How I Deal with the Constancy of Mental Illness

I have been on this bridge.
How many evenings of despair
have I shared looking down
on a candy cane of cars
steering helplessly from a plush electric chair,
glaring into the urine sun
or the evening with the air-conditioning,
the popular music on. Sync complexities
on every face; we have to get home.

How many times have I been up here,
catch of an ash on a portcullis of mettle?
Who of us might care how far above the years I am,
caught in a kind of Being cartoon
in the hot June gloom by an image
on the yellow edge of page eleven:
The back of our mind,

two breaths reeling out the deadbolts
of Buchenwald and Pelican Bay and Del Amo?
The unfamiliar street rolled forward
back then. Beyond it’s itty bitty point,
I am, yes, home street home again
in a brilliant froth of gaud and advertising.

The lockup is in my heart.

The lockup is only in my heart.
Honk if you believe in Hallelujah. The air curls
around the peppermint curves
and it cracks; the sun sags before the deep
sweet banana jawbreaker moon.
I have got to get home.

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