So, What if Mental Hospitals. Dorie LaRue.

So, What if Mental Hospitals 


So, what if mental hospitals
and drug rehabs and detox centers could
be run like public libraries? A professional
trained in information science
could point out solutions for evil 
to the criminal types
and starting with say, Steinbeck, 
Henry Miller, and Nabokov, lead them backwards
and onward to Martin Luther’s “sin boldly”
cure-all, and picture this—
Henry Miller for the chronically depressed,
and Ginsberg for the bi-polar-ed,
and dear Spinoza for the religiously sick.
He will grind your lenses until you see the one
and only divine substance promises
no personal immortality, thus
freeing the multitudes,
and God, (the real victim here),
from an eternity 
of odious bible bangers,
while all the smarty pants,
like Steve Hawkings, 
and Chris Hitchens,
discuss controlled fusion
and magnetic confinement
and extropianism, 
deep in the bowels of hell.
So, you too can be quite swell,
your heels cooled even in  
backwater ponds, and unmapped rivers, 
or leaky kitchen sinks,
by the simple addition of a library card,
but be cautious, as his signet ring reminded him,
souls unbox in tiny increments.
Note: Practice for caution can be
found in Spinoza’s short treatise 
on the rainbow. 

I don’t see why every pathological 
diagnosticated treatment couldn’t 
take on the power of the universe
via the simple library card. 
Okay, I am sentimental. But what refuses to go 
is my recurring vision of busloads of druggies
herded into lending libraries for eight hours a day,
like a job, and empty rehab rooms where group counselors
surrounded by empty metal chairs like reprimands 
wait in vain for clients who never come,
and where doctors in the next room
doodle on unused prescription pads
or fashion haiku length poesy
for their mistresses. Yes, they need to go extinct, 
these shrinks, who scorn the clueless 
parents’ heartwormy hearts, 
and consider the written genres only
after the poets have adopted their lies,
the never-promised-a-rose-garden ones,
the empty-fortress-in search-of-self ones,
then frame the whole to-does 
with burly manly-type ears.

Though I want to natter on a bit 
about Spinoza’s rainbows, 
what I’d really like to see in this poem
is a woman resting her head
on a last page while lying
in a delightful field of daisies
as her life rewinds,
like an old Blockbuster tape,
until it gets to the part 
where her mind decants
of everything but one word:
morning has broken
Ok, that was three words
and not even original. 
I am always writing 
poems I cannot write,
or beginning poems 
which start ignoring me.

Learn more about Dorie LaRue on her website, here

About the contributor

Dorie LaRue is the author of two novels, three chapbooks of poetry, a full-length collection of poetry, and a forthcoming full-length collection of poems. She has attended Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley, and Martha’s Vineyard Summer Writing Conference. Her fiction, poetry, and book reviews have appeared in a variety of journals, such as The American Poetry Review, The Southern Review, and The Maryland Review. She teaches writing at LSUS.

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