Olive View Neuropsychiatric, LA County, 2004

For Deborah R. 

Deborah R. had a purple heart.

It was not without slim perforations

It was not notarized

Then filed, by some outsourced agency, based in D.C.

The mauve-ish mitral valves were shrouded 

In the penny-loafer mores of Yankee-suburbia.

She looked intact-like the sterile business of bar graphs

Or the simple chemistry, of acrylic powder

As it converges with those chintzy water bowls,

At the local $30 mani-pedi.

(When Deborah kicked the Vicodin, she became agoraphobic.

Her seventy-or-so-mother got her to the grocery store


Sometimes it was easy--

And sometimes milk was spilt, unbraiding


Like a mutant naval brigade--then splintering off

into slender renegade lakes--

(A sad exhibition of lucency in a liquid vein-mop). 

After the seventy-two hours elapsed,

I never saw Deborah again.

But on nights such as this (where

Lurid constellations convene and then diverge again


An astral spasm of insurgent configurations...

Going nowhere.)
I wonder if I will be remembered for my feats

And forgotten as I am,

Starboard from one, to the next confine.