Stoned Sprites

A friend of Lucifer…I am not.

But the intrigue is palatable.imageedit_15_7752253949

Stone sprites reaching from beyond the chilled rain.

Professing living and not learning…from the grave.

Deep in my secret soul is retribution with a hint of shame.

Yet, offerings of billowy pills ascend beyond the pain.

Cycle of Abuse: Breakdowns Come, Breakdowns…Do Not Go

I set aside specific days to write this journal/introspection of my childhood and life.  If anyone reading this has suffered at the big, callous, hand of abuse…both visible and invisible.  If there is just one person suffering from the pains of stretching your now adult skin over the remnants of a child’s constant insults, adult bullying, slaps, rug burns, turmoil…They would understand the shaky, sweaty, palms of the victim.

For the victim, who lived seemingly short years, over a lifetime of abuse.  Your body shakes without notice.  Your mind wonders.  Your thoughts come up with excuses for not unraveling the mystery of parent’s injustice.

Personally, I am a fan of tuning out.  I have done so all my life.  Through writing, drugging, music, television, anything…

I did not ask to be the asphalt jungle to my parent’s car wheels filled with the air of neglect. But I did what was needed to hide away.  To take shelter behind words, lyrics, anything to drown out the sounds of flesh hitting flesh, the accusations, the screaming and yelling…

‘You’re not fuckin’ good are you?’

‘I don’t give a good goddamn what you think?’

‘Can’t you get off your fat, lazy, ass and do something?’

Over, over, and over…again.

My father’s favorite?_boiler room state hospital

Who’s gonna help you now?  Get the fuck up!  I’m not done with you…’


Jack Sanders, one of my father’s attorneys, was fairly simple to track down.  Having been the assistant district attorney for Rockingham County, during the early sixties…He left a paper trail.

I can assume when I phoned him at his current law office in Portsmouth; I had certainly caught him off guard.  That being said.  Jack remembered both my father…and, later, my mother.

“If I had been in your father’s shoes.  I think I would have done the same thing!  Mind you I can’t divulge much of the case…lawyer – client privilege…you know.  But she (Elizabeth Laughlin-Bowley) was very easy.  She got around!  She pushed your father into thinking he had no choice …”

Jack could not elaborate further about my father’s first wife.  Or, her such severe, indiscretions; That she (Elizabeth) deserved to be stabbed to death.  However, it had been obvious that during their marriage, Elizabeth had a habit of prolonged infidelity.

It boils my blood…even now.

Infidelity gone bad?!  WTF?  Stabbing someone 35 times because they no longer wished to be with you?  Stabbing a mother in front of her child?  And, Mr. Sanders…making excuses for such horrendous behavior.

Had I been surprised?  Not too much!  After all, one of my cousins on my father’s side…killed a man in Texas.  Killed him because the guy came onto him.  Another Hate Crime…another soul lost.  I had yet, another cousin, convicted of vehicular homicide.  She too…contained the Bowley blood.

I had been aghast at Mr. Sander’s response…A typical good boy response…It is the woman’s fault.

My father had been shipped to New Hampshire State Hospital in ’63.  And, not two years later, my mother gave my half-sister and half-brother up to catholic adoption services…in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Pushed to the edge by her father’s physical abuse.  My mother, Janice, always found comfort in the arms of even more abusive men.  Aside from taking steps to becoming a nun, joining a convent for short time…and, all the priests, she encountered.    One of the other men with meaning had been, Louis, her first husband.

Always frail, toxic in dampened in thought and lacking in confidence, Janice fulfilled the role of woman on the edge…often.

She attempted suicide many times during this era.  Pills, razor, down and out reckless behavior.  She became less and less lucid.  And, eventually, had a nervous breakdown.  We had always been close.  Possibly because of my need to discover the depth of life beyond more money…and, more into madness.  Perhaps, we were also close because she wrote. She penned poems quite frequently.

In the two years spent at New Hampshire Hospital…she had been encouraged to write her feelings down.

Janice felt the need to disclose her innermost secrets to me.  She would tell me of the time Electro Shock Therapy had come to fruition at the hospital.  How, roommates, friends and others…were being carried off.  Carted away to try this new and improved treatment for all that ails you.

Janice would also talk of the plastic bed-clothes they wore.  Plastic, lacking in excess thread.  Thread that a patient could hang themselves with.  Supposedly, these clothes also cut down on laundry.  Being easily to wipe clean when a sloppy and drug awed patient made a mess.old main. room state hospital

Cigarettes would need doling out.  And, screams and cries for help would echo from behind the walls of cemented observation rooms.  The blood on the ceiling and hallway walls…from former inmates. So on and so forth.

