Bipolar & Gotham, Oil on Canvas, poems by Michael Lee Johnson

      Bipolar

      Awake night light
      jungle twisted branches of thought.
      One character linked to the
      insane personality of the other.
      Bipolar in a universe of singles.
      The fear of aloneness hearing
      cracks in your walls; jumbling joy
      of jumping into the municipal pool
      in Hillside, Illinois at 3 am.
      Bipolar, bewitched, and alone.
      Late to work staring at your
      Employer, dart split eyes.
      Tattered with memories dancing
      on the tablecloth with glee
      slapped on the face with a teaspoon
      just to feel the sadness leave.
      Bipolar, bewitched, and alone.
      Seldom ever hear happiness
      that doesn't sound like a fire
      siren camping in your eardrums.
      Meds crank up and crank down;
      moods follow the meds
      or do meds follow the moods?
      Personal wars echo words in my ears.
      Even during silent times the night
      roars like street jungles.
      Bipolar, bewitched, and alone.

      Gotham, Oil on Canvas

      Chatty women at the dining table
      in 19th century garb-
      red hats and hair pins
      caked with rubies,
      ghostly faces acutely obscured,
      hue blue matted hair stretching
      down like dripping wax.
      Menus open out white
      as bleached sheets
      with no black typeface.
      Wine glasses filled with white
      clouds, no red juice-
      begging in silence to be
      lifted up, to be touched
      by the missing lips of strangers.
      Three mirrors hanging from
      frozen air behind the bar
      away from the dining area-
      circular globs of white reflecting
      nothing but moon shapes.
      At the dining table ladies
      pointing fingers at each other,
      ears filled with gobs of paint.
      Dull lights in the corners
      depicting form, faint
      in near darkness.
      Their pictured world,
      frozen in time, is slapped on canvas.
      As the evening wears toward midnight
      the painting disappears, emerging
      silent characters into madness.


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Fatmah Hussein Al Qadfan
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