An Individual History: Poems

By Michael Collier

An person History describes the fears, anger, and guilt—personal, familial, societal, political, and historical—that contain a lifestyles. The determine of the speaker’s maternal grandmother who used to be institutionalized for 5 a long time serves as an overriding metaphor for this haunting, daring new paintings by way of a necessary American poet.

from “An person History

This was once prior to the time of lithium and Zoloft

before temper stabilizers and anxiolytics

and just about all the psychotropic medicines, yet now not before

    thorazine,

which the suicide O’Laughlin known as “handcuffs for the

   mind.”

It was once earlier than, in the course of, and after the time of atomic

   fallout,

Auschwitz, the Nakba, DDT, and also you may well take water

    cures,

find solace in quarantines, perform shunnings,

or stand at Lourdes one of the canes and crutches.

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