The Mental Status Exam (Rafael Campo)

What is the color of the mind? Beneath
The cranium it’s pinkish grey, with flecks
Of white mixed in. What is the mind’s motif?
Depends on what you mean: it’s either sex
Or it’s a box, release or pessimism.
Remember these three things, ball, sorrow, red.
Count backwards, from one-hundred down by sevens.
What is the color of the mind? It’s said
That love can conquer all — interpret, please.
And who’s the President? What year is it?
The mind is timeless, dizzy, unscrupulous;
The mind is sometimes only dimly lit.
Just two more silly questions: Can you sing
For us? Do you remember those three things?

by Rafael Campo

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One thought on “The Mental Status Exam (Rafael Campo)

  1. I feel like this poem gets at the almost comical nature of the MSS, how we ask the most basic of questions to scratch the surface of the deep and mysterious lake that is the mind.

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