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.



Thorzine, Moban,

Closoril, what

a physical thrill.

Ambien, Lunesta,

Ativan, a sleep

managed by man.

Luvox, Effexor,

Welbutrin, the

doctor’s guess

as good as mine.

Lithium, Depakote,

Tegratol, am I

rock steady yet?

Serequel, Zyprexa,

Risperadol,  I’m

400lbs. but I’m

not hallucinating.

Methadone, Morpheine,

Oxy, opiates that increase

the mental pain. I eat it all.

I’m still insane and

searching for the right

feeling of fine.

One Story from my Journey to the State Hospital

I began my illustrious mental health journey at The University of Pennsylvania Hospital in their rehab facility. I left the rehab three times to get high. I confessed once and the councilors caught me twice. I drank a bottle of Robitussin DM each time. Nothing illegal, barely a bleep on my mind already saturated with a history of drug use. This older man, who complained of his gout, Dr. Ottenburg, the one with the nude female sketches covering his office walls, he told me about my transfer to a locked ward. Relief, like a  gas station in the middle of nowhere to feed gas to your beast, overcame me, because I wanted all of it to just stop. A locked door, I soon figured out, was not the ideal in my head. It became the turd in my bed.

Remember “Natalie Merchant,” the female singer? She played a show in Philadelphia during the summer I “resided” at the hospital. In fact, my brother graduated from Drexel College in 1993. I spent 6 months of that year at the hospital. The hospital bragged an indoor and outdoor swimming pool. It showed movies every weekend in its theater, had a mini-golf course and a paved track with a grassy knoll in the center. Stone walls, like I imagine in King Arthur’s reign, protected us from the gun shots the residents heard at night during the last smoke break.

I almost missed my brother’s graduation. I asked a girl with multiple personalities (14) if she eventually enjoyed sex with her father. The sick ass part (If anything is ranker than that) is her mom took her to 5 abortions, in which the father of this woman also fathered the children. Very rich, and a very rich cover-up.

She received a pass to attend a family wedding. I sat in the “living room,” whenSartre's play also. she arrived at the ward safe and sound. The staff checked her soda into their registry, and I heard her ask for the sprite, and she offered me the coke. 2 liter bottles people. She opened up the sprite quite a distance from the staff, and I caught a strong smell of vodka. A knowing smile crossed the bitches face, because she knew, if anyone, I would never turn down a stiff drink. We got bombed in front of the entire night staff, while we sat out in front of the TV in the common area. I blacked out–til the next morning.

The staff knew, and investigated our little drunken party. They told me she targeted me due to her anger. But they weren’t sure about allotting me the pass to my brother’s graduation the next Saturday. Oh, well, I thought. Due to my good behavior for the rest of the week, I in fact, earned back the pass I lost.

I attended the Drexel graduation, but I hated every minute. I wanted to go home. I meant back then, back to the hospital grounds. There, for the first time in my life, I felt at home. At the time, that did not seem too fucked up to me.

I Put a Unit Charge Nurse in the Doghouse at State Hospital

No blood spilled just a change thru my affirmative action.
No blood spilled just a change thru my affirmative action.

Dear Kim (Head nurse on one of my units at Hospital),

In this story I compel myself to write, in spite of the fear you shoved up my ass everyday under “your roof.” You see, now I live under my roof–surprised, because I never believed with God all things are possible.  Your violation of the HIPPA law, in place in Pennsylvania to protect the privacy of the client, brought me to my knees. I prayed for your reign to end. Through my persistent action, you pushed pills on the geriatric unit until the Hospital closed. Your welcome, for that.

A very brave patient approached me one day outside. She said, “Kim said something about you in front of me and asked what I thought, but I said nothing. I wanted to tell you, but honestly I’m afraid of what Kim will do to me.” Rightly so, because as head nurse, punishments she delighted in rendering.

The patient said after a little coaxing, “Kim said that your relationship with your father is sick and incestuous,” Tears started to pour down my cheeks, My Father visited me three times a week, because he actually worked right down the street. Let me say that certain things my brain denied until my emotional maturity strengthened One of the facts of my entire life, that I recently started to accept, regards my father and I. So, the information left me out in the desert naked and afraid.

Kim, the head nurse, slammed a door in my face, threatened me daily, that if I mess one thing up, she relished at the thought of taking away all of my privileges, and enjoyed telling me to shut up. This intel sent me straight to the president of the State Hospital’s office. I bawled and I sniveled while I informed him of Kim’s indiscretions. I confessed that at night, when she left, I worried she may run over me with her car. I said, “I called her from the library and asked if we could agree to disagree,” but she replied, “Oh is that not sooooo nice Jessica, I wish more patients were like you,” with molasses dripping from each syllable.

The President affirmed that he heard my plea, and felt my discouragement. He promised to make inquiry’s. So the next day, an investigator knocked on my door, and several others to include the whistleblower’s. It liberated me to tell the hospital’s investigator every violation Kim executed in my care. It took about two hours. This man, then, interviewed a dozen or so individuals not aware of the situation. He thanked me for my honesty, and said, “I have to show my findings to a board of individuals, so something should transpire in a week or so.”

I thought the week lasted longer than Dirk Diggler’s dick in “Boogie Nights,” but then, the angels sang. Kim, escorted off the floor by two security guards, landed a splendid position as a pill pusher for the geriatric unit for four or five years later. The State Hospital closed, and my wish, for real, is that she learned a lesson from that entire experience, and that today she runs a unit with compassion and insight.

As for the allegations, yes, she said a correct statement about my father and I. I have PTSD and other diagnosis’ that stem from my genes to my fucked up childhood. But, I seek to conquer my demons. Sober 5 and one half years, and taking one day at a time, helps me to put the past behind me slowly, but most definitely.

Never ever let another trample on your soul.