Chained in the Brain
Hiding from drab reality
in orgasmic bliss or drunken stupor;
Free for a time shorter than before –
Anonymous and without.
Forced back by guilt,
Catching sight of your reflection
in an empty mirror,
Suddenly aware of being awake
though never really asleep:
Hanging on the torture stake of the past.
20 June 1983
Twenty-nine years after I wrote this poem I published a two part essay on ugly poetry. You can read the first part here. In the second part I included my poem ‘The Rats’ (#366) as an example but really I was pulling my punches; I’d written far uglier poetry than that.
A part of me would rather have skipped this poem. Some I have—I’m under no obligation to wash my dirty linen in public—but I mentioned this one in my last post and it’s related to ‘For the World is Hollow…’ (#547) but that is the better poem; I should’ve stuck with the one but I guess I wasn’t done feeling bad about myself. The use of capitals is very sloppy as is the punctuation but I’ve uploaded it as I left it.
Ugly, of course, is not bad although we often get them confused. From my new book:
Soon the hunchback will pass by. Such kyphosis is rare these days, in fact, as far as I can remember, he is the sole sufferer of the affliction I have seen in the flesh. Perhaps he was dropped as a child or rolled off a table or had TB. He walks with the aid of a stick, of course, not exactly a club but a solid piece of rosewood nevertheless with an unusual pistol grip. Were this a children’s tale he would naturally be evil, as warped in his mind as in his body…