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Treatment Milieu, 1965

Jim Grover peers like some small creature through

his dim glass eyes out of the little thicket

of his beard, his sitting down is gentle,

in his paper cup two pills click one

another brashly. 

                   Pretty face unhearing

Pam sports beauty ably, bores her lips

through flesh that forests all about and seeks

some boundary to her mind.

                             Tall Barker is

a scarecrow built to boo away our ex-

pectations, stuffing hay into his stomach

weaving, leaps like SuperBoy into

his painting right above the frightened faces

borne by winds he knows by name.


him Hunter eyes his private sky, broad

will tent his bulk again above him pitched

against the sharp unhearing headless words

that rain from no gods down.

                             In still another

space flies Johnson high from taut thin kitestrings

of his nerves and snips himself apart

with wit.

          I sit and breath the quiet used

and public air.

                 Amove, her teeth aspread

with smile, tired Ethel hefts her body great

loose sack of flour from bed to chair -- each

support she overlaps with fat surrender

and a wish to kill.

                     Our Sandie, baby

warm and sleepy peeps with bunny ears

that flick in apprehension sits and deeply

feeds on smoke.

                   Cathy Silvagnetto

like a nettle is discouraging

to touch.

            Sunlight stumbles thickly on

the window sill and spills itself across

the floor and lies unmoving.  Tony walks

across it, gathers fragments to remake

his lost connections, facts like grapes he plucks

from people's vines his bucket has no bottom;

watching, Betty weary wife stops

and lifts her lip to let a tremulous

thin worm of smoke slip out; her bony arms

conspire with neck to hold up head.


we share, he rages darkly from his cave

and runs a redness through us like the news

of death.

              The flowers grow like Hell.  The nurses

step about use words in lieu of their

white suits, while down the hall two doctors hold

a book like some old friend just found between them.