For my creative writing seminar the individual assignment/project was a tricky headache and this was mostly my fault because of all the poems in all the world I went for T.S. Eliot’s precious little thing called The Waste Land (a 433 line colossus of a poem) to mimic/reinterpret (sort of) into a modern piece of my own. Below is a shoddy photo of the final product (visual aid + poem) and below that is the actual poem written in my best attempt to mimic the issues/styles/themes/EVERYTHING present in Eliot’s worshiped piece. (Note to self: never, ever try this again!)
Pink fly, peel away
and take Me to Eden,
Where we will dance,
Why are you so lucky to die?
Why suffer truth Dukkha?
Samudaya and Nirodha are already onto you
And your jewels.
Que quieres con Mexíco?
O “Over the river and through the woods”
That’s where the wild things are…
I don’t care.
Destruction drums omens into Sundays
And still I stare at sequential
stars guiding me to Shiva.
Written by Chelsea Marie Hicks
The walls were barren and coated with a sallow white that reflected the sense of sickness that every patient reeked not so secretly. Everything was plain and predictable, from the bedrooms to the hallways to the doctors. There were always people sitting on the couches aimlessly staring forward into the television perhaps with the hope of exchanging lives with a character of a sitcom or made for T.V drama, but who knows what was going on in their heads. The furniture, which took up an awkward amount of space, was dull and mismatched as if they were all purchased at a salvation army for $15.00 each piece. People seemed to be scattered everywhere concerned about this and that. A few ladies anxiously paced the carpeted hallways pretending they were walking along a sidewalk while a few others voiced their frustrations with the high pitched cry of a falcon at the missing puzzle pieces that would have completed their master piece. That was another thing, there was an obscene amount of board games, cards and puzzles all of which had missing pieces. No wonder they were all crazy, they were all going mad looking for those damn missing pieces. Anyways, there were a lot of things I could note about that hospital, like the way the rooms always smelt sour like a perfume of formaldehyde and spoiled milk. It smelt like death, but none of us were dying, at least not in that urgent hospital sense of dying. In fact, most of us were just trying to live the way we used to, before the meds, lab coats and therapy. Lucky for us there were windows, some even in our rooms, that allowed us to peer out at the world we left behind, the reality we strayed away from at least momentarily. In my room there were two beds, two desks, two chairs and a bathroom that could have easily been host to the shooting of a scene in a horror film. Unlike the other rooms, in mine there hung a single framed picture. It was of a rose in a delicate shade of pink that read below it ‘Blossom’. That picture, framed in a fake gold metal, was the most pathetic excuse for art that I had ever seen and on top of that it was cliché. This whole mess of a place, this institution meant to make us whole again, was tearing our minds apart and if you were there you could’ve seen it in our eyes as they screamed and pleaded for mercy, for escape, and for freedom. None of us did anything though, we just kept injecting ourselves with the pills they handed us and kept our pleading eyes attached to the television screen praying that maybe, just maybe we would trade lives.