Thursday, September 27, 2012

Memories of a Trip

Scared out of my mind
Heart thumping
Chilled to the bone under layers of blankets
In my surgical gown and silly cap
I wait to be knocked out by Ketamine
The human horse tranquillizer
Headed to a 'Happy Place’
A medically induced coma to interrupt incessantly firing nerve networks
Causing me migraines on end
Shutting down continuous pain signals that have outgrown their usefulness
But keep creating havoc and agony.

I of little faith am afraid

One minute I was there
The other I’m disintegrating
Reduced to a molecule, an eye
Flung into a white room square and empty.

Space Odyssey without the music
Residual Me is propelled forward
Hurled into corners of bright nothingness
My frontal cortex is dissociated from my body
No hands to hold on to safety, no legs to stem the fall
Catapulted down a slide
Another white chamber with infinite boundaries
Unlike the mystical bright light at the end of a tunnel.
Is this dying?
No peace and calm but
Howling pain and fear
Real sensations override where oblivion should rule.

Resurfacing from the vortex
I get a grip
Of my doctor’s hand
Regaining consciousness
The pain never went away
Keeps torturing me
Costlier than an acid trip, but FDA approved
Another hope shattered
Leaving me with this memory
where there should be none.


©   9-13-12
Siggy Buckley

The recent experience of a ‘Ketamine intervention’ triggered off my first foray into poetry. This procedure sends the patient into an artificial coma; used primarily on burn victims, it makes the pain bearable that accompanies the changing of their bandages. For them it’s proven to work.
It is now tried also on chronic pain patients diagnosed with a centrally mediated pain syndrome where pain signal- sending nerves are out of whack and make life a torture. It was an attempt by highly trained pain management experts to interrupt my pain cycle and reset the brain to normal.
In party circles it’s known as the ”K hole” when a user takes too much of the drug and goes on a wild trip.


  1. Your poem describes many of the same symptoms found in an Out-Of-Body Experience (OOBE). The protagonist of my novel OOBERS has an episode similar to the one you share, minus the pain. Dr. Charles Tart wrote a book in 1969 "Altered States of Consciousness" which deals, in part, with Ketamine and the OOBE. I believe if an individual is taught the effects of Ketamine and coached into the 'trip' (in association with a loved one's presence and mellow music), he or she stand a much better chance of having a mystical experience. Of course, one does not need Ketamine to achieve this; the prime requisite is discipline, technique and attitude. Thank you for sharing your experience! I found it refreshing and insightful!

  2. I've been told it is dark. But that's what it was for me. Whether an experience of OOBE or just total helplessness, my brain certainly couldn't communicate with the rest of my body. Good luck to those who try it for recreational purposes!