Ward Stories
(Column: Ward Stories)
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Permit me this indulgence! While this column is not intended to be a forum for my own work, I would like to share some poems with you. In re-reading these, I think, "what a different place I'm in now...," which makes me even more proud of the changes I have made.

I did make one observation. New York City Voices previously printed "The Crystal Palace (Revisited)" by Samuel Pirro (about a hospital admission) and "Keys to the Kingdom" by Marvin Spieler (the "kingdom" in this case being Bellevue Hospital). My poem entitled "Ebony Towers" refers to Tower Seven of St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center (psychiatric ward). While we all can agree that health is more desirable, sometimes the ward on which we are confined becomes our sanctuary and we come to think of it in an exalted way.

My reminder to all: let's opt for well-being!

By Cindy Sostchen

an ache
as deep as an ugly canyon
opens its vast mouth
to swallow me
but my half-eaten mind
still waxes tangential

the growl of an odd hunger
this gravel of discontent
like a sideshow mirror with its distant angles
this angular anger

underneath the rubble
I feel my gold feathers unfolding,
wing by silken wing,
and from a porcelain volcano
I've become a charming bird

Ebony Towers

By Cindy Sostchen

Babbling brooks,
silent streams,
blank slates
prisoners suffering from morning sickness
we eat gibberish at every meal
toss and turn like restless mice
when the womb of night births her damaged babies
we hang from shoelace strings
or silly orange clouds
nooses around our neck (ropes of confusion)
we drown in old, bad blood

What vital misfits we are!
cut from the same troubled tree
our empty tears mingle
but never taste the same

i am gray

By Cindy Sostchen

I am gray
like stale and stagnant english fog
I am gray
like molten lead
I even smell like something grey
but my poems are technicolor things
and too much red!
I hate red
the crimson beats of a swollen heart
with red leaky valves
my innards scrawled in blood
on the silent page

I am gray
but my poems are kaleidoscopic things
and I want to be a rain-bow poem
(neither harlot red or muted gray)
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