A Study of My Ideation In Three Sonnets

Josh Shepard

“Ideation may refer to:

  • Ideation (creative process), the process of creating new ideas
  • Suicidal ideation, suicidal thoughts
  • Paranoid ideation, paranoia”

                    —Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Perhaps it is cartoon instantaneous, this genesis of creativity,

            or like molasses through an IV drip                  (patience).

Perhaps it comes fragmented, this promise,

            or inexplicably blueprintwhole.

Perhaps it is a puzzle that is both lock and key.

Perhaps it is a wakeful dreaming,

            or a dreamful waking.

Perhaps it comes from all around you,

            or from somewhere deep within.

Perhaps it is a magic that doesn’t care if you believe or not.

But why you, you tiny god?

            Why is it yours to catch this magic,

                          to conjure these worlds?

                                        And did your god ever imagine a world where he didn’t exist?

It was —     the belt tied tight in the closet.

                    the medicine cabinet washed back with the bar.

                    sharp and bright in the bathtub.

                    a two hour drive in a closed garage.

It was —      stolen from one of my dad’s safes, taken orally.

                    a brick wall at ninety mile-per-hour.

                    cold and deep, then warm and deeper.

                    something that flew, and then didn’t.

Emily Dickinson had her divinest sense.

Sylvia Plath ricocheted around.

David Lynch got trapped in his rubber clown suit of negativity.

Ellen Forney lost her marbles.

Rainer Maria Rilke took his angels along with his demons.

Kanye West says he hates it, calls it awesome.

And it always starts like this: with the doctor, her paper, the pills.

            Then my mouth becomes a satchel full of scar tissue,

                          scabs over, runs dry, atrophies.                                                           Is this paranoid?

            Next my hands, transformed into my great-grandmother’s,

                          the highways of these digits crossed over one another in too-sharp turns

                                         unable to hold a pencil, your attention.                                 Is this paranoid?

                          Next is my head, all stuffed full of dirty secondhand bedding.

                                        And last go the words, my god! the words.                           Is this paranoid?

Is it paranoid to think that this healing

will somehow render me broken?

Is it paranoid to think that in gluing me back together

they will forget my favorite parts?

Is it paranoid to imagine a thief ready to steal this magic

just over my shoulder, reaching, disguising himself as a cure?


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