Adrienne M. Jenness, MLIS
Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Poet’s statement: I was diagnosed as bipolar when I was 27. I am now in my sixties and, thanks to good therapists and my own efforts, I have been stable for many years. I know what it is like to be mentally ill and then recover to the point that, if I didn’t tell people, they would never know. I think I have an unusual perspective to share. “Alternate Reality” and “The Magic Age” are pieces of my story.
For the Duck LadyI could have been a bag lady,
one of those women
looking much older than they are
pushing a shopping cart
containing their lives,
sleeping on the streets,
one eye open
half a brain awake
ready to flee at a moment’s notice.I’ve carried the labels
“bipolar” or “schizophrenic” or
“mentally ill” or “crazy” or “nuts”
like heavy textbooks
in a backpack.
I’m still working towards my degree.Bad relationships?
Like some country song,
I’ve had a few.
Been there too.There has also been
my jack-in-the-box child
filling me with joy.I’ve had many therapists,
with their sympathetic words
with their well-meaning pills
that played my nervous system
like a screeching violin
as they tried to help me
to blend into this world.They did their job.
I did mine.
I’ve dealt with dreams and nightmares
looked childhood memories in the eye
mourned my dead
and wept for other losses
while learning to divine
truth from hallucinations.
I am grateful;
But instead. . .
when I can snatch a
Further evidence of being crazy? Or
Photography by Threthny
Photography by DraconianRain
|The magic age
The year I turned 27
Not the casual “My life is so crazy right now,”
The kind of insanity where you
The kind where you need to be drugged
My daughter believes
I am no longer afraid.
ADRIENNE M. JENNESS, MLIS, has a bachelor’s degree in English literature and natural sciences from the University of Pennsylvania. She earned an MLIS from Drexel University. She has been a librarian for the Free Library of Philadelphia and more recently a medical librarian at Drexel University. She has been writing poetry for almost three years and been published in Apiary and Forward.
Highlighted in Frontispiece Winter 2013 – Volume 5, Issue 1