‘Vision’ (c) Rob Goldstein 2019
‘Vision’ (c) Rob Goldstein 2019
Eros smiles seductively
and takes the seat next
He caresses my thigh
and whispers a filthy
secret: to know him
in a thousand
(c) Rob Goldstein November 5, 1985
Each month Diana Wallace Peach issues an image as a prompt at her
blog, Myths of the Mirror. This is my SOC mashup of a response.
Anjana the elephant wanted to know who caused the snow.
He hated snow and wanted it stopped.
In the distance, he saw a house resting lopsided in a baobab tree.
“Is that house crushing my tree?” Anjana muttered to himself.
He lumbered through the snow until he reached the house and peered
A little girl sat cross-legged on the floor with a notebook and pen.
The little girl looked up and smiled at Anjana.
Anjana stepped backward and bowed.
“I am Anjana,” he said.
Trina wrote his name in her notebook.
“Are you a munchkin?” she asked.
Anjana scratched his head with his trunk.
“No, I’m a demigod.”
“I see.” Trina smiled. “If you had fingers you could snap them
and fix my house.”
“I don’t need fingers to fix your house!”
Anjana lifted the house from the tree with his mighty trunk and
set it gently on the ground.
“Oh thank you!” Trina said. “Where am I?”
“Do you have other powers?”
“Well…No. I used to hold up the World, but that was when it was flat.”
“Silly elephant! The World was never flat!”
This annoyed Anjana. “People thought it was flat, so it was flat!”
“That’s a good point!” said Trina.
Then she stood and shook her pen until it stretched and became
“Shall I stop the snow?”
Anjana stared at Trina with wide eyes and slowly shook his head yes.
Trina waved her wand and shouted: “Snowmobilus! Stoppus!”
Anjana looked way from Trina and watched in awe as the snow slowly
When he turned to thank Trina, she and the house were gone, replaced by
seven white mice dressed as elves.
(c) Rob Goldstein 2019
I wrote this poem in December 1984.
San Francisco’s gay men were hit hard by the AIDS epidemic: the sick and dying were everywhere and no one really knew how HIV was transmitted.
As the number of cases increased most of the healthy men I knew thought they were they were going to sicken and die.
The press called us the worried well.
I was 31. This is how I wanted to die.
If now is my time of dying
let it be a time of giving
a time of joy
an exchange of one gift
to be part of the plan
aware of the plan
God grant me grace
in this interlude
this movement foreword
this final act of life.
‘My Time of Dying’ Rob Goldstein 1984-2019
Portrait of Rob Goldstein by Nina Glaser
It was easy to get lost in a virtual reality; I’ve always lived in one
My experience of dissociative identity disorder is unique yet part of
a pattern of signs and symptoms expressed by different people in
Each person is unique but our bodies are variations on a theme
shared by all animals.
I like to give a clinical context to my discussions of life with DID.
People with DID are not crazy, I use reason to cope with a chaotic
I’ve addressed the experience of psychological regression in earlier posts.
Regression: n. a return to a prior, lower state of cognitive, emotional, or behavioral functioning. This term is associated particularly with psychoanalytic theory, denoting a situation in which the individual reverts to immature behavior or to an earlier stage of psychosexual development when threatened with overwhelming external problems or internal conflicts. —regress vb. —regressive adj.>>>>
Atavistic Regression, a term first used in hypnosis, describes a reversion to the ‘ancestral self’.
Dissociative Identity Disorder begins as a protective self-hypnosis that becomes more extreme and elaborate over time.
“Self hypnosis is central to the development of dissociative symptoms and DID.”Dissociative Spectrum Disorders in the Primary Care Setting
A person with DID may experience atavistic regression on a spectrum from feeling oddly younger to becoming a child self with all the mannerisms and speech patterns of a child.
Child alters often talk in a child-like way, but unlike a biological child they can normally understand abstract concepts and long words. They are often found to hold memories of child abuse which occurred at around the age the child alter feels he/she is. Some may have the speech or appearance of a very young child, the youngest being unable to talk, read or write. Child alters should not be confused with the concept of having an “inner child”, which applies to non-dissociative people. Child Alters and DID
Bobby is one of the teens: he has access to a lifetime of information.
My first best friend
I last saw Sandra In 1980.
We watched the sun set at Colonial Lake and reminisced about a game we called Super Girl; I lay on my back and raised her up on my hands and feet: she stretched out like an acrobat and flew while I sang nonsense lyrics to the theme from ‘Superman.”
When Sandra died I went numb and flew to West Virginia; I spoke at her
funeral and flew home the next day.
“Anniversary reactions are the re-experience of a prior traumatic event — a death, a disaster or an individual tragedy. They are triggered by a specific date or event that strikes a chord deep inside our minds, which can be a traumatic portal to the past. A birthday, a notable date or a holiday can link to an earlier moment in our lives that was full of trouble, hurt or conflict. When they do occur, a person who may be highly functioning can be overcome and feel powerlessness, even immobilized.” Mastering the Anniversary Reaction
When Sandra was born, I was 4 and already dissociating.
We spent hours playing with dolls or making mud pies on the porch.
Everyone grieves but not everyone grieves in fragments.
After my sister’s birth, my Mother’s abuse worsened, as did the anti-Semitic
abuse of our Evangelical neighbors.
Jews were not the ‘right kind’ of white people in the segregated South
of the early 1960’s.
When I was six I signed my name ‘Antonio’.
I don’t know how many child parts knew my sister and loved her.
Shortly after Christmas, I noticed I felt like a child.
I lost confidence in my writing and lost skills; I forgot how to
proofread and spell.
Then grief and tears and a thought: my first best friend is dead.
‘My first best friend is dead.’
A Sliver of Grief
The Nurse picks
you up and shows
I live in
and I am
(c) Rob Goldstein 2019
This film is an over the top yet accurate depiction of how DID feels inside:
Trina chats with a snake in the grass.
The snake curls up on Trina’s lap: “What if I die and never
Trina replies: “I saw a slice of death, once. When I got to
heaven flash bulbs went off and I heard a chorus of angels
“I saw lots of homosexuals: they danced and had sex and made
“Then, I passed through a long tube and came out here!” Trina
smiles at the memory.
The snake looks up with concern: “Is that what’ll happen to me?”
“I don’t know.” Trina pulls out a notebook. “God doesn’t like you.”
“What are you doing?” asks the snake.
“I’m writing a poem.” Trina replies.
“What’ll you do with it?” The snake slithers up and onto the notebook.
“Sell it to Proctor and Gamble, silly!”
The snake drops from the notebook to the grass. “Have you given much thought to space?” he asks.
“Not in a million years.” Trina replies.
Then she sighs and writes her rhyme:
I was feelin’ kinda shitty
really small and itty bitty
garden snakes talked and
my lovers all walked
but at least
I was still very
(c)Rob Goldstein 2017 All Rights Reserved
Highlights of this week include the launch of an investigation into Trump’s Inaugural Campaign and the Nancy Pelosi clap-back at Trump’s SOTU.
We had a taste of political brilliance when @AOC had witnesses an Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on Wednesday concede that our system of campaign finance enables political corruption at every level of our government.
The week closed with acting Attorney General, Matt Whitaker, giving testimony before the House Judiciary Committee and Jeff Bezos calling out the National Enquirer for extortion.
On a personal note, this was a good week, I was able to get back to writing, and I am organizing my manuscript and writing new poems.
I may have to take a break to focus on designing and making a book cover.
Please enjoy the videos; I’ve added Trevor Noah to the lineup. 🙂
I do not own the images in this post
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