I coupled you to the wall
there were two of us then
the rain and something about
getting clean without losing
any of our dirt, tracking mud
all over the interior
of home and outbound
across the river
lifting blades of grass
like thirsty bones
clouded infernos of mothers' and fathers'
Polaroid motel 6's draped
in honeymoon pink sky line
love is what remains after all of the shouting
it's how two storms find their calm
inside a silence that builds up over the years
a much thicker skin
than blood contains
you look at me
and I look at you
there is something that the poem tries to get right
in this small movement of air and light
tween here and highway
laughter is the mended bone
is the story
come to its most imperfect end.
(James Diaz is a poet still processing his trauma in upstate New York.)
How to NOT manage mental illness
Ignore it, call it a frailty
of our resilience, confuse it with
a fleeting worry or sadness, blame
witchcraft, black-magic or a Jinn.
Mystify it. Call it
an illness of soul, use
Cartesian Dualism to explain it,
separate it from the brain.
Let every Tom, Dick, and Harry,
have an opinion,
its causes and treatment.
Invent a fence, to create
a stigmatising barrier, between
and physical health.
Leave it, for healing, at the mercy of
celestial bodies, quacks,
Use, a priestly, vocabulary like
mind, body and soul, to promote,
the ghost in the machine,
the supernatural mindset.
( Javed Latoo is a senior medical practitioner based in the UK. In his spare time, Dr Latoo writes poetry as a hobby. His poems have been published in literary journals and magazines ( both print and online) as well as in anthologies. Dr Latoo likes to use poetry to explore the philosophy of life, mental health and neuroscience. He likes to write in the language of ordinary people, about their ordinary thoughts and about their ordinary insights.)
They Have Flown
They have flown
like ravens in the night
or as an eagle soars
on weathered wings
They have flown
free of earthly bodies
free of mortgages
Free of fear of the unknown
and of knowledge
Free of fitting in
and facing the fire
They have flown
bubbles or butterflies
They have flown free
like my family and left me here
In honor of my son Mark Louis, my Mother, Betty Anne, and Step Up Dad; James Leon.7/16/18
( Thasia Anne created a poetry project called Women of Word, featuring a Few Man Made Words. Now headed into year nine it is a part of Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and its yearly Women's History Month in March. In conjunction with my husband, I have a show that airs on CATV cable access programing. It is titled Poetry, Prose, and Personalities by Poetrees Productions. My original chap book, Love and Licorice Whips describes the roller coaster of emotions emerging from domestic violence. Added to that are my titles The Past is Calling, and Broken Branches available through Alien Buddah Press.)
yesterday i felt a 2.5 out of 10
like a crematorium winter
today i am a 4
a mere care home autumn
i hug my wife-elect
i squeeze our retired cat
i coat memories in a rose colour sun
it divorces their wild edges
from the traps of reason
now everything was
and always is
a solid 10
a widescreen childhood summer
i pick a movie
a spiral scratch
a slice of timed art
is a time out
a journey dream in other skin
these everyday miracles equals me sustained
tomorrow i will be prob a 4 still
or maybe a 5.6 . . ?
a discharge ward in spring
and thats ok
(Ford Dagenham was most recently published by Tangerine press in their Schizzo chapbook, he runs a poetry and photography blog that he posts in everyday, until he dies or doesn't.)
Letting Go (so you can just fall asleep)
Letting go is so hard when
the brain wants to have control
there are the buses and
the airplanes and the boats
and the babies and the avalanches
and the abandoned buildings
and the jobs and the fires
and the haunted houses,
letting go is hard when
your brain is focused on
the blood and the eighteen-
wheelers and oh my god
your head is stuck in the sink
I'm so damn tired
why can't I
( Melanie Browne is a poet and fiction writer from Texas.)
Opinions Are Like
I don't watch TV and I don't feel left out.
My news is what I experience through the day .
No weird voiced anchor need to inform me how to think .
And I knew how to die all on my own .
I didn't bask in the sun cause I preferred to wait it out in the shade .
No one mans opinion would change the view but it certainly could stir some shit.
And lighting fires for the sake of seeing it burn was for the anarchist pricks.
Who do not care about more than watching chaos spread .
The faces I've seen don't reflect the horror stories they would have you believe .
And if you stand alone you just stand out by default .
You can't win but you must not come to a standstill either .
Just keep your thoughts close your friends few .
Embrace silence read constantly and prove someone wrong..
Nothing beats a fail like a try.
( John Patrick Robbins Is a barroom poet and editor of The Rye Whiskey Review . His work has been published with The Beautiful Space, Romingos Porch , Red Fez, Rasputin , Outlaw Poetry , Piker Press, Blue Pepper , Boned Magazine, Horror Sleaze Trash , Inbetween Hangovers , Your One Phone Call, Spill The Words , Drinkers Only , Pyre Publishing.)
