Echo of Woods – Missing parts of me

“Their screams would echo through the house and reverberate against my eardrums until my mind would fracture. Years went by and with each fracture; I lost a piece of my soul until I became lost and empty inside.”
J.D. Stroube, Caged in Darkness
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My lover, you followed me on lost paths, chasing my longings deeper, before I turned and saw, you’re not there. The pieces I broke off to mark my exit you ate and then flew away, without any words, disappearing in hollows of echoing woods. I know my soul’s alone by the absence of those missing pieces. How can they be gone, slipped into an eternity of forgetfulness, or thoughtlessness, pushed there by denial and an intense effort to pretend you didn’t happen, unless they were born at sometime in the messy afterbirth of a mind gone mad? If I let my thoughts take these updrafts of imagination, to soar above this wilderness of lore, I’ll see you again. The pain’s breathtaking, should I plunge back below to the feigned wellness of peace? Or perhaps, stay on these heated gestures of reaching and slip into the coldness of space losing the oxygen of you, and with tears and a reluctant release, my light will dim and finally extinguish.

06262013
 

Awkward Reasons –

God may forgive sins, he said, but awkwardness has no forgiveness in heaven or earth.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Great endowments often announce themselves in youth in the form of singularity and awkwardness.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

There are reasons why at times my interactions with people seem strained. I say the wrong things. I limp through my social circles, everyone making way for my awkward presence. I bring up subjects deep and poignant. I provoke thoughts, thoughts you’re not accustomed to. I speak in a way you find odd. My accent tainted, not pure, not from any one place. The same with my mannerisms. I fidget with my hands in a crowd, unsure of how to hold them. I wonder if the way I’m standing is threatening. If a purse is left close to me, I walk away, believing you’ll accuse me if something is missing. Trying to drive with a thousand choices that are made instantly, provokes these social swerves that seem ungainly and make others uncomfortable. 

 
Do you know that this isn’t me? This isn’t how I am, constrained to behave oddly, chained to a limp of the soul and mind. Do you know I’m injured? Do you know I almost died because of love? Do you know I fought for my life many times, not from just physical beatings but mental torture and illness? Do you know that I’ve argued for my release from beatings given, many, many times?
 
Do you know how these scars make it hard to smile? The hardened skin refusing to release the joy struggling to stay alive in the poisonous atmosphere of my melancholic soul? Do you know the thousand thoughts I think just to go out the door? Checking my clothes, the color of my skin, the dark circles under my eyes, the length of my nose, the girth of my belly? Do you know that walking to my car creates anxiety? I grab my keys like a weapon; I make sure I always have a knife, though these things have never delivered me from violence or comforted me. Do you know that I struggle with violence a hundred times an hour? Not only my self-imposed violence toward me or others, but of the perceived violence I see directed at me in every face? 
 
Do you know that I always try to help others? Do you know though having been burned 99 times out of hundred, I still reach out, thinking that everyone believes I’m a sucker? Thinking that they all talk among themselves, working out plans to rob me of my time, energy, and money? Do you know that I know you are using me? Do you know that I still give in spite of this? There are reasons, stop and consider why.
 
Take time to realize that the people you know and see everyday are hurt and wounded. Look out from your struggle and know that a friend, a family member, a bartender, a cashier, is on their last thread of hope, wanting to die from the pain they feel. Reach out with compassion on those who irritate you, understand that the scars they bear make it difficult to respond with graciousness toward you and your problems. We are all in this together, make room in the survival raft for those drowning in despair. Act without requiring a suicide note or a midnight call from the police before you reach out…

Also published in Broowaha Magazine
First published in Opinionsofeye.com
02082012

Evaporation –

“Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.” ― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

uteenwolf
People are becoming an anathema to me. I drift farther away from compassion and concern, wishing to be left alone, weary from the drama that unfolds around me. I’m cutting off communication, slowly, to everyone and everything. My paranoia grows, beat back only by my deepening animosity for the general populace and the abandonment of care. Altruism evaporates, why waste my time being involved in the play by play drama being displayed by the second. I’m so tired of people, so tired of giving, so tired of caring, so tired of empathy. I’ve born the tears of thousands, lost on my knees in prayer, begging my unseen father in heaven to help these itinerants, the foremost of which is my naked and barren essence. I wash away the scabs of never healing wounds with tears that evaporate before they reach the outside. Depression and fear grow in the dark doubt of my soul, one way out I tell myself, just one way. Can you hear me God?
I can’t bear the cries of broken humanity any longer. Failure of my life to help even my family bears witness against me. I deserve to pray for nothing, if I can’t help myself out of this frothing mire of emotions, why call out in the fog to those adrift either by choice or captivity? The wolf chases me, he knows I’m weak, stumbling to get ahead of him. The panting steaming breath he breathes inspires me to run blindly ahead. There’s no help for me in this depression as I spend days fighting to feel happiness in situations where happiness should prosper, watching as it alludes my failing sight and clawing grasp. What would it be like without my festering insidious mind? I’m not my only enemy, there are spirits hungry for the kill that surround and howl. Come close as I gargle my last throttled breath and express my self deprecating disdain for the evil that has become the cancerous me. I don’t want sympathy, but only to realize that as this trees falls alone in the forsaken woods, that you may hear the snap of my aging trunk and know, if only for a short while, that I existed.
First published in Opinions Of Eye

