More Violent Than Rage

Suddenly it, and everything with it

and you ache so ferociously to live they’ll have
to pry you away from your own skin, when
you choreograph the intersections, shout
greetings to the stoplights, imagine you’re
changing the landscape, the


But then the wailing, leering
lights, a stand of white coats,
usher me into their flashing
van, their language I refuse,
because their questions are in

You mean in French

I mean in shame

Everyone knows the insane have

And so, they take me deep into the countryside, take
away my shoes, lock me behind as many cranky
metal doors as they have to, into what the French
call “Iso,” I mispronounce as

“I’d be happy to have just 5 minutes
in here,” sigh the nurses, jangling their
keys as they leave me

You do always end up naked and shrieking.

A room all my own, painted violent, off-
bone with nothing but a bed bolted
to the floor, which I don’t lie down on.

It’s that you don’t remember lying down.

It’s that I have to move, because I know
what few people know: joy
can be lethal, it can swell so outrageous
and fierce it rips from your head and
tears after your body and you circle
their bolted bed until you crawl
around its rusted legs, and the
flitting light of their perversely violent
paint quavers somewhere between day
and night and I have to keep crawling the
freakish grin out of my joints, the
shriek out of my mind, to find
a way into numbness, all the way
into darkness and then, yes, 
maybe I lay down on their bed

you have barely begun
to beg from your experience
why it might matter to me

beware of joy, then, it’s as
violent as rage

as your scattered
rage, yes

I am swaying, yes, but I’m upright, one foot and then the
other, gathering, marshalling, marching myself toward
the wide door

to bang out your head against it

to pound out form and music

so that I might move, might matter

to anyone but myself


I’ll ask for your patience since I’ve barely begun
to beg from my experience why it might matter to you


No, not the time, no,
there’s no time in Izoo,
scratch out the hour
before they confiscate your nails.
I-zoo is spacious when
you’re lying facedown,
five nurses, syringes in
hand, a big spacious
room painted all over
with violent, violety
white, even the metal door,
makes the room look bigger


cold, my jangled naked feet


in my depletion I drift like an escaped
balloon, an escaped balloon in the sky
let me be an escaped balloon in the sky

numbness, all the way down
into darkness and then, yes, 
maybe I lay down on their bed


I don’t have to, don’t have to live,
and so I’m enraged
that I do