You and me, a team,
Although it seemed
That I may want
To spread some misery.
Our papers and our pens -
Some eggs from some hens;
Living wild, living free
In the home of the bees.
Shotgun cadences sound so sweet;
Bury their bodies before they bury me.
Leftover silence from some yesterdays;
Borrowed a fear that could take me away.
Beneath old, dead willows & blank shooting stars,
We sent for our memories, traversed smokey, smokey bars.
Got in scuffles with men & slept with a few -
Never looking for more than I could e’er do.
In desperation we cried, melancholy music did unfurl;
Set our hearts on fire (wrote stories, stomach curled).
Took my shotgun to the backyard, dragged you by your hair;
A cock, then a shot; through the cellar door to my lair.
chkl chkl chkl chkl
bzooo bzoo bzoo
chkl chkl bzoobzoooo
chkl chkl chkl chkl chkl
“Patient number 6934 to Ward B, 6934 to Ward B,” the intercom
repeats; patient number 6934 stumbles toward Ward C beneath the
fluorescent lighting, spitting-spattering-flashing all like crazy. “Ward B,
not Ward C” Nurse Jane tells 6934 who is drooling slightly out
the left side of his mouth - never able to stop the spittle from flowing.
“What is 6934 going to Ward B for? A new treatment I bet” 4239 says and
1402 nods in what could be agreement or could just be sleep coming
again. Screaming and crying and shouting comes from the direction of the
‘Really In Bad Shape’ Wing, as the patients from
‘Insane Only On Paper’ Wing called it. ”Don’t know why I talk
to you; you don’t hardly even belong on this
side” 4239 said, this time -fully and assuredly- to himself. 4239 liked
writing in a journal molded with scotch tape patching rough corners, and
he sometimes had a deep thought between the pages that recollected
his obscene past and surrealistic dreams - difficult to
read or to imagine, often. One such deep thought (page 19, dated
3-14-2009) was short, asking the question ‘To what is life
to the insane? Our names are replaced with numbers and I eat breakfast
with half-peoples who believe their forks are their pets. Is
this institution to make me sane or to show me the person I will
become in a few years time?’ and though he could think quite well, the
nurses and doctors did not take the time to listen - he was here so he was insane,
they had said - and no one read his journal.
4239 had said he was only insane on paper but he began
believing he was as insane as the rest; when he heard on the intercom “4239,
Ward B. 4239, Ward B,” he walked slowly to the room, holding the
invisible hand of his imaginary friend who told the doctor last week of
his plan to set fire to the Nurse’s breakroom.
Deep breaths are needed when absorbing
something that escapes the ocean
and the clouds alike. (and it goes on
and on and on)
“I am destined for greatness,worthy
of praises and trophies that can hold as much
booze as Trevi Fountain.” And he was
sure that this was true - taking a measured
drag from his cigarette, he stood
in place, rocking back and forth in front of
his screen door. Looking out at the night-world around
him, unclothed but for an old “Grease” tee,
he saw that everything that has been
brought into existence was made solely for him
as if the world was an architectural masterpiece
formed by Mr. Howard Roark himself.
“And I’d piss in my Trevi Fountain Trophy good and long;
drink part of me with each gulp. It would
be me as the emperor of that empire so
long dead.” He dropped his cigarette and ripped
through the screen door, headed toward
his shed (it held his lawn mower - his car
was out of gas), and started up the lawn mower,
his two round & pale butt cheeks sitting warm
on the foam-seat. He began riding through town &
got many bewildered and questioning stares. Soon,
the police stopped him, but he had a plan: he tore
off the shirt, screaming “Time! Time! It’s all we have and
all we can’t use!” He ran through the town’s old district
and managed to find a narrow alley before
the police knew what had happened. He ran for a few
blocks through the dark shadows before stumbling
into a shady neighborhood; prostitutes on the corners and
crack dealers in the apartments, lights flickering.
“Hey, Royce, you here?” he said, knocking at 203B.
Royce opened the door and they drank the night away together.
Aroused at the idea of power and drunk with the homemade
whiskey, they began planning what would be the
fourth failed revolution the two of them had thought up this decade.
Hey dad, I’m coming home.
I’ll be sleeping in
my old room and will shine
your bowling trophies.
Hey mom, I’m still your son.
I’d rather not
listen to you preach with
your script, but I will.
Well love is so much easier
when we tie our subject to
a tree, tape up the mouth,
pluck the eyebrows one by one.
And finally done with what
we craved, we would water
the chest (the shirt was ripped
off long ago, make the skin
Leave the body beneath
the branch; breathing or not -
doesn’t really matter - we’d
continue on the side.
On days of roses, we only
have each other in essence.
All other life becomes something
like a stained cardboard box,
all greasy and useless like
the ones we played in growing up.