None Shall Escape –

“There is no point treating a depressed person as though she were just feeling sad, saying, ‘There now, hang on, you’ll get over it.’ Sadness is more or less like a head cold- with patience, it passes. Depression is like cancer.”
 – Barbara Kingsolver, The Bean Trees

s-a-e-c-u-l-u-m

This is no ordinary little house, in a dark wooded lot, with a long curving driveway. Quintessential in time, the smell of rotten leaves, moldy dead trees, and moss create an invitation likely to instill fear. Leaves and draping parasitic vines serve to block out the intrusion of light. Things crawl and slither, poisonous things with teeth naturally sharp to penetrate the hood of protection. A damp chill wraps up the weary and pulls them to the coldness of the nether world. Light mists drift low to the ground, creeping with ethereal madness. Large things, nightmares, snap twigs and disappear with startling proficiency. These all have conspired to hide escape and draw the fearful soul deeper and deeper, sliding down the viscous sides of mortality’s flowers in a one way trip. The house is ancient in design, hundreds of years ago the brick and mortar were set and stony copper gargoyles put here to observe the folly of one gone mad. The door’s misleading, it’s a lure, pulling and tugging to get it’s prey close, crushing hopes with its efficacious skill of holding fast against panicked desperation. Fists pound against it creating unheard echos and with beastly strength the spell is transferred from spirit to flesh. Vibrant greens are subdued to the gray and black of lands beyond. The colors are smudged by an errant creator attempting to dismiss this aberration. Bones of lost hope litter the exposed roots and walkways, little roads to nowhere showing tracks of the worst going in circles. This is the notorious lair of depression, many will enter, none shall escape.

Also published in Broowaha
Also published in Opinionsofeye.com

Forensic Analysis –

“If suffering like hers had any use, she reasoned, it was not to the sufferer. The only way that an individual’s pain gained meaning was through its communication to others.”  ― Diane Wood Middlebrook, Anne Sexton: A Biography 

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I reach through the fodder of my mental plane wreck, grasping, trying to make sense of it. Like a forensic crash analyst, I picked up pieces of my shattered self and held them up to the light, turning them over and over looking for reasons of the devastation. Is it operator error? Did the machine break? Was it an act of God? Did someone fail to address issues that led to this? These questions are valid even when looking at my human psyche, and to that end I believe that all apply. I made mistakes, very big mistakes, and even if I were normal and my mind healthy, mistakes would still happen. Yes, the machine is broken, it’s totally fucking obvious to anyone who knows me for any length of time that I’m fucked up in the head, that shit ain’t right with this guy. People contributed to this trashing of my soul: abuse, neglect, rape, bullied, rejected, abandoned, violent brutal attacks on my body and mind, yep, all done by others. The sad thing’s not that these happened, ’cause shit happens to everyone, but that, like in movies when they dunk the guy underwater then before he can take a breath he is shoved underwater again, it’s the frequency of the shit that keeps hitting my fan. I’ll barely have a hold on my PTSD and I’ll be attacked violently, or someone will violate my space by stealing from me, betraying me, or whatever. It happens over and over again. What in the hell is God trying to show me? What fucking possible good can there come of my constant devastation? I’ve held on this long because I’m so concerned about taking the next breath that I can barely see beyond right now, in fact, dreams of the future are gone, if they ever were there. I only remember one dream, that of being a veterinarian. It was shot to hell very quickly as I got bullied and fucked with, even by teachers and adults. So that’s it, I was given one dream, it’s gone, so fuck me, all I have to look forward to is catching my breath the next time life pulls my head out from under the water. OK, wait, some self righteous asshole from the back says, “You carry yourself like a victim, that’s why you keep getting attacked.” Oh, fuck me, is that the answer? It’s my fault? Hell, well now I’m all better, thanks. This is not a whining rant where I want people to feel sorry for me, its mainly a way of examining the evidence and helping me toward recovery from all this shit. I don’t want advice, I just want to fucking yell at the trees and mountains ’til I’ve exhausted all my homicidal and suicidal screams, ’til I’ve cried all my tears and I can’t cry anymore, scream and scream until I break down and stop fighting against life. I’ve survived what would have killed most people, I’m still holding on to shreds of sanity and empathy that many would have lost by now. I’ll be OK, and perhaps somehow, I’ll find out how to piece this shit back together, but I seriously doubt it will ever fly again.
Also published in Broowaha
Also published in Opinionsofeye.com

