The Anti-Psychotic (Formally "Depot")

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Charles
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The Anti-Psychotic (Formally "Depot")

Post by Charles » Fri Apr 19, 2019 2:55 am

The Anti-Psychotic v3 (Formally Depot)

Starving hysterical naked, dragging…
Not the best mind of my generation…
I bared my brains to Dog-shit...


“Mr Gareth, Please report to treatment room”
Says the familiar tone. A monthly check-in;
“Are you well? Which side is it today?”

The intramuscular injection -
Respectfully clinical. Mercifully short,
She smiles with, perhaps, a hint of fear...

I shut my eyes and all the world goes on;
I lift my lids and all is the same.
(I think she’s annoyed that I’m late)


Or is that my lingering confusion?
Unkempt hair, bad breath and unwashed clothes -
despite my pressed shirts and smiles.

Much Madness is divinest Sense
but not the kind that holds up
London traffic and the 17 bus


No, I don’t miss all the poetry
Phantom lovers wrote to me on billboards -
Or the divine spark from the cereal box

Nor the declarations of personal interest
T.V. personas spoke to me in code -
I’ll leave that to my medical records.

I’d really rather not be always dancing
with that much made of muse, madness
when there is work to be done.





Depot v2

“Mr Grath, Please report to treatment room”
Says the familiar tone. A monthly check-in;
“Are you well? Which side is it today?”

I shut my eyes and all the world goes on;
I lift my lids and all is the same.
(I think she’s annoyed that I’m late)


The injection into the left buttock.
Respectfully clinical. Mercifully short,
A smile with, perhaps, a hint of fear...

Or is that the lingering confusion
of unkempt hair, bad breath and unwashed clothes -
despite my pressed shirts and smiles.

Starving hysterical naked, dragging…
Not the best mind of my generation…
I bared my brains to Dog-shit...


No, I don’t miss all the messages
Phantom lovers sent to me on billboards -
Or the divine spark from the cereal box.

The declarations of personal interest
T.V. personas spoke to me directly-
I’ll leave that to my medical records.

Much Madness is divinest Sense
but not the kind that holds up
London traffic and the 17 bus


I walk back out into a world
awake from some misguided dream
to find my way into everyday, again.


Depot (original)

Starving hysterical naked, dragging…
Not the best mind of my generation…
I bared my brains to Dog-shit...


Driven by resigned determination
to get down to the 9 to 5 routine -
Morrison’s groceries wait for no man.

“Mr Grath, Please report to treatment room”
Says the familiar tone. A monthly check-in;
“Are you well? Which side is it today?”

I shut my eyes and all the world goes on;
I lift my lids and all is the same.
(I think she’s annoyed that I’m late)


The injection into the left buttock:
Respectfully clinical. Mercifully short.
A smile with, perhaps, a hint of fear...

Or is that the lingering confusion
Of unkempt hair, bad breath and unwashed clothes -
Despite my pressed shirts and smiles.

Much Madness is divinest Sense -
But not the kind that holds up
London traffic and the No.321 bus


No, I don’t miss all the messages
phantom lovers sent to me on billboards -
or the divine spark from the cereal box.

I’d really rather not be always dancing
with that much made of muse, madness
when I have shelves to stack.
Last edited by Charles on Fri Jun 14, 2019 4:14 am, edited 2 times in total.

bjondon
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Re: Depot

Post by bjondon » Fri Apr 19, 2019 3:33 pm

Yes, very good . . . all in the title
S4 my fave . . . so far
Will be back after others have savoured.
Jules

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Re: Depot

Post by ton321 » Sat Apr 20, 2019 12:27 am

Starving hysterical naked, dragging…
Not the best mind of my generation…
I bared my brains to Dog-shit...

Driven by resigned determination
to get down to the 9 to 5 routine -
Morrison’s groceries wait for no man.

“Mr Grath, Please report to treatment room”
Says the familiar tone. A monthly check-in;
“Are you well? Which side is it today?”

I shut my eyes and all the world goes on;
I lift my lids and all is the same.
(I think she’s annoyed that I’m late)

The injection into the left buttock:
Respectfully clinical. Mercifully short.
A smile with, perhaps, a hint of fear...

Or is that the lingering confusion
Of unkempt hair, bad breath and unwashed clothes -
Despite my pressed shirts and smiles.

Much Madness is divinest Sense -
But not the kind that holds up
London traffic and the No.321 bus

No, I don’t miss all the messages
phantom lovers sent to me on billboards -
or the divine spark from the cereal box.

I’d really rather not be always dancing
with that much made of muse, madness
when I have shelves to stack.


Hi Charles,
I liked it. Its a brave piece and says it how it is, and is a difficult subject to talk about. I think you could lose the first stanza because it sets the wrong sort of tone( in my opinion), to lead people in. I think stanza 8 could serve as an intro, without being too bolshy about it,
Tony
Counting the beats,
Counting the slow heart beats,
The bleeding to death of time in slow heart beats,
Wakeful they lie.

