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  • Todd Wooten

A Bout of Ideation

Updated: Oct 12, 2023

But suicides have a special language.

Like carpenters they want to know which tools.

They never ask why build.

- from “Wanting to Die” by Anne Sexton


thoughts before my second psych ward visit:


People who own glass homes should not throw stones.

Is it acceptable to throw yourself?

five-story downtown building with a reception-made roof

where hundreds of friends and colleagues meet to determine

company futures and strategic plans

and I stroll the edge of the structure

eyes aimed at the sidewalk

I do the percentages in my head


A Wal-Mart end cap displays carbon monoxide alarms

I recall the three marines who died in their car

as they sat outside a convenience store

I google ‘are Prius fumes toxic

when they collect in a garage?’

and I imagine the screeched beeps

that announce the rise of ppm levels

and invite me to relax in the backseat


Five milligrams of Zyprexa beds me for twelve hours.

I am supplied thirty pills by the pharmacist.

What amount would I need to swallow?

what if vodka washed it down? I keep the questions to myself and smile.

turns out twenty can erase a three day weekend.

when I revive, I pack my Samsonite shell. I fail to commit suicide so I commit myself.

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