Monday, May 14, 2012

Ward Stories

A column organized by Jack M. Freedman, Poetry Editor

This edition of Ward Stories features poetry from a couple of sources.  One of those sources is Ted Wainer.  This poem was written during a hospital stay.  Many of us can relate to the sheer boredom that many experience within the confines of a psychiatric ward.  This in turn inspired me to share one of my own pieces.  This is a piece that outlines my current views on the practices of psychiatry.  I have done a lot of self-discovery and now know that personally, I need alternatives in my life for my own treatment.  With that said, I know there may be a lot of people who will not agree with my statements, but I hope that City Voices will outline a wide variety of views on psychiatry as a whole, so with that, I present one of my poems.  I hope you enjoy this edition of Ward Stories, as well as the rest of the paper.

In These Chains of Boredom

by Ted Wainer

To aire, to reap, to sow , to sleep

To sleep within the air so fine.

To leap, to lash between the sheets

To hate the air that glistens through.

Yes glistening through yet not touching it.

Healing hands yet a smile without grace.

Without the grace to heal the hurt


Without the power of empathy to go that last stand.

Yes boredom resides here big time, you know.

And yes Thomas, that’s the way it is.

Today, tomorrow , and possibly in the future it seems.

It leaps, it jumps, it escapes and it hits you.

It kills at times and menaces with the scales

of your mind.

Yet oh those scales so ponder deep.

Pondering deep within the realm of this insane mess.

Yes the insanity keeps me here.

But how sane am I in boredom.

To laugh, to hold, to cajole and to convince.

To try to see the light.

Yes reading away those hours

                         of discontempt.

Holding onto future grains and learning a lot

along the way.

Yes this field of discontempt.

This hallway of horror.

Passing, passing through all this


As I’m bored , as I sit here writing these passages.

Hoping for salvation, only time heals they say.

I want immediate release, instant gratification.

And so I wait in these chains of boredom.

Prescribe This

by Jack M. Freedman

I'm done with lurking behind

A marmalade bottle

Filled with false miracles

The ties that bind throttle

Therefore it is empirical

To free yourself

From the shackles

And the cackles of doctors

Dictating our treatment

Treating us like children

Kidding us into thinking

The pills we chase with drinking water

Foster recovery.

My discovery

Of myself

Leads me to shelf

All the things I used to know

And let it fall by my feet.

It would defeat me to entreat

Corrupt forces of mind control

Patrolling and enrolling me

Not in the school of hard knocks

But mental cell blocks

With electroshocks forced upon

By pigs carrying glocks.

We want rights without having to demand them

Without day treatment programs

Where brains get programmed like robots,

Reinforcing paranoia

Validating low self-esteem.

We've moved past possessing psyches

Of Phineas,

But can you gauge what the future holds for us?

We've moved past our head structures being analyzed

Past insulin catalyzing seizures

Leisurely knocking us unconscious at will.

The abuse must end

And we must suspend this systemic oppression,

Before all of our rights undergo regression

And receive justice

At the sharp end of the ice pick.

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