it is rumored
Jesus walks the halls
of a local asylum
offering comfort
to those who receive
his bloody touch
lunatics lean into his words
hoping for a miracle
some measure of peace
agitation fills the air
doctors tremble
arm themselves with needle
and pills
stumble and shout
"nail him with hypodermics
paralyze him with psychotropics
crucify him on iron cots"

dear god
heavenly father
do not forgive them
for they know exactly
what they do.

c2001 Irene Drennan   
IRENE DRENNAN, a transplanted 1950s Greenwich Village artist/poet, moved to Washington state in 1969.  Her writing has appeared in Duckabush Journal, Film Writers West, Gray Panthers, N.O.W., Raven Chronicles and other literary magazines.  She read with the Seattle Five Plus One poetry workshop for eight years. The poems of this popular group were anthologized into a book by the same name -- The Seattle Five Plus One (Pig Iron Press, 1995).

In the 1940s, when Irene finished high school, she could not decide if she should study psychology or art.  She took a job as an attendant in a mental hospital. "I wanted to be sure I was taking the right path. Also, I read a very old book titled Lunatix. I was fascinated. I had to go see for myself.  I tried, through writing, to understand what the patients were feeling. But after two years at Buffalo State Hospital, I chose art."

read Irene's poems
childhood delirium
third grade

Irene Drennan