Don’t tell someone in psych observation
they’re an inmate, lest they peer madly
about them for the bars (or a window)
or the stripes on their rags. They’re there
‘for their own good,’ the warders purr,
shilling sweet silences to the undone
while carefully noting the cross
unmutuality calling the sickbay a gulag
in already-suspect complete sentences.
Don’t smile at the medicated,
telling them to ‘hang in there,’
for fear that the watchers will think
an exhortation to the gallows
has been made. None are ex-hippies,
they won’t get ‘keep on truckin’, either.
Don’t bring up surviving deadly diseases
or bungling Medicaid surgeons or mis-fired
pistols, having ‘shot the odds’ on each,
which the shepherds will take as a prelude
to going Baby Face Nelson on the ward.
Don’t say nary a word, whether the chimps
understand French or German; just stare
daggers at their polyester smocks. Keep
your ideations of suitcase bombs, red
beans and rice, and Daiquiris poolside
to yourself. And those voices you hear,
don’t even bother trying to explain the
chorus of the Hebrew Slaves to them.
Born on the South Side of Chicago, Adam Henry Carrière received last rites at the age of six, won a swimming pool at the track for his thirteenth birthday, has a master’s degree and half a doctorate yet no high school diploma, adapted Wagner’s Lohengrin into a screenplay, watched the sun rise through Stonehenge, swum with Beluga whales, gone snorkeling beside tortoises with Cuba near in sight, seen the Northern Lights, sailed through a typhoon, violated Vietnamese territorial waters, waved machine guns in the City of Rocks, reached 120 miles per hour on Pacific Coast Highway, walked up a Bavarian Alp, written poetry that bought him a car, and has had drinks where the Beatles played in Miami Beach, Janis Joplin stayed in Hollywood, and at the actual Hotel California. Seriously. He is the author of Miles and Shant, now available in quality paperback from Hammer & Anvil Books, exclusively up the Amazon.