Month: November 2015

The Defective Domino

The knots which had been steadily looping and tightening within me suddenly pulled mercilessly.  The knives stabbed my chest, my heart, I knew.  My innards wished to be decorative feathered boas draped across my clammy torso.  The bugs crawled across my skin, but I could not catch them.  I could not squash them.  I looked across the room.  The windows of the fifteenth floor apartment were open.  Jump, I heard whispered.  In fear, I sought refuge on the street.  The train was approaching.  Jump, I heard whispered.  The scissors snipped, and I floated away.

My mind and mood cycle rapidly.  Up to down, down to up, up and down together, defying the laws of gravity and any semblance of common sense.  I was slowly stacking dominoes.  A bachelors degree from college.  Enrollment in a certificate program for paralegal studies.  A wonderful, fulfilling, healthy relationship.  Then, the first domino tipped.  I am unsure what force with requisite pressure caused the first fall in a chain reaction.  Paranoia, depression, obsessive-compulsiveness, and anxiety began to take nest.  As the dominoes fell harder and faster, I feared this was the end, that I would finally come to know intimately the last domino in my chain.  Interventions were utilized.  The Klonopin we abruptly stopped, we started again.  We added Cymbalta, and added some more.  Medications were failing to drain the tub in which I was slowly drowning.

This morning, I awoke.  To awaken was not inherently unusual, but rather the circumstances under which I awoke were of peculiarity.  There was a strange dissipation anxiety and depression.  The air in the room hung uneasily, as if a being of large mass had just exited and there existed a void where he had stood.  I recognized with certainty the miracle of the defective domino.  Something in my life, in my mind, triggered a domino to default, to miss.  The train of dominoes ceased to fall, stopped in their tracks as if frozen.

I have never reached the last domino.  Perhaps there is a protective device operating within me, or externally of me, that renders a domino defective.  God, the love of my partner and my family, the wonders of therapy and pharmaceutical intervention.  I continue to fight because I know, without a doubt, that there is always a faulty domino in the pack.

Going Home

This poem is a product of an assignment for a class.  I took the Miranda rights and replaced each noun with the seventh or ninth word below it in the dictionary.  The jumbled result read to me like what an individual experiencing psychosis may hear when recited.  This was my inspiration for the poem.

Going Home

It’s hot, my sweaty skin sticking
sweat pooling between folds.
The sun keeps talking
so I keep listening,
direct radio uninterrupted,
commercial free.
Be free.
I strip to my skivvies in
the city park and dance where
the ground spits upon
my dirt caked body.

Lights flash and I wonder
if I am going home.
Home is where they light
my brain with matchbooks and
encapsulate me
in numbers.
Numbers spin like dots
on dice,
and I wonder if I am
going home.

Lights flash and the men come.
I am going home.
I hear
You have the right hand to remain silicate
     when questioned
and all I can think about
are apples dancing in swimming
holes and bananas fighting
the corsets holding back
the fruits of their

Lights flash and I approach
the light,
my hands constricted by
the steel jaws of the
shark I met last week.
I hear
If you cannot afford an attribute, oneness
     will be appointed to you before
     any quibble, if you wish
and all I can think about
is whether Mary will know I am

Lights flash and I am on
the subway express to home.
I hear
Knowing and understanding your right hand as I have
     explained themself to you, are you willing
     to answer my queue-jumping without an
     attribute present?
My lips are sealed.
I am going home.


A flaky, sticky sweet desert with delicate layers of filo dough that threaten to exfoliate, interspersed nuts, and the honey and syrup that hold it all together with the strength of spackling paste to drywall.  My mind flakes and crumbles.  Follow me on a city street, and filo crumbs fall behind my stride in the fashion of Hansel and Gretel.  My mind betrays me.  Obsessions and anxieties ensue.  The person across the room is spying on me to make reports to his authority.  Another wishes to commit slander and libel to destroy my name.  Paranoia, yes, I know.  The world decides to cut the connection between us.  I float, detached and without ground on which to plant my feet.  Betrayed, I am, by the very entity that is supposed to maintain bodily and emotional homeostasis.

Anxiety upon anxiety, obsession upon obsession, stack in layers of filo dough in a baklava.  I am accosted, I am overwhelmed. My teetering tower threatens to topple and crumble.  But for honey and syrup, I would disintegrate with the evening wind blowing through the evergreens.  Honey is temperamental.  An obstinate and unforgiving harvest is grainy, gritty and unpleasant to the tongue.  A pure harvest is smooth and thick, reminiscent of pouring caramel to cool.  The honey binding my filo, completing my self as a whole, flows from my partner.  Entangled arms in embrace, a brush of the lips, the honey flows freely.  It is with this honey that I build my fortress and my abode.  I stack weaknesses and bind them with strength, for I can create a perfect structure built upon imperfection.  For in this way, I am able to enjoy the product of the marriage of my mind with the love of others.

A Woman I Never Knew

I look upon your face,
this photograph is old.
I am unsure if I ever knew you,
I know with a conviction
I did,
the crevices that formed as
extensions of the
curvature of your lips, and the
train tracks leading to
tear ducts,
a two-way route.

If I look closely,
I see the reflection of the
camera bulb upon your
A bright light inevitably fading.
I presume you might find
this fitting, comical even,
for were you not fading?
Are we all not fading?
you counter

Your life slips away
on the grease of unwashed
Cleanliness is irrelevant
in the dance with life’s
Clothes disheveled,
your sweatshirt sleeves
fray where the musings
of madness collide with
The threads bewail their plight.
You snap back,
     That shit cannot be sewn back
You know. I know.

I try to wipe from my fingers
the smudges of your ashes.
I did not know you,
but I cannot be rid of you.
May the fires of crematory peace
consume your final

The Dirge of Drugged Flight

I cannot explain to you how it feels,
to surf the extraterrestrial terrain of mental fabric
sewn with light and sweet hallucinogenic nectar,
to sever oneself from the plane of earthly existence.
Elevate me, cast me to sea, and oh,
I will float atop the salty water,
the master swimmer, an unabashed partaker of drugged flight.
My lips seek to kiss innards, for within
beauty is irrelevant and can only be assumed.
But then I think, and my mind has learned that thinking is bad,
for drugged flight can only last so long.
I walk along the muddy riverbank,
collecting stones, pocketing stones, immersing stones,
birds chirping the dirge of drugged flight.