Wide Open

The thing about ink is it can splash anywhere.
This desk is a testament to that. See if you can see.
Is it too much to call it blood when it’s bleeding?
Am I out of line if I call a cigarette a razor? Hope not.
Better to be self aware, pretty sure, than be stuck up in the clouds
Yep.
Now please don’t think I’m all about ink.
It’s not just about this bleeding me dry.
The choices I’ve made now are self aware.
Replacing self-abasing punishment, listen close.
Scars still fading, the storm’s still abating.
Just gonna take time, I’m not afraid to be patient.
See.
I regret almost everything I say,
I self-punish my narcissism every single day.
This isn’t here for you to read, it’s here so I don’t bleed where you can see.
Don’t wanna bleed where you can see.
I’m wide open here, heart’s pried apart to do this.
But I don’t have a lot of safe places, don’t wanna leave any traces,
Just let me be, read if you need a seed, or leave if you wanna creep.
I’m not here for you, but take if you see fruit, I’m wide open.
Listen close.
There’s not a lot in me that’s not covered in rust.
Even bits that are coated in dust.
Not proud of that, really hate that fact,
Wish it would scram, quit pulling this scam, I’m not your laboratory rat.
Still, it’s the best I can do, getting straight up and open.
Not always easy, ever, but I’m done checking the weather.
This is all gonna go up like tinder. Make no mistake.
But I’m getting set, far forward, gonna make this a win.
Study like school, wherever you’re put, and quit fear.
I’m gonna be okay. The fire’s getting put out today, don’t worry.
Open your eyes.
I’m not here to tell lies.
Not even survive.
Kinda crawled over that mountain,
Didn’t stop me anyway.
Got Backup in spades, and help besides,
It’s gonna be okay, He hasn’t decayed.
Put your faith in Jupiter for playing the shield,
I’ll look to his Maker for pulling every punch.
It’s gonna be okay.
Got Died for, got Paid for, I’m not here to live, but die to myself.
The hardest battle I ever fought wasn’t suicide, but me.

The End of Me

I’ve been thinking lately,
I’ve been saying maybe,
What if, could it, do you think it’s crazy?
I’ve been turning stuff over in my head,
Sleepless nights spent in my bed,
Been thinking that maybe I’m not insane,
Thinkin’ this lately, it’s only a brain.
Not like I can’t cope,
Not like I can’t hope.

See I’m not going crazy,
Yeah, been there, done that.
Now I can cut the worry haze, see,
Just never start thinking it’s easy.

But now,
But now,
I can work,
Yeah I can work,
Oh you might not see it,
But I promise I’m hauling.
And it’s stupid and pointless to talk ’bout myself,
But you’re not really list’ning, plus this isn’t for you.
I just can’t keep it in, won’t keep my mind on a spin.
Better to bleed where you can fit a Band-Aid,
Than to sputter and spout it all out on the inside.

And now I’ve been spending time thinking.
Starting to relax, yeah, the stress goes out my back,
Bitten scars forever mar my hands,
But a cigarette’s a pinch, a burn and it’s gone.
Can’t ditch the self harm, I guess, but it’s mine.
Can’t fix the past, but there’s diamonds to mine.
Not gonna look backwards when the whole future’s set forward!

No, I won’t justify myself anymore,
No, I won’t sanctify myself anymore,
If you’ll forgive me the metaphor,
If you will look to the core, see,
Spiritual life is not masturbatory.
Can’t water that down when it’s sin plain and simple,
Can’t coat that with sugar when I know I’m a sinner.
Yeah, deflecting conviction is inconsistent with the existence of persistence!
Are we all just waiting with measures, lurking ’til others reveal their deep treasures?

If we could just quit being pathetic,
If we would just up and quit the apathetic
Inconsistent revelation of a constellation that will not quit changing.
Now we’re here, we’re up to our ears, isn’t this exactly all our deepest fears?
The future was once hopeful and true, back then we thought that we knew,
We thought that we knew.

