Voices of David Kessel

The poems on this page (unless in a note box) were all written by David Kessel. Most are reproduced from his collected works The Ivy, Collected Poems 1970-1994 or from Outsider Poems by John Zammit, David Kessel and David Amery. A few were published here for the first time. The file began in January 2001, well before David's 2006 collected works, in which most appear. It was based on my file of poems dictated to me by David for typing and printing for hand distribution. In some cases, I have a succession of different drafts on file as poems developed, sometimes over a period of years. As David might develop a poem over ten years, as with Hillside, Llangattock, it is difficult to know what the dates often attached to his poems mean.



Where is beauty?
There is beauty on a high fell,
but is beauty there?

Lingering I contemplate the calm curves of hills
as a girl I love.
Why does the buzzard soar so easily?
Up into the darkening sky it wheels.
Danger -- I start!
Tiredness and the dimming light touch off
Terror in my heart.
Must climb higher, wish I was the bird.
Is it charming me into a dream to be free?
Better in Hell than dream upon the setting wintry fell,
Life there at least.

Must reach the top before the mist.
O bird embrace me!
So easily meets the lonely sky,
but the heart half-choked that cannot lie
Prays down into the heather,
Down roots
flying into the fell.

Why, why when below the needy die unknown
Risk the high fells alone?
Have I to prove that I don't need to fly
for the helpless that die?
Beauty there!

[ wish no longer to encircle the sky above.
Did want change to need, in love?
So young man come down
from where the wild bare fell meets the cold clear air,
Learn from Lear
no beauty there that's not in fear.

I'm not mad enough to need a fool, so
come alone down into the choking air.
Face life dying,
Head into my love there.


Forever the curves of hills will remain for human joy.
All loves will change
and for that right I'd die.

Maybe someday armed with new freedom
and my love, up.
To bairns' wonder in young heather and old hills
show the wideness of the world.
With my love, from all learn
whence beauty's sprung.
And reading Dylan Thomas see that it seemed to have been done
"for the sake of the souls of the slain birds sailing".

Over Sir John's hill by Dylan Thomas - Dylan Thomas reciting

Van Gogh

Sun of men,
Sane madness when
In minds' tortured furrows
Van Gogh fights back

So yellow
He destroyed himself,
The broken earth

Emily Bronte

Stone-head straight up
in the flower-bed
Quarry-man to the
of purple and yellow
Too long turned-in
under the rocky-hearted soil

Weeps into flowers
that she only,
Between the lonely sky and the cold earth
Stands with it
Within the grey quarry-stone

Stone-age dreading stone
Cries out for colour,
Come wind and thunder
one by one
Tear petals asunder.
Seeds of raped flowers
down through the soil of centuries

Pity the grey-axed wind
for the yellow-brained sun's sake.
Pity the grey stone
for the purple-hearted violet's sake.

For the sake of the seeding of orange
in the grey soil suffering
the stony poetless [poetess] grows,
In a tomb
within a people
whose violets
Only in its graveyard

The Ivy

For Wendy

"The unmoved poet walking the crazed moon" Sidney Keyes

That house holds all my care.
A woman nursed my confidence there and I found through her flesh
the surviving spirit in my mess.
This is the way I was.
A bored mouse storming heaven in a book,
the look took all my caring.
This lunacy I bespoke upon a wan and desperate hope.
The view from a window
upon a playful ground was mine in view of wanting,
and in the eyes of working men I met a worthier ken.
Violence in the soul
was change and ghoul,
and my heart was stolen
by her hair, auburn and oceanic.
The men, their arms and hearts, were all I knew
and if I sles it was for them,
their knowledge and their giving.
Now I am this blood without a body,
mysterious sight and seedless;
sexual in the night, fleshless.
With this light I'll turn my back
and a rendering I'll make of heaven
and hell, and bleeding.

