In 1990 I had my first of three mental (schizoaffective) breakdowns (the other in 1991 and 1993) and signed myself into a mental hospital for what would turn out to be a long stay. Very confused and basically in the dark about everything that was going on (having been taken there by my brother and parents), I needed some footing to the Reality that was apparent to all those around me. My best friend at the time, Adam, brought to the hospital for me a medium sized (standard poetry issue) unlined, black cover journal and wrote a poem (which i have included as the Preface) in the cover which ended with -"I'm here to snag you back from your travels." He knew as he knew me, that I would use the journal to slowly but surely piece my broken mind back together again. Little did he know I would need and use it for the subsequent 2 episodes.
I publish this work for two reasons: 1) the poems are filled with a desperate need to recover which I think has been a universal need of Mankind since the beginning, and as the story of the journal progresses you can see that steadily and surely the writer's mind comes back together again and does Make Clear the previously Insane World around him, and 2) to inspire compassion for yourself if you suffer from such a plight or for those you know (or have only heard of) who may be going through similar times in their life.
It is offered with the Hope that it might be a doorway, by which others understand the mentally ill as well as offer them a helping hand or even just a little black journal as the case may be.
As I see it, and as I saw it as I was putting together/writing the poems in this book, it is a poet's job, whether vocation or avocation, to open himself up as wide as possible spiritually, emotionally, and most importantly linguistically so that he may be "peered thru". Poems can be kaleidoscopic in their nature or simple (see R. Frost…