Isn’t it better to know than to see?
Is it greater to think or believe?
Is there hope in perfect measure?
Is there life in immaculately kept time?
Watch the clock, talk the walk, the week won’t stop.
Catch, engage, see the words on this page,
It’s not every day we can look at the age,
And it’s not every season we can discern a reason,
But I’m starting to think, heart’s going on the blink,
That we’re gonna see change whether we’re ready or full of rage.
That it’s not gonna be long before we hear that great song,
That it won’t be as late as we wanna postulate.

But what do I know?
Yeah, what do I sow?
Am I hear to deal low blows
Or am I here to behold?
Something that’s amazing, mind de-hazing,
Wondrous to behold, shaking all but gold.
Who is This that comes on the dawn?
Who is This shattering the sky?
Who is This One Who breaks the darkness?
Who is He Who deals justly with the broken and downtrodden?
Who is This King Who heals the wounded?
Who is He That loves us this way?
Who is This Almighty One?
What does He not know?
Who can know His mind?
Who could see His face?
Who can behold Him?
King, Saviour, I’m overblown,
Your glory, King God, Your glory.
Let us see You.
Give us just the tiniest looking glass.
Give us just the faintest whisp of Your breath.
Just the tiniest seed of faith.
Let it be.

Cup With a Door

I’m coming unhinged,
I’m starting to binge,
Every time I wake up, I groan ’til I cringe.

Yeah it’s failure,
Failure.
Yeah it’s failure
Everywhere.

If I pick up a glass, I’ll spill it,
If I empty the trash, I fill it,
When I lift my arms, they hit the ceiling,
When I drift asleep, yeah, I list without feeling.

Open me up,
Crack open the door,
Come peer inside,
Pick cracks in the floor,
Creep, sneek, beleagure with grief,
Lemme close my eyes for a minute,
Relief…

I’m a glass with swinging doors,
I’m a cup without a floor.
I’m an open, ugly sore,
Call me what I am, a sinful whore..

Troublemaker, my name from Day One.
Don’t call me Jeremy anymore, call me Bothersome Bore.
So afraid of getting in the way that I try to save the day.
So petrified of panic that I perpetuate, organic.

This isn’t an attempt at work,
This is blood pouring out hurt.
This isn’t supposed to be pretty,
This is just gauze, therapy.

So let me work.
So let me work.
Quit cracking the door,
Quit popping the lid.

Come pry before my time is nigh,
And I promise you’ll get steam in the eye.
What’d you expect, what’re you perfecting?
A ship’s bound to sink if you drill it from the bottom.

Why you drilling anyway?
Put your useless tools away.
You’re not here to save the day,
You’re trying your best to look the other way.

“Yeah, come talk to me,
“Open up to me, you’ll see,””
Your gossip game’s up, oh referee,
Every time I open up, it’s me you bleed.

I’ve got a Confidant,
I know who to enquire of,
I’ve got a few good people,
Who I promise I admire, love.

Yeah, what’re you playing at?
What’re you playing at?

Pick at my scabs like you’ve got none,
Pull at my threads like you’re not sweaterbare.
Muffle through your scruff, I oughtta scuttle this stubble,
Grossly inadequate, I’m, and you can’t be any different.

Set it aside, let’s,
Set it aside, let’s see what we need,
Let’s see what we need instead of this greed,
Instead of this greed, set sights on the need,
We’re gonna get through this, in time, just believe,
Believe that we’re moving through waters like flood.
Waves crashing, flames thrashing, wind lashing,
Won’t be here long, let’s get focused on,
What’s real and what’s really happening here.

Oh don’t pick at my wounds,
Don’t tell me this cut is gonna festoon,
Don’t give me a piece of your mind,
I’m busy!

Just let me work.

Hopeful Wretch

Here I am, back at it,
Running to my old swill like an addict,
So mad at, these hands that,
Oh they just won’t quit writing.

Pen to page, unleash the rage,
There’s a hurt inside, boiling over, deep fry,
So I’ll write it again, honesty old friend,
Can’t keep on going, it’s okay, don’t pretend.

Nope, I won’t fake it,
Though I can’t even take it,
It finally came on out, it’s finally not just doubt.
Yeah the demon in my past is starting to breathe its last.

