I am ashamed of my schism,
my contortionist brain and tongue.
Told status is a ticket to love.

Take hurried notes on how
to be righteous.
Worship Satan at my school.
Eat full-metal propaganda.
I should be enough–one day.

I am a contradiction.
Confess on knee through a beehive
covering your honeycomb profile,
tell the truth
about wearing the Devil’s cotton fingers
when I am menstruating.

Only a sociopath could come up with both
invention and condemnation.
Is it always what you say it is,
Father?

I wear a rosary under my shirt;
I like the cold burn.
I’m as invisible as God in a church.
A child. A crime.
Contrition, disclosure, satisfaction.

I am ashamed of my shame.
Coming to terms with gasoline
next to my Mary Janes,
matches nervously scratching.
A chalk border of burns.

Acting as though speech exonerates
my clotted gauze and knotted deeds.
Repeat. Repeat. Repeat after me:

I cannot choose to be the seed
or the poison.
I can choose not to be the harvest.
I think. I think. I think, I stammer
If I am trying to be honest—

Father, you have sinned.

Image credit:Максим Власенко

Kaci Skiles Laws is a closet cat-lady and creative writer living in Dallas—Fort Worth. She is an editor at Open Arts Forum, and her writing has been featured in The Letters Page, Bewildering Stories, The American Journal of Poetry, Pif Magazine, The Blue Nib, Necro Magazine, Cajun Mutt Press, Terror House Magazine, Anti-Heroin Chic, and Ten Million Flies, among others. She won an award for her poem, This is How it Ends, by North Central Texas College's English Department and is currently working on a children's book called The Boogerman. Her published work and blog can be viewed at https://kaciskileslawswriter.wordpress.com/, and her visual artwork and music can be viewed on YouTube under Kaci and Bryant.

 

One thing I'd like people to know about me: I test high for schizotypal personality disorder.

 

“Psychologists believe that a number of famous creative luminaries, including Vincent Van Gogh, Albert Einstein, Emily Dickinson and Isaac Newton, had schizotypal personalities.”

 

That quote comes from the ScienceDaily article Odd Behavior And Creativity May Go Hand-in-hand, which explains,

 

“Often viewed as a hindrance, having a quirky or socially awkward approach to life may be the key to becoming a great artist, composer or inventor.

 

“New research on individuals with schizotypal personalities – people characterized by odd behavior and language but who are not psychotic or schizophrenic – offers the first neurological evidence that they are more creative than either normal or fully schizophrenic individuals, and rely more heavily on the right sides of their brains than the general population to access their creativity.”

 

What defines it?

 

Schizotypal Personality Disorder Symptoms:

 

People with schizotypal personality disorder have odd behavior, speech patterns, thoughts, and perceptions. Other people often describe them as strange or eccentric. People who have this disorder may also:

 

Dress, speak, or act in an odd or unusual way.

 

Be suspicious and paranoid.

 

Be uncomfortable or anxious in social situations due to their distrust of others.

 

Have few friends.

 

Be very uncomfortable with intimacy.

 

Tend to misinterpret reality or to have distorted perceptions (for example, mistaking noises for voices).

 

Have odd beliefs or magical thinking (for example, being overly superstitious or thinking of themselves as psychic).

 

Be preoccupied with fantasy and daydreaming.

 

Tend to be stiff and awkward when relating to others.

 

Come across as emotionally distant, aloof, or cold.

 

Have limited emotional responses or seem “flat”.

 

Other fictional examples include:

 

1. The main character in Taxi Driver

2. Willy Wonka

3. Belle from Beauty and the Beast