Ann Quin

Water has become
like my own alcohol
While I bask
In dreams of writing fiction

Hallucinatory illness
psychosis, threads
Always communicating
with each other

As if I am not there
only eavesdropping
On the conversation
Don’t talk to me

About tortured souls
or the ones who never
made it, were transformed by it
Lived through it, survived it

The atlas of their brains
and limbs asylum pieces
every one possessed
with a hard substance

Animal awakened by ritual,
Don’t talk to me
about the loneliness
or the Brighton people

As if it is supposed to mean
Everything to me like scar tissue
What terrible dreams I have
Of the ghost house, of insomnia

Of my childhood continued
Animals are dream catchers
The pigs are lurking there
Behind the looking glass

Their horrifying yet vital
dream-language must still
Be translated by inhuman me
By my incoherent brain.

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