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Mental hospital

by Ross Robbins

Mental hospital, my belly is
blood in open mouths, only
static comes back as they pin
me, a contented glaze in a
defective crystal, snap it back as
they are scrambled here, white
noise in the halls, no reprieve.
Now Karen chain-smokes
Camels, gripping them out in
the halls. I have healed through
two shots. Skull is a bitter
bastard. Quartz bones poke
through my eyes. I scream, “All
of John Lennon contains
messages from these Sunday
afternoons!” The patients
restrain me to carve the sap
out. Spratt Wing is littered with
skulls, nothing we would cheek.
Our fathers were human, too.
The water sprays. I restrain me
without choking. The black
ceiling, oh, I am a starfish.
Depression is a fluorescent
bulb. I slash myself on a very
personal level. I let the sap out,
smear it, lick it. My quartz
bones poke through my roots,
my roots. Redden my belly

Ross Robbins lives and writes in Portland, Oregon. His poems have appeared in BlazeVOX, HOUSEFIRE, Nailed Magazine, and Vinyl Poetry. His chapbooks, 80 Poems and I want to say how I feel and be done with it forever, are available from Powell’s Books, and the latter was selected as the Independent Publishing Resource Center’s January 2014 Zine of the Month.

Lead image: “Lier Mental Hospital” (via Flickr user Jarle Naustvik)

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