Wu Shih / “Nothing Special” [Free Verse]

a steady rain patters
into puddles
far below

i close my eyes,
listening for a
pattern

but it's chaotic -
 a random rhythm that
tugs at my eyelids,

lulling me into 
a dull state of mind

BOOK REVIEW: MonsterMind by Alfonso Casas

MonsterMind: Dealing with Anxiety & Self-DoubtMonsterMind: Dealing with Anxiety & Self-Doubt by Alfonso Casas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Amazon.in Page

Out: October 12, 2021

This comic offers a clever and insightful look at the voices inside one’s head. The use of cute graphic depictions of fears, doubts, and past traumas – along with lighthearted narrative analogies – allows the reader to explore the subject matter in a manner that is neither dry nor anxiety-inducing, in and of itself. This apparently autobiographical book shows how a comic artist, beleaguered by the monstrous occupants of his own mind, goes from being overwhelmed to learning to manage his mind.

At the end of the book there are a few pages of tips, both for dealing with one’s own anxieties but also for interacting with others who have intense embattled minds. It’s a book that may even be more beneficial for individuals without crippling issues themselves, but who know or love such individuals. The use of graphic depictions and adroit portrayals of anxiety may help individuals who haven’t faced severe issues to gain a better understanding of what goes on in the minds of those who do. Having said that, these “monsters” will be familiar to everyone on some level, though for many that that level doesn’t necessarily interfere with living their lives.

I’d highly recommend this book for anyone looking for a gentle and amusing introduction to the topic of the runaway mind. It’s delightfully drawn and amusingly told.


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That Last Lost Generation [Free Verse]

Only too eager to have the machine
installed in their brains,
they did what they could, 
and, instead, installed
their brains into the machine.

Data sparkled in the mind void,
bouncing about and careening 
into other bytes and clusters.

But the crash cascades always came,
a cannibalistic consumption 
of fact,
transmogrifying it into
a shabby soup of 
quasi-reality.

Brain-pans paining,
densely packed with
alternate realities
that could never 
be rectified.

By the time they realized
the virtue of going out 
to play,
they were no longer sure what
"outside" 
meant --
Outside of what?
Where's the exit?
Where is there something else?
-something simple?
How's one get off this speeding bus? 

It became the pain
that ruled that
last lost generation.

POEM: Information Age Ailment

Screaming streams of information
pelt all corners of the mind.
Neurons are constantly
flickering with flinches. 

Meanwhile, the body 
whispers its secrets
in the hushed tones
of a prayer uttered 
during a shootout. 

Subconscious [Haibun]

Couriers carry communiques from town to town in the country of me. These secret messages are unprojected, but couriers sometimes sneak peeks. Then, a summary can be read in an expression - a precis that could elsewise not be divined. An expression read from aspect of eye is a hint, and is as reliable as any hint  -- which is to say, not very. A hint is subject to misinterpretation. It presupposes a common language, a lingua franca that doesn't exist because one side has no language and the other is afflicted by the arrogant assumption that all things are understood via language. 

shooting signals
snap through the unmapped
spaces of my mind

POEM: Floating in the Nowhere [PoMo Day 21 – Narrative]

In the lunatic asylum,
it's quiet after the meds round.

R's mind was in the madhouse,
but his body was in a lifeboat,
or maybe vice versa,
he couldn't tell for sure.

He only knew that he was floating,
and, sometimes, it was too choppy,
and if life got too happy,
he felt that it was fake.

The open sea 's a harsh place,
but no worse than the where he carried
everywhere he ventured
inside his dense brainpan.

A fatal, futile option
was selected with a button
that may -- or may not -- have resided
within his very soul.

So thirsty and so lonely --
side-effects of something.
It might have been the meds,
or, perhaps, the salty air.

He chose to think he wasn't
bounded by a nutshell;
though his brand of crazy
was quiet before the storm. 

One day his kidneys gave out.
Who could've ever imagined
that such a thing could happen
in such a place as that.

POEM: Seashore Mind [PoMo Day 15 – Villanelle]

The waves are churned to foam.
The sight mesmerizes.
My mind is miles from home.

My seated self does roam --
chaos that surprises,
like waves are churned to foam.

Like one w/ Capgras Syndrome,
hustler mistrust arises.
My mind 's wary of home. 

I focus on the chrome,
but my ear recognizes
the waves that churn to foam.

I've vagabond chromosomes,
but still the thought chastises:
"Your mind is miles from home!"

I'm sitting all alone,
and my mind surmises:
Like waves churned to foam,
your mind 's so far from home.

POEM: Mental Weather

My mind experiences unforecastable weather.

Adrift in horse latitudes
Tortured by a polar vortex

Low pressure systems
to
High pressure systems

Storm fronts & storm surges

Partly sunny / partly cloudy
or
Partly cloudy / partly sunny
[Depending upon whether I’m in a glass-half-full or glass-half-empty kind of mood.]

Lightening strikes
Wind shear / wind chill / wind chimes
Squalls
Droughts, often followed by flash flooding
Breezes, blizzards, and breezy blizzards
Microbursts
Flood crests
Nor’easters

Due points and do points [if not a dew point]
Topical depression — though no tropical depressions

Hail storms

Sun Dogs & rainbows