Friday, May 25, 2012

Becoming Shrink-Wrapped

Another day, another mind mapper
He tells me we're not here to go over
Every little detail of my history - relief
Washes over me just in time to hear
Him continue - no, what he wants
To do is help me discover who I am

Oh joy, oh thank you Jesus, I think
But don't say aloud; after all I do
Want to be released from this place
Of cages and experimental drugs
And doctors like this one someday
And sooner rather than later I hope
And sarcastic remarks don't aid
In that result usually ...

I allow my brain to slide into the zone
While this guy begins his spiel about
The ego, the id and the super-ego
I wonder vaguely if he's even glanced
At my file; taken into consideration
How long I've been at this game
Been in the so-called system

Or, noticed - and this I am sure not -
That I have some background in psychology;
I might know a little bit about the basics
I forget just where he is in his lecture
When I realize I can't stand another
Minute of this useless appointment

I sit up straighter - look him in the eyes
So intently he actually stops talking
Looks somewhat nervous - the silence
In the office is louder than rush-hour
Traffic; we are at a stalemate, glaring
At each other when I finally tell him

Flat out, "You do realize I am just
fucking crazy right?" He literally jumps
a bit; I mean, his whole body lifts off
the chair and back from the desk
before jarring back down - he still stares
"And you are something like my tenth
shrink?" I continue now that I have
his attention, I figure I might as well

Go for it - I can see he's trying to
Compose himself and decide to take
Pity on him - "Listen, I know you're just
trying to do your job and it's a thankless
crap job at that, but if you could just
please try not bull-shitting me -"
He has started shaking his head as if
to say, oh no, he wasn't --

"Doing the whole ego blah blah blah
routine on me is such old news ..."
I tell him; "I'm just saying, it's not
helpful. I will walk out of here and
try to get a day pass so I can get
to the High Level Bridge and leap off
 - you take my meaning?"

He has the good grace to blanche
His pasty white face growing whiter
than I would have believed possible
No shrink wants a suicide on their
record but an in-hospital offing?
On their watch? It doesn't bear thinking
about; I can practically read his mind
Shortly he sends me off with an aide
back to the ward still crazy, still unsolved


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Second Sunday in May and No More Roses

Every year on this day of days
They take part in a ritual
the significance of which
Only those haunted by these
particular demons understand
Or have need of

Each one is as revered as any goddess
And travels as far as it takes to visit
The same sacred place; a site indigenous
To those who die while serving
Their country

With unspoken intentions they converge
As if gathering at a summit, each one
Carrying a flag folded to the exact
Specifications as each other one
They have no need for further elaborations

It is Mother's Day - these are the mothers of dead sons and they meet here annually—
to remember their boys;
It is the only time they allow themselves the indulgence of so much remembering, rubbing their memories like the well-worn beads on the string of a rosary
They store their commonality and strength, the courage they take from each other, fit for another year.


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

no more than the bird with the piercing voice*

night is rendered mute
blanketed in storms of
soot, smoke, blood-stains

the youngest are always
led away first in no
particular order, maybe
by height; eyes eloquent

shrieks strafe the air
in the beginning but
shortly it is silence
that makes the eardrums

*from a fragment of a Sappho poem