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by Abigail Cloud

What is bone? Bread in your body. A core—the ground. Words that speak all the time of a yellowing of dream, its truth rusting to black and splintering. It’s sharp and you can’t remember why. Guilt gutters in the center, shrieking outward in points. What is guilt? A time when other minds rush inside your own, as many as slip past your gates.


Lunatic Notes, 1838
by Abigail Cloud

Case: A young girl who paid no attention
to anything. She felt the hot iron (they say
a torrent of fire strikes their frames) and promised
reason. Maniacs rarely fail in this respect.

Case: A man said he was quite black,
but had no corporeal disease and slept
without derangement. After a year
of horse exercise I told him he was a disgrace
and successfully combated the disease.

Case: The old woman refused to know
her husband. When he visited, she met him
with pleasant vagueness. Treatment with cold
lotion to the head had no effect; however, she is
a favorite of the staff and no trouble to anyone.

Case: He claims to have received a divine command
not to eat. We find the tube in the nostrils preferable
to knocking out the front teeth. Patient finds
he can be made to live.