Øyvind Holmstad CC
Mania lifts you, a soft sea
breeze filling your dress.
On one shoulder, a dove.
You stand, irresistible.
Prospero appears, sleight of hand
feats of the impossible.
You hear stranger’s thoughts, time slows
down as your thoughts speed up.
Even when alone, you can hear
voices, whispering. You can see
beyond the veil--
grasp abstractions, like God,
Truth, Happiness. Voilà, you are cunning
as Cleopatra, willing to die
by your own hand
rather than relinquish your superior
powers. Mania promises everything:
success, allure, boundless energy, profound
insights—sadly, soon lost like sandcastles
in the tide. Now, it is worse than ever
because you had a glimpse behind
the veil. Eventually, nothing remains
but murky confusion, dank
vapour that sticks
to you like a wet black cloak.
Crazed, lacking a sense of time direction.
Time fluid, slowing down
speeding up without warning.
Some suicidal ideation but no specific plans.
My brother sister visit
from US universities, offering
a hearty dose of pragmatism, pitying
eyes darting away.
She has no abnormalities in cognition,
perception or speech.
Depression, my nihilist
passenger, offered drugs, persuading
me nothing was worthwhile, especially
existence—this Kafkaesque trial.
She says her mother was ‘erratic, paranoid,
My father’s brown eyes
helpless, confused, placed his hope
in the doctors, experts
who medicated me into a near coma.
The patient appeared well dressed and well groomed.
In drama school one of my instructors
took phenobarbital: We never knew what
she would do or say. She’d lose
her balance or fall asleep
in the middle of a sentence.
No evidence of psychomotor agitation.
She wasn’t surprised when I wore
my dead mother’s fox fur hat
or sunglasses to class, doing
my best Audrey Hepburn.
But she did ask
which drugs I was on.
Myna Wallin is a Toronto, Ontario, author and editor. She has had three books published: a collection of poetry, A Thousand Profane Pieces (Tightrope Books, 2006) and a novel, Confessions of A Reluctant Cougar (Tightrope Books, 2010) followed by her second poetry book, Anatomy of An Injury (Inanna Publications, 2018). “Confessions” was longlisted for the ReLit Award in 2010. Myna’s poetry has won two honorable mentions: in 2009 she received an Honorable Mention in the CV2 2-Day Best Poem Prize, and in 2010 she also received an Honorable Mention in the Winston Collins/Descant Prize for Best Canadian Poem. Wallin’s poem was chosen for the League of Canadian Poets’ Poem-in-Your Pocket-Day, 2018.
Recent poetry of Wallin’s appeared in Vallum Magazine, The Quarantine Review, Sledgehammer Literary Magazine, and the Miramichi Reader. Myna has a master’s degree in English from the University of Toronto. Mynawallin.com
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