I am certain the experience drags what little of you that is left…Drags your soul down and keeps hold of it until you completely down and…totally, out.

What shook me the most, today…Had been taken the folder of poems my mother gave to me, down from the closet.  Glancing at them for the first time in many, many, years.  I felt as though the air had thickened and my soul had been dismissed.  The same exact way I felt when I first read Janice’s writings.



J. A. Scalf

I’d try to forget

The red roses you sent

If roses stopped being red

I’d try to forget

The winter we met

The spring we wed

If it snowed in the spring instead.

I’d try not to remember you at all

If two little children didn’t call you daddy.

I’d try to forget you

but my heart won’t listen.

So, in order to forget the hurt

I’ll remember

red roses, spring and the rest

Most of all

The love of two children

Who call you daddy

For them I can’t forget

state hospital 1

What A Way to Live

by J. A. Scalf

When life is distorted and you’ve got the facts wrong

When your unstable and confused

On Thioridazine you belong

When your sad and depressed, blue and low

On Mellaril or Elavil you should go

When your high and loud, happy and new

Watch out!

Thioridazine is after you

If you reach a happy medium

You’ll never know

Because your medicated so.

Your numb, that is all you’ll know

What a way to live

What a way to go

**Excerpts from Janice’s poetry/journal circa 1965 – 1966.


I can only read the poetry in bits and spurts.  It hurts so much to feel another’s pain.  Pain that could have been alleviated by others.  The cycle of abuse!  So vicious!  It starts with a great, grandfather smacking his kids around for being in a room, for playing outdoors or taking too long to eat dinner.

That vision takes hold by the daughter or the son.  Faded and disgruntled…the memory means little.  Then the child becomes a parent, finds himself…or, herself, overwhelmed.  Overwhelmed with long hours and short paychecks from work.  Suddenly, a slap becomes a fist.  A spanking turns into a leather belt with heavy grooves in it.  Not much later, the parent lives a solemn life of…

I could have been a photographer

I could have been an army general

I could have been someone important

Like a broken rim to a bicycle.  The wheel keeps turning.  Children are born.  Parents become grandparents…but there is little talk.  Very little is said about the hitting, screaming, mistreatment, etc.  No one talks, therefore, no one listens…And, in a short while, that is just life, one generation after another.harold freaky

Fifty years into my life…Thirty-five, or so, sitting in my own shit.  Behaving badly.  Thinking of just myself.  Being a poorly educated parent.  Providing little comfort for my lover.

Sitting on my deck in the late winter…I wonder,

“Could I have been better…had my family discussed the abuse…the shame…the sick state of health…”

Those thoughts languish in the late afternoon sun.  I don’t ponder and putter on them…for too long.  I can only change what I know how to change.  Living improved, is a daily process, the forgiveness, the purposeful forgetfulness…

Fixin’ Schizophrenic

fixin schizophrenic 5

Sitting on a fence leave you with nothing but a stick up your ass!
Sitting on a fence leaves you with nothing but a stick up your ass!

fixin schizophrenic 3

By proxy this seems to be the way

Though we cannot know for sure.

The choice…


The voices…


She once spoke of the way out

It took all the King’s men…

a tapestry of bottled helpers…

to put her back together again.

She had a history of believing

I am them.  They are me.

To the observant observer…

for we all are not…

fixin schizophrenic 7There is a way out for these anxiously epic…

the heroic lot.

A lineup of crack pot characters dancing like

sugar plums around a misguided nativity.

Years in the making the illness…

the way…

would never come or go

for free.

These are the ghosts in the hall…

the talking China dolls…

the gesturing hands…

these are the things…

the compliant cannot understand.

The way out?

Fixing me to better understand you?

Paying heed to voices…

giving the devil his overdue…dues.

There is a claim to hearing




nothing at all.

Brown eyed ladies


Blue eyed boys

in a vacuum of quiet noise.

Room upon room filled with

broken glass.

What seems normal?

What is real?

Fading, fading, fast.

Either way…

the way is what it will always be.

About not fixing you

about fixing me.

