Monday, October 26, 2015


I've had with all those freakin' cats,
All those women fixing what she'd eat,
Or what they think she'd eat,
She'd race down Lexington,
Rather than touch more crab and avocado;
You and it make her (and me) more sick,
Than peanuts, cola and cold baths,
In the wind off The Cam,
After rations and week-old biscuits,
These whole girls, asserting some frail illness,
Are like cheap, 10 cent firecrackers,
With the fuses blown out by the Trinity Test,
Vaporized into next door and next week,
Still just waiting for the missing hero,
Which she (so manifestly) left out,
Not even parenthetical in her worlds,
(A clue you Harpies – it's all about her in there,
No sympathy or dread for you inside her head),
And wait! I have breaking news for all of you,
In your catalogue kitchens,
Preparing her “Happy Death-Day” cakes,
You think she'll RSVP?
I know she won't;
She's dead and won't enjoy it,
Standing there with all your friends,
All of you bated,
Waiting for her to say something,
You'll not quite understand,
You think you're sick and I suppose you are,
Not being so and yet longing,
For the solitude of a quiet ward,
With not-too-many crazies,
News again girls!
The others will all be well-and-truly mad,
Really off-the-scale,
All the meters over in the red,
Chasing you down the corridors,
Or flashing you when the nurses
(big, old bouncers By the way),
Aren't looking,
Or listening to the football,
Or trying it on with your only friend in the day room, “Place of safety” they call it,
And you seem to think you want to wake up there,
With the Valium seeping in,
And the world all soft,
While the wind lifts the detergent-white curtains,
And the crisp sheets clasp you in,
Like your mother on a rainy, summer morning,
Truth is you might be tied in,
Strapped and wrapped,
Like a maddened tom cat,
While they pump you full of Lithium,
And other chemical night-sticks,
Struggling after a while to find any veins left,
Perhaps you even think the ECT is cool,
Another badge of belonging or of not belonging,
Which is it today?
Membership of the club or the outsiders crew?
We want to know, if only for the paperwork,
But I can't warn you what this will be really like,
Maybe you could think of Trinity again,
That weird black sphere of lightning and hell,
Balled up in a split second,
Before all those demons leave the box,
With hope in the lead,
Racing for space and oblivion,
And you alone on that bed,
A crushed nutshell in a pile of them,
Just one of the mad and bad,
This is The Atomic Age,
And we are all just atoms,
Decaying from the radioactive elements of youth,
All the way to lead and lesser things,
Beaten down to inert metals,
Each of us a simple particle in the matter,
Which makes us all and everything,
And in Trinity we trust,
Betterment and godless bombs for you and me.

No comments: