Accept no one’s
Accept no one’s
by Leslie Wells, 2016
I must beware of an inconstant friend
who owns an amusement park
that opens and closes without warning,
sometimes during the day—
sometimes at night.
He invites me to ride his calliope.
So I climb on the white unicorn—
a flowered wreath around his neck,
a gilded saddle on his back,
a phallic, golden horn thrusting
from his forehead.
Up and down, around and round
the music drowns out my thoughts.
I don’t think.
I just ride.
But the merry-go-round is rigged.
No one grabs the brass ring.
Next I ride his roller-coaster
with its intoxicating highs
and devastating lows.
I almost throw up.
His haunted house isn’t rigged—it’s real.
The residence of ghosts he can never forget or
abandon or escape.
The House of Mirrors
shows my reflection—inside-out.
He can see inside me.
He can see my heart.
He can see my soul.
He probes its orifices, curves, and hallows with his fingers and his teeth.
He eats me like cotton candy.
I dissolve on his tongue.
I am no more.
All that’s left is a paper stick.
I never do find the Tunnel of Love,
even though there’s signs for it
pointing this way and that.
The signs lie.
This park does not have a Tunnel of Love.
As I walk to the games
where I’ll lose all my money and not win
the pink plastic poodle
with its rhinestone collar,
he announces that the park is closed.
Not in ten minutes.
I DON’T WANT YOU HERE.
I rush to the exit.
As I head to my car
and see him locking the gate
and hanging his sign:
DON’T COME BACK UNLESS I INVITE YOU
I lock my car doors
and drive away.
You are not a drop in the ocean.
You are the entire ocean
in a drop.
by Leslie Wells, 2015
My name is Leslie Wells and I have been mentally ill most of my life. The Post Traumatic Stress Disorder started after I was raped at age five. I was also sexually abused as a child by my step-grandfather. I was sixteen when I joined a Christian cult. I stayed in this church for twenty-eight-years. I stayed in a crazy, abusive marriage for twenty-two-years. I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Major Depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and a few personality disorders.
But the abuse and mental illnesses are not the main elements of my story. I have a wonderful twenty-three-year old daughter. I am so proud of her as she works hard to follow her dream of getting a fine arts degree in ceramics. I also have many loving relationships with family and friends.
And I have my creativity. I’m doing the final edit—finally!—on my memoir, Unsafe: God, Sex, and Growing Up. I am also writing the first draft of a novel. I have my constant companion, my journal. And the poetry I write. I’ve been making collages for fifteen years. I find out what other parts of my mind want my conscious mind to know as I place the images on the paper. Not only do they speak to me, my collages seem to speak to others, as well.
I don’t ask myself where I would be without my creativity. The answer isn’t pretty and the question is hypothetical–so why waste energy on it? Is the question is hypothetical for you? If it isn’t, I hope Creative and Mentally Ill can play a role in changing that.