Like Clockwork (For The Mentally Cursed)


Like Clockwork (For The Mentally Cursed)

Sadness struck
like clockwork,
a chain across the cheek,
linking life’s blood
to its drain.

There was no joy
that could not be exchanged
for despair; a disrepair
of synapse that collapsed
the soul,
made holes in wholeness
burst the midrange, found pain fresh
each go,
as if locks overflown
had never been breached, as if the beseeching
of God or DNA
were not a speech
in a much-aired play–
a to-be, a wherefore-art, a who-goes-
a not-I,



A poem of sorts for a word list prompt  by Grapeling (It Could Be That)  on With Real Toads.  It’s been edited since first posting. 


The drawing is mine–a repeat I’m afraid due to busy-ness here in NYC. 



Explore posts in the same categories: iPad art, poetry

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18 Comments on “Like Clockwork (For The Mentally Cursed)”

  1. brian miller Says:

    it can def be quite crippling…when it catches you…and ther eis little you can do with it…at times…

  2. Jim Says:

    I think it is really sad to be sad all the time. You told it well.
    I had a bad day yesterday when I stayed home instead of playing golf with my buds. People noticed and wondered, and asked, what was wrong.

  3. Kerry O'Connor Says:

    You have captured that entrapment of spirit that can weigh one down at any time and often quite unexpectedly. Your inclusion of painful elements shows how debilitating such a state of mind can be.

  4. grapeling Says:

    for someone busy you certainly rose to the challenge, deftly crafting that first verse using the word list without calling attention to them. that ease of defiance is something I’ve often observed in the homeless – at Berkeley, we called them Street People – amidst the holes in the whole. thank you for finding the time to ink this morsel, k ~

  5. Jennifer G. Knoblock Says:

    Thank you for this. These lines especially spoke to me this morning: “There was no joy
    that could not be exchanged
    for despair;”

  6. hedgewitch Says:

    ‘made holes in wholeness customary…’ yes,that gets to the heart of despair, its monotony that self-feeds, the flatness. Great use of the list words, k, and a stark look at that mental cage we too often find/put ourselves in.

  7. Worst thing is when it becomes cyclical and you’re caught in the middle of the circle. A very good poem. Loved it.

    Thanks for your comment on my Urban Diary column. Why not structure the poem in the shape of a… poem? 🙂 Because I’m always curious to see what the mind does to people. How do people read a post that is meant to rhyme but has not got the same rhyming structure as other poems? That’s why I blog, to experiment. 🙂

    Greetings from London.

  8. MDD, manic depressive here: Your take on depression, the depths of which most people cannot understand (and they should thank God for that), harrowing. I have been down that low, so every note of this “song of the soul” was true as an arrow. Very, very good take on the Toads prompt. Amy

  9. Karen S. Says:

    Oh no for sadness go away and come back another day!

  10. Grace Says:

    I specially love this part:

    The fresh-wind-riddled view,

    the chain of turquoise ponds below,

    seemingly touchable clouds

    swirling by the craggy cliffs

    If I could think of your words like food, it would be crunchy ~ Good work K ~

  11. margaret Says:

    the chain, the drain got me right away. Made me think of Seraphine – the artist we had a prompt on not long ago.

  12. Helen Says:

    Achingly true …

  13. Rallentanda Says:

    Your poem evoked the despair and sadness of depression. Seamless and clever use of the words. Loved the quick sketch.

  14. kelly Says:

    This has such wonderful cadence beneath its searing truths. I love the alliteration as well, and the little punch at the end. A really strong piece!

  15. kaykuala h Says:

    like clockwork,
    a chain across the cheek,

    A most apt description! One who is helpless can feel the pincers around the face and the temple and not able to do anything to alleviate the pain. Great write K!


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