The Ivy gives its name to David's self published collections of his work, in which he writes of the "war poets" as his companions in his fight with schizophrenia. It is for his wife, Wendy. I have not found the quotation attributed to Sidney Keyes, but I did find this:

War Poet by Sidney Keyes

I am the man who looked for peace and found
My own eyes barbed.
I am the man who groped for words and found
An arrow in my hand.
I am the builder whose firm walls surround
A slipping land.
When I grow sick or mad
Mock me not nor chain me:
When I reach for the wind
Cast me not down:
Though my face is a burnt book
And a wasted town.

There is a typescript of Hungering dated September 1980. The poem was published in Matthew O'Hara Committee News 2 in Summer 1981.
"I find myself in a children's playground." became "I find myself amongst children playing."


Whilst I awkwardly roll a fag
a robin sings from a holly tree.

It is we who fence ourselves in.
Like foxes we hunger underground.

The rowan thrives in fierce winds.
The wind brings it rain, bears its leaves and fruit.

I pick a blackberry and find a worm.
I leave the worm to eat the flesh
so the pips may lie naked on the ground.

I turn my female god naturally
into the beetle in my hand.
Then with love I can watch it.
I'll go on making such magic till I die.

On harsh and bitter ground
nettles grow abundantly tall.
Cows make sweet milk from them.

In a sacred wood I dream
of life's conception.

This hawk in a tree hungers for life.
This jet-fighter for death.

If we were really like sheep
we would not kill one another
nor slaughter other animals.

I listen to an owl's ironic hooting.
It knows well its strength
but kills only what it needs.
Thus I will survive life's harshest winter.

To be a sea-trout seeking a mate
at the stream's head

I would live with her as wagtails
independently do by the stream.

The rain is falling into our valley of life and death,
falling on mankind's disintegration of cruelty.

The path becomes a muddy stream.
This is the way I see a woman I love
moving in her freedom with the dark purity of the earth.

Sometimes I feel like the bare sky
longing for the earth.

I have climbed this hill to learn how to take care.

Coming-down amongst an allotment
I find myself amongst children playing.

6.10.1982 Postcard from David who was "spending some time" in a small community near Tiverton in Devon and "pottering about - exploring hedgerows"

New Cross
For John Van

We build our own slums. The wind
through the slums blows on the highest
hills. We are all slowly dying
of cold and loneliness, no fags,
no fruit juice, and neighbours with veg stew
and cups of tea. We live with uncertainty,
our giros and our dreams. Yet our aggression
is our frustrated love. In a billion painful ways
we make the little things of love;
a dustman's sweat, a cleaner's arthritis,
a streetlight's mined electricity,
a carpet-layer's emphysema,
a desperate clerk's angina,
a mate's slow-moaned caresses.

Grandmother Emmie

An old woman is searching
For the redolence of her summer garden.
Beneath the circling gulls she grieves
A lost rhapsody, the men who are at sea.

Rachmaninov, a yearning song,
Summer friends who are lost and gone.
In a guest-house a grandchild dabbles and smokes
Knowing inalienable wrong.

The horizon holds her unutterable need,
Listless terraces her loneliness,
Inward sailing to fearless continents.
The piano scatters wide her mournful seed.

In A Southern English Seaside Town
For My Grandmother Emmie


The waves are breaking.
Black and white water collide
In a man, steeled to the making
Of an English rose-garden

The sky is breaking,
Grey and gold armies hurled
Into a soul, fearful for the turning
Of his own nurtured soil.

A mind is breaking.
O what briary headland may
Enter his heart, with the ebb and flow
Of a new becomimg?


An old woman is searching
For the redolence of her summer garden.
Beneath the circling gulls she grieves
A lost rhapsody, the men who are at sea.

Rachmaninov, a yearning song,
Summer friends who are lost and gone.
In a guest-house a grandchild dabbles and smokes
Knowing inalienable wrong.

The horizon holds her unutterable need,
Listless terraces her loneliness,
Inward sailing to fearless continents.
The piano scatters wide her mournful seed.

Emmie Grace Jones born 26.3.1896 in Kilburn, Middlesex. Her father, Charles Alfred Jones, was a solicitor's managing clerk. She married Harold Charles Oughton on 9.1.1917 in Putney, and their daughter (David's mother), Mary Grace Oughton, was born on 18.2.1920. She then married Calvert George Lambert in 1937. She died 27.7.1993 in Broadstairs Nursing Home, North Foreland Road, aged 97.

