From the Windows of the Kew Lunatic Asylum

By SUSAN KINSOLVING

The view excavated any hope of escape. “Ha ha!”
the trench, that sunken fence, seemed to say
with its furrows dug deep enough for despair. 


Though from the other side, the public saw
swept views, open expanses, a landscaped guise.
The asylum appeared to be a place of liberty!

But between normalcy and its aberrant
neighbor, conduits had been cut to demoralize
the committed while reassuring the rest.

No common ground was shared between
that haha outside and the hysteria within.
Those chasms were created to confine each

breach that behavior had transgressed.

 

Susan Kinsolving has published the poetry collections The White Eyelash, Dailies & Rushes, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, Among Flowers,and the forthcoming My Glass Eye. As a librettist, she has had works performed with the Marin Symphony, Santa Rosa Symphony, Glimmerglass Opera, and The Baroque Choral Guild in New York, The Netherlands, Italy, and California.

[Purchase your copy of Issue 02 here.]

From the Windows of the Kew Lunatic Asylum

Related Posts

Palm tree and building at dusk

Monsoon

URVI KUMBHAT
From my window I see a boy shaking the bougainvillea / for flowers. My parents talk of pruning it. They talk / of little else. The tree, spilling wildly past our house into / the gulley—where boys come to smoke or piss.

The Hundertwasser House in Vienna

Etude No. 2 and Etude No. 3

KIM CURTS MATTHEUSSENS
in Rome a monumental marble typewriter / ticked out their story into the sky: two lovers / devour time. she lay on the lawn near Trajan's / column. he plucked letters from her dress, / her hair, served them to her by hand, by mouth.

Image of an intensely green trailhead.

December 2022 Poetry Feature: Kevin McIlvoy

KEVIN McILVOY
On mine spoil. In debris fields / of asphalt and concrete and brick. / Upon sites of chemical spills. / Along lifeless riverbanks. / In clonal groves so hardy you / have to steel yourself for years / of killing to kill one acre. / Where construction crews rake off / the surface