Schizo Tries Hypnosis – Jake Bailey

(*Please have someone read the poem to you*)


I want to show you something

lean back into being           back into being

the cat on the couch          at half-past noon


calm your spirit          the spirit          the spirit

is spire in unmarked cave          but your eyes

are heavy          and solace is deep      lower your lids

but don’t fall asleep          I’ll count you down

the steps of the self          one foot     then two

your feet turn          to blue and your arms

and your legs crystalize          into sapphire

into sapphire          rest here

it’s calm here          imagine          an ocean

and a warm summer breeze          breathe          first in

then out          be still          be still


now          enter my mind


you’re fine/ you’re fine

get back in line for the crepuscular

sprockets in the lint in your pocket

squirm/ squirm/ squirming

to the beat at the edge of your seat

of chains/ rope chains/ chains put a strain

on the base of your neck/ let’s inspect

gray matter/ take a sub to the lip of the ship

full of sand/ stand/ stand, feel the weight

of the gun in your hand/ yourself is now

disconnected from the world/ a girl of six

picks up sticks at the edge of the yard

guess you’re charged/ she isn’t there

stop and stare/ stop and stare

start to wear thought on your sleeve

sit and weave perception into miracle

you can see everything they can’t

and you’ll rant about taxes and faxes

and lapses of judgment/ you’ll miss rent

and you’re spent like a coin doused in grease

just release/ just release

feel your mind rise and fall

this is all/ this is all/ this is

what you’re dealt/ felt and sky where they

aren’t and they’re sent to watch you

unshed/ you follow the clues in your shoes

they’re beacons of bounty/ end up in county

and ward/ after ward/ after ward/ afterward

you’ll stroll the streets and repeat and repeat

time after time/ it’s a crime to be crazy

still hazy/ still hazy

napalm is your brain on vacation/ remember

your station/ mitts turn to ants/ envelop

your pants and more and more

the man is here with a hat in his hair

black silhouette screams as bear

as beaver/ as bore/ wanting more/ wanting more

his mouth unhinges like the center of a black hole

it’s your soul/ it’s your soul

your hands reach for the scythe to slit

and slip six-legged sentinels from the pit

of your paws/ then saw/ then saw

syrup stains the rawest of pain

you are claimed/ you are

not sane/ sane/ sane/ sane

the mind is/ incomplete

this voice will eat/ this voice will eat


retreat          to the beach          reach for balm


then calm          then calm          it’s calm here

bend your soul          against your brain

and feel it rise and fall          rise and fall

and rise into sky          the soul is the chaos

of the divine          if we were whole

we’d never be fine          finding your footing

in rip-tattered genes never means          we’re the ladder

or the cell or unwell          say to yourself, “Existence

matters,”          then shatter          then shatter

then build          a cathedral with a tattered steeple

and remember          that life, itself, likes people

open your eyes          listen to mutter


The vine always stems     /    from the gap in the gutter

Jake Bailey

Jake Bailey

Jake Bailey is a schizotypal confessionalist in Antioch University Los Angeles’ MFA program and the co-editor of poetry for Lunch Ticket. He has published or forthcoming work in FlyPaper Magazine, The Laurel Review, Pidgeonholes, formercactus, The Hellebore, Barren Magazine, and elsewhere. Twitter: @SaintJakeowitz.

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