traumatized matters

February 21, 2019

This is a poem from lynk bella hues, an ex-football player turned activist-scholar and revolutionary socialist who is working toward becoming a mental health counselor. They describe the poem as stemming from their “life-experiences of becoming a voice-hearer, or what dominant psy knowledge currently calls schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder.”

hues describes the “little nazi bastard” in the poem as both the name of one of the poet’s horrible internal voices and a personification of the destruction of neurons inside their brain — a representation of their risk for developing chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) after 10 years of playing football.

It’s also of course a metaphor for the destructive forces in capitalist society, and hues says the poem portrays how fighting for scientific and moral socialism “is a radical therapeutic prescription that I’ve been practicing to live a meaningful and productive life despite and because of my current neurodiversity.”

traumatized matters

why is it

that capitalist life

in all its oppressiveness

sometimes seems

like a perverse series of dominating psy tests
like milgram’s “obedience” study

from 1961 
just waiting to see

when we’ll break
 and destroy

the whole fucking system?

in these moments

when it seems like

some little nazi bastard

has creeped their way

into one of my brain’s neurons,

i’m a fascist, they say aloud,

not a nazi, you commie nitwit!
their bloody supremacist hands

both holding an axon, whipping it
violently up and down, trying to detach
it from my brain’s already
traumatized matters,

while their feet crushingly stomp

on this one poor neuron’s dendrites,

glial cells helpless to intervene, looking on

as a single neuron is about to die,

not possessing enough supportive power

to fend off this particular cognitive nazi attack,
fuck you! they scream aloud, knowing i am

trying to abolish them from my brain

and the terrible tau protein that may have
brought them into being, a result of ideological
conditioning by dominating capitalist institutions,
and ten years of organized competitive violence
called north american football

[the sound of a disgusting spitting noise

from the cognitive nazi rings in my head,

unhappy to witness resistance to their existence,
perhaps maybe a football fanatic, too, implicit

and embedded as fascist logic is to that horrific game]

in moments like these, i understand

the courage it takes to commit suicide

is never a courage i’ll muster, coward as i am

and too curious to witness my own degeneration.
looking in and looking out from my body,

damaged, ill, pathological, schizo, psychotic

as the dominant psy world reads me

i have a front seat in the crumbling shakespearian stage
that capitalism’s many violences constructed

inside me with every blow to my head

always internally oppressing me

toward becoming yet another
 of the prematurely dead.

for existential materialist relief,

with as much revolutionary

intersectional marxist spirit

as i can engender inside me,

see erich fromm’s the sane society (1955),
critique for joy, critique to extend:
think, feel, read, reflect, dialogue,

build scientific materialist knowledge,
brainstorm liberation strategy,

and tactics that can help us

make socialist revolution.

do all this critically with loving-joyousness,
then repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat

but never become their robot,

only that sore spot they never want to see,
knowing you need, want, and desire

to socially transform all you can see

with all those workers ready to conspire.

Further Reading

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