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Cognitive Lobotomy

I gave the doctor all the pieces of my mind,
Hardly an undivulged thought left behind.

‘Oh Alice my dear, this simply won’t do.
I’ll tell you what’s what, for I’m smarter than you’.

And he smiled as he tore away all that I’d said,
I felt sick as he planted his thoughts in my head.

For I’d said what I thought, and I’d thought what I said,
But now he thought to think my thoughts for myself instead.

He said ‘things might get sad and I’ll tell you why:
I’m afraid the Alice you know, now has to die.

I’ll give you some tablets, take one every day,
And soon you’ll find that this Alice fading away.

And then you’ll be cured! Shiny and new!
A brand new person. Though I couldn’t say who.

Diagnostic Label

I wish I didn’t have to,
But I wish that I could prove
I’m not some social label
You can just stick on,
Or simply remove.

Don’t you see?
My diagnosis isn’t me.

I’m not pills inside a bottle
Or high upon a shelf.
I never hurt nobody,
I would rather hurt myself.

No one understands me,
But that’s no big surprise.
Claiming to know someone’s soul
Is only telling lies

True, it isn’t easy,
Sometimes it’s bloody tough,
You have dig below the surface
To find diamonds in the rough.

I’m so exquisitely fucked up, it’s true.
But probably no more than you.

Religiosity..Pass.

As children we were taught
That god in heaven thought
We all should drown.

Everyone should drown?
Well listen to that sound:
That’s me drowning now.

Later they would tell
Of heaven and of hell.
How to find The Right Gate.

Well they’re far too late,
Maybe you can’t tell
But I already found hell.
I didn’t need to wait.

As for gods’ only son
Dying for our sinning..
I may not have been sinning,
But baby, this is me beginning.

S

Been standing on street corners
And bridges high.
Staring at the clouds.

Been waiting on tall buildings
And railway lines
All over town.

I admit it’s not much of a plan.
But I’m seeking Superman.

Someone said he left for good,
Others said he died.
I really hope that’s not the case,
That he just partially retired.
I’d like to meet him face to face,
I really need to be inspired.

Seems all I’m left with are
False hopes,
Tied tightly to the end of
Long ropes
In the shape of a hangman’s noose.

I’ve practised the knot at least
Ninety-five times,
No way it will ever come loose.

I just need to find Superman.
I don’t expect to him to save me,
And I doubt that he knows how.
I just wanted to say hi,
Maybe ask if he could fly
Me to the edge of space,
To see the earth from a better place.
I don’t like the view down here.

So I’m waiting near phonebooths
And plane wrecks,
So far there’s nothing to see.

Maybe I’ll become a Crime Lord,
Ruthless..
And then he’ll come looking for me.

I, Humpty

I can tell by your tone
There’ll be no picket fence.
You try for casual discourses,
But I just hear King’s Horses
Assembling.
Eggshell amour,
My only defense
Against all your King’s Men.
I saw that wall,
From which no one could fall,
There’s yolk on your hand,
For somebody planned
The whole thing you see.
Humpty was pushed.
And now you plan to push me.

Alice Insane

Oh no, is Alice insane?
Has she gone off,
Had any,
Or taken too many,
Of her massive number of tablets again?

Look at them lovingly lined up in rows,
So many highs and so many lows,
Looking like Skittles,
No taste of rainbows.

What was that thing that she said?
There’s too much space inside of her head
Filled up with noisy silence?
With too much peaceful violence?

It’s so tiring, trying, falling, failing,
Draining to seem normal now.
They say ‘don’t try to be normal then’.
But if now is then, then where and when
Should I cease to cease being social again?

Don’t compare me.
I only compare myself,
Not to looks or wealth,
But to how many dues you have to pay
Just to live through every day.

bipolar stairs

Alice sat weeping,
Staircase contemplated.
Compelled to climb.
Emotions complicated, and
Not nearly enough cake.

Now was bleeding.
Skin from hands and knees amiss,
For every single day
She was forced to do this:
Climb the winding stair.

