Night Soil


the possibility 

has turned ill

growing inwards

in small doses

of self-aggression

this body cannot can

take the outside in

as it is

without preparations

a mental map 

to a safe place

the house in purse

salt and sugar

just in case 

it faints

against this body

not mine, it

became fear

too much organs

a piece of flesh

holding thoughts.


in the supermarket

a woman

puts back on the shelf

valerian lozenges

when she notices me

there’re three packages

in her shopping cart

we know they don’t work

but keep trying

out of cruelty

a function of dispossession

from our thinking

especially when in PJs

at the grocery store

means implemented torture 

long enough to buy 

the excitement 

of flirting with the ordinary,

a pop song

hummed by the cashier

bananas and bread

a generous discount

extra time in the queue

projecting sorrow

on strangers

a break from awry connections

although doctors say

an unhealthy thought

is encroaching you

it is not your own crash 

there're no suicidal neurons

no, grey matter does not

wreck inner life

maybe it’s a death 

drive, psychoanalysts suggest

i’d really like to know

who are my thoughts from

if they’re not mine?


a voice from the gut replies

they are clusters 

of perceptions without form

translated by the nerves

into the language of 

electrochemical impulses 

dread overflow 

the spinal cord

energy spilling

unmeasurable words

in the bowels 

like caged roadrunner

brain and stomach

ambiguous worlding

a chemical rock 

pricks from inside

the quiet ocean skin 

what are the nerves trying to say?

does fear predict or trigger the pain?

i'm caught between the two

Upside down 

–the gut says– 

it's anal joy

for the cerebrum

This poem is an edited version, originally self published by Helena Grande in the chapbook titled Night Soil.