It is not with the lyre of someone in love that I go seducing people. The rattle of the leper is what sings in my hands. Jane Kenyon
Friday, September 22, 2006
The Final Diagnosis
"Basically all patients come to psychiatrists with
'one common problem: the sense of helplessness, the
fear and inner conviction of being unable to "cope"
and to change things.'" Dr. Hilde Bruch in "Learning
When the priest hears voices, the penitent
hail him prophet, spread their clothes
for his feet, when I hear voices
they hail me legend, took my clothes
exchange it for the uniform of a penitent-
I'm a Van Gogh who does not
cut off his ear. My "Sunflowers" master
piece:A last supper portrait not graced
by the cord of a Mona Lisa
smile, hybrid colours and mutant lines.
Like Van Gogh I have a butterfly
mind, flitting, fragile, yet most beautiful
when set against the backdrop of a "Starry
I am fearful of some things, the woman
who is a shadow of her cosmetics, the man
who has two shadows, the Pandora box
of my cupboard where the skeleton of my
hope is kept, the mannequins who spy on me
through the binoculars of the glass window.
I'm glad I do not have claustrophobia,
the secret places of buried treasures
I go to each day on the tightrope
of a fevered mind. EEG: The runes shamans
inscribe in my file to tag the demons
they cannot exorcise. Laboratory Reports: Names
borrowed from a terrorist manifesto, numbers thrown
up by the Russian Roulette. All these cannot
diagnose mental illness, only the doctor can
and he wears a stethoscope he does not
They say I am 'schizophrenic', I think 'life
is a skit, the soul frenetic', yes, I believe
that's the final diagnosis.
Saturday, September 09, 2006
"I have Schizophrenia and I am treated like
a pariah. I hope I have Alzeimer so that I
can forget the bad, the ugly and the painful."
xxx, a patient.
And now I am in a cell I am not
nucleus of, my crime, "Teenage
graffiti on the wall of an adult
mind!" says the police of my mime.
I see hobbits, aliens, flying Harrys and UFOs,
dinosaurs and dungeon dragons. No one believes
me, I see the smiles beneath their smiles. Suddenly
Hollywood makes movies of them, everybody raves,
"A tribute to the imagination, the temple
of the mind...." But that is where I worship too!
They show me my pictures. Chest X-Ray, a white
dove trapped in a black bird cage. MRI
of brain, a plate of negatives, I am black
moon casting white shadows, the darkroom unmade
me. This is box camera technology that
under exposes my colours, prints my portrait
in post-mortem black and white.
My clock is a moon-dial, it chronographs
the stolen hours, the short hand counts hours
amputated by drugs, the long numbers the shock
hours spent in the convulsive eye of an
i learn a new word
stigma is not botanic
the term is social
Today I think about sin, the unseen
and the seen. I know my own seen
is as many as the leaves of a deciduous
tree, each leaf the serpent of my right
mind seducing the eves of my left
days. And I know that the difference
between my seen and your unseen
is the thickness of a fig-leaf
I don't care to wear.