The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®


Rachel Tramonte

The Language of Confinement


The language of confinement shifts
admit to

Hudson river asylum for insane
Hudson river state hospital
Hudson river psychiatric center

                                                    Stay home
                                                      Take legal drugs

Depending on the results of

                  HAM-D       SADS-L BDI-II     PHQ
                  HRSD    MMPI-D         PHQ

You will get a new name

                MAD, GAD, BAD, PTSD, PPD
                ADHD, ODD, SAD, BPD

And be prescribed

Mesmerism, restraints ECT, Quiet rooms
Valium, Milltown, Lithium, Prozac, Wellbutrin
Adderall, Zyprexa, micro dosing lsd, or taking ecstasy

and be subject to manualized treatment

                EMDR- RET-CBT-DBT-RAT- ITP
                ACT MBCT-PFT-PST-TAU

If you want some thing cheap, fast, & stigma free
WTF go see Amma for a hug and A Hershey’s Kiss.



Rachel Tramonte



Dear Hypo Mania

I used to dream on you
star after star.

I was new to you
but you knew what to do

I gathered endorphins like fireflies
So you would think I was good.

I bet on you to knit my ailing heart
From 2 to 1. 1 to 2. I wooed you

with caffeine amphetamines
fava beans, and dreams.

That beacon I wanted was you
and thank you,

You came to know me
as best as a state could.




RACHEL TRAMONTE lives in Berkeley, CA with her partner and their two daughters. Her work has appeared in GFT and Third Wednesday. She has work forthcoming in Slab and Jelly Bucket.



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