A MAD Fold-In Poem

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You — this mucky fire slathered in my mind’s frame
 — are as committed to me as artists are to art. At times,
your voice is constant — “kill yourself, kill yourself, kill
yourself” — fists punching clay with the aim to make me
nothing more than punched clay. Other times, you’re
a cinema in my skull, screening me mangled: one leg
  auger-mauled, hand vice-crushed, eye pencil-blinded to life
 — “end it,” you say, in the scene you loop: this cinema’s walls
with a bullet burst. At parties, you shape a sinister play from
others’ glances: “hate him,” “idiot,” “fool.” When I bloom,
a sun, all alight and rising, you flatten my lift into lines
on a page like Jaffee’s in the back of MAD; you fold it
over and now the rise is the wound from a wing cleaved
   and then gilded, the bloom’s a thousand-foot fall, the sun
a drain. Yet with each step the unrelenting chorus of you
circles round me, another chorus surfaces to surround you: the
  line of sheltering trees artists grow, loamy and ablaze, against
  your gale, the melodies of friends whose works asphyxiate your
symphony, the lessons students teach about tipping your
plinths, the magic of  bringing nib to page and penning life
with urgency and patience, word by word, with abandon
and care. Even though I know it can never silence you, I love
this inky trick because it fills the blank before you can, marks
up your script, swallows you choking in a page-mutating
fold, so your cruel barks, garbled, almost seem to say:

A ▶                                                                                                          ◀ B