Friday, June 24, 2005


Neologisms of an Ornithologist in a Quiet Room

Curled like a bird in its mother's nest
the patient lies on a cot mumbling: Roomboom.
Quietroom. Booby-hatch my egrets'
regrets. Magpie, tell Wagatail:
strap me to swallowlegs.
Blue-throated doc butcherbirds my brains
again and again. Nutcracker nurse nightjars my back.
Sniper trails me. Yellow-bellied sapsucker
twists. Oh, my arms pintail my sage.
Oh, girl, whippoorwilling
girl. Swallow me. Let the wren.
Let the quail, swallow me.

-Esther Altshul Helfgott

from the Homeless One: A Poem in Many Voices
originally published in Seattle by Kota press, 2000
Now, thanks to the German psychotherapist, Dr. Rudolf Suesske of Cologne, Homeless has a website and is available for theatre use and in academic environments. It has been particularly effective in abnormal psychology classes.

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