Propylene Glycol by JayJay Conrad

                   i: I’ll Tell You
. . .And again:
how it feels to be afterthought
embodied scribble in the Margin,
and again the void of logistics.
It just is.ii: The Red Or The Blue? Take Both
We are not breathing
statues stone still in our wait to be played as a diminuendo
shrinking, shrinking down until mice-sized
and sunk
into so many formaldehyde solutions.

(It’s a display that’s expected, not life)

–I’ll spit that diseased syllable count out.
Solution, like keloids stretching farther each time over
(train tracks, tiger’s stripes, a map if read right).
Solution, like being a balloon detached from the child’s grip
(floating above, away from World and Thought and Stare).
Solution, like endless pricey pills available in any Technicolor
(tiny bile bringing bothers to pass time while waiting for a sunrise).

iii: Where I’ve Been
I’ve been on the inside, where clocks melt faster than Dhali.
You think true asylum is found here, aptly named,
you think Britannica defines what rumors ‘insanity’ behind these walls.

You are a fool.

iv: Interlude
Are you listening?

v: Vanity, a Communications Error, Please Hold
But each is statuesque in the matter of solidarity.
A shadow overwhelms ‘The Thinker’–
the residue of Each Everything once all the petals are plucked.

Maybe you Love one of us
(but do not know).
Maybe you’ve twisted your Love away as easy as a pigeons neck snaps
(because you did know).

There is not one reflective surface I
look into, convexly–as Ashbery would–with intent only to reapply
lipsticks with so vivid names like ‘Persephone’s Poison’
(the newest edgy,
not the one that references Salinger
as sharply
as you can. No.

The one that dances with opiates
and glorifies fire
all the while tilling skin soil–
soiled skin–with meat scissors: an attempt
in vein to dig the lead out).

vi: Mechanical Pencils
Writing letters is a lost art
I perfected between cycles,
and if you need a reason for all
this Sad (another word I’ll spit; should be
gravity; could be dissolution)
it is because I have no one

to Write to.



Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.


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