I <3 you Barb, Crazy and All

Yes, you loved to be you.
Yes, you loved to be you.

Dear reader, I love the unlovable, because if I look close enough I see the holy glimmer of goodness even in the sickest of men. This dear woman I met at the State Hospital, Barb, an older schizophrenic spitfire, I loved with all of my imperfect heart. God, she used to yell “Yoohoo,” while she took a shower, or when all of us animals fed ourselves, or just walking around the halls or the grounds.

Sometimes, she scared the shit out of me, because do you know anyone who is accustomed to a woman sneaking up behind them while she screamed so fiercely, as if she just came after copulation with a zen monk? I loved her too, because another side of her whispered, so that in order to hear her she required me to approach her. Oh, her ramblings were tragic, but in a hilarious recourse.

When I worked at the library with her, the librarian fired her, because she shouted her  “Yoohoo’s,” randomly while she “worked.” Barb, however, continued to come to work…she ended up with free time to smoke, and scream with a choir of discordant angels.

One day, a day I received a bit of satisfaction from hearty laughter with my peers, I wore a long flowing sundress. The color theme ranged from bright greens to light browns. Barb fell over her flip-flopped feet to compliment my garb all day long. I undressed to get in my jammies, and without a concrete reason I walked over to Barb’s room where she stood by her dresser whistling. I interrupted, and gifted her the dress. I turned and I walked back to my room. She wore the dress for two or three days.

Thin, with longish gray hair, and nice skin–Barb reminded me of a Goddess.  A vision for one of George MacDonald’s short stories. The writing world regards him as the “Father of Fantasy.” I suggest Phantases and Lilith. Adult fantasy fiction about the journey’s of terrific and fabulous creatures. Barb, in my eyes, floated down the hallway, in a fabulous creature sort of way. I loved her.

The doctors placed me on a discharge ward not long after I gave Barb the dress. At 49, she died due to complications of the medicine she took from the age of 16. Her kidneys were spent, as well as, other organs. I wondered what happened to the dress I gave to her.

Her son, in the military, attended her funeral along with the people who lived with her the longest. She gave me a piece wood on which  her son carved a ram.  I knew she adored her son. I still have that memento, and if I ever happen to meet her son I will gladly return the ram to him.

With one last “Yoohoo” for my friend, and with love still preserved inside my heart for dear Barb,I end this story.

Jessica Klein


Us — Poetry by Jessica Klein

Semaphore Magazine

Oh Kindred, you stared with eyes as wide as

almond shaped thumbs. The green glowed imitation

innocence as the yellow blazed with blind fury inside

both orbs. I saw grave intentions in a hair breaths

divulgence. You always fucked me nicely, then

ferociously into end stage oblivion—I never in my life

met this man. Thank God, the horrendous Kindred

slapped my ass—whap! He redressed as he muttered

a teaspoon phrase. He bolted and I vomited. At an age

of impression I learnt that there exists one omniscient

and tyrannical fuck. Kindred you taught me without

my consultation. You reminded me of a Preacher I met.

He taught me fire and scuffed knees without my

acquiescence. I escaped with just the scraped knees.

Jessica Klein   has a BA in English, Creative Writing, and a minor in Mass Communications she received in May of 2013 from Wilson College. She tries every day…

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This is a poingant reminder of my own.addiction issues. I discovered that my lowest ocean bottom moments all occurred while i was high or right afterwards. Id love for you to read some. This poem will haunt me. Brsvo.

Wine and Tobacco

The nights always rolling in

I can feel it

Even in the morning

I can drown myself in gin

And bathe myself in sin

But there’s nothing I can do,

To ignore it.


Wherever I choose to go

It’s always there

Watching over my back

It’s no fun being this low

My mother told me so

But there’s nothing I can do,

Life is not fair


I have tired to embrace it

But I cannot

Sometimes I will vomit

The pieces just do not fit

Addiction took my life

But there’s nothing I can do,

As my veins rot.

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madmonk                                                                                       12 Lines

Elders committed a crime when they broke my windows.

Beautiful, young snatch insulted the Big 10 schools reputation:   (Who is a man’s

Go look in the mirror to fix your sight—                                                                 cum dumpster

Oxy-clean $$$ more to obtain than snow.                                                             This morning?)

But if I use Oxy in either form—

The deed I committed supersedes my superego.

God bless the people who participate in the rote of life.

I never wanted to know you,

or hear from your brown-stained lips

any tales of your strife.

Excrement: The real SICK deal…

Hello. Just a story about an experience I never forgot, and never will (unfortunately.) Before I entertained at the State Hospital (ha ha), I inhabited the likes of four or five different community psych wards. In York, PA, where I originated, I ended up on York Hospital’s psych ward more than a dozen times.

Lions, and tigers and bears that shit in the woods, oh my.
Lions, and tigers and bears that shit in the woods, oh my.

The most heinous experience occurred when they placed me on the B side of their ward. B was for Bad i think…so I’m feeling fucked up in the head people…just not even human anymore, but the elemental shit, like I knew to shower  still encroached on my  brain. So I gathered my “shower, shit and shave” stuff like shampoo and soap and headed to the only shower on the “B” side of the ward.

I knocked on the door. No one home. I opened the door. Something smelled…Well, just so you know it usually does…so I entered the shower anyway. My eyes adjusted to the fluorescent lights, so I looked around to see what is where. I noticed something wiped across the walls, and it appeared to reminisce the color brown.

I glanced at the toilet, and shit laid in it. I took one step towards the shower. I don’t know why. Its white walls somebody streaked with this brown stuff too. It took me a few moments to register exactly the situation. Some one just came in and shit in the toilet, then this person used his or her shit as finger paint. Brilliant?

I felt contaminated. I do all over again as I remembered this disgusting moment for you:)


I never admitted to a soul that

I dreaded the caress of my g-spot.

The idea of ecstasy frightened me.  My

buddies in Kindergarten drew a star for me,

but I saw a pictorial landscape that lived in the

stars. I imagined a lawn so healthy it spoke

a text language, and so verdant, I caught a

breath of mint life through the fence beside

mine. I thought of my love for velvet dresses.

A slight, breeze with a beautifully, manicured,

Mother’s hand slowly caressed my cheek— the right

one.  The birds sang in choral melody. Ah! The pitch

of the birdies happiness helped me to forget my bullshit.

So, I let go for one blessed moment—of an entire blast

of foul air.  My spirit existed with a lioness’s anger.

If I channeled the quiet “mew” of a kitten—my mantra, to

eat, exercise, and protect myself, because it’s feasible now.

I never estimated a different life.

I closed my eyelids to meditate upon self-care.

I opened my eyes for want of a hug; instead I

studied and interpreted the scenery that told the

truth.  I stood in the parking lot of the State

Mental Hospital. I scored a two-hour ambulance

trip. The county hospital held a speedy trial

weeks ago. The psychiatrist committed me to the State for

180 days.  The welcome ward’s brick stature scared me

and commanded the respect of the patients—or else.

My regular breathing switched to gasps. My lungs

wheezed. My heart raced around the hospitals

cul-de-sac.  Vertigo climbed like ivy into my brain—

coupled with a tornado to spin me into a fretful state.

I followed the short pudgy case-worker with my eyes

squinted, and my will broke when I entered the brick

building. She neglected to let me smoke a much

needed cancer stick.