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Wayne Russell

The Prozac Opus 

Wayne has been published in various zines over the years, including The Cannon's Mouth Quarterly, The Rolling Thunder Press, and Staxtes Greek Literary Review via their "English Wednesdays” Internet zine.Wayne can be reached via his Facebook page.




The house is silent 

the lawns are mowed

the dishes have been washed 

coffee brewed 

and consumed.

Ode to that hot dark concoction

a splash of milk

no sugar 

just bitter

as am I


Cast out into this pathetic beast 

this depressed monster 

that I have become  

within slow fading seasons

of life at the midway point 


I look back in disgust 

into the past 

clutching clinging at my youth

that has long since gone.

I beg those that have slipped into eternity 

to "come back"!

Mother! Brother! 

Aunt and Uncle! 

"Come back from the icy clutches of the grave"!

Yet they never answer 

they never hear my cries 

why why?

It happen when I turned 13

it flicked on inside my head like a switch 

that thing they call depression.

It all happened so quickly 

one night at about 7 o'clock 

my parents came into my room 

younger brothers in tow

they told us the news 

they were getting a divorce

I cried as my brothers stared vacantly 

too young to know what divorce was.

They did not know that divorce 

was almost as bad as death!  

Our family was now going to be divided forever  

pulled apart like feathers from a freshly slain chicken corpse. 

The buzzards of failure pecked and pecked at that corpse

the chicken 

dead on the side of the road

this divorce was my fault 

and my brothers fault 

I decided. 

The life slowly drained from my face 

and with the losses that ensued year after year




All chances of true happiness lye buried

underneath shiny white piles of Prozac.

Prozac that mass manufactured "happiness" in a pill

and the rivers

the rivers of beer. 

One night when I was drunk in the gutter 

I asked God did I deserve this neurosis this dreaded disease?

No answer came. 

I slipped into the unconsciousness that was 

the demon drink

only to be awoken 22 years later 

something like a Rip Van Winkle type

but hung over.

I fought back and arose from the ashes like a Phoenix

sober again yet still broken and wandering  

What happened to that child? 

That bright ray of golden light?

What happened to that child?

That constantly smiled 

where did he go? 

"Over the hills and faraway" 

he ran! he ran!

I ran...

straight into the wall of this forced happiness 

this sober complacent man with the forced clam shell smile 

cracked in the middle 

as if not to show it's pearly whites 

those morels and incisors 

now yellowed with

the onslaught of old age


Those gray hairs sprout in unison 

upon my head  

they dance in the breeze 

they laugh like maniacs.

My ears have grown larger 

but do not hear 

like they used to.

My nose has grown longer than Pinocchio's  

that liar 

yet an unseen pollen 

in the hot sticky air 

denies my right to smell.

And as for the dog?  

She has given up 

on her quest 


her usual morning stroll 

for she knows that it is futile 

to even shoot me a sad eyed glance

in which to ask "Can we?"


not on a day like today.


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