The young man in apt. 3 can

sometimes be heard

trying to concentrate; trying to see through

the edges

that crowd him. Heavy

black masses like


have been known to soar

into his face and

put him out.

He pounds his head with

fists, hears sounds:


sci-fi beeps and spits, sometimes the feel of

a giant gear cranking


he submits to, allowing it

access, a dribble kiss

to the hair of his


It is this he shivers for, hits himself, bleeds to overcome.

The man had been branded

by meds. They make him

feel raw

concentration like molten

glass on the end of a long

steel rod.

From the furnace of

chemical heat, he is

periodically stretched,

inspected and rotated –

made sure he doesn’t drip

or form any edges.

Brian Janisse (Mar. ‘18) says, “This poem is an outside look at a self-portrait, a third-party self-evaluation, an intimate observation at an arm’s length. The resulting images are a smattering account of my brother’s experiences and my own.

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