Having returned from an east coast trip to attend the memorial of my stepfather, I am a little late with my monthly update. The trip back east was hard as my mother is currently suffering from her loss. I tried to spend time with her to offer her support, but my need to stay busy and our vastly differing interests made the week challenging for both of us.
Those who may have visited my blog may notice that I have only published one post this month. I have been working extensively on one essay that I am trying to prepare to get published. It is frustrating because I feel unproductive, but I have a need to master the essay and prove that I can publish.
Continue reading “Waiting to Hear Back”
Through a sea of tissues and a hacking cough, I scan Netflix pressing that stubborn button on my Roku remote multiple times. I read the summations of shows for several minutes until I come across a documentary called, the 13th. Finally, I settle in. Resting is not an easy thing to do with that constant sense of urgency I live with.
I don’t know what’s worse these days: dragging through a pre-holiday week on the outpatient psychiatric unit on Dayquil; or listening to the radio talk about impending loss as the new cabinet of Trump supporters get selected.
A cross town slog into East Oakland after work on the unit one night last week revealed once again that the streets are ever-burgeoning with homeless, some of whom I know intimately. In each car encampment, I saw a distinctive cultural story that needs to be heard.
Continue reading “Affects of Psychiatric Incarceration”
And so I’m hanging with my main man, Dan
Who can’t afford rent, dignity now inept,
Cause federal subsidy is a damn scam!
And we imagine shelterless street sultans
Rooting through boarding home shanties, stench swept
And so I’m hanging with my main man, Dan
Continue reading “The Day the Bomb Dropped”
Belizaro’s old Ford pickup
Strained to cross the deep ruts
It has gauged into me,
Grinding its wheels
Across my soft black earth.
The truck coughed an echo
Against my silent countryside,
Carrying in it
An empty-hearted American boy
Who had come to see
My fields of working men.
Wheezing to a halt,
Its echo was replaced
By the steady:
Of swinging machetes
That remained submerged
In the tall stalked grass
That grows between the mango trees
And Belizaro’s sugar cane.
Continue reading “A Vulgar Marxist Beat”
I can see you skittering through my soul.
I can see blood pulse through your kidney corpse.
Dripping live cells into some fertile hole
For upon human life your presence torques
Blood pressured fear. And the multitude
Abandon city and sleep on sheets clean.
You sit in your puddle of Raid and laugh
And will roll on your back in buoyant mood.
Though we may have killed you, our joy is lean
And your joy is our fear inspired staph.
Continue reading “Ode to a Cockroach”
Ever since I finally, at the age of forty-three, published some of my writing, I’ve found that I am particularly prone to pain again. Ever since, each morning I have woken up driven to find ways to get people to read my book.
A year and a month later, I have primarily had to pay people to check out my work. There are those who accepted the free book without giving it a read, let alone write promised reviews. Sure the memoir itself has collected two awards and primarily five star reviews, but amid the boom of self-published authors I find myself more hurt by the silent echo, than grateful to the friends who have read, and not balked.
After a tough week, I find this pain expounding itself through every facet of my consciousness. I am out walking with my wife and I think about how psychiatrists have hustled me through explanation of my psychotherapy; about the numerous presentations I have provided that ended up empty; about leaders of the psychiatric survivors movement who promote those with less experience; about the presentation when I had people finally laughing and listening to me, and the smoke bomb that forced evacuation. There were past company owners who hired me, ignored statistics as I worked sixty hour weeks and demoted me . . .
Continue reading “On a Writer’s Need for Acknowledgement”
I wanted to thank the Daily News for covering the Deborah Danner shooting in a way that bears witness to experiences of stigma, oppression, and extreme isolation that Ms. Danner went through.
As a licensed mental health practitioner who has been exceedingly lucky to be able to provide services to extraordinary individuals like Ms. Danner over the past decade plus, I am am privy to many silenced stories that fit her profile. I find myself surprised and grateful that in this era of turmoil that the perspective in her essay makes its way to the public.
Eight years ago, frustrated by the limits of standard treatment, I started to run groups that sought to access experiences of oppression triggered by supernatural experiences such as Ms. Danner’s premonition about her future victimization by cop.
Continue reading “Letter To New York Daily News”