I can see it coming fast…
I can see it coming fast…

There’s a change, there is change,
Coming in 19 days, 19 days.
Makes no sense, don’t freak, it’s all past tense.
‘Cause I’m looking up, I can feel His presence.

We’re not alone,
We’re not abandoned to this home.
We’re not alone,
We’re not ungathered and without hope.

I can see it coming fast.
I can see it coming fast.

Numbly Dumb

Woke up this morning feeling dead inside,
Walls up, seeking hope, chasm far too wide,
What corrupts me when I sleep?
Why wake up in water so deep?
Foggy eyes, vague intentions, fantasy acreep…

I’m not here to live in my imagination,
It’s not nice to stare, humiliation,
So ignore the blinders, sad indignation,
This isn’t forever, doubt clouds the situation,
I know every step ends with sanctification.

Are You out there?
Are You hiding?
Are You waiting for me to see?
I’ll keep walking and I’ll be
So safe, only You can set me free.

I don’t need to see
To know who I’ll be
One day I’ll be free,
And then I’ll see exactly.
No fear, no shame.
He loves me.

In Passing

Every day ends at midnight.

Chin up, weary soldier.

Shoulders back, dear sad wanderer.

This too shall pass.

This too shall pass.

Raining in the Dark

We didn’t anticipate the darkness. We didn’t know that the sun could go dim without killing us. We didn’t see far enough ahead to think that this might not last forever.

When the sun rose red one day, everything stopped. Clouds once fluffy and white now loomed in the sky, towers of ash in constant, red twilight. Where once there was deliberate effort to improve, now all that stood was locked in survival mode.

Fear cripples the greatest of men.

I lit a cigarette in the rain. My lighter wouldn’t strike, so I pulled a matchbook from my pocket and flipped it idly in my fingers while I surveyed the sky. Most didn’t even look up anymore; I refused not to.

Even the rain was thicker than it used to be, leaving behind grey runnels of ash sediment. A silver lining for every puddle. It spat at my matches and I needed three.

In the dim light, I saw a man approaching. A cigarette hung from his mouth too. Nobody talked about health issues anymore. When you’re surrounded by anthills, it doesn’t make sense to kick them over.

“Beautiful day,” he said as he neared. His voice growled like he smoked more than he should. I blinked at him.

He repeated, “Beautiful day.”

I spat on the ground. “Not to these eyes.”

The man didn’t reply to that, just regarded me with deep eyes over end of glowing vice. He didn’t look angry, or even sad, but he wasn’t easily impressed either.

“People forget,” he said at last.

“What?” I snapped, annoyed at him, annoyed at the rain, annoyed at the ash staining my boots.

He waved his cigarette around him to gesture at our surroundings. “People forget, it’s only been this dim for two weeks. You’re all acting like it’s going to last forever.”

Two weeks? It was longer than that, wasn’t it? It felt like years since I’d seen the sun.

He winked at me and dropped his cigarette into an ashy puddle. “Nothing lasts forever, kid.” He took another cig and smiled at me around it. “It’s a beautiful day.”

I just blinked at him.

He laughed, and I realized I hadn’t heard laughter in what felt like years. “Should I stop and stare at clouds and rain when I know the sun is still shining where the sky is less polluted? This life isn’t easy,” he stopped to gesture at his own smoke, “But it isĀ good. And if it is good, then I can’t stop and cry every time the sky does, can I?”

This time, I answered with a heavy drag on my own cigarette.

He put a gnarled hand on my shoulder. It looked like it had been worked harder than it ought to at his age. “Kid, you’ve got eyes only for what’s wrong, but if you’d stop to look at what’s actually real, you’d see that the sun still lights up this city. You’d see that the rain doesn’t drown your cigarette. You’d see that today is only ever worth having because of tomorrow’s promise.”

He looked me dead in the eyes and concluded, “Life is not about what hurts. Life is about getting up again every time you fall. If the sun decides to be dim for awhile, live on, it won’t last forever.”

And just like that, without a goodbye, he continued on his way, leaving me to wonder why I was smoking. And for the briefest of moments, I swear I saw the sun flicker through the clouds.

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