"A Poem of Epic Scale which I've Attempted a Dozen Times Before and Failed Miserably"
The walls in there were white, just like in the films,
but so are walls in most new, apartment buildings.
I shared a room with two people far less
crazy than me and one far crazier.
I couldn't write. I couldn't read.
An angel, as natural and lovely
as any starfish, came each evening at 6
o'clock and this alone I thought happily
of between her departure and the tranquilizers'
arrival; she more therapeutic than any chemical.
Mostly, nothing happened, unlike any film.
I watched a lot of music television,
and played ping-pong in the morning coffee rush.
It was decaf; they trusted us like children—
not at all. Mostly, I ate meals that
were better than I'd expected, asked about
shrinks who were largely absent, and managed to
escape (all right, I was released) prematurely.
Steven Miller is a poet and fiction writer. His poetry has appeared in Lit Rag #17 and Touchstone Literary Journal. His journalism and creative nonfiction has appeared in Touchstone Literary Journal, Statements Magazine, and The Manhattan Mercury.