Elegy to my Mother


Louise M. Hart

Your body betrays you

It is a ghost of its former self

A crumpled hand

Caresses a toiled brow


Not long now

Not long now


But, you are a warrior

The bearer of two

You have watched men

Come and go


Infants and oafs, in skin

Thinner than the curve of your lips

Narrower and shallower lives

Than the hips that bore me well


Mother, I love you so


I am joyous in your presence

I laugh and cry in equal measures

In bursts of simultaneous ebbs and flows of emotion

That sooth and reveal how I feel about you


You fill my days with thoughts

Rich and deep

Invade my dreams

Whilst in the froes of sleep


Mother, you made me

So, now, I shall make you


In words that rhyme eternal, wondrous and true



Everyone is Psychotic

I am the madwoman’s attic

My walls are lined with abandonment

And static

My Insides are wood and glass pain


Everyone is psychotic

Quixotic psychotropic drugs

Blight our lives


In the haze of our smoke substitutes

We choke on the ash

Of our fragrant decay

And smell of fear

And replacement nicotine milieu


Unclean in the rear of our heads

We rub the behinds of our scalps minds

Until they bleed plumes of rosebud red


The universe speaks with the voice of unreason

Sanity is so last season

But is positively appealing

To those who are psychotically unreal

And believe that existence is but a delusional idea

That we are all free to think, act

And feel


I am sanity’s self-lover

I masturbate undercover of logic’s single sheet of belief


Everyone is psychotic

Except me-

Who am too, too sane

To be real

Louise M. Hart (2017)

Big Bren gets Shaved, 8th July 2017

We watched the Big Man being shaved

My pocket containing ten pounds

And Michelle

With her illusory beard

But I bought 2 drinks, anyway

“It’s a beautiful thing,” I thought

“Sacrificing your hair for charity”

And the lamb remained in stillness

Like a 21st century Buddha

Whilst anxiety gripped me

Like a gynaecologist’s fist

From the bottom of my empty pocket

To the nicotine tips of my conscience

My Mother and I had argued, you see

Before I left home

So I fooled myself that I wasn’t all bad-

Pneuma in a cage of beer and cigarette smoke

But smiled, like Satan’s symbiotic sister

Until Patrick walked me to the bus

And my smiles became tears, I didn’t shed

For a Man

Women make better friends, they said

Nails bite like incisors into soft, warm flesh

Women are fluid


Then I took

A man with big hands and enormous feet

Whose hair tickles parts of me

About which my Mother didn’t tell

Fingers that sing tricky tunes of love

The bee’s sting of desire


I know women

But I love a man


I am not a traitor to my sisters’ cause

Punching my fist in the face of ideological rejection

I am the projection of




Merely human


Louise M. Hart











Ode to Ruby Rose

Your hair is sunlight


Illuminating your face


Strands like fingers




Sweet caresses


To your skin


Of silken lace




Mine is brittle


Whose strands betray


And belittle


The pulp that lies


Beneath my eyes


Flesh ruddy and hostile




Your breath kisses the wind


Mine is stained with the scent


Of cigarettes and sin


I have lived amongst men


But love only women


You love none


More than yourself


And display your body


For a living


I display my mind


And am a dying monument


To life upon the shelf




Your eyes shine like cerulean


And the diamonds you wear


Suggest the wealth of your talent


If only I could rest my head


Between your breast’s


Heaves of submission


And be reborn as beauty


Love, truth


And death in remission




You are an illustrated woman


Your flesh frames


Each picture you portray


So, I read you with a lascivious look


Devour your painted form


Like an open book


And then I look again


And imagine


That you have stamped


My library card of a heart


With a kiss of approval




But you are no more real


Than the love I feel


When I gaze at photographs


Of you


For you are young


And I am too old and ugly


To be loved by one


As beautiful as you


Fucked up

I wish that I could shut up

Should be in a lock up

Decay of mind and spirit

Not quite with it


I am the portal to insanity

For my mind is my only true reality

But my heart is almost free


So lay your head on my chest

And listen to the beat,

Beat, beat me

Into a pulp rhapsody

Of thoughts

Which broadcast from me

Like white noise from a turned off TV


Open your pocket

And place my heart within it

Like a time bomb of a watch

I shall tick against the skull of your belly

Until you tell me

That I have saved you

From sanity’s padded cell of luxury

And the concept of materiality

R.D. Laing and the Politics of Madness By Louise M. Hart 26 years after his death a biopic has recently been released about the life of, “acid psychiatrist,” and counter cultural guru, R. D. Laing. Whilst a range of theorists, writers and even some of his former patients have attempted to discredit Laing’s theories and practice, his star continues to shine. Supporting this is the primacy and currency of discourse about the man and his world view. Ronald David Laing (1927-1989) is most famous for challenging mainstream psychiatry. His legacy, also, includes his much wider attack on the dominant model of scientific reason and western post-enlightenment thinking. Laing uproots traditional belief systems and rather, reconfigures psychiatry in a framework that is both socio-political and philosophic. Influenced by existential philosophy, Laing argues that the diagnosis of mental disorder, or madness (his preferred term) should not be based on patients’ presentation or behaviour. He believes that treating behaviour medically is false epistemology. Accordingly, a patient’s mental health is no longer a signifier of conduct but a consequence of how their beliefs impact and shape their behaviour. Laing famously writes about the experience of breakdown/breakthrough as a regenerative process. He encourages patients’ personal growth and claims that a psychotic break does not have to induce psychical deterioration. Rather, he perceives the process as a transformative experience comparable with a shamanic journey and argues that a positive outcome should involve a freer and more humanistic treatment of patients. In 1965 he opened the now notorious, Kingsley Hall as an alternative to traditional psychiatric hospitals, which promote a medical model approach to mental health. At Kingsley Hall patients were allowed to act out their psychosis free of tranquilising, anti-psychotic medication and offered in contrast, illegal and hallucinogenic drugs. Laing recognised that anti-psychotic medication sedated and dulled the mind to the more metaphysical symptoms associated with psychosis. He believed in contrast that hallucinogens expanded consciousness and promoted the free expression of thought, feeling and behaviour. Laing proposed that his revolutionary approach to mental illness, backed by the use of hallucinogenic drugs constituted a more effective treatment option for those affected by psychosis than the traditional medicalized approach. The Laingian model promised the possibility of healing through spiritual and psychological renewal. At best the Kingsley Hall experiment produced mixed results. At least 2 patients died jumping from the rooftop. But, it represented an important landmark in the aetiology of mental health theory and practice and opened up the debate about the use of medication. Today’s mental health recovery movement is one of the more progressive social change movements and arguably would not exist without Laing’s influence. It is progressive because it challenges not only mainstream psychiatry, but the ideological basis of received thinking in contemporary western society about the normative principle. Laing and recovery model advocates argue that the concept of normality is the prerequisite for the construct of madness. Consequently, were we to eradicate the notion of normality, madness, also, would be extinguished.