Strait Jacket

I am not an exceptional human being
for we all wear clothes
Slobbing around in PJ’s when
our tranquilized, minuscule world
is encapsulated
in a space called home
Killer heels when we’re facing the
fucked up world and we remember
who we are, and we straighten
our crowns
Perchance a smidgeon of warpaint
as our battle cries holler into
societal combat
Cherry lips and spider lashes
spun with purest L’Oreal

But I?
I wear a white strait jacket
White as in hospital issue
boiled to death grey
Sanitised and purity leeched
It looks rather smart with
my lithium eyes and my
lunacy smirk
I don’t wear it for ladies’ luncheons
as padded cells are lonesome bistros
And all that cutlery is contraband
And I’m not fucking Houdini

When my couture isn’t a
hospital inspired affair
I am living one
Valium junkie
Lithium chick
Watching the wall for
the clock tock ticks
which govern the drugs
which make me well
But make me sick
Don’t go high, you’ll crash
Don’t go low, you’ll crash
Can anyone tell me
how to score
a gram of sanity?

Does anyone want to
hold my strait jacket for me?
Try it on?
Wear it with me?

©2020 Sarah Drury

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

I Had a Dream

I thought about ending it all
of that sweet release
as I drifted off to sleep
Would it be all devils and pitchforks
and sunstroke in Hell?
Or would it be angels and clouds
and harps and Prozac?

And I had a dream
Like Martin Luther King
Except in mine I was knocking on
the doors of heaven
and they were locked
It said no mentally ill in here
And at first I thought maybe
they hadn’t seen
my clean heart
I had showered today and
that was a start
I didn’t look like a hooker
with my fuck me heels
and ripe cherry pout
So let me in

And I had a dream
like Martin Luther King
that even in my darkest hour
With pills in my palms
and debating the relevance of
my existence
Perceptions of the mentally ill
Would lose their sting of sour
Mental, loony, crackpot, psycho
lunatic, schizo
negative, negative, negative, negative
Tie me in a straight jacket
Lock me in a padded cell
And don’t forget the lithium!

And I had a dream
like Martin Luther king
But the people of colour
were free
and the mentally ill were slaves
And society was a hotbed of prejudice
And they put us in glass cages
And they paid a pound a peek
And they laughed
and they laughed
and they laughed

And I had a dream
Like Martin Luther King
where I knocked on Heaven’s door
and it was closed
Like the job applications
Like the lovers I’d had
Like the aspirations of being
‘normal’
Like my fake faced friends
Like my destiny

And I thought of the one thing
that tethers me to this Earth
And his tiny hand slipped in mine
And his tender heart healed my wounds
And I knew heaven
didn’t need another angel

©2020 Sarah Drury

Procrastinate

Feeling a bit lazy today and a bit lethargic. Could do without it as I have a million things to do.

I sit here
I procrastinate
Tv blaring
MTV churning out
the usual generic shit
Smooth guy
Don’t know why
this pathetic, inane drole
is called a mega hit
Put your clothes on woman
The diva title
don’t comfortably fit
Where’s your dignity?
Do you think it’s sexy
I know you think you’re lit
But you look like
a fame hungry tart
from where I’m sitting
in my baggy PJ’s
Shit all around me
Last night’s grimy pots
insulting the kitchen sink
Head’s pounding
Just wish I could think
Life’s got me in a head slam
Just wish I could move
Get my arse into gear
So I sit here and
the tears fall like
molten coffee beans
into the bitter dregs
of my Nescafe

Procrastinate
I fear
the social worker will
pop round
In for a penny
in for a pound
and do I give a fuck
I often wish my laziness
could just be mistook
for depression
Black dogs could
thankfully do the housework
I’d pay them in Prozac
and electro convulsive therapy
But I’m no dog trainer
My lackadaisical soul
is the astronomical fee
They have the leash
They’ve hoodwinked me
and I cannot see
the woods for
the piles of inertia

Procrastination
Write another poem?
Paint another masterpiece?
Should I pour out my soul?
I’m no Leonardo DaVinci
But slaving over dirt
is not my life goal
Drudgery, fucking drudgery
Washing up to the roof
Socks in piles waiting to
be sorted
Waiting for their soulmate
But my willpower’s contorted
My power lies in
the pen
not the fucking hoover

So, I procrastinate
I procrastinate

©2020 Sarah Drury

Same Day, Same Shit

Anxiety
You annoying bastard
You fucked up
half my day again
I know I am swearing
But I’m past fucking caring
How was my day darling?
(I talk to myself
‘cos I’m the only one
who bloody well listens)
And how can I say it
but it was shit again
shit again
Always shit again

