Deconfine Your Thoughts: “The Breakdown”

Each month, the author-slam poet and spokesperson for the Mouvement Santé mentale Québec David Goudreault, along with other artists, put on a public reading of texts written by young people between the ages of 12 and 25. It all happens on Facebook, as part of the Déconfine tes pensées (deconfine your thoughts) writing project.

It’s been a nice way to deal with the COVID-19 confinement.

“We want to hear your words in the public space through our voices,” Goudreault explains. “We want to know what you’ve felt throughout the crisis, what you feel right now. Everything is welcome: write in verse, news-style, backwards, in Sanskrit, in a calligram (as a poem-picture), in slang…We want to hear from you!”  

Levels of stress, anxiety and hopelessness during the confinement have generally increased. Many young people have gone back to school, happy to see their friends, but have had to adapt to the daily shambolic changes in our educational institutions. The Mouvement Santé mentale Québec (Québec mental health movement) wants to give voice to young people in order to help them increase their resilience, and reduce the long-term negative effects of the pandemic on their mental health.

A (Translated) Poem by NoixZette, 22, of Saint-Hyacinthe 

Mouth sewn shut, ears stretched out,

I assimilate the missiles that assail me

That tactlessly attack the truth

Facts, information, formations,

Here’s a nice rebellion

It takes form, crazy and panicked

It boils and swarms

Then it breaks…

Time stops, confusion reigns

The opportunist plunders, the walls bleed

A mute speech? Action without intention?

The conclusion seems devoid of all reason

The feeling of powerlessness is strong

But for who?

For the common dead

Like these mortals who cry


First seen on Raymond Viger’s blog, May 28th, 2021

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