 

Fulcrum –

“There is darkness inside all of us, though mine is more dangerous than most. Still, we all have it—that part of our soul that is irreparably damaged by the very trials and tribulations of life. We are what we are because of it, or perhaps in spite of it. Some use it as a shield to hide behind, others as an excuse to do unconscionable things. But, truly, the darkness is simply a piece of the whole, neither good nor evil unless you make it so.” ― Jenna Maclaine, Bound By Sin
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petitecem
Building my life on this fulcrum, everything I have hangs the precarious balance of needing you and needing to get away from you. Tainted is the air I breath and colored is the pain I have with the odorous stain of you. Pride bends low in wet mornings on foundation decks with those whose pain I’ve far surpassed. They’re hardened, unable to feel the pain anymore, as for me, I just got here, not so long ago, when the crucible of your hot irons scalded me into blind submission to you. I called my mother and asked her when the pain would stop, it’s been years since I’ve seen you. Yet, it’s like an hour ago I nursed the burns and savored the pleasure of you. Songs on the radio bring tears to my eyes, every sweet moment of tenderness I glimpse between lovers brings a knot to my throat, a wrenching in my gut, and a fresh trail of moist sorrow from my eyes that runs down my neck and seeps under my shirt. In the routine of living, where mourning was a stranger, are found new altars of sadness. Shaking from holding back the tears, the doctor says he can’t get the MRI to take a good picture. I’m partying with good friends, but I’m hollow, so I go outside for some fresh air and to shed more drops of missing you. They say, “Quit your whining. Jesus, everyone goes through shit!”, but you know, sometimes the shit just gets to be too much, too often, and too long. I’d not be the first strong one to break under the pressure of love gone wrong. I won’t break and to live isn’t hard, but to love you and love another is the tortuous path ahead of me and a balance I must achieve.
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Also published in Broowaha
First published in Opinionsofeye.com

 

Recluse –

“A certain recluse, I know not who, once said that no bonds attached him to this life, and the only thing he would regret leaving was the sky” –  Kenko Yoshida

Find this one, lock this one, cold, my heart runs around,
flicking off switches
Hurry be swift
Quick slam the door, locking the windows,  
hoping you don’t hear me
Hurry be swift
No I won’t come out, I’m staying in, quit calling me. 
So many switches,
Hurry be swift
Disconnect, follow these impulses, block the thoughts, 
they lead me out
Hurry be swift
Damn the lights, I forgot, turning off the lights, 
closing the blinds, pull the phone
Hurry be swift
There must never be another, never again, I must hide,  
protecting the remains,
Hurry be swift
Finally dark, all alone, no one knowing where I’ve gone, 
I’m the recluse, go away
Hurry be swift 
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Also published in: Broowaha

First published in Opinionsofeye.com

11222011 

Remnants –

“Love. Of course, love. Flames for a year, ashes for thirty.”
Giuseppe di Lampedusa, The Leopard

“The fire which seems extinguished often slumbers beneath the ashes.”
Pierre Corneille

ineluctablewords
The dreams you thought should happen
they never came to be
The plans spent in the night pursuing
disappeared unseen
With shattered glass under your feet
precious things undone
In a foreclosed heart your hiding
thinking shadows won
Fears your always one forgotten
on thirsty ground
Thunder is heard in cloudy darkness
stirring ashes found
Remnant future slain in jest
giving life to plains
Revelation in the reaching bolts
healing of the shame
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First published in Opinions Of Eye
 

 

No One Can See

“It’s just some instinct as old as fear: you seek the dark when you hide, you seek the light when the need to hide is gone. All the animals have it too. (“New York Blues”)”
Cornell Woolrich,
Night and Fear: A Centenary Collection of Stories 
 
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Flee my soul into the tide
Dive my soul into the night
No one can see
 
Float again, soon to be
The flavor of lust again in thee
No one can see
 
Something beyond calling to me
To gather my strength and give esteem
No one can see
 
Hiding alone amongst the trees,
again I rejoice in the fallen leaves
No one can see
 
Flying through the depths of seas
in the caves are heavens keys
No one can see
No one can see
12212010

Permutations

“The life of the dead is set in the memory of the living.” ― Cicero, Philippics
taliesyne
There’s something hidden, a suffocated wish tucked away in a forgotten cobwebbed corner. The gray green tints of death work their magic in transforming the wonder to a wasted sticky mess that’s never the same. A smell of the once alive, again persuades the living. We’re fatefully committed to the peer pressure of dead things and that without prejudice. A moment that died many years ago…it lives still, kept alive by the artificial respirator of my mind.  It then remains that the only way to kill it, is to kill me. Damn the longevity of dead dreams! Of dead love! May death release me from their vice, and if they were to live on, this will be the hell of the underworld.

Also published in Wingposse
02192014