Stone Bay, Broadstairs, Kent. A photograph taken by Judith Bennett on Sunday 25.5.2008. Copyright Judith Bennett

"David left me on the beach while he visited his granny.
She used to be a cabaret artist,
took tea with Edward Heath.
Now she's in a nursing home...

I went in the sea when he came back.
His granny was in a mood and wanted to die.

The water is freezing.
I thought it would warm up during the day
but it will take all summer".

Mike Parsons. No date.

Autumn By The Sea
In memory of my mother Peggy
November 1986
In memory of my mother Peggy
in 2006

Breaking waves teach us
the torture of dark distant lands
and our own blind needs

All war and peace in headland gale caught
in the face, the rapture and villainy
of a cross-grained land.

A pebble turns in the surf dense as a star,
bright as Armageddon, cold as cod, turns to the sun
to fathom its hapless unspeakable wrath.

A searching threnody of gulls across a blinded town.

A blackbird in a headland laburnum sings of honour
yielding the depth and infinitude of our stolen world.

On the beach youths surge and cry
plying their futures with darkening horizons.

In November twilight an old man spades
roses against fierce winds, humming
a tune his father learnt on the Somme.
His pity rakes the terrible sky with June.

Mary Grace Oughton, known as Peggy, was born Wandsworth on 18.2.1920. Her father Harold Charles Oughton married Emmie Grace Jones in 1917. Peggy is said to have "converted" from catholicism to communism during the second world war. She married Alexander Kessel in Paddington in the summer of 1946. She was the second of his three wives. and the mother of Paul and David Kessel. She died in Gospel Oak, London on 24.3.1985. David's complete works includes a poem written by his mother dated 17.1.1985.

Oh dance a dance amid the field of lilies
Shrug off the aches and limits of the flesh.
Set free the searching spirit in the meadows
In the ash tree's shade we'll seek our rest.

Oh dance a dance of pain among the daffies
Clutch the blue bells strong and smelling spring.
Straddle the brook, rushing over boulders
And climb the broken gate to gain a greater view.

Oh, lets walk the little bluff that tempts us yonder
Welcome the wind and soft rain on the face
The springing turf will help us on our journey
The pure hill air infuses our tired lungs.

Oh, dance a dance among the autumn bracken
With all the houses and shades the hills will glow.
And if by then mortality should beckon
I reckon it may well be time to go.

So dance a dance of life across the hilltops.
Bluebells, lambs, the daffies - all will come.
Death's but a part of life and always shall be,
And "Life's a Dream" when all is said and done.

19.7.1986 postcard of pine trees sent from the Isle of Raasay off the Isle of Skye (see For Zoe) by David's walking companion. They planned a walk in the woods the next day. The weather had been really bad and the hostel blocked by a falling tree. David had climbed a mountain alone one day. Walking could be scary. His companion wrote "the footpath vanished and we had to do a lot of scrambling up gullies for half a mile". (See Come Down)

A Mug of Black Coffee
May 1987

A listless fury in my right foot.
A greasy bacon butty in June hail
and the fervour of dogs fornicating in the park.
Anger at love that disturbs the malicious street
leaping in the gutter with petrol and stubbed fags.
The rusty smell of the sea and misogynists' guilt
in a laden heart, where the split ego flows over curious shingles.
A dying carnation in a tea-shop. Grief for a lost
darling and a smile for the wide-eyed courageous waitress.
Pizza pie and sad rock across the zany
divided town, and a savage lamenting westerly.

For Zoe
July 1987

I would give you
Keir Hardie's eyes
the woods of Raasay
Charlotte Bronte's care
the smell of stock in Haworth churchyard
Fred my brickie friend's hands
the song of a blackbird over Clerkenwell
Robert Tressel's passion
rough Somerset cider and cheddar
Bengali children playing in Spitalfields
summer rain over Stepney
the tenor sax of Lester Young
sparrows nesting in a Hackney tenement
the Bothy band
the revolutionaries of Ireland
a Yiddish love song
herons flying across a Norfolk fen.

