John Roche


says the young woman in 1956 LSD study at VA hospital in Los Angeles

who likely has a black-and-white tv at home

to watch Montgomery Bus Boycott and other clashes of a black-and-white country

with white church spires overseeing black-and-white morality

and dualistic thinking, pink-or-blue gender roles, bipolar success drive fueled by caffeine, cigarettes, and martinis

Take two white aspirins and pray to White Jesus

Don’t call me in the morning

Let alone the morning after

She is volunteering for the experiment as the dutiful wife of a hospital employee

The research psychologist tells her she’s had a battery of tests that demonstrate

she is a normal person

She drinks down the glass of water laced with lysergic acid

Three hours pass

“It’s all too beautiful,” she says,

“Don’t you see it?”


JOHN ROCHE lives in Placitas, NM, where he helps Jules Nyquist run Jules’ Poetry Playhouse. His latest book is Joe Rides Again: The Further Adventures of Joe the Poet (FootHills Publishing, 2020).