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Rhys Feeney

the world is at least fifty percent terrible

waking up from a dream about owning a house
for a moment i think i’m in Utopia
or maybe Australia
but then i see the little patches of mould on the ceiling
i roll over to check my phone
but i forgot to put it on charge last night because i was too tired
why am i so fucking tired all the time
i should find some better alternative to sugar
i should find some better alternative to lying there in the morning thinking
Artificial Intelligence is a Fundamental Risk to Human Civilisation
or what am i going to have for breakfast
how can i reduce my environmental footprint
but increase the impact of my handshake
i could try to eliminate the remaining dairy in my diet
o the money for quinoa besides
cavemen would have been fat if they had mountain dew
what is the alternative is there even an alternative
what can i do what can anyone do
be a good patriot and eat a kilo of cheese with weetbix
drink soy milk from a deforested plantation in Brazil
or cow milk from a Waikato farm that runs right into the river
while the CEO of Fonterra gets a salary of $8.32 million
put a chicken in the oven
where it has the most space it’s had in its entire life
get on the bus go to work
thank the driver think they look tired
check the apps everyone checks
learn soon plastic in the ocean will outweigh the fish
sell clothes made in a sweatshop
help a machine replace your job
say i don’t like it but That’s Just The Way It Is
cry in the bathroom
ignore your co-worker eating caged eggs in the staff room
say how’s the wife how’s the kids
don’t think about it don’t
after work get drunk go to maccas don’t eat anything
walk out into the cold look up at the sky
ask where are the stars where is the moon
why don’t they come out
did we do something wrong did we

The President of the United States of America Is Crazy

‘Is Mr Trump Nuts?’ / Trump is Fucking Crazy/ Trump Is Nuts! An Illustrated Guide and Coloring Book to the Many Ways That Trump Has Gone Nuts / ‘Does Trump Suffer from Narcissistic Personality Disorder’/ ‘Here’s a List of People Close to Trump Who May Think He’s Seriously Nuts’ / ‘The President is Mentally Unwell – and Everyone Around Him Knows It’ / The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President

are some recent publications by various liberal institutions
are some examples of a small violence
a crack in an otherwise
welcoming brochure smile saying:
The President Has a Personality Disorder
you’re not like him you’re not
~crazy~ like that you are
not Trump is Mentally Unstable
we don’t judge for that one time
when the state decided you were a risk to your own safety & the safety of others, so you were deemed unfit to be in public & institutionalised under the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992

when we say psycho we don’t mean psychotic
(but at times the words are interchangeable)
we mean psychopathic as in Criminal Minds as in sociopathic
a term used in DSM-1 & associated with homosexuality & alcoholism

when we say come over Monday & we’ll cook for you & it’ll do you good
we mean wear long sleeves so we don’t have to see it
the forest of red veins spreading
like in War of the Worlds the red weed
areoforming the Earth turning the world into something
you can’t bear to look at A Crazy Person
with a Nuclear Button a man obsessed with a
Borderline building a box around himself
putting bars on the windows of the hospital
eating with only plastic spoons
eating McDonalds in bed while crying because you had a hard day

when we say ‘[t]hose with borderline personality disorder are notorious for operating on the premise that feelings create facts’ (USA Today)
we are saying we believe in an objectivity
cut out of the earth by a surgeon cut from a woman in stirrups
removed head first & still from the world A New Atlantis
of scientific purity a white world a state of sanity

any deviation from the mean a mutated gene
in a society that says it believes you
okay of course we believe you tell me about your mother
is there a history of mental illness in your family how long has this been going on

Rhys Feeney is a student teacher in Wellington, Aotearoa. His work can be found online. ‘the world is at least fifty percent terrible’ takes its title from Maggie Smith, and lines paraphrase Elon Musk.