Experiment 1882, Discovery Of The Unconscious

By Karen Morris

In Nancy, France, it was raining.
I’d wished I’d had an umbrella.
I’d wished I had a clue about the will
and magic power.

In Nancy, France, it was not raining.
The doctors placed an umbrella on the table
and told me I was sleepy.
Feeling all wet, I opened it up
inside the auditorium, and with the red question mark
of the parasol, covered my head.

Mother I’m hungry. I am starving.
This green grass looks good to eat.
Mother, I am a goat.

Allow me to explain, it is not raining.
Herren Doktoren did not say why
I should open the umbrella,
but there it lies on the table.
How I would love to open it
and pray for the shedding of this down-pour.
I love its canopy and the sheltered pocket,
among all the wetness no one else seems to see.


The kindly face of God
became the face of the huge
Gin-berry priest.
Let me tell you how he made Mother dance
and how he loved his beer for its piss.

“Open the umbrella!”
“Is it raining here?
How did those clothes get on the floor?”
“Open your mouth.” He pours in another beer.

I will tell you his foul name and the names
of our churches he celebrated in.
There is the university where he taught your sons.
I can show you each house where he buried the bones
of the boys he tricked–
and how I sat down to table with him,
and how I have hated every meal since.

In the name of the Father,
here is my tongue, Amen.
I can even tell you his small shoe size.

He’s buried among brother Jesuits,
at rest in echoless palaces.
I would dig him up to kill him again.
I will drag him behind me, like a crazed, mourning Somalian,
past the grave yard of my mother and father.

One last explanation, Herren Doktoren—
My name is not Nancy, it is Cassandra, prophetic daughter.
My eyes are reservoirs for pain.
I am not a goat.
I have lost Time’s flexibility—
Time, which invented me.
I live en garde, neatly insane.
As you leave the auditorium,
Please, turn off the rain!

-Karen Morris

Karen Morris is a NYS licensed psychoanalyst in private practice in Manhattan. Her paper ‘Torture and Attachment: Conscience and the Analyst’s World-Seeing Eye’, has been nominated for NAAP’s 2010 Gradiva Award for best published paper. An earlier version of this paper was read at IFPE’s 2008 conference held in Boston, MA.

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