“Live! And have your blooming in the noise of the whirlwind.”

-gwendolyn brooks

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typically, an episode starts
at the mantle any time of day
but something has to hit
and it’s usually
three things at once:
stasis plus drugs,
(that means im fucking dizzy and
no one will listen)
an acid wave in
my stomach and
a recurring thought,
(some say intrusive or imply im responding
to internal stimuli)
caffeine, throbs, jaw
tightening into one flat line–
then there’s the timing.

in no particular order:
can’t breathe
can’t swallow
can’t move my legs
and then the heart leaps
start; staggered,

the rhythm is irregular. 

racing.
my pulse burning.
mouth turns to stone.
tongue desperate, bone-
dry, lurching outwards and me
biting it to stop talking.
just want to stop talking.
saying everything that’s happening out
loud and answering their questions
but snapping, imprudent.


i don’t know what I notice first:
that I haven’t exhaled,
swallowed or stood or
  or
that I can’t seem to do anything
nor stop the group from screaming
at me.
desperate choral grove.
the candle on the altar.
blow it out.
no, lick it.
just get up.
listen to me, Cat. me first.
when I’m still, the breezes hit
and then suddenly the room falls
away.I can feel the blackness
pervade as if there is a hand
around my neck;
this ostensive power
beyond me.

i’m clutching the rug,
bottom of the ocean
as the first wave hits.

“the labyrinth”

“the numbers have to be right.”

what does that mean?

“they just have to be right.”

I checked the time
before walking home.

a habit.
10:26 pm, no magic
in that but the drizzle
feels good on my bare thighs.
my obsession with clocks
began years ago,
616
313
919

everything in threes,
I am sobbing in front of the
young attending.
and I just can’t stop reading the titles.
begin to pick my lip.
sometimes I feel like I am choking.
sometimes I think I am willing it
through like it’s a choice
to breathe or not.

they didn’t check my throat,
not even once.
sympathetic nodding,
no real connection to the
young man but an hour of
purging. weeping.
wrote me a prescription to see
a psychiatrist about my
self diagnosed OCD.
I am always arranging everything.
I call Monday.
the psychiatrist doesn’t take my insurance.
can just peculiarly count rhythm
hearing a few notes.
and can align thoughts with
crescendo, and can align time too.

I decide to skip it altogether.
collect new rocks for
my mantle.
move art in new corners
spend a day composing.


later i will find out
that i have severe dysphagia,
a nodule in my throat.
and that swallowing is in fact
the most insidious
danger.

there are nights I don’t sleep.

“3:13”

been slicing the inside of my lips
with razors again.
stick thumbtacks
in my tongue.
I just nod a lot

In his office.

“do you have any plans to hurt yourself?”

what’s done is done.
but I don’t say anything.

we prefer rationalizing,
chronicles.
multiple guards around
us, ephemeral
longing that changes
direction but there are
no exits so we stay fashioned
to her tenuous fingers,
waiting for the fall.

cards everywhere
scattered for clarity and
I’m batshit high,
mixing herbs with ginger
and then more psyilocybin.
feeling waves form in my gut,
always finding the
King of Cups,
a bath running,
my fear of silence
an emerging disability.


i write phrases everywhere

and listen to long
chords, piano.
applause.
make words to them–
letters cut from white paper
then burned.
with force, meaning,
avarice.
tonight’s candle.
whatever she is, she
is bright and flickering
like lightning
and sometimes
she is God.

“the sigils”

spiders line every corner of my house,
there is honey coating my back
porch, trail of ants
fat with offering
waddle in,

find the underside of my sink
fat with thread.

this next section is called: grief.

______________________________________________________

sit down prepared.
as in, I am not shaking
and I have no plans to hurt
myself.
“what brings you into the
emergency room today?”

I planted nightshade
in the community garden.

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