Ward Stories
(Column: Ward Stories)
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Kurt Sass should be familiar to regular readers of New York City Voices, as he has previously contributed his insightful writing, although this is his first appearance in the poetry column. Kurt works as a Home Health Aide. He has suffered from depression for most of his adult life but has been blessed with an excellent support system, the most important being his wife of 20 years, Valerie, and his 18-year-old son, little Kurt. For anyone who has suffered from depression, Kurt's poems really "hit home."

I have also included a poem from a consumer named Gidon Busch because not only was he a fine poet, this past August 30 was the anniversary of his tragic murder.

Kidnapping Good
By Kurt Sass

When I feel good, I take full advantage of it.
I soak it up.
I revel in it.
I swim in it.
I let it ooze all over me.
I sleep and eat it.
I dominate it.
I abuse it.
I tie it down.
I hold it for ransom.
I put a gun to its head.
Anything to keep it, because I know:
Due to depression, it might not be back for weeks or event months.

Mental Illness Isn't Physical?
By Kurt Sass

Mental Illness isn't physical?
You try having:
An Amputated Spirit.
Open Wounds of the Soul.
Emotional Dystrophy.
Mental/Emotional Paralysis.
A Cancerous Self-Worth.
A Ruptured Reality.
Tumors of the Heart.
Broken Dreams and Fractured Aspirations.
Blocked or Clogged Arteries to Happiness.
And let's not forget all those Emotional Scars.

The Beat
By Gidon Busch

There's nothing scarier than being alive
But nothing's more alive than being scared
Facing death is like facing life
And escaping death is escaping life
The heart beats from around sixty to eighty beats per minute
And it pumps blood throughout the arteries and veins
The lungs breathe to feed the heart
And allows the thoughts to continue
The food nourishes the system
And gives strength to move on
Yet why does the heart beat, needing the lungs to breathe, to eat, to move on?
Why is the pause between beats a second and not an eternity?
What contacts does a hear that gives a lifetime warranty on the continued function?
If the beats started from nowhere, than who says it can't stop anytime?
No longer obligating the breath and food
Maybe we always know this deep in our hearts
But we occupy our time to distract us from the precariousness of the beat
I choose to know it at every moment
So my heart has the freedom to live, and understand life
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