How to Live in America By Erica Goss

be calm
despite
sick feeling

terrifying thoughts
are fairly typical
not uncommon

educating yourself
has shown a reduction
in misconceptions

thoughts and actions
are not under control
friction in the family

you can help
speak if possible
disturb

any option
expect it
added stressors

set up a system
do something
set limits

this won’t be tolerated
despite
complex factors

Source Text: “15 Ways To Support a Loved One with Serious Mental Illness” by Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S.

Method: As I read the document, an alternate text seemed to rise out of it, one that echoed the way people are feeling in the current political climate.

Erica Goss served as Poet Laureate of Los Gatos, CA from 2013-2016. She is the author of Night Court, winner of the 2016 Lyrebird Award (forthcoming in 2017), Wild Place (Finishing Line Press 2012) and Vibrant Words: Ideas and Inspirations for Poets (PushPen Press 2014). Erica is a poet-teacher for California Poets in the Schools. Her poems, reviews and articles appear widely.