I was going to write a really long, vitriolic blog post today about THE GOVERNMENT and PEOPLE and OTHER SHIT but I’ve had such a busy day, as busy as a day can be when you’re meant to be given the luxury of relaxing in an acute mental health facility, but that’s life. Tomorrow I’ll write the post, because I’ve made a point of planning NOTHING tomorrow. No walks, no errands, no people, no effort. Instead, for tonight, I’ve written a short poem. I’m experimenting with new techniques. I haven’t written whilst in here and I wondered if the combination of drugs and detainment and illness and the feeling I have that I’ve stepped outside of myself might have affected my poetry. Seems it has. It’s called Turning Point.
Change to font size 11 because it looks
way classier than 12. Make each word of
my name a shape; elongate my vowels, like
how people say it suh-PHEE-ah but you’ve
always said it SO-phee-AH. You cling on
to the round sounds that soften and
Oh BOY I’m feeling tight tonight, my ribcage
bones need loos’ning up, I’m starving and
I’m coiled up short, I’m boxed up for export.
Tomorrow I’ll be windmills in the Pennines
on the brow-line of the sandy hills, the
swoosh that slices silence and unsettling
apex. The votes have all been counted and
the boats are washed up empty. There are no
beds or ships sailing northbound, toward
the diamond stars. Maybe I just missed them.
The nights have all been empty. Recent lights
are first flash blues; second the white sparks
that shoot from my eyes, then to you. I’ve
heard me start to falter, heard my tongue
Too thick for eloquence. My thoughts all
cherry-plucked from air by vagrant night-haws.
Yet there’s still a speeding motorcycle circling
This mind. It’s hot all night. It breaks my back
and makes me hear your name in song. It
calls out loud like: HEY SWEETHEART. BE MY
BABY DEAR HEART and the howling cats in
season sing TURN BACK NOW like con
legno on the e-string, third position, yes
I’m ACADEMIC when I study you, your
figured bass and Bach chorale, the tune
to A, the crash of plates on kitchen slates, the
microtonal shards arranged in third dimension
decoupage. Or are there four? Or five? Or ten?
It was only a matter of when, when would the outright
Bliss of speeding be reduced to these bald tires?
How useless I’ve become. Hey, look, they’re
back in bloom, you said, arranging sweetpea
in a posy, twisting lilac stalks. I wish
they’d let you in my room. Because of magic
reasons. I hear you eyeing up my legs, and
I remove each layer. Then the skin, and
muscles tear right off the bone and I am bare.
You are here in the bright darkness of 9.
Keeping records of my stay. Tell me your news,
here’s mine: I thought of him all day today.
Tell me how to quit that, please, distract me
very quickly. I’m feeling very very and by rights
you’re very too. It’s not that you’re not beautiful,
You’re just so beautiful it hurts my feelings.