Wearing anxiety
like it was some fucking
loser’s pageant crown
But I’m no fancy winner
I’m going down, down, down
I thought I’d ring my nurse
But same old, same old
‘You’re doing fine’
as if a 15lb baby is
working its way
out of my vagina
But I’d rather be knocked up
than screwed up

Pop another pill
Numb another feeling
You’d all get on my last nerve
If I weren’t tranqued out
of my mind
It’s getting where I sort
of like the feeling
Head dead
Horizontal on my bed
Mindfulness
says my therapist
who thinks he’s Sigmund Freud
And I am mindful that
of all my lovers
Sanity is the most
Fucking jealous

©2020 Sarah Drury

Dandelions

I sat and watched you in the garden
This morning
Your lips like fairy kisses
Blowing those dandelion seeds
Like scattered, forgotten dreams
Some victories, some near misses
Your little face like peach fuzz
Your glistening cherry pout
Poised to whisper those innocent wishes
Within and without
A wish for a promise
And I always promised you
Love

Boy, we have had our battles
Time when Fortune thought
She’d overdose us
For the adrenaline thrill
Maybe a lifetime sentence
With a mother like me
Was overkill
But hey
It’s character building
Watching mummy meltdown
Maybe pop a pill
Or plot ourselves in a movie

Maybe your wishes will be
Bigger than us
Maybe you’ll skip the mental bullshit
Get your ride in a limousine
Rather than catching the crazy bus
Maybe you’ll dare to dream
Where demons fear to live
For son you deserve the light
You put up with some shit
And I don’t know
If you’ll make it big
But I know
My love for you
Will always be
Bigger

© 2020 Sarah Drury

To the Misogynists

When I had a lengthy spell in hospital, many years ago, I was very poorly. I was on what is known as a ‘one to one’, which meant I had to have a nurse with me at all times. One evening, whilst sitting in my room watching TV with the staff nurse, he turned around and said to me, “you know that people like you should never have children, right??” Those words really hurt me and he should never have said that. I am now, many years later, mother to a son with Autism, and although i have times when I struggle with my mental health, my son has helped me stay as sane as I possibly can because I am all he’s got after his father died. He keeps me strong, and was a turning point in my life after many years in psychiatric hospitals.

I wrote this poem about the nurse’s cruel words.

Just because
Mental illness blights
My fragile mind
Just because
My soul travels
In divergent dimensions
Gives you
no fucking right
To play God
Or Hitler
With my right to
Bear child

Casting aspersions
Of prejudice
You broke me
May as well
Rip out my womb
And gift my ovaries
To the mentally stable
Yet barren

Mothers are born
Not made
Merciless are your
Arrogant aspersions
As callous words
Plummet in placentas
Of castigation
Blood staining
Your misogynist shoes

My right to
Bear child
Never smashed by
The patriarchy
Will be

I pray the vitriolic men
Within whose care
Rest women vulnerable
And broken
Embrace humanity
Whilst the tongues
Of those ridiculing
My maternal potential
Are bound in
Repentance
Regret
and
Retribution

©2020 Sarah Drury

Dancing With Dead Men

True story. Eight years ago I had a really bad manic episode where I became seriously psychotic. I fell in love with a spiritual teacher in America and this whole make believe relationship evolved. In my head he had magical powers. I would hear him talking to me and feel him making love to me. It was so real. But I was so poorly.

I could feel you, my love
But they said you weren’t there
They said it was all in my head
I was unwell
You were one I lived and breathed for
I was dancing with the dead
Mind wide open
Eyes wide shut
Fucking a man who lived in my psyche
Like some kind of rapturous, spiritualist slut
That the churches hate but the devil likes

Relationships are not easy
Maybe I needed someone to hold me
Someone to tell me it was ok
That I was ok
Some full on physical contact
To caress my lonely flesh
To satisfy me the way only
My lonely, aching soul knows best
You were half of my soul
A twin flame
You breathed in another continent
But your lungs belonged here
You had your spiritual fame
New Age spouting from a magnetic mouth
And for all of this shit you put the blame
On me
On my fifty shades of all kinds of crazy

I believed that through enchanted eyes
You watched me
You shifted the laws of the universe
To be with me
You spoke to me in my telepathy head
In stereotypical, happy storybook endings
Through some kind of
Screwed up mystical internet

Then I crashed like a game of Jenga
Tears of fear and desperation
Blown around like dandelion seeds
In a Salvador Dali surrealist creation
Trying to hold on
But my grip on reality was too weak
And my hands, my poor, weak hands

And then
I couldn’t feel you
My heart was beating solo
My mind had sunk so fucking low
They said it was all in my head
Take these pills they’ll sort you out
They said
And within four weeks
You were dead
To me

©2020 Sarah Drury