An old one, by Jim, new one by me

One-Flew-Over-the-Cuckoo-s-Nest

Reprinted from years ago when he lived in a dirty old concrete box full of overcrowded rooms [now he lives in a new, clean concrete box with only one roommate!]. One of the first poems he showed me. It was in the first year of my work as the last watercooler in hell. We spent months just talking and sharing poetry every week.

This one broke my heart.

Girlfriend

written 2/21/09 6:25 p.m.

lone

We watched a butterfly be born into the world

Held hands at a scary film

Thought silly jokes were funny

Smiled with our eyes

I love you was spoken a lot

Mingled with other couples

Broke up once or twice

People talked about our relationship

She wrote when I was gone in jail

This is where we failed

My time was longer than her love

Have a picture of her I can’t tear up

It looks like she is shaking her finger at me in the picture

Wish I wouldn’t have made my mistake

Stakes were too high for me

Alone again with 40 men

This next is mine, this morning.

Welcome to-

Arrive by jail van

drive through a garage door that closes behind you

the world has turned upside down

everyone has latex gloves

“Take off your clothes and get in the shower to the right”

frightened, you look for a human face

without success

you may not see those clothes again

people are watching you through a mirrored window

instructions come from the wall mounted speaker

high above reach

“If you can’t clean yourself properly we will send someone to help you”

you don’t want to be touched by those rubber hands

you do your best to obey but it is hard-

nothing makes sense, you suppress an urge to scream out loud

they are making sure you don’t have anything

anything at all

you are truly stripped by the time they let you into the next room

“Put on these clothes. We will help you if you can’t do it by yourself”

again you comply

“What is happening to me?

What happened to your face?”

“We will help you to get better”

time, ushered along, nothing is right

[correct, true, accurate, factual, fit, satisfactory]

go to your room

.   .   .   .

Doctor: “My job is to diagnose your illness,

prescribe medications

and take you to court if you refuse them”

“I’m not here to talk to you or listen-

in fact, if you see me coming that’s bad news for you”

and, you think,  I still haven’t gotten my self back

(or my clothes and by the way

NPR never sent me the tote bag they promised during the fund drive)

.   .   .  .

oh God, if I’m crazy what does that make

You

welcome-to-hell

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Filed under Crazy is not even the word for it, Jim, Mental Hell Treatment, pictures, poetry, Uncategorized

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