The Songthrush
July 1988

From a dead tree a song stark and steadfast as solitude.
I have known some friendship but none like this aching
dark terrible singing across a small plot at dusk
betraying our humanity with its pitiful desire
where meeting the night beckons desperate cottages surrender
to the roving wind and hawthorn copses' nurture.

1989 the ivy. Collected Poems 1970-89

The great second world war poet Keith Douglas wrote home from North Africa that at such time it was necessary to live and struggle without hope. However, his poetry and the poetry of other war poets like Drummond Allison and Charles Sorley have enable me and many others to find hope and common meaning after the extreme and deliberate carnage of the trenches and concentration camps which destroyed hope and reason. Personally, the war poets have been almost constantly with me during 25 years of fighting schizophrenia and trying to live in a great and troubled city.

In memory of my father, Lippy, a battlefront surgeon at Arnhem
February 1991

Tommy dropped and copped the lot; Hitler, Churchill, Stalin,
'No use' he thought, his inalienable Anglian guts lying across his sten;
uncanny how he felt no pain in his dying guts, only
an unbearable pain in his heart for his Suffolk Daisy.
'No use Tommy' the Dutch nurse said calmly, passionately
caressing his fingers.
'Uncanny' the crow thought, as it watched the fourth battalion
being mown down north of the railway line,
'How the best of humanity are murdered for nothing'.
At the fatal bridge a dying corporal asked for a butt --
'You'll be lucky' the Sergeant said, 'Fatal command structure'.
In the Cauldron the independent company fought with lonely arable courage
down to twenty and like Lilburne won't be beaten.
While over the rear Jerzy copped it in the chest
a thousand miles from the hell of Poland to the hell of Arnhem.

The body of Alexander Lipmann-Kessel (Lippy), born 19.12.1914, died 5.6.1986, was taken to Arnhem in the Netherlands to be buried, at his own request, close to the bodies of his comrades who died in the unsuccessful battle to secure bridges for the Allied advance into Germany in September 1944. As Captain Lipmann-Kessel he commanded "one of the surgical teams of 16 Parachute Field Ambulance which established a Dressing Station in the Elizabeth Hospital, Arnhem, after the capture of the main bridge. The hospital was subsequently recaptured and came under German control". Lippy escaped. (See Pegasus archive). The gravestone has the Star of David and the Pegasus insignia for British Airborne Forces. It describes him as "Professor of Orthopaedics, Surgeon, Teacher, Humanist, Fighter for Freedom."

David uses the Polish male name 'Jerzy' to balance the English 'Tommy'. Poland is not only the other side of the Allied assault on Nazi Germany, it is also the site of the extermination camps, such as Treblinka (see My Youth).

Mike Mosley
February 1991

There is a conspiracy against the social democracy of the British common people

Grey, calloused, forgotten at fifty,
he has given his all; his wiry heart,
his skilled locked fingers, his
chipped backbone, his broken welding language,
for this choking fag,
this dark blinding pint,
this scouring Irish lament.

Scorned, down for a bundle in bird,
forsaken by wives and the DHSS,
shy of nothing 'cept himself,
to this bare room, phlegm and loneliness
between stubborn slums and useless sirens.

Driven by fury to this back ward,
wasted, ulcered, unforgiving.

I start from here to make anew
the happiness of children playing
beneath heeding enduring gulls
in a wooded tempered land.

My Youth
July 1993
in 2006

A song of myself
as bleak as Treblinka
A sweetheart's kisses
with the blood of a Jewish child
A woman at dawn
caught in the blitz
A blackbird singing
and a Panzer division
The tears of regeneration,
a murdered Polish airman
A Romany lament
for the Gulag Baptist
Hungry sex
the Gestapo
A curious child
raped on the Russian steppe
Longing years
shot in the back

The City
Limehouse 1994

"Can't you see buried beneath all that wreckage his craving for freedom:" Lowry.

