Thursday, August 30, 2007

3A Hai Ku

3A is the in-patient mental health building at the VA Hospital in Salt Lake City. As I write this, I've been admitted there four times. During my fourth visit, I wrote Hai Ku poetry that is presented here. Some of them are amusing, others are kinda serious.

They are broken down into six categories:

"Leading Up" is about the last night before I checked into the hospital. This, in and of itself, is NOT what put me there. It was just the last thing that kinda pushed me over the edge. In all fairness, I was already teetering on the brink at the time.

"On Arrival" is just that. My feelings on arriving at the ward.

"On the routine" consists of my reflections on the daily activities in the ward.

"On the Level" are some more serious and introspective thoughts.

"Linda" is my favorite nurse.

"Farewell" is my love-letter to the staff.

Leading Up
Stuck on the mountain

The mud slide keeps us up there

I cannot calm down
Where did she come from?

I didn't know she was here

I keep my distance
They all start a fire

I want to warm myself too

But I stay away
I stare at my boots

Coated with mud. It binds me

I can't take them off

On Arrival
Same nut cases here

Their faces are different

Stay out of my room
My face is the same

But I've been here four times now

I'm a nut case too
I have my own room

But there's a camera in it

I get no "Me" time
He makes me nervous

He says the F-word a lot

I'll get over it
She's cute and she's gay

I saw her with her girlfriend

I envy them both

On The Routine
"Come get your breakfast"

We all line up like cattle

Who stole my coffee?
Time for therapy

"Tell me about your childhood"

"It's my parents' fault"
I'm a narcissist

That's what's so great about me

And I'm humble too
Do you know what's wrong?

Clearly it's low self esteem

Snap out of it, jerk!

On the Level
Photos and paintings

Hanging unseen on the walls

No one wants to look
Glad I'm not a drunk

Don't have to go through withdrawal

I still feel my pain
I so need a shave

No razors allowed in here

"I promise I won't..."
I wish she was here

On second thought, no I don't

She deserves better

She's "almost fifty"

I can't believe it either

She's a real cutie
Just one silly joke

Insinuating is best

Her face becomes red

They're the ones in charge

Docs just visit and say, "Hi"

Nurses run the show

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


(revised March 10, 2011)

Five little green pills.
One and a half blue pills.
One GIANT horse pill.
Half of an orange pill.

The little green pills are for depression.
Having to take them every day depresses me.

The blue pills (no, not THOSE blue pills) are for anxiety.
Having to take all these damn pills makes me anxious.

Before I choked on the 1000 mg horse pills,
I gagged on the 500 mg ones.
I asked if I could just take two 500s instead of the 1000s.
They said, "Yes."
And sent me 750s.

The orange pill is for cholesterol.
This pill is split in half.

Splitting the pill allows it to get stuck on your tongue.
The chalky, bitter, disgusting face of the broken half
rubbing across your taste buds making you want to PUKE!

But you better not!
Otherwise you'll have to take them ALL over again!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Half Empty

Only half of the walls have pictures on them.
The other half are empty.

Only half of the bathroom counter space is taken up by anything.
The other half is empty.

Only half of the bedroom looks lived in.
The other half is empty.

There are two closets.
Only one is filled with trousers, shirts, shoes and ties.
The other one is empty.

Why are half the walls bare?
Why are the rooms half empty?
Why is one closet going unused?

For the same reason I only sleep on one half of my bed.
I'm just waiting for someone.
Someone to come and fill the empty space.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007


(revised August 23, 2007; February 4, 2010)

First, there was London.
If we got married, her name would have been London "Bridge."
I dreamt that she was making fun of me.
She broke up with me the next day.
Then there was Amie.
I was in love with an illusion then...
I feel as though I dodged a bullet now.
Josie was in love with me.
But I was too blinded then to notice.
Because of Amie.
Brooke inspired me to write my first novella...
"Inspires me" has been on my list of
"Qualities I look for in a woman" ever since.
Jo Ann let me kiss her before I got out of the car.
I didn't even have to ask.
Then someone accused me of doing more with her than just kissing.
Nothing happened after that.
I fell pretty hard for the girl from Portage.
But she was waiting for a return missionary.
She just didn't know which one.
I followed Bianca around like a puppy.
It was embarrassing for both of us.
Linda was the first girl that I just outright told.
"I really like you."
She let me down easy.
Joan and I kinda stumbled into our relationship.
It was romance by peer pressure.
After she ended it, she took up drinking.
I made myself miserable for a year.
I fell in love with Tracy even though she was engaged.
She never held it against me.
I thought I finally made a connection with Josie.
I visited her on leave...
She ditched me to go watch a movie she had already seen.
I fell really hard for Audri,
Despite her drama, her lies and manipulation.
You do stupid things when you're in love with the wrong person.
I thought I found my soul mate in Michelle.
She told me what it would take to destroy what we had...
And I did it.
Vanessa refused to "define the relationship."
But we were in love.
She broke up with me...
But we wouldn't stop sleeping together.
Cindy was my on-again-off-again girlfriend.
We decided to stay friends for the sake of her children.
They love me!
I didn't tell Samantha how I felt about her.
Though I think she might have known at some level.
Either way, she was dating my best friend at the time.
Mandy said she pined for me ever since high school.
Then she treated me like I didn't exist.
I told her how it made me feel...
So she started to spread gossip about me.
Natalie wasn't looking for a relationship.
I fell in love with her anyway.
She didn't hold it against me either.
Most people have photographs of themselves with
their former girlfriends, boyfriends or crushes.
When I look back at the girls and women that I really loved,
I realize that I don't have a single photograph of me with any of them.
Ever since then, I've wondered:
If there's no photographic evidence,
then how do I know if any of them were even real?
Thanks to a friend, I know at least one was.

*This poem reminds me of the song "88 Lines Lines About 44 Women" by The Nails.