Jacob Brunner

XXXIV. Ok… so back turned and already w food when…


Someone points to musicians

Why MUST u test me always???

What is wrong w my son
and I deserve this

Do not understand
why help must come
wearing particular stripes….

I will NOT
Tell u again my plans
Since that is how u know
To send “plants” and

“erroneous donut holes”

Maybe I will hear the music play anyway


Note from the author: Metaphors Abound is a series of found/erasure poems culled from thousands of emails sent by my mother, who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia. What began as gathering evidence for mental health court hearings became my attempt to master something beyond my control. I found solace in the irony of managing my mother’s language when her paranoia stems from (self-alleged) academic plagiarism. Through this piratical communion, I hoped to absolve her imaginary sins, to expose the limitations of our mental health laws, and to mourn an ambiguous loss. 


Jacob Brunner is a writer and musician based in Philadelphia. His poems, essays, and translations have been published in Title Magazine, DoubleSpeak, and Cousin. He records music under the moniker Strawberry Hands and runs the independent record label Peace Isn’t Luck.

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