Robert Graves

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Re: Depot

Post by HonourStedman » Sun Apr 28, 2019 3:14 pm

Powerful stuff Charles, and essentially well-crafted without losing its directness and ability to stir the emotions. I think that Tony is right to pick up on the first stanza although I would rather it were re-worked rather than abandoned.

Charles
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Re: Depot

Post by Charles » Mon May 06, 2019 11:27 pm

Hi All,

A belated thanks for the responses Jules, Tony and Stedman. I'm really glad you appreciated it. Yes hear the message about the first paragraph, perhaps it would fit further down the poem?

I wonder how many got the allusions? The italicised verses are alluding to various poem about madness. "Howl", "Mad girl's love song" and most obviously emily dickinson in S7. Obviously the idea is a counterpoint to romanticisation of mental illness through poetry, not that good poets do this, but in the general reception of poetry it is a theme. I'm not sure about the ending though. Seems to labour the point a bit as well as giving N. a more pathetic "cured" life that I intended. Have reworded both ends in the revision above. :)

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Re: Depot

Post by Gorgonshead » Tue May 07, 2019 2:21 am

Hi Charles -

I am impressed by this piece.

1. I like the allusions a lot. I knew the Allen Ginsberg right away, him being one of my favorites. The Emily Dickenson I didn't know ー shame on me. Sylvia Plath's makes my jaw drop ー I always find her shocking. Lovely that you kept her parenthetical form "...(I think I made you up inside my head.)"
2. Yet, mental illness does touch us all in one way or another, and it's no walk in the park. For me, it destroyed my brother's life. Is it wrong to romanticize? Perhaps so, but on the other hand, I have written so many lines about my brother, his life and his death, that it seems like therapy for me.
3. Am I right that the title refers to depot injections of anti-psychotic medications? Is this treatment well known to people? If not, would "depot injection" be an alternative title?
4. This poem makes me want to cry. Thanks for writing it.

Peter L

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Re: Depot

Post by bjondon » Wed May 08, 2019 9:21 pm

A judicious revision Charles.
All I would change now is revert back to
version one's final stanza . . . I thought the stacking
shelves line a much better ending and to me it linked
to the act of writing poetry - the contrarian implication
being that the controlled mind is actually the real source
of creativity.
Dog Shit is a particularly powerful type of marijuana, so I assumed
you were referring to the many cases of induced psychosis/schizophrenia
caused by heavy pot use on the still developing brain . . . the depot injection
angle is new to me so maybe that would make a better title if that was your
meaning.
Jules

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Re: Depot

Post by NotQuiteSure » Thu May 09, 2019 4:39 pm

.
Hi Charles,
enjoyed this, once gorgonshead had explained the significance of the title.
The only real weakness, to me, is the penultimate line.

On the off-chance you're still looking at the order


No, I don’t miss all the messages
Phantom lovers sent to me on billboards -
Or the divine spark from the cereal box.

- is 'sent to me on' the best phrase?

Nor The declarations of personal interest
T.V. personas spoke to me directly-
I’ll leave that to my medical records.

- 'T.V personas' is a little confusing (and the repetition
of 'to me' seems weak).

Much Madness is divinest Sense
but not the kind that holds up
London traffic and the 17 bus


“Mr Grath, Please report to treatment room”
Says the familiar tone. A monthly check-in;
“Are you well? Which side is it today?”

left buttock.
The [subcutaneous/intradermal/intramuscular ?] injection into the
Respectfully clinical. Mercifully short,
A smile with, perhaps, a hint of fear...

- not entirely sure who's smiling.

I shut my eyes and all the world goes on;
I lift my lids and all is the same.
(I think she’s annoyed that I’m late)

Or is that the lingering confusion
of unkempt hair, bad breath and unwashed clothes -
despite my pressed shirts and smiles.

- maybe 'lips' for 'smiles'?

Starving hysterical naked, dragging…
Not the best mind of my generation…
I bared my brains to Dog-shit...

I walk back out into a world
awake from some misguided dream
to find my way into everyday, again.
- not sure about the repetition of 'into'

Regards, Not.


.

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Re: Depot

Post by Gorgonshead » Fri May 10, 2019 12:07 pm

Charles --

Some thoughts:

1. I like the point in the original that the narrator is in the world, pressed shirt and smiles, and employed. Achievements made. Leaving the delusions of grandeur from ones condition behind-- The mundane becoming preferable to the "poetic"ー Leaving the bizare, enticing, and entrancing illusions behind. The revision seems to minimize the achievements especially the ability to get a job. (Mental illness almost always makes this impossible.)
2. Stanza 3-4:

I wonder if a change to:

Her (or his) smile with, perhaps, a hint of fear...
a recollection of unkempt hair, bad breath, and unwashed hair
(and so on)

----> That is IF indeed the line is in reference to the nurse's prior impression.

