Member Rara Avis
Ok. Well, I normally don't take the time to respond to certain types of postings.... but since there's been a little ado here, I have something to say.
First of all, I realize this is not the Critical Analysis Forum, but it IS a poeetry forum, so instead of talking about personal problems, let's talk poetry.
The poem's structure:
You has posted sentences which have rhyming words at the end. The meter changes from stanza to stanza and often from line to line. Did you work on editing this poem at all or did you just write what you were thinking? You have often indicated that writing quality poetry was of importance to you. I would encourage you to read this poem aloud, then work on the meter and flow of it. It is far inferior to some of your other poems which I have read.
The theme of the poem is a personal one, and it seems you have invited everyone in the forum to be informed of your marital problems. Since this is a poetry forum and not a marriage counseling forum and since I do not have any credentials as a marriage counselor, I won't address your personal marital problems. AND, since this is a poetry forum and not a mental hospital (well, except for some humorous exchanges between famous painters), I can't address your wife's illness or advise you on how to deal with it or how to cope. Being a public forum, even if we considered each other the dearest of friends, I would not want to discuss your problems in the forum, but instead would choose a private method of discussion. And part of the reason I think you have received some adamantly negative responses here, is because you are airing your dirty laundry in public and you are essentially asking for a reaction. Let's assume you really want sympathy and empathy from your peers and friends. That's fine, but in a poetry forum?
Let's take the theme of the poem from the standpoint that it is true. After all, why should the reader not believe you? Even in the last stanza, you have stated that this is not a fictional piece. You begin the poem by expressing hatred toward your wife and informing the reader that there have been physical confrontations and that your wife is mentally ill. That's a heavy place to start a theme. Then, you work your way toward the finale which informs the reader that this is not a fictional piece and pleads for sympathy.
I think you should consider revising your theme development. Since you are here to write poetry, and not for the sole purpose of evoking feelings of sympathy from your audience, why don't you consider eliminating the plea entirely? Then, if you begin the poem with the basis for your theme, such as the fact that you are married and maybe when you got married how lovely your wife looked and how you were endeared to her.... then develop the theme by creating imagery, using metaphor, simile or personification, or other tools of your craft... you could build up to the incident with your lib being bit and when your wife spits on you.
Anyway, for what it's worth, if you develop the theme better and work on your meter, you may end up with a much more effective poem for evoking emotion from me. (I am just one reader and this is my humble opinion).
Now, since you've aired your dirty laundry, I need to add that if I were your wife and had a mental illness problem, I would be very angry at you for posting it on the worldwide web. And if I found out about it, I might just punch you in the stomach.
That's all... thanks for the opportunity to post my response to your poem.