Phantoms of the brain



didn’t intend to develop schizophrenia

which masticated within her brain regardless

of her want

inking pathways and dissecting certainty

a railway of colors lost in submersion

until Capgras Delusion bloomed

the moth of dissociation a star

sewn grossly on her shoulder

branding in disorder



didn’t mean to

self mutilate

causing a bald spot on her scalp to form

like paper becoming chinese lotus

a whirl of follicles perfectly circular

she wholeheartedly believed men made exact copies of people

“screens” that mimicked reality but were not

there were two screens of herself

one evil, one good


the good Diana

presented her doctor with a plea for help

I don’t want to be consumed by the whirl she said

biting her nails with reddened lips

the evil Diana considered if

she could reach the pencil and sink it in

to his rotten false arm

you’re obviously a fake she wanted to scream

I can see you! I can see your falseness!

like tar on the beach you wash up dead and stinking!


the good Diana kept quiet

this takes time to prove, she thought

sheltered behind her bamboo mask

tight and affixed with unknown glue

where once in a while she’d peer out

tongue lolling against wood

limbic system walking with disabled emotion

feeling like she was looking out of someone else

phosphorous haunting versions or a lighthouse

void of lamp

never finding her way back from cliffs edge

into phantom self


(Thank you to Vilayanur S. Ramachandran for his inspiring paper of the same name)

24 thoughts on “Phantoms of the brain

  1. There are, always things about ours selves we wan to disown, because they’re, unpleasant, and yet, until we can, fully accepted those “bad” parts if our selves, we will, never be considered, “cured” from whatever mental illnesses we may have been diagnosed by the psychiatrists with…

  2. Candice, this is my fourth time reading this and every time I end up in tears. Candice, you are truly brilliant. You touch every inch of me with your emotions put into words

  3. Candice this is marvelous!! I can’t describe the illustrations in my brain while I read this..its just wonderful. ❤

  4. amazing!! I actually study the neurobiology of schizophrenia and it’s encouraging to see people talking about it and bringing attention to it. well done!

  5. I’m so excited to talk with someone who studies this subject! Wow! Very encouraged by your response and that you read this. Thank you. I do try to unveil the lesser known. It helps that a close friend had a brain tumor and subsequent seizures and I know many who have abnormal events of the brain, and I am fascinated by it, though by no means able to understand it at your level, hence why i am so appreciative to you thank you!

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