Saturday, November 01, 2008

Megan Burns

from Anatomy of Depression

the world as ordered                      if you depend

on your mind for translation

sit down

if you recognize these thoughts as other

                                            or if you deny easily that

                                            which could be defined as disturbing


                                                        a romantic indisposition

I believed I had a right to my wrong thinking on some level.

                             it was mine and to be defended

imagine:             healthy

                              as a species of flower

                                                             as a turn in the weather

                               as a geographical pinpoint

                                                             as a location found by vertical and horizontal planes intersecting

it’s one thing to speak of what is misfiring
and another to locate

here in the deep, deep recesses of porous organ
           half able to function coherently
                                                                       what half is left and is this accurate

what percentage and on what days and on what dosage

                                                   Are you beginning to divide
                                                                       the notion of trust?

animate object: as other that lives in me
inanimate object: as quieted by this medicine and
put to sleep, a wild animal stuffed and mounted
glassy-eyed wonder
of how it arrived


                               as a gift from those before me

a realm of suffering

to greater clarity

here is the diseased mind realm

                                         am I making too much of it?

I’d hate to draw attention to it, the gaze then lends it value
but to ignore—does “not seeing” mean… what am I afraid of is that
the reader will think it is simply the vehicle for my desire, for my
identity but I am the vehicle, I’m certain, that it has gotten in
beside me

                                                               where are we going?

a small insect blows onto the open pages of Brenda’s book

lands on “Rare held over world”

from here on Folsom Street

I can see Jack Collom bringing in his dirty laundry

                              define the hidden: as dirty laundry
                              skeletons in the closet
                                                                          dirty skeletons

bone left
                                         (dirty organ)

skeletal: tactile, able to walk out on its own

laundry: tactile, able to be cleansed

                                                   this is a map of hope in revelation

mind as imaginary, as illusory, as porous

the examiner knows that when you open the skull
the brain can crumble within seconds
upon losing its container
upon touch

fragment                                fragile                                fingered mush

must be poisoned further to provide the perfect specimen

formaldehyde, spun in a web of fluid and glass
           suspended and sliced to millimeter
  slid onto thin sections of plastic and caught under the magnifying glass

                               this sheer exposition

                                                             what went wrong?

even then how to connect dead tissue to the imagination
to the cellular experience
to see how the drugs changed the identity

                                                       my place in the world

the amount of space I took up

                               the gap left that haunted me

where the I     I was not fell behind
                                         but followed me

I can see her out of the corner of my eye.

                               who said this?

                                         Am I too gone to be

Being healed is a misnomer.

Health in that sense is not
something attainable.

Remove heal from thy language.

Insert “contained”
Insert “changed”
Insert __________

Megan Burns is the author of Memorial + Sight Lines (Lavender Ink 2008). She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize in poetry and has been published in Exquisite Corpse, Contance Magazine, YAWP and Callaloo. She lives in New Orleans and runs the 17 Poets! Reading Series with poet Dave Brinks.

Megan Burns Jefferson Hansen Lois Marie Harrod Michael Lee Johnson Christopher Barnes Linda Graham Laurie Cook

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