The Perils of Flying

Surprisingly, I don’t post every single poem I write on this blog.  This was one that I chose to withhold for reasons I won’t go into here.  It was one of the poems I wrote very rapidly (under 30 minutes), but was selected for publication in my school’s literary magazine.

The formatting of this poem was inspired by Marie Howe’s “Magdelene – The Seven Devils.”  This homage surely doesn’t do it justice, so please do read it if you have time.

I would like to thank the people who inspired this poem (and several others that have been/will be published) for their friendship and support during our journeys to health.

The first problem was that they said schizophrenia
if they meant bipolar disorder,
bipolar disorder if they meant D.I.D.,
and It’s okay if they meant Please leave.
The second problem was that they never said it was okay.

No, the first problem was really when you knocked
your laptop off your desk in class and didn’t tell
anyone that it wasn’t an accident, and the second problem –

the first problem was the night you spent
copying the Book of Revelations into a notebook
the second problem was the second night
and the third night was the first problem.

The second problem was that her skin didn’t feel
like fire and gold like the girl in your painting and
the third problem was that the closer you got to paradise
the louder the angels became,
the third problem was really

that the sixth heaven was full of angels
with voices like lions and the fourth problem
was the problem set you forgot about
since you had spent the third night covered in paint.

The fifth problem was that there was no problem.

The sixth problem was that there really was a problem,
and the seventh problem was that you didn’t see the other
six problems until it was much too late and you had nothing
to say to her when just yesterday you had talked about

eighteen different things over lunch including illegal whaling,
rap music, electrical circuits, surrealism, God, diamonds, and
the eighth problem, which was that you couldn’t
remember the last time you had slept and also that you
didn’t care.

The sixth problem was the night you finally fell asleep, the
seventh problem was the screaming that woke you up at three
in the morning – no, the seventh problem was that you looked
for whoever was screaming for half an hour before you realized

no one else could hear them. The seventh problem was also
when they said What are those scratches on your arms,
the eighth problem was when they didn’t believe what you said
about the angels, and the ninth problem,

which is also
the first, is that you are currently here,
in a room with a small neat bed, a pillow,
and no angels, and nothing about this
is what you had pictured for yourself,

nothing at all.


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