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Three Poems by Jake Bailey

I ate the raptor on the pyre
The fire / is a lie again
We walk sideways
We eat full

A skull
Is insulated from self-respect
They don’t respect
They inspect
My pockets
My problems
The problem / is in isolation
This conflagration was avoidable
I’m voidable
Erase my skin
It’s in / here

Right here
I lit the fire to cull the crop
Never stops

Welcome to SchiZmatic Park


Art by Sam Loree

A symphony of recklessness leads to falling away or felling another.
Felling another, you lose sight of what it means to breathe.
What it means to breathe disappears when falling away.
Falling away, you lose sight of what it can mean to be.
What it can mean to be is lilies beneath a crescent moon.
Beneath a crescent moon, pooling waters reflect what is not said.
What is not said weighs heavy like carrying another body inside your own.
Inside your own body is the mark of schism, a capital Z.
A capital Z for schiZo does not mean a gun in hand.
A gun in hand is more likely for the mouth attached than exterior soul.
An exterior soul may not understand the way a brain can break.
A brain can break like incarnation on fire.
Incarnation on fire burns brighter than any hell one can think of.
One can think of hell as being awake in the midst of this sound.
In the midst of sound, I reach out for your hand.
I reach out for your hand in a symphony of recklessness.
The recklessness of trying
not to fall away.

Capital Z

Mitochondrial mismanagement / Iron
He sings / Irrevocable / He
Abandons / What saves

Ungraves the dead
The said / Is what we have
You had a chance to make a mark / Unscarred / Maw
The shame is in sinning / They’ll pin it / To
To you / Resume mouth
Resume / Sound / I’ve found
It’s better to have
A hollow throat / The bloat
Is in the mind / Slippery slice / Brown-red blot / My clot
Is floating / Clouded / Brain / Are you getting this?
To camera three
There’s three of them
Dying isn’t easy / It’s not a game
Celestial / Terrestrial / Seroquel / I mean well
I mean to say that scarecrows are scared
Of only crows
That grace unfurls
From where it grows
It’s better to have
A hollow throat
Than to say
What haunts you most

The ghost / Is at the door
The bear becomes the boar
They thought you could be more
A chore
Is what you become / Undone
Hallucinates the said

I’m dead wrought hide / Inside
I bleed words

And blur / My sense of self
Metaled on a shelf / Broken by the help
You’ll have a chance / To make
A mark / Start
With a question

Who’s behind you?

Schizo Encounters Voice 2


Art by Sam Loree

Jake Bailey is a schiZotypal experientialist, scholar, and librarian. He has forthcoming or published academic work in Persuasions and The Journal of Librarianship and Information Science and published or forthcoming creative work in Abstract Magazine, The American Journal of Poetry, The Carolina Quarterly, Constellations, Diode Poetry Journal, Frontier Poetry, Guesthouse, Mid-American Review, Palette Poetry, PANK Magazine, Passages North, Storm Cellar, TAB: The Journal of Poetry & Poetics, and elsewhere. Jake received his MA from Northwest Missouri State University, his MFA from Antioch University, Los Angeles, and his MLIS from Dominican University. He is a former editor for Lunch Ticket and reads for The Los Angeles Review and Grist. Jake lives in Illinois with his wife, his service dog, and his emotional support dogs. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram (@SaintJakeowitz) and at

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