Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Brain Surgery

Measure me a lobotomy
just above the eyes
they were fashionable once
with a man and a van
traveling right to your school
calling out the detention boys

hold still
don't mind the ice pick
they're cheap
and sterile with gasoline
detention will be over
with one mallet thwap

I'm looking for connections to snip
tracing a crumpled map
of detours and burst water mains
but where to cut?
a snip over here
and I turn a numb cheek to another slap
a snip over there
and an enemy flutters away in flames


Shadow said...

i think i've got a headache...

Meghana Naidu said...

it rehashed that cheap sense of perversion i have associated with all medical procedures
like a bystander, an ogler.

the last line seals the deal.
quite quite brilliant, as always.

Tabitha Bird said...

Love the last two lines Jason! The whole thing is brillant. Give a guy a pen hey :) well done as always!

Four Dinners said...

wow! Now that is really good old bean.

I'm au fais with lobotomy...I tend to dribble like I've just had one whenever Kylie Minogue appears on my TV set...;-)

Karen said...

I think this is one of your best! I love the idea of the schoolboys-detention, but the last four lines of the poem are superb!

the walking man said...

When did the lords of the world learn to lobotomize us without the scalpel and ice pick?

Wonderful piece Jason.

Laurel said...

This one makes me so sad. The reference to the crude procedure in the first verse makes the desperation apparent. Whatever the subject wants to escape must be terrible.

I wondered, not to be too prosaic, but is there any veiled reference to seeking a state of overmedication? It does seem to be the current equivalent of the old fashioned lobotomy.

Angie Ledbetter said...

"mallet thwap"...ah! Had to read it several times. Kudos on the layering.

Rick said...

Whoa, sharp work! I, too, am getting an empathetic headache.

Anonymous said...

Shadow, I've got some Ibuprofen.

Meghana, the first part of this poem refers to a real "doctor" who performed crude lobotomies on delinquent boys in the back of a van, or right in the school. It's not even clear how many he did before he was disgraced and stopped. Some boys died.

Tabitha, thanks for the kind words, especially about the end. :)

Four Dinners, once or twice I've been lobotomized by Jennifer Connelly.

Karen, thank you! This poem was captured in a welling of thought and emotion.

Walking Man, I suppose there are all sorts of insidious ways.

Laurel, there *is* an underlying desperation. Thankfully, no over-medication though. (Or any medication, actually.) I was touched by the emotion it evoked in you.

Angie, sometimes I do overdo the layers. ;)

Rick, I have a pretty good headache right now. Maybe I'd better check my scalp for a knife. But seriously, thanks for the kind words!

Aniket said...

I have a feeling if I ever gave it a try I'll kinda like disecting. I've always had equal pleasures in disecting other things as I get from creating one.

I have broken so many toys just to look how they function inside.

I realize this qualifies to get enrolled into therepy sessions in most cases, but am well in control of my dark desires. Trust me. :)

Nevine said...

And when we've snipped those connections, have we truly severed them forever? Very fine words for an extremely painful procedure. Whether the lobotomy is literal or figurative, we suffer.

Aine said...

Aniket, LOL!! I loved dissection! Used to want to become a pathologist. I even carried my fully dissected fetal pig home (from college) to show my mom on Thanksgiving morning while she was working on the turkey dinner. (Yeah, you can imagine how she loved that...) I guess that qualifies me as one who has dark desires, too...

PixieDust said...

I'm most likely projecting, but the fact that the man in the van calls to the boys in detention makes me think of all the children who've been given up on...

This was touching on many levels...



Anonymous said...

Aniket, as you learn from Aine below, she wanted to be a pathologist. Weirdly enough, I did too! I guess we all share the urge get in there and dig around!!

Nevine, no, I don't think they go away. At best, they turn into dark little islands. But somehow, we always figure out how to sail a boat there.

Aine, didn't that fetal pig visit for Thanksgiving? Or maybe it was Easter family dinner. Loved that!!

PixieDust, unfortunately, this man was destroying who those boys were. And most of them could hardly qualify as truly delinquent. In fact, I wonder if ADHD might have earned a lobotomy back then.

Aniket said...

@ Aine & Jason:

Darkness shall prevail! Together we can take over Toonsville and not even the combined power of buttercup, blossom and bubbles would be enough to stop us. Mwuhahahaha!

Jean said...

holy crap, this is disturbing.
As it was intended, I imagine.
What a horrid way to deal with a 'problem' child.
Power in the hands of those much more demented than those they claim to fix. ugh.
We humans are a sick lot. Often.

Amias said...

This is a great metaphor, and a painful thought ... almost like cutting the umbilical cord, but there are so many it takes a lifetime to cut them all ... ouch!

Anonymous said...

I am thinking this very clever, you.
And I'm always saying it, but I think endings in writing make something. If the ending is good and those final words stand out; the whole will stay in the readers mind long after the words are read.
I am believe these words of yours, do.
I am liking this, you; muchly.