Eight: Picking Brains (poetry series)

Posted by ractrose on 3 Jul 2020 in Art, Poems

Digitalized photo of apple core




Picking Brains
[sowing paranoia]


Why are you here?

The silence extends. Though silence, in interview

via teletype is contempt, confusion, thoughtfulness

Thoughts of…what’s it mean, why really am I?

How do I work this thing, is it some kind of setup

Equipment breakdown, line traffic, any of those

What is your name?

I don’t believe they haven’t told you

This is an exercise, and so the rules are somewhat different

Uh huh, picking brains, what they said

That’s a good thing, helpful to you

Now consideration needed on this end

Sarcasm best answered straight-faced

In every case

Yes, you are being helpful, do you know

what you have been hospitalized for

to protect me from killers

Who are these killers

I would take care of that if I knew

What then


What then tells you that they are killers

as opposed to ordinary people

I am always told who I ought to look out for

You have a friend who tells you this

The killers tell me, I can read their thoughts

Silence again. A number of approaches possible

As, the doctor types, you read these words now

on paper? I mean, as though they were

No. It is a sort of cloud above their head.

And there are no written words

The words are read to me

By a friend

By God

But, none of that really answers my question

I don’t, in fact, know your name. Will you tell?


Are you a man or woman seems not apropos

The doctor has been taught a number of notions

Taken for soundness in that era

For female hormonal states, in the young

In the menopausal

His ingrained assumption being female paranoia

Has such causes, or for those never married

Or childless, an ill-defined and vaguely Freudian

Theory of incompleteness




Picking Brains

Oil painting of couple against red landscapeWithholding
















(2019, Stephanie Foster)




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