Poem Hunter
Poems
Morphine
(1954 / California)

Morphine

Poem By Hans Ostrom

My eyes turned feral, made
visitors feel hunted. When I
talked, interlocutors thought
of machine-gun turrets, wolf-children,
and town drunks. I sold grand schemes
to myself, Mad Morphine Dauphin.

I became characters in
stories my mind told my mind. I
softly ceased to exist. The stench
of the hospital, my tube-invaded body,
Cubist quarrels with nurses—none
of this had to do with old
what’s-my-name. Morphine
slew ego. I was a parsonage
without a parson, a jukebox mausoleum.
Later I reintroduced myself to
myself. Long time, no see. There
are still hard feelings between us.

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Comments (2)

It is not only morphine that can do this. Your poem has brought back painful images of trying to deal with my Mom on diet pills, Darvon, uppers, downers; whatever she could get her hands on. She was always walking on a tight-rope. If her supply ran short, or if the wide swings threw off her equilibrium, we would see what you so vividly describe as 'machine-gun turrents, wolf children\amd town drunks.'... someone selling grand schemes to themselves. The end of your poem goes through recovery. Most who have gotten far away from 'old\what's-my-name.' don't get past schemes and denial. This is a poem that is so much more than a read - -it lends itself to being 'performed' in a live slam or at a reading. You should take several of your poems on the road, if you already haven't. Tom
Great poem Hans. Fantastic imagery and the line 'I became characters in stories my mind told my mind' is one of the best I have read. Really good stuff.


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