Tag Archives: mental illness



The pyramids he built had magical powers, sharpening his used razor blades while happy-sad Jesus watched from a frame on the wall.

Then he dismantled the family car, replicating a Chilton’s Manual diagram on the driveway.

He often argued with a gun barrel. It had the last word eventually, silencing the voices.


A word about this week’s 52 Words in 52 Weeks Story. The prompt was “pyramids”.

When most people think of “pyramids” they think of the ancient wonders in Egypt. When I hear the word “pyramid” it triggers memories of my dad and one of his many obsessions.

No one noticed the signs, or if they did they didn’t say, because we didn’t talk about mental illness back then. People suffered in silence, or self medicated with alcohol like my dad. He may very well have been a genius, but he was also bat-shit crazy. I loved him dearly; he terrified me. He was the “monster” of my childhood nightmares.

So I’m stepping up on my soapbox for a moment. Mental illness is not a weakness or embarrassment. We need to talk about it. For heaven’s sake, if you or someone you love is suffering, get help. There is help to be found. There is no one like you. Really. No one like you.

And if writing about this can help save just one person from my dad’s fate, it will have been worth pouring my heart out on this page….

Growing Up Crazy

there were lucid happy moments
i remember them oh so well,
fishing for pike in northern lakes,
Gun Smoke reruns in black and white

learning to drive, taking the stage,
there were lucid happy moments
hid in closets praying for sleep,
Midwest tornados, swirling rage

pyramids and razor blades,
Doe’s Motel homeless, swimming pools,
there were lucid happy moments
jumping from window fire drills

mania trapped in dark light strobe
how does one escape it unscathed
retrospect gleans the good from not
there were lucid happy moments

(A Quatern)

Happy Father’s Day, Daddy. I hope you found the peace that eluded you in life…

April Poetry Month – A Poem a Day #2

Today’s poetry form: Free Verse

* Free verse poems have no regular meter and rhythm.
* They do not follow a proper rhyme scheme as such; these poems do not have any set rules.
* This type of poem is based on normal pauses and natural rhythmical phrases as compared to the artificial constraints of normal poetry.
* It is also called vers libre which is a French word.

I often write free verse at 3 am mid-REM. This is one of those brain-flushing poems, particularly poignant for me. Free form is my raw unfettered side with no boundaries to keep me from spilling out. Its form title, “FREE Verse” echoes the soul of this particular piece. Both of my parents suffered from severe, undiagnosed, untreated mental illness. Each eventually ended their own life to silence the madness. I have chosen life. The lunacy stops with me. I am free.

Childhood Crazy

He was obsidian in a naugahyde recliner,
a red hot cigarette tip, heavy with ash, suspended in the blank space between us,
Inconsolable shell of burdensome flesh smoldering in silence,
clock ticking, refrigerator humming, faucet dripping,
Sepia Jesus scowling from the frame on the wall.

He was white deafening noise.
A dizzy streak of laser precision, constructing pyramids of tin,
preoccupied with aliens, reincarnation and escape plans,
dismantling, rebuilding, obsessing over the unfitted, left-over parts,
ever seeking the subtle smiling approval of happy, golden-haloed Jesus.

Terrifying and thrilling, monster and superhero,
doomsdayer, naysayer, cheerleader, dragonslayer,
fragile broken parent figure, angel, demon, candle burning at both ends.
A short-fused powder keg, self-combusting,
disillusioned by fickle wishy-washy Jesus, pulling a trigger to end the pain.

His poison festers in my cells, lethal shards of DNA,
catching waves of white and crimson coursing through my veins, settling in my brain.
A childhood refrain of mania to gloom, neglected, undiagnosed crazy.
Daddy, if we had only known, we might have saved you.
Consoled with pharmaceuticals, severing the chain…at least I can save myself.

kat ~ 2 Apri‪‪l 2016‬‬

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