Silence chauffeurs loss,
I call it—God
another conundrum unsolved.
A discreet chill lingers to speak,

a farewell from the arctic concludes:
if millions of anything dies
it isn’t equally tragic
.

Primates are most vile;
what could Jane Goodall see
in chimpanzees?

Maybe as humans, we are of different genera, unclassified
chain-links. With the real miracles

being exploited, pillaged, gulped whole—
I know we are a natural disaster
in action.

I attempt to distract my son from us,
squabble with loose pieces
to board games—
the misfits Goodwill crochets.

It is a dishonest flail on my part.
80,000 children are starving in Yemen;

I find three versions of Candyland
at my local garbage store,
not the edition from my childhood.

The characters on the cards speak with their demented eyes, marked
four ninety-nine
with enthusiasm and missing parts.

Once they were drawn docile,
nostalgic shades of imagination,
an assurance of safe nonsense.

Today, they are decomposing in landfills or have become debris inside
of beached whales.
My mother tags me in articles

depicting graphic images.
But never does anything more.
We stare on and scroll down.

Selected byLawrence George
Image credit:Michał Parzuchowski

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