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Our Dead World 2001
Featured poets 5

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manic depression 101


i'm scared of most things nowadays
frightened of people and places and situations
when i speak to those i still can tolerate
(mind you, not a fault of theirs but of mine)
every single syllable becomes a regretable afterthought
my mind spins with the echo of my words
dissected with maniacal precision until
fault is found with each mumbled sound
as the tumble gains inertia
the physical and mental intertwine
into an aching explosion
eating my joints
jointing my eats
nonsense begins
will this be one that makes me giggle
or makes me pace the floors for days on end
deprived of meaningful sleep
consumed with daymares
pills pop
try to regain control
lithium
prozac
trazadone
then onto the herbal remedies
untested and making me shake
i can't write my name
or remember my social security number
"i can't breathe," i scream at him
finally, the headattack begins
disguised as a heartattack
i'd pass out but the ambulance is coming
i hear them down the hill
grinding their gears to make the incline
"it's just another attack," says friendly joe emt
finally things get dark
two days later i wake up again
dammit

Penelope Talbert 2001.


blue greed

if i wasnt standing here
i would think
the blue pain
in my head was
a nightmare
thought up by some
crazy child
out to burn my eyes

but its just her
standing there
gazing at me
with glittering eyes
and full breasts
mouthing words
i cant want to hear

drown them
drown them in your
blueness and your
selfishness and your
greed

high aspirations and
lowly intentions
barking out drill sergeant
commands
and maternal beckons

snapping fingers and
rhythmic clapping hands
run out of my ears
like blood

Penelope Talbert 2001.


unmedicated

im covered in bugs
burrowing between my toes
up my hairy legs pant cuffs
a bastardly word to pluralize
the ringing in my ears
moths, i think most times
forms words you try to forget
sore sounds groaning in my brain

you are useless
the existance you take for granted
falls out the back pocket
rolling through tuesdays
mud puddles
saga continues
forward face
and again the rain
beating the hatred into you
the black man at the
corner store,
he feels it, too
as a new tribal rhythm

Penelope Talbert 2001.


I Will Go Mad

You were my moon,
My stars
My rock when the world shook
You held me firm
When I could not.
My life is due in part to you
My conscience altered.
For you,
I will go mad.

You made me laugh
Brightened my aura
Made me feel special.
Only there for the good times
But I loved you just the same.
For you,
I will go mad.

You kept me safe
In ways
And burdened me with reality
But mostly
Hid from me the truth
When it would hurt
You held me when I was afraid
But left me to cry without you.
For you,
I will go mad.

You held my shattered reality
And made it firm
Watched over me when no one would.
You hid me from my pain
And concealed me from the truth.
For you,
I will go mad.

You made my life blissful
Caught me when I fell
Held me secure
When I had no other support
You loved me
Truly
As I loved you
But needed what has been lost to me
And so left for it.
For you,
I will go mad.

You are always there
Lurking in the darkness
Beyond my reach
Sulking through my happiness
Delighting in my misery
Contemptible and abhorrent
Tainting my thoughts with your hatred
Weaving my pain with a smile.
Only for myself
Have I gone mad.


Micheal M. Johnson. 2001

Our Dead World 2000.