Diagnosis


Image

moments of crazy
little peeks behind the sanity curtain
screaming like a banshee
binge drink-eat-screw
before being declared unsound
living under a microscope
then come the drugs
take the pills, follow the rules, and play nice
cue the side effects
a good doctor, a good therapist, and the right meds
the holy trinity of madness
find the knots that need untying and
the pathways that need re-wiring
navigate this world in different ways
or spiral into despair
a misshapen version of a human
a different way of seeing
easily wounded, and easily elated
weird, misaligned
lacking the candle needed
to get out of the dark

 

The Night She Called


alone-in-bed1

 

I was so drunk
the night she called
I thought the phone ringing
was a song in my brain -
I hummed along
and laughed that empty laugh
that is found at the bottom
of well drunk bottles.

Later, she came to the door
and knocked, knocked, knocked
while I stared
at the crack spreading
up the wall,
reminding me of her varicose veins.
I tapped my foot in time.

I will most certainly die
on this side of the door one night,
and all the ringing and knocking
won’t bring me back to life.

 

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The Green Viper


green-viper-snake

I walked into the dark forest,
my stomach gurgling fear.
Pushing it down into my gut
I entered a grove of mangoes
devoid of fruit and intensely tangled,
like the ribbons of my life.

I saw there a green tree snake
coiled upon a gnarled branch,
watching me as carefully as I did it,
a flickering tongue eerily matching
the flickering of my heart.

Startled then by a strange desire
to feel his venomous bite,
I stepped closer
and reached an unsteady hand
toward the inevitable.

The strike was sudden
and true to its mark,
though I saw it all in slow motion;
the beady black eyes locked as the head pulled back,
and with the mouth, full of cotton and death,
opened to two curved fangs.
The lightning extension of his slender body
racing toward the fattest curve of my extended arm.

Just before the bite,
I saw all the stale moments of my life
stretched before me;
the childhood full of loneliness and broken toys;
the awkward attempts to befriend others,
met with laughter and derision;
a teen locked within the pain and uncertainty
of forced loneliness;
the young man twisting in the wind,
fearful and drunk after lost hours
searching for love that would never be there.

It stung for a moment,
then slowly a fire spread upward
from my elbow to my shoulder.
The painful memories replaced by a certain knowledge
That peace would soon cocoon me
in the darkness that I yearned for.

I felt sleepy and content in knowing
that this green viper was the closest thing
I would ever know of true love.
He bit to release me.

I sat upon a mossy log,
my breathing, moments before racing,
now became labored and shallow.
The pain brought with it a strange sensation of giddiness,
and as I watched the darkness
creep up through my surrendered body,
I smiled one last time.

And just bef….jus…as…I…

I Live Here All Alone


alone

 

I will not die for lack of love,
though greater seems the fate,
Nor shall I pray for tenderness,
or seek my soul to mate.

No kiss for me do lips desire,
nor arms round me entwine;
A soft caress or heart possessed,
I am not so inclined.

This rhapsody that others seek
I will look for in tomorrow.
With so much pain, I’m now within
A great and binding sorrow.

The emptiness I live within
has always been my home -
So do not seek my company,
I live here all alone.

 

Three Seasons of Life


images (1)

In the youngest years, there is fear and pain

images (2)

In the middle years, there is ecstasy, laughter,
hope, promise. happiness, delight, pleasure, bliss,
confidence, optimism, courage, faith, joy, desire,
hopefulness, buoyancy, brightness, anticipation,
choice, sex, cheerfulness, and contentment.

Old woman

In the final years, there is fear and pain.

We Write What We Know


I had lived one life with my face turned from the sun,
breathing icy winds and my father’s sin.
He is gone now but his fingerprints
remain a stain upon my broken bones.
My sister traded his midnight hugs for an opium exit;
her ashes instead of his lashes.
I took my refuge in dark shadows and withered.

I told…once.
Was rewarded with a year sabbatical in a red brick asylum,
bought and paid for with my mother’s silence.
She collected her ransom daily/offered up her womb’s fruit
to feed him like grapes to Caesar’s gaping maw.
She furnished her home with lost innocence
and found comfort in our cries.
She is buried now and I am robbed of my mourning.

Unearth me when tomorrow comes.
Set my broken feet upon polished stones;
let ascending steps carry me home.
My screams no longer echo from the mountaintops
My dreams no longer tether my pain.
I am not healed, but I feel, and my words anoint
my open wounds.

I Live Here All Alone


I will not die for lack of love,
though greater seems the fate,
Nor shall I pray for tenderness,
or seek my soul to mate.

No kiss for me do lips desire,
nor arms round me entwine;
A soft caress or heart possessed,
I am not so inclined.

This rhapsody that others seek
I will look for in tomorrow.
With so much pain, I’m now within
A great and binding sorrow.

The emptiness I live within
has always been my home -
So do not seek my company,
I live here all alone.