Session Notes

They draw your blood at 3 am

to check this level

that level–

are you toxic?

And you lay there on a

plastic mattress

like a distressed piece of wood,

your grain


from the constant

sanding down of this

and that–

all they want to talk about is

your dead mother

and how she hit you

when you were a child–

you think about the time

you cried, watching static,

because they were fighting

and all you wanted

was to watch Care Bears

because the blue one made you laugh,

because the yellow one was happy,

because you couldn’t stand

the sound

of you mother screaming,

your father and his heavy boots

kicking at the bottom

of the door


the wood splintered

and broke–

and how your mother

turned on you

in an episode of rage,

burning pieces of wood

to smell Christmas,

her nose broke

under the arm

of your father

and you ate lunch with her

the next day,

at this hospital,

down the hall,

her eyes swollen and purple

like an eggplant

but all you kept seeing

was red blood

and strange hurt in her eyes,

the waxing of



click, click

and your eyes shoot open

to this hospital,

this time,

hearing about Robin Williams’


on the day room television,

drinking bad coffee,

decaf to keep

the crazies

in line.


I’ve Never Written a Poem

I’ve never written a poem–

never felt a prick at

the center of my ribs,

when a line comes,

out of control,

up through the chest,

bubbling between the ears–

never cried at 3 am

because I could not


from the static weight of a

stanza on my lungs–

never looked at a blank page,

desperate to excavate words,



I’ve never written a poem.


In the pub, along the coast: an Abecedarian

Absolution comes in an absinthe

bottle, green and


down the lines of this slim tourist.

Everywhere we looked the ocean

foamed like a

gray-green giant,

hovering around our feet.

In Brighton, the

jury was out, deliberating on our

knowledge of life and


My life—washed ashore,

North of France—

Oui, je suis un oiseau. Je

parle le silence.

Que dit la mer?

Rest—be quiet now.

Somber pictures taken in the last light of a dying day.

The rain fell around our ankles,

unforgiving of our pant legs; this

version of us, a


Xanadu, a former kingdom—

yellowed and crumbling,

zigzags of a last memory.


So….I’m a writer, but not really.  I’m one of those people who think they can write, but deep down, inherently know that they’ll never make it out of the crater we call amateur writing.  And I want to be ok with this, but I’m not; I’m not ok with my own mediocrity.  I have this void sitting at the center of my ribs, this hollow place where purpose should be; it is in all respects a black hole, carries the characteristics of a star that has imploded upon itself and is beginning to eat everything that surrounds it.  And there’s not much left to devour, but this empty space continues to feed off of me and I worry that, one day, all that will be left is bleached bones.

There once was a little girl, who wore combat boots laced up to her knees, and refused to ride a girl’s bike.  Instead, she rode her black boy’s bike around the neighborhood, wearing an army helmet made of plastic and preferred the woods to tea parties and Barbie dolls.  This little girl smiled in the sun and loved to lie in the warm summer grass.  She was happy once.

I wish there were a brain scan that could provide me proof, some kind of machine that produced a picture that I could hold in my hands, feel its tangible weight, and look at with my own eyes; see a dark patch in the midst of all that grey matter and be able to label it as my disease.  I have no hard proof, I have no undeniable evidence; all I have is my reality, my subjective day to day experience and sometimes even that is questionable.

A Fragment #2

I remember running through fields of tall alfalfa,

my legs in stride as Donahue chased me.

The fields lay at the edge of the playground,

just beyond the black top basketball courts.

Donahue taught me the N word,

one day at the kickball bases

when he spat it in my face.


This is based on a memory I have….I need some feedback.  Let me know what you think and where I should go next!

A Fragment #1

We share a space,

the remains of dead stars

created you and I.

Our mass tangles like silk strings

blown by the wind

and all at once

neither you nor I


effaced and erased

our bodies become a singularity.

We are elemental,

made up of symbols from

the periodic table,

our atoms are essentially

the same.


My poetry and writing friends…I need your help on this one.  It doesn’t feel finished but I’m not sure where to go next.  Any suggestions?  I would love some deep and thick criticism…


I think you couldn’t forgive me-

my blurry vision,

eyes red that day on Lime street,

too many tears,

too many missteps,

too many accidents.

This crushed me too-

though you didn’t know it.

You begged me in the afternoon

on a Fall day

mid November,

amid dirty leaves and despair,

you wished I were smarter.

But I’m not,

and I’m sorry.

I couldn’t fix the fractures

in my brain

or the fracture between us.

You couldn’t forgive me,

and you still don’t.


Manic: A Former Episode

The room is silent save for the occasional cat meow or hiss; there is a complete and empty silence.  But not for me.  I’m never silenced, trains have derailed at break neck speeds inside of my brain and I don’t know how to fix it.  I feel sorry for the ones who love me; they constantly worry if I’m taking my medication, but I suppose history tends to repeat itself.  Or have I learned something life changing though this experience?

My mother died almost 3 months ago; well it will be 3 months on December 3rd.  I wonder what she’s doing, if there is an afterlife, how do we make it there?  There’s some force of energy that leaves our body when we die and since energy can neither be destroyed nor created, where does this mass of energy disappear to?  I wish I had the answers.  I pray so hard sometimes it makes the back of my eyes hurt.   And every time I go to church I cry.

Maybe they are right about me?  Maybe I am dangerous and harmful to others? Do I do things maliciously for the benefit of myself?  This line of reasoning calls into question everything I’ve held to be true about myself.  If I am the new wave in evolutionary improvements it sure doesn’t feel like it.

I think I’m all wrong on the inside, I feel smaller than I should and weaker than I want to be. I’m easy to cry, especially when I’m lonely.  And maybe that’s the hardest part of mom’s death, the bitter loneliness her passing away has left behind.  I listen to her voicemail on regular occasions just so I can hear her voice again.  It’s like she’s not dead but just gone.

I fixate on things that need no fixating on.  I’m concerned about my death.  I feel like there is definitely tragedy in my blood.  My life has seemed to be a series of missteps that work out in the end.  There have been numerous times I have been at the black hole of unconsciousness and never felt anything.  There was no bolt of lightning, no shining warmth, just the cold blackness of the back of my eyelids.  If I could have felt some rush, some spiritual sensation maybe I wouldn’t have tried to kill myself four times.  But each time I awoke, reality slithered back into place and there I was back at square one.