City of Chaplin and MI5.
Beyond reason is the hungry heart
We care therefore we are
Cockney power before dawn
Time is God's pity
The terror is coming
Wilful neglect of tenemented folk
If respect is half of life
Hunger is the greater half;
Hunger for crafty work
For heathered hills.
Psychotic Georgian terraces
The simple cried stirrings of children
Depraved morons with sirens
Filthy demented schizos in cold back rooms
Labourers silently drinking pints
Cunt-struck hyenas on motorbikes
Hunger for the joke in a mate's eyes
Asian women with slavery in their bellies
Open empty park where there must be dancing
Rasta rhythms and a spliff at a market corner
A neglected and anguished river for labour and leisure

1997 [according to my notes]

City of Chaplin and MI5.
A troubled cockney girl, stranger to herself,
Marrowed by a grey savage sky across the river.
Moneyed nothingness in Knightsbridge.
The walking dead, their symbols and threats,
Haunt this city, driving us into underground passages,
Where generosity of hearts and arms are everything.
A lungfull of the wind across a park
Before the dawn of cockney power
The heart of London drowned outside an offie.
From a tenement a blackbird sings;
Mellow the sound, sour the land.
Incendiary to the spirits
Of a broken, bitter people.
Beyond our narrow classes, our stilted politics,
Our poverty of heart and stomach,
We are all searching for sweethearts to walk on windy
October afternoons when brown golden leaves are falling.

The Vixen

A vixen long through the killing night
Hungers in our covert, duplicitous suburbs
For stale, dirty chips, a wounded rat.
In her earthy womb an iron litter
Pulsing for moonlight across a June field.
Bitter her eyes, rusty her saliva,
She eats her menses and placenta.
Sing for her a Romany lament in an alleyway
Beneath the wintry Plough's seven stars.
Oh starved outcast citizen you are alive
Beyond all perception of illuded impatient people.

Life Against Death

The east wind of high summer.
Old men with cider bottles,
And I suddenly an old man.

Through the slums with Jesus,
Black, broken hearted, golden Grace.
The whistling Cockney gives
His heart away at street corners
To the young alci: cursing, skint.

Bengali dawn
On the Whitechapel waste.

The Gestapo will pass -
There shall be silence
Broken by cawing crows
And the vixen's cry.

Strong as our pain is strong,
Our children are.

A savage peace,
The rain over Stepney.

Summer Rain

Summer rain on Stepney streets.
Dying to oneself on dirty pavments
When clouds part and sunlight floods a courtyard.
A sufi song, as ruthful as the rain.
Shit jobs for shit wages, the cockney's curse.
On their faces, a ravaged wonderful earth.

Hillside, Llangattock
September 2000

We think with our shoulders.
Scraggy sheep bleating.
A disused Baptist chapel.
The blood of quarrymen and hill farmers;
Resistance of pain in the chest
...................and spat gob.
The language of hunger; alcoholic's lack.
Hardship on this hillside
Riven by lime and bracken,
.......thistle and scree.
Living for tomorrow.
Men pray with their stomachs.
Springtime in the valley
......and the hawthorn blooming.

Hillside, Llangattock
Wednesday 10.2.2010

We think with our shoulders.
On the lime-quarried hillside
Down a stony lane of ash and hazel
A poor disused chapel where
Fierce hymns give men courage.
Hardship on this hillside, riven
By thorn and bracken, thistle and scree.
A cold, slow rain on a cottage in the dell
Mortared with the blood of quarrymen hill-farmers.
Sheep grieve above the oak wood
Where a mistle-thrush storms hell.
A feral cat hunts the black redstart; so rare, so shy.
November beeches aflame, as many
Fallen leaves as slain quarry men.
Resistance of pain in the chest and spat gob.
From a dry-stone wall, jenny wren's song
Holier than remembrance.
Dangerous to take the sheep track at dusk.
The blessedness of February wind
Through an old goat-willow.
Here men pray with their stomachs:
The gnarled upland cabbage in
A broth with barley
The language of hunger: an alcoholic's lack.
The fox and the crow pick the dead lamb clean.
Springtime in the valley and the hawthorn blooming.

