Poem – RE: The Cuckoo’s Nest


A brief word in explanation of the poem

RE: The Cuckoo’s Nest was written in a period of deep anxiety & illness in 2013. It was 1 of several poems intended as a volume. The vast majority of these works suffered from rather fundamental failings, amongst them a deeply rooted pessimism & a tendency toward obscurity. This defect is felt in the present poem’s “A Prayer / Cut-Up” section.

With this said, RE: The Cuckoo’s Nest seemed to me as a work worth preserving. Its subject is mental illness, disability & their relationship to Capitalist society, metphorically conveyed in its dialogue with the great, liberal classic One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Despite the poem’s more vulgar aspects & its more obtuse stanzas, it demonstrates sincerely my faith in the political agency & liberation of the mentally ill & disabled. It is a poem of protest & its entire text is an echo of this. It is for this reason I present my work intact.

Content warning: ableism, ableist slurs, violence.

RE: The Cuckoo’s Nest

How I hate those who are dedicated to producing conformity.’
— William S. Burroughs.

“Recovery Zone” (Pt. I)

“like a poem in the dark—escaped back to Oblivion—”
everything is anti-septic/sterile

the clothes are drowned in detergent
(needles are sterile)
the bed-sheets are scrubbed 19 hours

lobotomy on floor 6; lobotomy on floor 14

(gloves are plastic —————— sterile also…)

furnished only by soap-suds & muted American-Indian monks
mop! everything must be clean!’                           ‘are we infectious?’

(TV is sterile)
& no smoking ‘cause everything

everything is anti-septic/sterile
“I cannot touch you & this is the oppressor’s language”


torrid bed
thick, numb hands             it’s raining
grey out & grey in
plipplopploip        (out)

painting:                                                                                !£££!

black spot —— the hollow heart of the stomach

there are 2 women & 2 men on the train
an old couple, a young couple —— a young couple
we seem dowdy in their puffed-up waterproofs
(worn without irony) & their forms, their bodies,
which are stunted
dwarfism, cerebral palsy etc
(things that warp) ————— deep, profound
tragedy of “sickness” & the oppressor’s language

“distortion” always carries with it dark
connotations of decay, the embryo of Death
& society seeks to push this unto a revulsion,
to Spartans culling children, to gas chambers

“Combine Memo”, Dated 2013
    To all EMPLOYEES:
  • The RETARD cannot work the MACHINE.
  • The RETARD cannot sell its LABOUR.
  • The RETARD is an undesirable element.
A Prayer / Cut-Up

      “The earth is our mother,
we must take care of her.”

Yo estaba en la terraza luchando con la luna.”
Medio lado del mundo era de arena,”
y el director del banco observaba el manómetro
que mid el cruel silencio de la moneda
entre huracanes de oro y gemidos obreros parados
que aullarán, noche oscura, port u tiempo sin luces

“Hey yanna, ho yanna, hey yan yan.”

a hair-thin bridge over the pit of Hell.        The good
will be able to cross it;            the wicked
will slip & plunge into the pit.)

[let us laugh at the moon!]

but “the rose / was not looking for the dawn!”
or to “eat pyramids of the dawn”

“Her sacred ground we walk upon,
with every step we take.”

“1 of the birds then said: ‘My enemy’s
that veteran of highway robberies,”
y el director del banco”, “el cruel
               silencio de la moneda”, “the dog won’t
“The dog I knew is gone & in his place
a slavering wolf stalks by me, pace for pace.’”

“I been silent so long now it’s gonna roar out of me like floodwaters”

“The earth is our mother,
she will take care of us.”

& you shift in your bed with the thunderclaps of Yoolgai Asdzᾁᾁ buzzing —

“Recovery Zone” (Pt. II)

the demented crying, lock & key, exorcise us for we are demons!
“in the world, given, flower-maddened, made no Utopia”

sterile sterile sterile ——————————— what will they do?

take the syringe & cut us down
exorcise us for we are demons!
sterile sterile sterile

chanting the darkness of the poem — composite parts — never to be whole

sterile sterile sterile

the poem,
the poem is life, writhing & torturous life,
where we might
with a little pot of ink, transcribe this mad world

of straps
of electricity (shot directly into the brain)
of drugs & overdose suicides

sterile sterile sterile

& a brick cascades through the window & an awful silence descends
over the dizzy haze of the cities, the tepid wind of automobiles abating

we shall be liberated


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