WE are small in comparison to the judgments we make.
WE are small in comparison to the judgments we make.

fixin schizophrenic 2

A century or so...ago. The town of Hill NH moved.  The town relocated because the  citizen wanted a change.  Funny how a small group of people can move mountains!
A century or so…ago. The town of Hill NH moved. The town relocated because the citizens wanted a change. Funny how a small group of people can move mountains!

Concord State

Concord State

I cannot be your eyes if you unwilling to see.
I cannot be your eyes if you unwilling to see.
Shame: a wasteland of guilt erected upon a plateau of ignorance.
Shame: a wasteland of guilt erected upon a plateau of ignorance.


In 1962 you made a stab at the becoming…

of unglued.

Fifty years later the animal will not be

sub dued.

Your illness is only espousing the

indifference to medicate.

A soul infested with halitosis

Negligence vs. obligation are the words

to be uttered when we…

finsih with each other.

Truth be dared

Trespassing the hospital grounds

Mind and body declared not sound.

50’s dianostic materials of lobotomies

in reverse.

Midgets and giants…

a calgary of baptists playing god

in a

fallen church.

What was she to you?

I am sure not an M.C. Laughin’.

The pen will keep writing

until you are gone.

105 Pleasant…

Thorazine’s swan song.

Tales from the O.C.D. Crypt

Many people are under the guise that O.C.D. is exclusive to obsessively clean individuals. True in some respects. Yet, persons with this disorder are the mayor, councilmen and sole provider of what is considered clean and not clean. For example, my house is typically/normally (and I use that word loosely) cleaner than most. However, if you were to look in my closet or in the trunk of my moped, you would quarantine both areas and ask for a Xanax.

I am allowed one or two areas in which to leave, make and perform messes. Sort of a gift to one’s self. Therefore, clean is a state of mind not a physical state of dusting!  Do as I say, not as I do!

The next tales of horror from my O.C.D. crypt however, are not fictitious and were performed by real people.

Last Thursday I found myself the fortunate recipient of Walmart’s exclusive, invite only, public bathroom. In other words, I had to go. Something about the shopping carts with used Kleenex stuck to the wobbling wheel. The smell of diaper used not fresh. The O’Keefe like figures of down and out baby Momma’s. The whole ambiance of what makes Appalled Mart tick. Something about it makes me have no go to the bathroom and gather myself!

The Thursday in question had me seated next to a woman and her bordering on teenage years male son. Nothing pisses me off more. For Christ’s sake, let the kid figure it out on his own.

Anyway, while attempting to not listen to the Mother and child reunion, I hear these exact words:

“Oh, my God Tony, what the fuck is that on your jacket. You‘re not playing with that ‘stuff‘ again, are you?”

“It’s just sand Mom. I feel in the sand and it was raining!” cries Tony.

“Tony, what is that?”

“I was eatin’ a Ice Cream Sandwich, Ma. It melted. It’s not what you think! I told you I don‘t do that anymore”

Enough said! I bolted upright. Ran from my tiled imprisonment and told my partner I would be in the car.

Tale Two from the crypt of my O.C.D. nightmare:

Everyday, like clockwork, I follow a routine. You see when afflicted with obsessive compulsive behaviors it’s not about the clean, it’s about the routine!

Tuesday whilst in the middle of my daily acts: I stopped by the local Gandhi Mart for a large coffee two yanks on the light cream, one pull on the whole milk, stir and than add the five and a half packages of Equal. Simplicity at it’s best! Usually (which means always) I accompany this beverage with a homemade donut from Brother’s donuts across the street. I could go across the street and purchase the item from the actually person who has produced it but I don’t. I recommended that the owner of Gandhi Mart II Franklin, NH, get them brought in to increase his sales.

In all honesty, I do not like the looks of Brother’s Donuts and have never been in there. But I like the donuts. O.C.D. dilemma averted! Purchase favorite donut but from a different vendor.

Not anymore, however! You see, while in the middle of my coffee ritual, another customer bellied up to the counter. She greeted me with a nod. Smiled at me with her one tooth. Coughed into the public air space and pulled a tissue from a box by the donuts. Ms. Franklin NH 1919 then did the unthinkable. She reached into the clear for people to choose their donut without pawing through them all pastry kiosk and pulls out a sugar donut. She then proceeds to touch it to the tip of her nose and sniffs at it like a dog at a pile of dung! What does the valedictorian from Charles Manson Charm School do? She puts the donut back in the case. Shoves the tissue back in the box. Wipes the sugar from her nose with the sleeve of her overcoat!

And, people think I’m fucked up! Think again!