A Town Called Phenylalanine

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Dedicated to J.R and P.S. (CCC)

He was a town that should
have come with a warning sign.
“Abandon all sanity, those
who enter here.”
Souls arriving but few departing.
He’d give them the key to the city
and his razor kisses.

Kisses that spoke of madness
on the confused mouths
of women lacking reason.
Always something thievish
in his eyes.

He was such a sweet talking void.
Yet, when you needed him,
he was never available for comment.
Still, if he moved backwards,
they would follow on their knees.

She passed through briefly
a few years back
and decided to return,
always enamored with the scenery.
Clytia, yearning for Apollo,
so sure the town she recalled
was heavenly.
Refusing to look
away from the sun.
Reciting some stupid
myth she had created.

When she arrived back
to where she was, she
found he had uprooted
and moved on.
flowers scattered everywhere.

Leaving behind hearts
and one stop streetlights
dangling from the wire.
His hat left on one of
his lover’s porches.
Now a fun house
of screams and horror.
Residue of tears, lingering,
stagnant in air of disillusionment

A lone dog wails in the
distance.

She stands godless.
Covered in numbness,
a few cherry blossoms
who’ve lost their cue
for timing, tragically,
drift by.

Lost and disillusioned.
Her detachment mask
slips to rage.
Her high heels do an
improvised voodoo dance
in dirt.
Trying to crush his name
before she becomes
part of the crumbling
debris.

-Tosha Michlle

My cover of Christina Perri”Jar Of Hearts” My talented father on electric guitar

“And who do you think you are?
Runnin’ ’round leaving scars
Collecting your jar of hearts
And tearing love apart
You’re gonna catch a cold
From the ice inside your soul
So don’t come back for me
Who do you think you are?”

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The Darkness

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I feel a darkness coming on.
The build up is always the
worst part. The shadow
of depression sneaking
up on
me. Breathing down
my neck. I know it won’t
be long until it falls on
me, tethering my spirit
to a barren tree. The
landscape flatten
Nothing is flourishing
The devil stands near
by holding his pitchfork
of sorrow. Smirking
as he plots new
calamities for fragile
spirits like mine,
not a fundamentalist
in sight.
I lie down on the
ground.. I surrender
to the darkness.
For today, there
is no escape.
The empty glass
is broken, the
ticking clock is
silence. When I
awake, I will look
for a way out.
Knowing the
darkness can
never hold me
for too long.
The light in my
heart never
sinks. It just
hides like a
lost penny.
For now though,
I become less
and lesser.
Boneless,
empty, and
ready to go
I let the
taker, take me.

The Flood Came

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The mist whispers “come closer”
as the rain falls down,
The sound invading my heart
Sadness huddles in the leaves,
waiting to burst forth with the wind.
brushing my cheeks
finding purchase within my bones.
Bringing me to my knees
lost in a puddle of bruises
My red rimmed eyes
trying to breach the light
Darkness consumes me
Literally.
Figuratively.
The kind of darkness
I feel with every breath
filling my lungs and
slowly suffocating my soul.
There’s no reprieve from the darkness
only self inflicted torture
of a tear stained mind.

Andy Behrman Electroboy: A Memoir of Mania

Stigma has long surrounded mental illness and is rooted in a lack of understanding and ignorance. It’s important that we as a society become informed and educated about what mental illness truly is. Here’s a clue- it’s not called an illness for nothing. It’s an ailment and a disease. Andy Behrman’s Electroboy: A Memoir of Mania is one book that helps shed light on mental illness, specifically bi-polar disorder. Andy’s book reads like a Quentin Tarantino film with a dash of Steve Martin thrown in. I defy you to read this book and not come away reeling.

Fueled by his mania, Andy was on a collision course with disaster including: drugs, illicit sex, prostitution, aimless globetrotting, and art forgery along with a stint in jail. Did I mention illicit sex? I did, well I mean some downright kinky and risky stuff. It’s amazing Andy lived to tell the tale. This, my friends is the reality of bi-polar disorder: self destructive behavior, substance abuse, promiscuity, extreme highs and crushing lows. It’s brutal.

Andy has been battling this debilitating disease for the better part of his life. Misdiagnosed for years, he was prescribed a pharmacy’s worth of prescription drugs meant to stabilize his moods and help him function, but to no avail. As a last resort his doctors had him try electroshock therapy. After many rounds, he’s now stable and thriving. But what a journey to get there. In a head spinning and roller coaster ride of prose, Andy chronicles his bouts of mania and depression. His words mirror the disease itself. You’ll get a taste of the bitter pill that is bi-polar disorder. Andy is shockingly honest and real. He holds nothing back. Electroboy: A Memoir of Mania is disturbing, poignant and eye opening read. Andy doesn’t just explain bi-polar disorder, he makes you feel it.

To learn more about Andy Behrman please visit his website at http://www.electroboy.com
And you can find him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/electroboyusa

He’ll also be joining us on our podcast La Literati in March. Details, coming soon.

51AmdKimwyL