Upwardly optimistic,
Scaling heights oft tall,
Stairs constantly collapsing,
And down, down she’d fall,
In a violent, painful tumble.

Always the choice to remake:
Lie in a heap forever and ever,
Or clamber to her feet
To repeat the endeavour.
After a lifetime, she stood.

perchance to dream..

Twisted sheets and I’m so tired,
My face hurts when I fake a smile.
I wish that I could fall asleep
For just a little while.

Passing hour seventy-two,
My mind has come undone.
I don’t know what I should do,
I can’t stand anyone.

My thoughts become disjointed now,
They make no sense at all.
A thousand whirling whispers
Like wind blown leaves in Fall.

Now I’ve started seeing
Things that can’t be real.
Things that cease to bother,
I no longer care or feel.

Well, the drugs don’t work,
I hear they make you worse,
Although I may well have
Hallucinated that whole verse.

My soul aches, my mind breaks.
I’m sounding like a Beatles’ song.
How long until I go insane?
I’m sure it won’t be long..

stigma

I always thought you understood
The twists inside my head.
Not as a navigator would,
But sort of where they led.

But now I see that all the while,
You drank their Kool-Aid too,
And kept behind your plastic smile,
Things I never knew you never knew.

Now you look at me as they do,
It empties out my chest.
The one who hasn’t got a clue,
Should have known me best.

“pick out your cloud”

Who knew
The sky held such a vast array of blues,
Until you cut open my universe
And took out all the hues?

Who knew
My heart held so much trust,
Until you emptied out my chest,
Filling the cavity with dust?

You knew.
I should have known it too.
That you kept track all along ,
To whom everything belonged.

Now I know too.
Cos I’d been thinking this whole time,
In words like ‘us’ and ‘ours’,
Now reduced to ‘mine’.

the most right..

Peculiar how our mutual plight
Of the helpful things to do,
Became a competition and a wedge
Between me and they and you.

Everyone knows best,
No arguments allowed.
Just you and your ego
Because three’s a crowd.

No single pathway to the end,
I’m sure there’s quite a few,
But unless I’m just a moral clone,
Who cares what others do?

Everyone needs validation,
The fight for higher ground.
Common sense goes on vacation,
The world burns to the ground.

Genetically modified veganism.
Antivaxers and egotism.
Sadistic female circumcision.
Innocents are sent to prison.

So let’s sit and debate about
Who is most insulted, as
Those of us who dare protest
Will surely be assaulted.

So fuck all of this black and white,
And who is more correct than right.
The first thing they should teach in class
Is how to get your head out of your ass.

Garbage

Been left out with the trash,
But what else could I do?
I’m filled with the hate
I keep getting from you.

Always disregarding and
Discarding my dreams,
Yet you’re still blind that
I’m torn at the seams.

You fill me with waste,
Don’t know what you’ve done.
But the more you force in,
The less I become.

Now everything’s toxic,
All the things that you do.
You can’t even see
You’ve made me toxic too.

So I’m here with the waste,
Nothing else I can do.
I’m so full up inside, yet
So empty too.

A little everything..

I’m only a bit of a failure,
But failure is failure you see.
The way any size hole is a hole,
The way that I’m always me.

And I’m only a little messed up,
The way rain is a little bit wet.
And I’m only a little bit better,
But I’m not very better yet.

A little bit broken is broken,
How long is a piece of string?
A little bit crazy is crazy, and
I’m a little bit everything.

Falling Apart..

I wake up every morning,
And I get up just because.
Each time I am something less
Than something that I was.

My fingers’, cut and bleeding
From picking off the floor,
Tiny broken splinters
Of what I was before.

Days of endless madness
Hardly knowing what I do.
Sudden chills of horror
When I realize what is true.

My mind is like the construct
The poet Yeats foretold:
‘Things fall apart;
The centre cannot hold’.

Empty Chairs

I have too many empty chairs,
Empty coffee cups,
Endless stares.
The aching feeling no one cares,
Just empty hallways, empty stairs.

