ECT, by Mark Tulin


It’s a bright sunny day outside.
Inside her childhood memories are melting away,
sinking deeper and deeper into electricity. 

In this burning psychedelic daydream,
her cerebellum’s doing backflips and somersaults,
spinning rooms with fading hopes.

She sees the doctor’s dark eyes through the fog,
his hand twisting her fate with every turn,
her body convulses like a flapping salmon.

She bites down on the rubber mouthpiece,
her only anchor in this outdated technique.

Smoke rings rising to the top,
brain cells flicker like a flashing traffic light,
high pitched voices of opera singers,
black swans floating on muddy rivers.

Her body smells of burning rubber.
Her soul tells her never to give up.


This poem first published in the Scarlet Leaf Review in the March/April 2019 issue.

I am an author, poet, humorist, and short story writer from Palm Springs, California. I write about various topics, from my early childhood in Philadelphia to my years as a family therapist and finally to my soul-searching in California. These are poetic narratives that may have humorous or serious content or both. Either way, I hope my poetry and stories resonate with you.

16 comments on “ECT, by Mark Tulin

  1. Wow. Amazing writing, Mark

  2. I found this piece deeply moving, made all the more so because it was real. This horrible treatment happens all the time to people who cannot find their way to peace. Surely there must be a better way?

  3. love the imagery and energy of this piece

  4. “….her cerebellum’s doing backflips and somersaults, spinning rooms with fading hopes….” 💕💕💕 you given us beautiful poem to read 💙💙💙

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