Perspective Poems and Peroxide Prose Words

Screw Loose & Emotion

 

Screw Loose

they’re all staring at me
though they haven’t turned their heads
	(still i know they’re watching)
they’re waiting for me to trip
	slip
	stumble
	fall
everyone always it


call me paranoid 
call me insane
	(promise i don’t mind)
		(heard it again and again)
over and over 
record on repeat
“no one would grab you up off the street”


but it’s happened to them
it could happen to me
if we want to know freedom
constantly vigilant
	that's how we have to be


that woman, she knows where i live
	sitting there, you see her?
	blonde hair, big front they?
she follows me home sometimes
	(not all the way, just enough)
she put the cameras in my bathroom
	she sells the tape online
	she’s laughing while i’m flossing
	she’ll never do the time


the police, they won’t arrest her,
they ask me just to go away
	ask me if i need help
	(ask me to help myself)


help? i’m begging for it!
open my vents, i feel them
you’ll find the cameras there
two screws! just remove them!
they laugh me out the station
	(they laugh at me with the nation)


“you’ve got screws loose”
my mother tells me
but she’s not my mom by birth
	i was stolen at the hospital
	or mixed up by a nurse
sure, we looks the same
but i simply can’t be hers
my eyes, they’re the wrong color
and her personalities much worse


i told my (not) mom about the cameras
she told me she’s concerned
asked me to meet with doctors
they want me behind tightly locked doors


handfuls of colored pills
	they want to force them down my throat
want to kill me with colorful toxins
	ruin me
	break me
	decay
i will not let them destroy me
my lips will remain sealed
they say there’s nothing there
they don’t understand the big deal


somehow i’ll tell the world! 
	(though there’s no one i can trust)
who knows what’s out there hiding 	
	(a secret alien race?)
surely it wants to kill me
surely! 
	it’s what i face

 


 

[mks_dropcap style=“rounded” size=“100” bg_color=“#606060” txt_color=”#ffff8c”]P[/mks_dropcap]oems are hard. This is a fact of life, real­ly. Even if you find some­one for whom words flow eas­i­ly, the truths of their poems are hard to share, and for oth­ers, poems are dif­fi­cult to read, their uni­ver­sal­ly applic­a­ble mean­ings hit­ting a bit too close to home. Some­times, poems make us feel lone­ly, but they can also make us feel love­ly, as if we aren’t walk­ing on air, but instead float­ing joy­ful­ly through the vac­u­um of space.

(Hey, that might now sound like fun to you, but some of us want­ed to be astro­nauts grow­ing up.)

Poet­ry has pow­er, full stop. There are times- like newslet­ters, press releas­es, dic­tio­nar­ies- where words on a page are just that- ink on paper with con­crete mean­ing. Noth­ing hid­den behind the doors of sym­bol­ism and metaphor, where the field of word­play is bar­ren and the well of wit is all dried up.

This is not so with poet­ry. Should poet­ry ever fall to the lev­el of meet­ing min­utes and click­bait arti­cles, I fear for the world.

Poet­ry is, in real­i­ty, the antithe­sis of all that. Poet­ry is words giv­en mean­ing so deep we can­not sur­vive at its lev­el, and instead can only hope to grasp its hand and let it pull us as far deep as we can under­stand.

Per­haps, you might argue, not all poet­ry is that immersed in mean­ing.

My favorite TV show, The West Wing, touch­es on this briefly dur­ing an in show dis­cus­sion about the Nation­al Endow­ment for the Arts.

‘Slut’ is a one-word poem by Jules Woltz. It’s stamped in scar­let on a piece of 40 by 40 black can­vas.”

There are peo­ple every­where who would argue that sure­ly, this poet­ry can­not have mean­ing. But as I reflect on it, one can already make the claim that it, and also the word slut, is the mod­ern Scar­let Let­ter.

By and large, poet­ry is grand ges­tures and deep­er mean­ings. There are out­liers, haikus and lim­er­icks, but even in their own brevi­ty, they can con­vey a com­plete mes­sage. If six word mem­oirs like “for sale: baby shoes, nev­er worn” can make us feel the sad­ness of a lost child, of stolen poten­tial and end­ed life, and “the expe­ri­ence was worth the risk” can help us feel the ela­tion of a prof­itable invest­ment, suc­cess­ful­ly ask­ing the uncom­fort­able and uncer­tain ques­tions, if this can be, then even the short­est poems can hold the deep­est mean­ings.

When I write, I am more for the image of emo­tion. While some pre­fer the deep, com­pli­cat­ed mean­ings a poem can have, I sim­ply wants to con­vey abstract emo­tions, per­haps the way I’m feel­ings or the way I want some­one to feel. I also love to tell a sto­ry, to show how emo­tions change of times both long and short, but my love of chronol­o­gy is best saved for anoth­er post.

Screw Loose is an attempt to con­vey what para­noia feels like. Not, “is that woman look­ing at me?” para­noia, but bone deep, heart stop­ping fears that there are cam­eras in your bed­room, and your moth­er is not your own. Para­noia is a spe­cial for of nar­cis­sism, to me, even as some­one who suf­fers from para­noia.

(Parts of it were writ­ten once my para­noid episode end­ed, so they may feel out of place, but while I will do a great many things for art, I will not induce a para­noid state.)

The main point of all of this, though, is that poet­ry is about emo­tion. So it you’re hav­ing trou­ble writ­ing, try doing it dur­ing peri­ods of strong emo­tion. It might not work for every­one, but I find I’m at my most ver­bose, then.