The instruction is really simple when you lose your mind come back
scratches at the door
rubble of moonlight
cartography of smoke
the pluck to the
before the crepitus
the fabulous clam
a person of peculiar nature
as it turns out
i didn’t miss
lo sone deficiente
This man was old,
but perhaps wise enough
to share his wisdom.
Look, these are
my anti-pretense glasses;
they have special lenses.
Up close, she noticed
the frames were empty,
but his heart was full.
They walked slowly,
the length of the garden,
near the brick rotunda.
They keep the crazies there,
under special lock & key
like human safe deposit boxes.
She thanked him for this info.
His tone was cautionary,
wishing this on no one.
How many languages do I speak?
I can mumble incoherently
in any language, if the mood’s right.
He sounded resigned
where hope once attended him,
but he told her he liked her.
She brought him back to his room;
You should look me up
if you ever return here.
Before she left, he asked
to touch the pulse of her vitality:
she was touched.
Which came first,
insomnia or failure?
into linguistic habits
knocked at his conscience.
A world in a phrase,
tied together by a pair
of fancy socks & four humors
was the restless supposition
of his personal hell.
He had no idea
how he arrived here,
no clearer notion
of how to escape.
Even climbing babies
eventually walked upright,
but most didn’t get far -
diverted by shiny objects
& prospects of easy change.
He hadn’t a painter’s eye,
but still keenly observed
the silent nature
of humans to please,
how motionlessness can lead
to deeper understanding,
how the lack of sleep leaves
more time to ponder.
layers of silence
stratified into flavors,
delicacies that give up
All the while
the poor & sickly
& whimper at illness
that forms their
rife with uncivil strife,
drawn to ghastly sunset.
He views haggard reflection,
sends out pleas to be held,
knowing even inside
hollow chambers of
love has its proper place.
in hopes of stopping onslaught.
This eyes-closed-shut fantasy
harbors verge of expectation,
glimmer of faith in the DNA
that progress is soon forthcoming.
The truth is a series of questions,
an exasperated sigh, sad realization.
Like weather, the violence is here,
daily occurrence, uncommonly common.
Sips become gulps,
glasses are emptied, skies darkened.
Hot it hits gullet, reward
for random screaming.
Panic sets in:
names are mispronounced,
a medical condition
where all fades to black.
Smell this truth on my breath:
can remedy our dilemmas.
We carry on, bravely ignorant,
hoping yet to survive.
(Gary Glauber is a writer and teacher based in New York. His collections are available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.)
Just For A Moment
Waiting to be released from the ward,
I play ping pong with Wesley.
We are laughing, I keep missing the ball.
I’m surprised at his patience with me.
A social worker calls him away,
when he returns he’s pale.
I see him slide down against
the wall, arms wrap around drawn-up knees.
His head down, his shirt over his head.
His bipolar features paranoia, and he is already
in mental lock down.
I go to him when my ride arrives,
bend a bit, place my hand on his shoulder,
and quietly tell him, “My ride’s here.
I’m going to miss you.
I feel like we were friends in another life.”
I start to drop my hand down his arm
before the inches between us
grow into feet. As I get to his forearm,
he grabs mine and holds on tight,
just for a moment, just enough for goodbye.
The Girl Who Stays One Day
She’s going into prostitution
when she’s 18, she brags.
Daddy broke her down like a puzzle,
and she leans all her pieces
whenever he stands still.
She writes on his hand,
property of, in felt tip pen,
which he shows me days later.
I avoid her eyes
as we pass each other in the ward.
She wears midnight like a cape.
Her face, a kaleidoscope of shadows.
( Jeri Thompson has appeared in Chiron, Anti-Heroin Review among others.)
ON THE WAY
Summer heat moves all the kids to dream of Tastee Freez.
Ice cream shop down a country road is subtle magic.
The crick flows all the way down the hollow
as it rambles down through Victory
on its way to meet the Yough in Sutersville.
We’d take the same route to the Tastee Freez,
promise of a cool heaven
at the confluence of crick and river.
Past Pat’s house, where the crick dips under the road next to the firehall,
is a child-high wall of concrete.
Someone (we blamed BJ, the Big Kid)
had left minnows to die and dry in the sun.
Silver grey scales split open,
little white bones inside.
Eyes round, black, staring.
A country child knows about death.
We see road kill bloated and lying in the sun,
flies swarming on dried blood.
We see dead carcass in the forest,
bleached skulls of deer.
The empty eye sockets of those dead minnows
left a cold, uncanny chill in my gut,
like I’d swallowed an ice cube whole.
Not five feet away was a telephone pole,
the very one where tractor would meet wood,
and crush my father, several summers later.
The very same spot.
Bottom of Skillet Hill.
Crick rushes underground,
and the shadow dwells,
and the minnows stare,
dead eyes seeing all.
( Chani Zwibel is a graduate of Agnes Scott College, who was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but now dwells in Marietta, Georgia, with her husband and their dog. She is an associate editor with Madness Muse Press. She enjoys writing poetry after nature walks and daydreaming.)
The Beautiful Space-