There are four walls, a window, an exit.
And that thing trapped inside
could be an animal.
You would swear it were being skinned alive
it is making such a racket.
And a banging,
like a hammer on a wall-
The trapper arrives,
dragging his Christ wine.
Now I am a statue-
if I am silent, maybe, and perfectly still
I will be set free.
Mere mouthfuls and my blood
is a tonic of opiates-
a sea of poppies bloom in me, flush
sweet tinctures blending a terror of images
and a voice whose face I cannot see
as my own flushed lungs
gasp at atrocities.
Unrelenting jolts of light
and a stench of salt
The mirror is a screen
throwing his own image back at him:
ludicrous in its parade of extravagance;
a glitter of fetishes lavished
over a parcel of meat
decorous in its straps,
unfurling its humility.
The world slides back-
stripped down finally, to a singularity:
a finale that slams in, hard as an anvil.
Daylight is dyeing the walls
the colour of blood.
Sound has become a physical thing-
an object like a table or chair;
the knife that skirts
This is night then, draped in its vacuous black.
The window is a void in the wall
I cannot get to.
Outside the moon admonishes the stars
in their cold multitudes.
I am not important-
empty vessel of shrieks
the walls muffle and eat.
The moon sees nothing.
When at last the snare rips open
and parts like the sea,
I feel sure I am walking on water.
I have snapped shut,
so tight now even the pain is sweet.
I have nine more lives,
and I juggle them like knives.
A real Jesus feat.
Definition: (Oxford English Dictionary)
...1.1: Shelter or protection from danger.
2. dated An institution for the care of people who are mentally ill.
In the courtyard
the manic woman is screaming.
Her walking stick at war
with the blood-red heads
of the roses.
A nurse stands idly by.
She takes notes.
I was in one piece once
until my mind bent and broke
like a river.
My last oar nothing
more than a bottle of pills
and a penance.
God is a deaf woman half gone,
knitting her gaudy silks,
each stitch a vicious mistake.
Now this: four walls
and a rubber mattress, some lunatics
and a mind twisting and untwisting
a vivid tapestry of breaks.
Elegantly they click one
to the other, like squalid dominoes.
The doctor is an idiot;
plying me with pills that do nothing
but make me quiet and fat-
and dumb as a zoo animal.
None of us know what to say.
We blink at each other as we pass,
flaming satellites in some fucked vacuum.
Let us be done with it:
let us speak of it no more
and let it off,
never again to be spoken of-
like a bad relative.
On comes the night
wielding its train of atrocities.
The stars align in perpetual bliss.
A schizophrenic has taken to calling me
I am shimmering.
One white, three yellow, one blue:
one for mania, three for depression,
one for everything in succession.
Outside my parents have parked the car.
Over the linoleum
and the stench of bleach,
their two sweet
heads loom toward me
loving and empty-
Lorcán Black is a writer and poet from the Republic of Ireland, now living in London. He has previously had poetry published in Boyne Berries: Issue 17, Boyne Berries: Issue 14, Worldegs, Breath & Shadow, Wow! Magazine, and Eratio among others. Lorcán is also the Co-editor in Chief of Anomaly Literary Journal.