"It's about words, and words are all I have…"



I worked with 2 elective mutes  Both likely in their 30’s

by now  Both chose speechlessness for reasons unimaginable

Though if you bring your fine minds to the task  certain details

may emerge   Certain excruciations


They were both docile by the time I met them  though the boy

had used super-human strength to throw several grown men off

of him  I was told NEVER to touch him   I watched his beard fill in

+sideburns develop  There was another therapist who led him around

as though blind   His hand atop hers   She was a dead ringer for a Goddess

+he  her son lover


With me  he was often aroused  +emitted sonorous growls    In sessions

he drew snakes coming out of his oral cavity  +broken bulldozer parts were

laid in the sandtray   Impotent to uncover his wounds   Therapist impotent too

But he was eager + growling   And maybe one day he’d growl a word   a sentence


I don’t want to play with fucking toys   lady    

I’m 15     I want to date  +masturbate  in peace


The other  elective mute  was a young girl   She also had a submerged growl  more

grunt really   She belonged to my weekly therapy group   She being the only mute

One day as we worked on giant self-portraits  on white mural paper  she began to

furiously colour herself   brown    And yes   she was brown


In the end she ran away +hid in a garbage bin   Therapist impotent once again   If

only I had found a piece of brown mural paper  + handed it to her    Like I saw her

And didn’t need to be shown that she wasn’t white    Nor was she mute    Anymore



The psychotherapist learns little or nothing from his successes. But failures are

priceless experiences. They open the way to a better truth.  No longer is he the

superior wise man, judge, and counsellor; he is a fellow participant who finds

himself involved just as deeply as the so-called patient.

(C.G. Jung   The Practice Of Psychotherapy  1954)


FALL  2017



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