Friday, July 20, 2007

Outpatients have more fun

A long time ago, I was giving a book of poetry entitled "eclipse of reason" by Bana Witt. I lost it to a boy who claimed he did not love me or poetry, but my many requests for its return did not result in success. It took my own trip across the country to City Lights in order to replace it. I don't reference it as much as I once did. But, this poem has been in my head lately.

Hard Work

It’s hard work going crazy
maintaining this level of anxiety
requires the stamina of a long distance runner
morning comes on like a Waring Blender
dicing-up the ugly parts you’d hoped were behind you
already breathless
you hit the ground backtracking on sandpaper

When you’re younger
you rip your shirt open in crowded places
and say, “look at my madness!”
but after years on the job
you start wearing baggy clothes
and you avoid doing public
because strangers haven’t heard your excuses

So it becomes a proud secret
like making large anonymous donations to science

When your beeper goes off
no one else can hear it
and you can’t shut it off
because the manual is in Japanese!

It’s hard work going crazy
and it’s kinda hard to handle
without a little outside help
but when you’ve handled it so long
you become reluctant to share

I go to the Cafe Babar for pointers
that’s where the real pros hang out
they write poems like thorazine
or skip their lithium
and illustrate the finer points of method madness

You see
they’re all clever enough to still be on the loose
they all know
that outpatients have more fun


Nurse Fusion said...


Anonymous said...

Glad you like my poem.

Bana Witt