Ruby Courage
Elegy for Patricia Walters and Tony O'Donnell - Hackney schizophrenics who died 2007
[January 2008 without Copernicus stanza]
[Saturday 20.12.2008]

Long before and after mankind
The wooded hillsides echo
With the call of the woodpigeon at dusk

Grey are the streets wherein my heart lies
And blacker the clouds heavy with rain

The sweet surge of heroin in a cold back room,
The smell of nuclear wind in the morning,
And the aftermath, alone as never before!

Addicted to life, all life, we may withstand.

Huge-hearted Pat Walters in a Hackney street,
Arguing and singing her black gospel,
Martyred by our indifference.

Wry humour of Turkish voices from an alleyway.

A trendy genocidal English gent in a fight with
ECT-racked O'Donnell with his ruby courage.

Being hard to survive
Tender to live

And Copernicus, who transposed his lust to
Such wonder for a few naked years.

The pain of the pavements
And the wind across a fell.

Ruby Courage
Elegy for Patricia Walters and Tony O'Donnell - Hackney schizophrenics who died 2007
[Version published 2013]

Long before and after mankind
the wooded hillsides echo
with the call of the woodpigeon at dusk

grey streets wherein my heart lies
blacker the clouds heavy with rain

sweet surge of heroin in a cold back room
smell of nuclear wind in the morning
and afterwards, alone as never before!

addicted to life, all life, we may withstand

huge-hearted Pat WaIters in a Hackney street
arguing and singing her black gospel
martyred by our indifference

wry humour of Turkish voices from an alleyway

a trendy genocidal English gent in a fight with
ECT-racked O'Donnell with his ruby courage

being hard to survive, tender to live

and Copernicus, who transposed his lust
into such wonder for a few naked years

hunger half of life, respect the other half

the pain of London streets
and sleet across Scafell

Tony O'Donnell - Patricia Walters


In memorium Salvador Allendé

The bells of St Anne's are ringing down East India Dock.
Do they ring for Christ or for Pinochet?
Tears falling like rain
On the mean streets of London,
Red as workers' blood,
Falling on a market place,
On a labourer's fierce decency,
A busman's daily lot;
Flooding the streets with pain and desire.
Plane trees finger into a winter sky,
As beautiful as Bengali girls,
Straight as cockney lads.

We are all alone, but not separate
From each other in streets and parks.
We live in the spaces of other's lives.
To spill the entrails of M.I.6,
That worldly terror,
Onto the wide market pavements,
Between the alkies and fruit stalls.
Life so fragile, death arbitrary.
Lascar seamen and Bantu gold miners.
And I have heard in desperate streets
Poor kids whistle like blackbirds, at midnight.

David Kessel Friday 17.9.2010



Come Down


Van Gogh

Emily Bronte


The Ivy




New Cross

Grandmother Emmie


Autumn-by-Sea (mother Peggy)


Black Coffee

For Zoe





Arnhem (father Lippy)

Mike Mosley




The City





Life Against Death


Summer Rain



Ruby Courage






A schizophrenic has an existential duty towards the community in communicating by word, organisation or art his or her particular spiritual richness. As a chronic schizophrenic I want to make a few comments about the nature, politics and treatment of schizophrenia and schizophrenics.


I argue that schizophrenia is not merely a mental illness, it is also a mystical interpretation of the universe. Vicariousness is the emotional half of civilised life. Sometimes it seems that schizophrenia is one long inner and often inaccessible essay in vicariousness, of vicarious suffering. The selfishness of the schizophrenic is an outward reflection of the passivity of this otherness, this inaccessible suffering.

Schizophrenia is a diabetes of the mind due to a failure of expression of a mind-body cohering hormone during adolescence. This may be caused by prolonged lack of intimacy and/or personal invalidation during childhood, as in double-bind theory, in the genetically pre-disposed individual. Onset usually coincides with emotional and/or physical trauma.

Ronald Fairbairn writes about the child taking upon her/himself the burden of badness which appears to reside in her or his objects -unconditional (libidinal) and conditional (moral) badness. As a result of this, she/he

"can have no sense of security and no hope of redemption. The only prospect is one of death and destruction."

