The New Asylum – and what about the ram’s blood

This is another poem originally written as part of the material that ended up becoming The New Asylum. This poem was not included in the final cut for the book.

The setting is an acute psychiatry unit. The subject of the poem was most likely being treated against his will for a psychotic condition, under provisions of the Mental Health Act of the time.

and what about the rams’ blood

what a great big dopey-looking
nong of a man
is this young bloke

mouth hung open
his eyes look like they’re seeing
something amazing
or maybe just unfocused
from the effort of getting out of bed

fit as a bull though
exercises with his top off in the courtyard sun
all six-pack and biceps

doesn’t say much
asks for towels in the morning
so he can shower
then for his cigarettes
and the rams blood

says lambrusco will do it
what lambrusco
do what

he says it brings the aliens
mutters something about having them
inside him
gestures as though he’s pulling them out
either them or it could be
his heart

and what about that rams blood
do we have any

I tell him that
though people might flock to get here
we don’t admit sheep
onto the ward
because we like to treat each patient
as an individual

he thinks about it for a minute
then laughs
he gets the joke
the absurdity of it
he’s quite handsome
when he laughs

then his face gets dopey again
and he wanders off
to find some clean pajamas to wear
while he washes his clothes
in the laundry


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4 thoughts on “The New Asylum – and what about the ram’s blood

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