There are too many empty places,
Vacant spots
Where there should be faces,
Nothing but the faintest traces,
Faded postcards, old suitcases.

No one calling on the phone,
No one asking
If I’m home.
Just an endless dial tone

Missing

The universe is out my window,
The stars all shine and the moon hangs low,
And I wonder where the parts of me go,
When I’m not myself, the self I know.

When I’m busy being someone different,
Parts of me wonder where parts of me went,
Where was myself for the time that I spent
No longer at home, not paying the rent?

So while myself went out to play,
I sat and passed the time away,
Where I went I could not say,
I hope I had a pleasant day.

And now myself is home again,
I’ve been here since who knows when,
Where will I be in the end?
If I find out, I’ll tell you then.

Almost Out..

I attempted to be strong,
And though pain can make you stronger,
Strength fades in the end,
And I just can’t pretend
Any longer.

We hide from ourselves
As best we may,
And I always thought I could,
Until my trees became my wood,
And I lost my way.

I’m lost and afraid,
And it hurts not to show,
But as hard as I try
I can’t see the sky,
And there’s nowhere for me to go.

It’s ironic, in the end,
That I should be the one,
Thinking I was stronger,
Who just ran so much longer,
When there was nowhere left to run.

Small and Alone

Tonight is a bad night.

Sick with the certainty that the stars are going out, and that my life will never be anything more than broken and empty, I feel small.

Small and alone.

Though somehow I feel even smaller on the inside.

Cliches pour through my mind like so much teenage chatter on a bus, and I want to scream at them to ‘like, shut up, like’.

It’s freezing, freezing, freezing, yet in nothing but a t-shirt I burn as if possessed with a fatal fever, both hot and cold.

In the corner of my eyes, or maybe just the corner of my mind, the laughter of shadows dance and disappear.

Infinitely tired, but I will not sleep.
Exhausted and spent, yet I pace and fidget, twitch and move constantly in restless indignation.

How such a large and empty house can press so closely upon me, to push in upon my mind, yet echo endlessly with unsettling sounds, escapes my understanding.

So strange to wish for nothing but tears, yet neither will I cry.

Every misery, imagined and remembered, plays endlessly on repeat on the iMax of my mental cinema.
A solo screening.
No popcorn.

Time to come down.

I smelled her before I heard her.
The smell of ozone, and freshly cut grass.

She stood quietly behind me, watching as I teetered along the edge of the rooftop, eyes squeezed shut, singing as gleefully and loudly as I was able;

“Singin’ Radiohead at the top of our lungs,
With the boom box blaring as … ”

I stopped, thought for a moment, then spun neatly on one foot to face her.

“Do you suppose”, I pondered aloud, “That p’raps I should be singing Radiohead at the top of my lungs, instead of singing at the top of my lungs about singing Radiohead at the top of my lungs?
It hardly makes much sense to sing about singing about something, when one may just as well sing it to begin with!”.

I nodded, satisfied, as I wobbled slightly on the narrow ledge. It was perfectly marvellous logic.

“Alice”, she said gently “It’s time to come down.”

“It’s alright”, I waved my hand around like a proud performer, “I shan’t fall off, its…at least somewhat partially safe”.

She looked at me reproachfully; “You know what I mean, Alice.”

I pouted. I knew exactly what she meant.
“I’m sure no one would mind if I stayed a little longer…”
Hopeful…

“You’ve been up for over two weeks now”.
It sounded accusatory.

“Yes! Two glorious weeks up!”
I grinned. “It’s been simply wonderous”.

She frowned at me. “Alice. You know how this works.”
Silence.

“Alice..”

“Fine. It was getting boring anyhow”, I lied.
It was never boring.

I stepped down onto the roof as she held out her hands, coated in the blackest of black.
Blackness so dark it was more like an absence of light than a physical substance.

She looked at me with a strangely sad expression.
“Brace yourself Alice, I’m afraid this one is going to leave a mark.”
She leaned forward and put her hands inside my head…

I screamed.

Across the table, my mother looked up from her dinner plate.
“Did you say something, honey?

Alice?!”.