In this analysis, Fairbairn sees only the negative side of the problem, for the sufferer seeks redemption in the spiritualising of their ego, of their inner life. Stack Sullivan quotes Ferenczi in this respect: the sufferer is seen to

"permit anything to happen to his body, which has become to him as immaterial as the outer world. His whole narcissism retreats into the spiritual ego which is, so to speak, a citadel which still holds out, though outer and inner forts are lost".

But there is a need to get beyond the dimensions and characterisations of post-Freudian western psychoanalysis. As Christopher Caudwell put it in his study of Freud (Studies in a Dying Culture) -

"The censor, the ego, the super-ego, the id, the Oedipus complex, and the inhibition are mind deities, like the weather deities who inhabited Greek Olympus. Freud's picture of a struggle between eternal eros and eternal thanatos, between life and death instincts, between the reality principle and the pleasure principle, is only the eternal dualism of reflective barbarians, carried over by Christianity from Zoroastrianism, and now introjected by Freud into the human mind. It represents a real struggle but in terms of a western bourgeois myth."

Schizophrenia is dissociated sexuality, the inner war between the unconscious and the conscious. Splits between hate and love, action and dreams, force and tenderness, anger and consideration, fragment the sexuality, draining the body of libidinal association and the mind of carnal coherence - whence the characteristic masturbatory fantasy life or impotence of the sufferer.

I believe this dissociation occurs because of an addiction to a memory taking place at a time of personal crisis. This causes a cybernetic short-cut. This addiction may be the result of a long period or acute episode of thalamic disintegrity and insecurity consequent on the invasion by introjection of a powerful alien will, perhaps that of a parent in an impressionable child, or that of a dead pal at war. This introjection occurs together with the values and experiences of the immediate environment; so that a post-1945 experience in a soldiers child may include the introjection of the experience of the extermination camps as well as battles and the prevalent army bullshit.


At its best, the inner struggle of the schizophrenic to regain his or her individuality approaches the condition of civil war. For the alien will and the compensatory addiction have grained lives and biological forces of their own. But, using the cathexis of good inner intimate objects, the subject may make headway. This is an issue I will return to under treatment.

There is a vast amount I do not understand about the relationship of schizophrenia with time. However, together with the future block which Lidz writes about, there is a general speeding up of time which may be connected with the impatience of suppressed hunger.

The inner struggle of the schizophrenic helps to explain why he or she has the existential duty towards the community to communicating that I have spoken of, but, politically, such is the extent and depth of people's fear of the unknown world of the psyche and madness, that schizophrenics are -or could become - the modern Jews! Not only are we invalidated and demonised; often both at the same time, but we are subject to irrational and perhaps deliberate prejudice by the media. If someone with angina or, more commonly, alcoholism, murders somebody, their illness/disability is not mentioned; whereas if the murderer is schizophrenic it makes the headlines. This may or may not be deliberate. This prejudice is, perhaps, as much due to the projections of psychopathic, schizopid, 'normal' people as it is to ignorance.

I think it likely, especially given the fact that no one believes what we say, that various experiments are carried out on schizophrenics by MI5 - pharmacological, short wave radiation experiments and mind-policing and suiciding experiments.


After the closure of the big asylums many the schizophrenics 'resettled' in the community' died within their first year - of cold, neglect, and dislocation - the inadequate, friendly simple schizophrenics; the emotional, devastated hebephrenics; the intense and wordy paranoids ... we are not told about them!

Any meaningful care has to fundamentally meet the chronic invalidation and sense of futility which mark this condition.

For this reason, the "Therapeutic Community' as pioneered by Sullivan, Maxwell Jones and others is essential. The Claybury psychiatrist Dennis Martin has written a very interesting account of such an experiment in the 1960s - Adventure in Psychiatry - An experiment which survived for several years despite opposition from other doctors and managers.

Finally, I would like to say that the writings of radicals, such as R.D. Laing and David Cooper, whilst truly great philosophically, are downright dangerous, in most cases, therapeutically. Appropriate minimal medication, and even, on occasions, ECT are an essential ingredient of modern treatment, as much as existential, non-Freudian therapy. Forward to the insulin of the mind.

David Kessel 11.1.2008