They called it a ‘chemical imbalance’
the way my mind kept swinging
soaring elation to sagging sorrow:
I called it the price to pay for
Creativity. Unspoken: notoriety.
They kept saying
Well, what have you done?
(as if being young, white, well-off
were ticks against me. I couldn’t
possibly be a Prophet; I read
Cosmopolitan magazine –
girl, take it seriously.)
What have you done?
Education. I am a Lo See.
I have warmed, calmed the minds of people
‘like me’ who think their
arbitrary sadnesses make them freaks
spoken for an ‘Okay, I’m Okay’
turning up its feet.
These days I’ll lie in bed like lead
pinned down and unthinking,
dreamily reaching for a world where
I won’t wake up. I am
a trainer, an illuminator
the one in four. The twenty five per cent
of us that taste success but
in the dullness of a
mid afternoon think Why Go On?
My life is not a display. My goings on
are not a forum for you
to work your goddamn tongue
and make-believe in playing grey
I say – I am breaking in the mantle
of the young people, who make their beds in
lost and disconcerted in big
unwieldy cities, falling (always
crashing cars and dreaming about unspecified
‘bad things’; skin regrows, you know
and besides it all, you
you who pretend to know true grit.
True grit is buckling up,
carrying on. You think you are strong?
You don’t know the half of it.