POEM: Of Yores and Mind — Owed to Buffalo State Asylum for the Mentally Insane

Buffalo State Asylum for the Mentally Insane

Last summer, while visiting Buffalo, which was a serendipitously pleasant visit (except for the bedbugs, see bed bug poem), the highlight of the visit was stumbling upon this grand architectural complex. We were staying in a cool, urban farm Airbnb nearby, and walking through the neighborhoods, the two towers pictured emerged. I immediately set upon getting a closer look, having no idea what it was. I didn’t really care if it might be private property or not; I had to explore. As it turns out, this is the former Buffalo State Asylum for the Mentally Insane, of which a portion has been renovated into a fancy hotel. It is open to the public and a great place to wander around. In contrast, next to this complex, is a large, boxy institutional building which is the “new” state mental hospital — a sad example of 1960s architecture. You can get a bit of its history here and here. Buffalo is considered second only to Chicago for architecture buffs. Of course, the juxtaposition of such grand architecture and the 1888 vanguard mental health asylum demanded a poem:

Of Yores and Mind: Owed to Buffalo State Asylum for the Mentally Insane

They were committed too
Edifices of stone and mortar
Boarding the grandeur
Of the human spirit
And the epic recesses of mind
Doctoring emptied hearts
Of life’s quest inns
And undeniable whethering
Of wings of men and women
Oh so only
At times
Decades of contingencies
Of what saving
Of what parceled out
The state
Of the art
Halfway hows
A pillbox austerity
In stile of prison
As some how knew
Yet as ode
Foundations still tower
Of yores and mind
As sum kind
Of ark
A texture
Of humanity
And what
And reminders
Hour test
Meant to
Free those captive
And sentries
Of posterity

This entry was posted in About Top Pun, Health, Poems and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply