Schitzophrenia Night by Michael Lee Johnson


(Devoted to John Nash, A Beautiful Mind Movie, 2001)

I am a chalkboard computer brain.

I have updated drawn raw

images even the classroom

students cannot see, hear, nor understand.

They sit quietly in Disneyland

wondering about my eccentricities

I capture their stillness, and then I speak.

I am the professor, special agent of government

dream tracer of crossroad puzzles.

Photographic memory in private rooms,

did I hear a critic, erase

destroy dissociate thoughts.

I walk out unsteady in disbelief.

Is there a shadow of storybooks following me?

I am a genius; I know who I am.

I spend nights in formula construction

drawing full color images of my brain,

percentages of gray matter lost.

I stick my ego to the bird eagle of the sky.

When on a high on an airplane, self-love,

full bloom, I keep my enemies at bay.

I shelter the skeletons of thought.

I trust Jesus because His image is stable,

every group I have ever known says “The Lord’s Prayer.”

Even then, new members leave, disappear, I hear what they said.

I had an MRI to trace all my youthful abuses.

There were no images there but voices I remember.

I cast their shadows, audio, visual for show, in the background.

In time, they quiet their voices. I walk beyond their images.

I pass on, they still screenplay.

You have to stretch lean, refer to sanity,

drink Asian tea, smooth out, limejuice, hallucinated sounds

before that stage, I took that Nobel prize,

even before, I forgave you.

Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era: now known as the Itasca, IL poet. Today he is a poet, freelance writer, and photographer who experiments with poetography (blending poetry with photography), and has been published in more than 750 small press magazines in 26 countries. Michael is the author of The Lost American: From Exile to Freedom and several chapbooks, including From Which Place the Morning Rises and Challenge of Night and Day, and Chicago Poems. He also has over 69 poetry videos on YouTube. Find him on Facebook and Twitter as poetrymanusa.

Photo credit: SpaceShoe [Learning to live with the crisis]