Prognosis Poor to Fair

by Darick Taylor

I danced naked—primal and ecstatic—
a chasm opened by crumbling synapses
where the drugs had been.

The benzodiazepines and dextroamphetamine
were given to me by cold men who saddled me
with a prognosis of “poor to fair.”

This was the initiation rite:
to survive the long dark
of being something both more and less
than human.

The god-shaped hole in
my chemically damaged brain
was met with a constellation of deities
as the universe poured into its blackness.

I lay hallucinating—
an eternal terror of being outside of time
where the vast vacuum of meaninglessness
at least trembled at my unwillingness
to give up and die—

as so many others had, would, and will.

Darick Taylor is a mental-health advocate and survivor. He studies Converged Communications at Florida State College at Jacksonville, and he hopes to use his growing skills in media production to combat stigma and support all people who experience mental illness.

Unique, Volume 1

By Stacey Lehrer

Unique always used to talk about writing a book about her life. She worked on it off and on for years, often telling me about a chapter she was working on or what part she planned to write about next. It’s been years since she had a working computer; I don’t know what happened to her writing. But I do know that she wanted people to hear her story. I can’t speak to what happened in Unique’s life in the time before I knew her, although I’ve heard enough about it that I feel like I have a pretty good idea. But I can tell her story as it connects with mine, in the 14 years since we met. I’m leaving out some of the more intensely personal details, to respect her privacy, but hoping to share her story (and, in part, our story) as she wished.

Continue reading Unique, Volume 1

Daredevil

by Stephen Hardman

There have been so many incarnations of Daredevil it would be easy to think the character’s story has been told and there’s nothing new to be said. While he may not have been around for as long as Batman or Superman, like all great fictional creations Daredevil has a fascinating history, a complex personality, and a list of enemies almost as long as the aforementioned superhero stalwarts. This makes him a rich source of story, with new writers able to breathe life into the character. Through comics, film (I’m going to go on record here as not hating the much-maligned 2003 film, but that’s a subject for a different article) and latterly TV, Daredevil has proved to be an enduring and popular character, while never quite hitting the heights of Batman, Spiderman, or the X-Men.

Continue reading Daredevil