When I Was Still a Freudian


I kept a night journal as you were supposed to do in those days, recording dreams and the alter egos that appeared in them. Then later in the morning when I woke up, I’d look for insight hidden in the slew of events–like the time when

Sarah disemboweled
a member of the serpent clan tattooed
with ugly snakes–and strangling Elam
at the time. She was quiet with that death,
and for a while went hand in hand with red
dreams, until the centaurs came, and freed
other proclivities.

Call them centaurs,
if you like. The females with their painted
lips were handsome in an eerie way,
ghostly milk-white-skinned—really
seriously pale—, with vestigial breasts,
and every nipple pierced by thin, delicious
ornaments of pain. A few wove bones
into their mane of hair. It’s how I sometimes
think my mother would have looked before
she stopped herself from being cruel–except
these creatures were of another order altogether
down below the girdle, where the waist
transformed into an armored thorax sprouting
eight insanely slender legs—hydraulic
legs to drag the black, flabby abdomen
pulsing with their spider ardor. They were
the size of Clydesdales and Norman Percherons–


well, not the males, who were venomous
but smaller, like a dog. Through the green
steaming forest, Elam watched them through
a spyglass as they tended to their food
supply, consisting of the senseless
mammals bound in webs, and hung like morbid
decorations from the trees: mule
deer and goats up-ended, the universal
pigs suspended soulless on a heavy
thread, and one unlucky Spaniard in
the mix, alert and paralyzed, his crucifix
gummed against his neck. Elam later
would retrieve a rosary from his

Here and there a voluntary
male would lose his head, and mount a massive
estrus female as she spread her legs
to let him clamber step-wise up, and work
his will. The must was on him. As he probed
her inner purposes, she sent filaments
of silk to billow round him and secure
almost invisibly the partnership.
She turned to touch his face, trace his neck,
and in his heat, as his howl began
like hounds, she swept a glittery talon through
his temple, opening his braincase, and commenced
to feast upon his central matter as
his body spasmed well inside her.


things occurred at once. Sarah notched
an arrow, aimed, and shot the demon lover
as she swallowed–who collapsed like a bridge
in the brief day, gravely, over time,
and black night came swirling across her eyes.
The feral army rallied, massing an attack
on Sarah’s flank, when Elam with
the rifle fired a round like fateful thunder
to the uninitiated. You wonder
who would volunteer to be a mother,
and engender these erotic frenzies?
Fires were kindled, flames flew like haunted
birds from tree to tree, the wings of such
epitome enfolded the retreating
spider-women in a thermal rush,
a brief epiphany, and then continued
through the further kingdom animalia,
pursuing every fleeing creature, and leaving
steaming carcasses the size of tanks.


Well, you can see the problem. What was anyone supposed to learn from these nightmare battles?  I mean, seriously, my mother never looked like that. No one keeps a journal anymore.

Author: Brad Crenshaw

I am a poet and literary critic. I have written two books of poetry: 'Genealogies' was published in April 2016. My first book of poetry is titled 'My Gargantuan Desire'. I also have two chapbooks: 'Propagandas', and 'Limits of Resurrection'. I am working on a manuscript titled 'Medical Life’, which is book of creative non-fiction. I have worked as a neuropsychologist for many years in a New England tertiary care medical center, and in the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services. 'Medical Life' reflects my encounters with people who have had neurological insults of various sorts, and the problems that result. When I am not writing, or working, I'll be out in my ocean kayak in either the Pacific or Atlantic Oceans. The unconstructed world.

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