Chad Parmenter

from Vivienne's Recovery


1.2.45—Self-Portrait in a Convex Mere

But, God, life story: a mere deep
Enough to drown a mountain in.
The doctor asks about my family,
Like "me" means little more than kin.

True, my nightmares are childhoods
That might be mine or more true lies:
Girl interrupted. Girl interred in shoulds. He tells me my red madness shines

Not in the ways that I was raised,
But that I wasn't. Razed, cast out
Into tom's parodise, i's glazed
With madness, its mad mantle doubt,

On which id erodes cliffs of myth,
Anarchitectonic. My mind says I know
That Viv was born at seven, with
Both teeth and madness sharp, dark, honed

On nothing but the hell of self,
And drugs I was born on, adored.
The doctors put me on a shelf,
But left black madness. Locked in me, or

Locked out of me with my mad clan,
Descended from gods, sick with the past,
Line so blue-blood we couldn't stand
For madness' interstellar blast.

But our house hid me deep. It had
Me in aloneliness, no mind
But drugs. It was my mum, stone-clad
As madness. My blood kin—less than my kind.