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Paul Harrison
Paul Harrison is an Irish guy living in Perth, WA. Perhaps you've read his shit here and there.

Clues to his bio and disintegration can be found at The Last Disciple First.

in there, even the cockroaches smoked
By Paul Harrison

and Santa sang golden oldies
down disconnected phone lines
and when he covered himself
in blankets he became a snow man
or maybe the ghost of his past
Mark liked to watch the trees
and sent letters he never wrote
thought the Watch Tower made sense
because how can you have something then nothing?
the Russian danced with his fingers
and laughed at secret jokes
pacing the courtyards
would smoke a 100 a day if you let him
and of course the nurses didn't
Jenny ran for miles
down fluorescent corridors
to distance herself
from another
nervous breakdown
thought everyone was beautiful
Judy was sick of lithium
and Jenny and immune to happy pills
ECT, her last throw of the die
Ray checked in, checked out
checked in again
drawing visionary diagrams
concerning compassion
salvation and peace of mind
all the way to eternity...
a lot of the girls
were obese
and cut themselves
loved drama
in best friends
one by one
they left or wept
code blues
reminded some
of mortality
while others swore
i was there to steal their soul
at meal time the skeletons
manoeuvred food
around their plates
like generals lost
in side show mirrors
Eric, my roomie had done time
in the hardest jails
lost fingers in knife fights
and been shot 3 times
Eric knew the life
knew something was wrong
became cirrhotic
went clean, cut ties
then tried to help
anxious and dying
Mary hallucinated the worst of traumas
that really happened
to her and her kids
that never stopped happening
to her and her kids
and bore a phantom child
forever turning
or due tomorrow; Mary was 55.
the drug psychosis kids
dreamt and plotted
audacious ceiling crawlspace
drops into med room Nirvanas
pumped with compounds
ending in zine or pam
Harry had just been admitted
with angry, cornered eyes
colonised by fear
the day i got discharged
so i gave him my smokes
as the bus pulled away
Mark still lost in the trees
and maybe a God, pacing inside

Published in The Diamond & the Thief – April 10