----> IF on the other hand it is the narrator's self-impressions past and present:

or is that my lingering confusion
(and so on)

----> Of course, IF you intend the ambiguity the current version is fine (with me).

ー Peter L

Charles
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Re: Depot

Post by Charles » Wed May 22, 2019 10:24 pm

Hi All,

Sorry I'm so tardy on the responses.

Peter thank you for your response, I'm really glad you appreciated it (and the allusions). Very sorry to hear of your brother.

Yes you're not the only one who isn't familiar with the term "depot injection" so I think it worth looking at the title and use Not's always useful reworking of that paragraph to make plain what is going on in the text of the poem, rather than the title.

There seems to be resistance to the new ending, on reflection it is a bit vaguer and more philosophical than the previous one and perhaps betraying some of my own prejudices that I consider stacking shelves "pathetic". I'll take this on board and perhaps restore.

Finally yes the intent behind the "despite pressed shirts and smiles" is to contrast N's former "mad" self and to evoke both his own insecurities in that it's still "under the surface" so to speak, and his still existing paranoia about how the people who have knowledge of his history view him. I'll have a think about this because it is supposed to be a simple "both/and" rather than vague.

Thanks for the reworking Not, as ever very useful. I will change the final stanza to something closer to the original and take on board your reworking and suggestions.

Jules,
The fact that dog shit is a type of weed was not actually at all in my mind. Though it's an interesting twist on the situation, so might leave that wording in all the same. And yes the idea of moving from grandiose fantasy to harder, more humble but ultimately more rewarding reality is one of the themes of the poem. As I've said, I agree with you on reflection that the previous ending probably did this better.

Thanks again all.

Charles
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Re: The Anti-Psychotic (Formally "Depot")

Post by Charles » Fri Jun 14, 2019 4:15 am

Revision up.

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Re: The Anti-Psychotic (Formally "Depot")

Post by NotQuiteSure » Fri Jun 14, 2019 12:09 pm

.
Hi Charles.

I don't think the final three stanzas work, (seven and eight don't add much, and it feels
that it takes a bit too long to get to the ending - though maybe that's the intended effect).

Maybe 'An' for 'The' in the title?

S3 - 'she smiles' - not getting this when combined with 'annoyed' and 'fear'. I'd suggest 'efficient'
and reworking the (rather bald) 'hint of fear'. Why would she be afraid? Also 'smiles' here undercuts
'smiles' in S5.
I find it difficult to imaging that the Poet wouldn't want to play with the word 'depot'
Just a thought
The intramuscular injection -
Respectfully clinical. Mercifully short,
'Another bus leaves the depot'. She winces.


S5 - not sure about the punctuation. Or the jump from 'confusion' to 'unkempt'
Could be rewritten along the lines of
Or is that my lingering confusion?
Despite my pressed shirts,
my unkempt hair, bad breath, my unwashed clothes
?
(the 'hair/breath' feel like the same thing, and, given 'pressed shirts' might 'unwashed
clothes' be a bit more specific?)

I thought 'stacking shelves' was a more concrete image than the revision.
(To what, in the context of the poem, does 'dancing' refer to?)


Just a cut and paste suggestion.


“Mr Gareth, Please report to treatment room”
Says the familiar tone. A monthly check-in;
“Are you well?"
Starving hysterical naked, dragging…
Not the best mind of my generation…
I bared my brains to Dog-shit...

.................."Which side is it today?”

The intramuscular injection -
Respectfully clinical. Mercifully short,
She smiles
I shut my eyes and all the world goes on;
I lift my lids and all is the same.
(I think she’s annoyed that I’m late)

............with, perhaps, a hint of fear...

Or is that my lingering confusion?
Unkempt hair, bad breath and unwashed clothes -
despite my pressed shirts
Much Madness is divinest Sense
but not the kind that holds up
London traffic and the 17 bus

...............................and smiles.

I walk back out into the world
to find my way in the everyday, again.
No, I don’t miss all the poetry

I’d really rather not always be dancing
with that much made of muse,
when there is work to be done.


Regards, Not


.

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Re: The Anti-Psychotic (Formally "Depot")

Post by Leaf » Sun Jun 16, 2019 6:12 pm

Hi Charles,

This is an interesting one :-)

The allusions you mention in one of your comments are rather lost on me, unfortunately, but the subject isn't, by any means. In my case, it's been an intramuscular injection of steroids in left/right buttock as part of auto-immune arthritis treatment, but elements of the hospital world are very well known.

Also, having been on the wards a few times over the years, I've got to know a lot of people, some with mental health issues. So I'm probably what some might call an 'ideal reader' for this type of poem. I certainly think there's a lot of potential for juxtaposing the romantic and the real.

Unfortunately I've run out of brain for any useful suggestions this evening, but I just thought I'd pop in and nod vigorously for now :-)

Best wishes,
Leaf

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