POETRY September 2, 2022

An Abridged Lecture on Madness

After Legion, from the New Testament

Legion drew darkness out of the night threw darkness like a batch of flames against the tight skin
of the sky Legion humming and singing in the graveyard Legion whose name was once caught
in a tongue as old as a cough stuck in the heaving throat of a dog the cough was always there
and somehow Legion both was and wasn’t always there like most mad children Legion
doesn’t remember his home index of Legion’s memories: Legion remembers
an ancient creature remembers closing his eyes but still seeing just as clearly Legion never
quite lived in his own head or maybe was a boy with too much head the whole thing
up there on strings the whole entire thing death lives in the head like that too
and so do dreams but most of all so does Freud Freud was in his dream and he saw Freud
and Freud saw him and it was persuasive but not as romantic as you might expect.
If Legion knew which way was out he would peer like the eye of a storm anyways
Legion was a boy who shifted into the movement of a boy growing older and earning
another set of ankles poems gave Legion pain like the snake gave Eve an apple Freud said dreams
are formed algorithmically Legion’s childhood like a dream formed geometrically
until his brain ruptured like a flower and sucked him right back in the last thing to know
about Legion is what he loved he found his way into a graveyard one night and was romanced
by the stones and began to dance and yearn and hum and even smile they found him
like that and grabbed his head pulled his hair back until two thousand pigs spewed right out
and ran off the cliff even now pigs are still spewing out like a hose.

Cass Garison has an MFA from UW Seattle. They have work published in Gulf Coast, Foglifter, Poets.org, Washington Square Review, and others. Find them at CassGarison.com or on Twitter at @CassGarison.