Selected Works, Volume One On Sale
Jerry Prager, author of Legends of the Morgeti vol 1 &2 has published selections of poetry and prose from three of his previously published books, his blog The Well Versed Heart and unpublished works. On Sale at Macondo Books, the Bookshelf, in Guelph and the Eden Mills Writers Fest.
D'Etre Raisins

No sour grapes these,

rather the withered sweetness
of seasons lengthened
to aged fruition
chewed introspectively.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


My seventy-five year old mother
has been a psychiatric experiment
since 1958, when she, suffering
post-partum depression
was first diagnosed as schizophrenic
and subjected to forty insulin-induced comas
that ended only when my father insisted
they release her from the horror-room
where she and seventeen other women
were being "treated" en masse by
the best psychiatry Stalinist Russia
had to offer, transported to Canada
at the same time that the CIA
conducted their infamous
LSD experiments on patients in Montreal.

Released in time to see my sister
into kindergarten, they put her on Mellaril
which left her emotionally quieted
for the next fifty years, minus
the seven months my father went into
alcohol rehab in the 1970's and
the nuns at St. Joseph's Al-Anon
program in North Bay told her she
didn't need the drugs and so
she stopped taking them until
my father fell off the wagon
and the worry drove her
through stresses suppressed since '58.

Anger and frustration again became madness
and so she went back into the void where she
remained until 2005 when they stopped making
Mellaril. Put on Respiradol, she went into
psychotropic zones so intense she ended
up trying to strangle a nurse
at the local hospital where she had just
been honoured for 25 years of volunteer service.

Sent to the new mental "health" centre
in North Bay she was re-diagnosed as bi-polar
because the shrink there believed
post-partum depression is a symptom
of bi-polarity, and for the next four months
she ranged through Respiradol hallucinations
among the cellars and attics of her long-lost
emotions. And now, two years later, my sister,
who has born the brunt of living in a house
and in a town with our half-lunatic mother, assures me
that the psychiatrist from Toronto who has been
working with Mum has devoted her life
to seniors but I want to know where
the scientific method went,
where is the control in my mother's pharmacy ?
Not once has anyone since the nuns
thought of trying to see what she's like
without drugs. I will not say
that this new doctor is not kind or caring,
only that science without a control
is not science. Where is my mother
unaltered, unattenuated, undistorted ?

She is at the mercy of drug dealers,
of a corporate culture that feeds off
the Canadian health-care system.
To them she is a "consumer" on whom they practice
their dark arts in the shadows of the hearts
and minds of well-meaning people who work in
an industry where even less
in known about the human psyche than
Freud discovered a century ago.

Part-times lucid and other times rambling
through drug-burdened incoherences,
my mother's soul has been broken open,
poked and prodded and medicated
as they shuffle her towards oblivion.
Only her spirit remains indomitable, refined in
the fires of their tortures. And I, ineffectual
against their machinations, rage and am
accused by those who love me of being too angry,
my fury erupting at times
in blazes like madness and I AM
too angry at times,
but my rage is fueled
by what they have done
and by what they keep doing
to my mother
and in the fault lines
of my childhood
I still don't know
how to form
these pieces
into a sledge
to smash my way
into the darkness
where they
keep my family,
where the demonic power
that lies in the heart
of false science
feeds on the misery
of millions.

1 comment:

kathleenmaher said...

Again and again rage like yours achieves release for the victim of each new era's pharmaceutical cure.
The poem is painful, Jerry, and harrowing in its truth. Do what you can. Express your rage in lasting poetry, and recite it, the beauty of such writing finds its fullest time in repetition. Were there ever justice,it might work miracles.