Haiku Breaks on Tides of Melancholia

Concetta Principe

Fishbowl of what aches

a rusted nail
dying in its bed
of wormed wood

feels nothing

Fishbowl of nothing

is not nothing but the tremors
of something
saints or Danish princes whine about

Fishbowl of the limit of saying

nothing is not something
to share with no one
but the self ghosted by Hamlet’s question

what is your problem? they said

Fishbowl of faith

if there is a saint or Dane whose thorn
torments him I, nail, am the verb
of his torment
take that aporia

Fishbowl of melodrama

even the thorn of
things inside, rays of every tiny

parting, thus, the black sun burns itself out

Fishbowl of the obscene thickness of guilt

I am sorry for being
I am sorry for breathing
I am so sorry for doing nothing
I am so—

Fishbowl in retrospect

the insignificance of the “I”
from crown to toe
kept upright in the veined woods of life

the subject out of joint

Fishbowl of bathrooms as sanctuaries from torment

broken promises like
broken glasses or

I, nail, adjure you

Fishbowl of jokes

two fish
circling around a pure and joyous mystery
that is how the world spins
not here

Fishbowl of not here

imprisoned by nowhere, just
sideways thinking
a toe in the coffin

oxygen, goddamn it

Fishbowl in retrospect

bloor subway, a river
of strong social current turning
its gaze from her tortured

Ophelia love for pansies—anonymous

Fishbowl of a mirror

reflections in the glass darkly,
she is tarnished
by this river of
bad logic, they said

at least it is logic, she thought

Fishbowl of subways

fire in the hole
of the self

Jack’s crown shatters through the tunnels
in her face

Fishbowl in retrospect

believe me the world
spins grass does the downward
dog and people rise at dawn

without breaking

Fishbowl of the psych ward

to be that sunlight
not indifferent to this ruin
of the self

Fishbowl of bad logic

birds chattering
above her iron hold on the floor boards
excruciating his every foot step

wood like water

Fishbowl of Zoloft

mental helium
zippers the mind, a violin playing purple skies
as limbs waltz back and forth

she is an event horizon

Fishbowl in retrospect

there is no greater darkness than
brilliance sheered away by
the void in her

Fishbowl of More Zoloft

my heart is a dog
he said
it will not heal
he laughed

Fishbowl in retrospect

humor fled
when the clown arrived and her face cracked,
pavement in winter

Fishbowl of a dog

cut me

cut me
out of here

Fishbowl of Zoloft dreams

soft bed of night, sweet
light of Orion’s shield and
glittering knife

cutlery of soul murder

Fishbowl in retrospect

to take every dream
or every dawn, to make every effort
to wait for dear life, to hold tight

to start an engine that is broken, logic that

Fishbowl of faith

the solid chair
melts into air
and sits in the lap of the table, purring

inches of oxygen, our daily rations

Fishbowl in retrospect

how do you mourn the death
of something that has not died in you
but cannot live there, either?

Fishbowl of living there

I am the hardware
for heavy water
about to bed uranium

hear my thinking roar

Fishbowl in retrospect

no matter where it shivers
or how violently it utters,
we are nailed

so nailed

Fishbowl of pink pansies in a vase on the windowsill

there is a window
when nothing changes

through which a bird flies
catching a wave

i want

Fishbowl of want

to begin again

Fishbowl of desire

to have and hold

Fishbowl of feeling

to take what nails
from between the bones

Concetta Principe is a published writer of poetry and fiction with a PhD from the humanities program at York University. An ongoing engagement with psychoanalysis, and specifically Lacanian psychoanalysis, informs her creative projects and her scholarly work. She has published articles on trauma in twentieth century philosophy, literature and film in scholarly journals. Her poetry and short prose has appeared in Canadian literary journals and her most recent collection of poetry, walking, came out with DC Books in 2013.