Beanbags

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ray miller
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Beanbags

Post by ray miller » Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:59 pm

At the Central Hospital School of Nursing
students and tutors became acquainted
by throwing beanbags and naming their target
until we knew each other by heart.
Patients were likewise labelled and filed,
a shuffling gait indicated psychosis,
fine tremors and dystonia a dual diagnosis,
signs and symptoms were delineated, broken brains
marinated on shelves or laid head to head
in the back wards sleeping. The hypnotic
effect of asylums was seeping
from water-towers, under locked doors,
through pyjama cords and electric cables.
It’s all in the mind, pronounced Dr Morgan,
lovingly stroking his DSM bible,
which then ran to almost 500 pages.
Organic disorders, endogenous depression,
faulty genetics, biochemical treatment.
Is there anyone who’d disagree with that?
Mine was the only hand half-ascended,
to assert that I kept my mind open about it.
I was classified as passive-aggressive.
Now the DSM weighs in at 1000 pages,
psychiatry’s institutions are houses
and medicine gives birth to new diseases
at a rate that might make the angels weep,
if an excess of grief wasn’t thought to augur
the onset of an Adjustment Disorder.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

David Smedley
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Re: Beanbags

Post by David Smedley » Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:05 pm

Interesting write pal. Especially (to me) the quoted piece below, and in particular the labelling of being "passive aggressive" because of "open mindedness", I lump that garbage in with all the PC nonsense that inhabits the world these days, Analytical thinking? God Forbid!
Mine was the only hand half-ascended,
to assert that I kept my mind open about it.
I was classified as passive-aggressive.
At the Central Hospital School of Nursing
students and tutors became acquainted
by throwing beanbags and naming their target
until we knew each other by heart.
I wanted to sequence the naming before the throwing otherwise the naming would have to be done whilst the "beanbag is in mid-air.

D.

NotQuiteSure
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Re: Beanbags

Post by NotQuiteSure » Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:41 pm

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Really enjoyed this ray.
Particularly images like 'broken brains',
and not forgetting the rhymes.
Got lost on 'water towers' and 'through pyjama cords'
L15 - 'bible is disappointing in that it is expected
(perhaps 'holy writ' or 'unholy writ').
L20 - 'half-ascended' doesn't work for me, too self-conscious.
L22 - nice :)
L23 - could you not refer to the DSM as the bible here and avoid the repetition?
L26 - 'angels weep', yes it loosely follows 'bible', but it is rather predictable.
Good ending, though the 'auger/disorder' rhyme feels almost blatant and distracting.

Regards, Not.
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Joao
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Re: Beanbags

Post by Joao » Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:56 pm

I particularly like the doctor stroking the DSM 'bible': that false benevolence and the patronising self-assurance of the inquisitor towards the muzzled victim. The 'stroking' has (ironically) a hint of sadism in it (I thought of the torturer caressing his whip), but maybe I'm projecting (I'm sure there's a diagnosis for this in the DSM).

"I was classified as passive-aggressive"
Very funny, I like this, though it becomes a bit repetitive when you tell the same joke at the end of the poem ("Adjustment Disorder").

I re-read the bit about the hypnotic power of asylums a few times, but also couldn't understand it.

ray miller
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Re: Beanbags

Post by ray miller » Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:07 am

Thanks for the comments.
David - I think the idea was to name the person while the beanbag was in mid-air. Some threw faster than others, of course.
Not - the water towers passage is meant to be highly symbolic. I guess you had to be there.
I'll probably avoid the DSM repeat by just using Manual.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

1lankest
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Re: Beanbags

Post by 1lankest » Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:49 pm

Your poetry has the uncomfortable effect of making me laugh when i shouldn't. Or perhaps i shouldm maybe it is like the soldiers placing bets i the trenches over who will die first. Quite appropriate. Survival.

V good, Ray. As per.

L

ray miller
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Re: Beanbags

Post by ray miller » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:29 pm

1lankest wrote:Your poetry has the uncomfortable effect of making me laugh when i shouldn't.

L
Me too. Thanks, Luke.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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