On the Birth of Pandemonium by David Penner

One, two, three walls three, omniscient was the
Fourth in darkness – unvanquished the barren
Causeway. Armies of howling seraphim, cascading
On a lake of fire; Mulciber raining, unmoored from
The seat of heaven. Encroaching were the lovelorn 

Shadows, banished was the oath where sweet
Dreamers sigh; the drowning of the ancient cate-
Chism, impregnable the pyre of the Antichrist. And
After falling without surcease for nine days and
Nine nights, Satan’s architect was thence unbowed, 

For he engorged upon the blackened plains, he
Engorged upon the meek and innocent; and on
Surveying the agreeable wasteland, commenced
In building a home for the angels damned. Arrogant,
Of colossal walls thrice harrowing, a defiant fist to 

Shake at the light of reason; its doors, redoubtable;
The gates forged of blood adamant and immutable
Diamond; its foundation, a crucible that devoured whole
Worlds. There were a thousand floors for accounting,
And a thousand more for all the attorneys they would 

Need; and there was a psych ward that stretched for
Miles into the firmament – what else could be done
With the sane by the mad? Well-stocked were its stores
With mRNA vaccine and Remdesivir, snarling were
The demons that roamed its lifeless halls; armed with 

Midazolam, born unto the blackjack and cruel white
Eyes, as the automaton stood indomitable. Beneath
The southern face roared a monstrous volcano, into
Which generic drugs were repeatedly thrown. There
Was depravity, there was wickedness, there were

Masked men that roamed as wraiths in gelid night;
There was sin, there was chaos, there was ambition,
And there was death. Whereupon he who had been
Hurled from the celestial canopy, gazed in satisfaction
On his ungodly palace – for he had created The Hospital.

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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.