smithfield. from the index : Anne Askew, not all dead

but then died in their opinions

rack & ruin, mine
     an askew—
the sum of my examinations (both first & latter)
the sum of a quest (12 men)

is it not a little marvel (here I am unmade)
I laye styll & ded not crye (how still)

one destined to drown            can never be hanged
one who stares into fires          dreams while awake


how still     deny it later     I might     in my opinions led

null & void, mine
     & jointed— diverse & sundry
sundered     till the sinews & the strings of her eyes perished
in her head     in my opinons led     desist

pinion (as in to bind, wing joint) & pinion (as in crenellation)
the articulation of the body

alack     poor     alias     whereunto I made them no answer but     smiled
     schismatic          what meate he is
     what herbs in my garden
     shall I vild wretch

then he said I was a parrot I might (he said) deny it again
if need were a token to be recieved at the mouth

still & did not (how still) in my
opinions     the law a token at the mouth     (none where none) here

I was unmade     assay               (more had they never)

sources :
Askew, Anne. The Examinations of Anne Askew. Ed. Elaine V. Beilin. Oxford: Oxford U P, 1996.
Cawdrey, Robert. A Table Alphabeticall of hard vsuall English words &c. 1604.
Early Modern English Dictionary Database (EMEDD). Ed. Ian Lancashire, University of Toronto.
Szczypiorski, Andrzej. Self-Portrait with Woman. Trans. Bill Johnston. New York: Grove Press, 1995.
(March 2003 - July 2006)