She swims in Lake Coeur d’Alene

with two companions who afterwards feed

her sticks of gum secretly coated with LSD.


The drugs kick in as the sun sizzles an asylum.

Seven newborn robins push tiny heads

through a hole in a hotel door.


From a houseboat she sees

naked people shout “Wake up”

 and slide into sinuous water.


Construction workers lay down gravel

on a dirt road until it bleeds

varicose sunsets that guide her nowhere.




She huddles embryonic

in the kitchen,

in a sleeping bag.


Jesus wanders in

sitting on the sheets

He drags behind him.


His feet protrude bare

underneath His hospital gown.

Coat hooks on the wall wheeze like stuck up noses.


Her parents take her home,

the road opening up

like a storybook.


At Home


Voices call from the car dashboard radio.

“Here, there, everywhere. You can’t keep up

with your studies while driving consonants.”


She says to the band

at the high school dance,

“Play something good.”


They acquiesce with a rendition

of The Star Spangled Banner

written by Hendrix for teenagers getting wet.


In Admitting


Her identity is lost,

offered to eleven girls

locked in one room.


One girl is trying to crawl out

of a toilet smeared with Vaseline.

They are as pretty like Wednesday’s child.


Medical Exam


Her head drops down between her legs.

The nurse can be kindly.

The nurse can be ratchet.


The nurse demands,

“Let me hold you up with this needle.”

Again she swoons.


Group Therapy


The floor rises into a ring.

She rubs circles into her body with suntan lotion,

erasing herself darker.


The conversation continues

in onyx cauliflower

child’s pose.




Yogurt, onions, peanuts and Rice Krispies

hold a conversation

inside a celery bowl.


Dr. Badger


Where is mommy?

In the home she must not return to?

The impending danger of the staff


drugging her food arises. Voices argue,

“What is more musical than the murmuring of alleluias?

God, or his saints?”




David came with his fly around his neck.

They sat on the lawn,

watching Mourning Cloaks mating.


A man and a woman find

her surrounded by a sea

of bloodstained underwear.


Sloppy hand washing is strewn around

in a room crowded

with too many thoughts.


The man takes her swimming.

The woman tries to rape her

in the shower.


They keep muttering,

“The world outside is a crazy place.

You’d better stay in here.”


Occupational Therapy


She makes a tie dye shirt

and a tattered leather wallet covered with tattoos.

She sings, amplified by the space in her guitar.


Under Hypnosis


The doctor covers her eyes

With an Idaho sized patchwork quilt.

It feels like a visit to the dentist.


She and her mother

find their way home with two different maps

and no sense of direction.





Two patients hung themselves in a large closet with some pantyhose.

The others were summoned to the great hall to discuss it.

Hygeia couldn’t have prevented it.





Floating above the city, nothing is new to the egret.

A lotus is a pigeon is a red thread unraveled.

Buddha doesn’t live here anymore.





See all the people with miles ahead of them?

Snow marks the years as they run and run forever

in subzero degree weather.



~ by dianeklammer on March 28, 2013.

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