chastised and alone
swallowed in self-retreat
slipping through chasms
mocked and cast out

the laughter of saints
fills you with false light
punctuating voices
that poke holes in your consciousness
telling you about auto body shops
telling you about speed
telling you about money
telling you about jeeps that bounce
lives out of whack

derailed trains mangle
the wreckage
that bleeds through metal bars
surrounding your heart
trying to pry open
the smooth cold rods that
diminish your compassion

pedestals hewn from mesmerizing newness
slide into the muck of ever after
belching rainbow brown bubbles
with a salty sweet stench

Process Notes:
This piece began as an exploration of schizophrenia. Several years ago, I had a student who heard voices. There’s a story there, but I’ll save that for another time after more years have passed. It began as an exploration of what it might be like to hear voices, and be disconnected from reality. It turned into more than that somehow. While it is dark, I like it.

8 thoughts on “muck

    • That story will play out some time, it’s in me. They seem to come when they come, he’s starting to show up, as I have some interesting students this year who keep bringing him to the surface. No voices this year, as far as I know. 🙂


  1. Oh, this is eerie, Brenda. It must be difficult to live with such thoughts swirling in one’s mind. Your poem DOES seem to give a good picture of what schizophrenia might be like.


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