A Didactic List of Ghosts by Joseph Reich

  1. Ghosts come in many different shapes

and forms when all that grieving and loss

and guilt and conflict and maddening injustice

is just way beyond our control and comprehension

  1. They come when it’s just too

painful to go back reminiscing

  1. They come when they

take over the identity

  1. They come in the form of long-lost

visual and auditory hallucinations

  1. They come from a hymn and pity and grieving

for the self when all those you thought a part

of your support system suddenly disappear

for no particular reason (most likely the pettiness

and self-interest of human nature) into thin air

which turns thick with spirits wondering where?

  1. They come from a severe and profound loneliness

when our coping and survival (and defense) mechanisms

can no longer take it and whether self-inflicted or sudden

trauma or desertion and abandonment is like the scientific

dynamic of the “supersaturation” level where if you drop in

just one more particle everything falls out (and left all alone)

  1. They come from very strange and unfamiliar

prolonged periods of weather your physiological

and the psychological system is just not prepared for

  1. They come from a reel to reel projector

which just keeps on projecting, repeating

your fate over and over and over again

with a very strange form of (in)justice

you cannot even begin to pretend

  1. They come from a moodiness

beyond our belief when our hearts

and minds can no longer contain the grief

  1. They come from a consistent emotional spiritual

neglect and abuse, leaving one feeling eternally

angry, ruminating, humiliated, and confused

  1. They come from the melancholy and mortality

of sentimental seasons in the form of triggers

when our emotional and spiritual and psychological

systems just cannot cope or take it anymore and seeps

into the vulnerable fragile folds of an open wounded soul

  1. They come from periods and phases of sudden and severe

life-transitions, brooding, isolation, turning inwards, and

depression (whether from trauma, chemical or situational)

and consequently, the real-life hyperbole and personification

and exacerbation of all things empty, hollow, vacant and haunted

  1. They come from the skin and bones

of the mind, spirit, heart, and soul…

Joseph Reich – Is a social worker who lives with his wife and twelve-year-old son in the high-up mountains of Vermont. His work been published in a wide variety of eclectic literary journals both here and abroad, been nominated six times for The Pushcart Prize, and his books in poetry and cultural studies include, “A Different Sort Of Distance” (Skive Magazine Press) “If I Told You To Jump Off The Brooklyn Bridge”
(Flutter Press) “Pain Diary: Working Methadone & The Life & Times Of The Man Sawed In Half” (Brick Road Poetry Press) “Drugstore Sushi” (Thunderclap Press) “The Derivation Of Cowboys & Indians” (Fomite Press) “The Housing Market: a comfortable place to jump off the end of the world” (Fomite Press) “The Hole That Runs Through Utopia” (Fomite Press) “Connecting The Dots To Shangri-La: A Postmodern Cultural Hx Of America” (Fomite Press) “Taking The Fifth And Running With It: a psychological guide for the hard of hearing and blind” (Broadstone Books) “Scenes From The Dynamite Stand” (Bedlam Press) “The Hospitality Business” (Valeveil Press) “The Rituals Of Mummification” (Sagging Meniscus Press)”Magritte’s Missing Murals: Insomniac Episodes” (Sagging Meniscus Press) “How To Order Chinese During A Hostage Crisis: Dialects, Existential Essays, A Play, And Other Poems” (Hog Press)

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