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 is 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.

Words Are Empty

Fine, I’m going to do this. I don’t want to deal with the fallout, but sometimes words have to be said. That and I’m out of medication again because the government would rather criminalize the weak than lift them out of poverty. So I’m going to rant and you get to not read it as much as you want.

Believe it or not, I hate talking about me. I honestly do. More and more every day. That’s why I try to put feelings into poetry rather than spoonfeeding my every problem to anyone who’ll listen. But that doesn’t mean I get to keep my mouth shut all the time, and it doesn’t mean I have to feel like garbage for needing you to understand me.

And yes, I considered not even posting this and allowing self-discovery to buff these wings, but I don’t believe in throwing away the truth either. So I’ll post it here like everything else and leave you to figure out what to do with it.

I’ve heard it a thousand times. “Oh, I have anxiety too.” That coming from somebody who has no trouble showing up to work showered, who has no trouble doing the dishes on a day with absolutely no other apparent responsibilities. Who has no difficulty getting out of bed onto their feet instead of their knees…

I’m not exaggerating when I say that I don’t fit under our bed. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I’d rather die than go back to any job I’ve ever lost. And I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that I’m thinking about nailing my hand to something inside the apartment so that I don’t jump off of the balcony. Sixty feet would do the trick a lot better than most people’s advice.

Maybe this is why I don’t talk about this stuff all the time. Maybe this is why I’m so afraid of even researching my problem. I hate the word “anxiety” so much. People use it to describe waiting for the bus, gas prices going up a few cents a litre (Waaaaaaaaaa! So you paid an extra five bucks for gas,) or feeling your knees shake on stage. Those all fit the definition, but you haven’t been diagnosed with it.

You don’t even have a doctor who knows what the word “generalized” means, or what implications come up when you tack it onto “anxiety.” You don’t have a therapist who has spent months on you and still has no idea what to do when you walk in. You don’t have old prescriptions for medication that was even WORSE than going without. You’ve never quit SSRIs and benzodiazpines and sleeping medication cold turkey at once. You’ve never gone a whole week without a wink of sleep and still showed up to work every day because you were terrified you’d get fired.

So it’s hard to even put these words down. It’s hard to think about anybody reading them. But it’s even worse to hear you go on and on about your “anxiety.” I’ll bet you’ve never beaten your head until you spasmed and fell unconscious. I’ll bet you’ve never been afraid of falling asleep because you punched your own head so hard you’re afraid you have a concussion. You’ve never even considered what happens when your knuckles are the size of goose eggs because you’ve been trying to beat yourself to death.

So yeah, go on about your problems. And if I seem a bit quiet while you whine, maybe it’s because I spent yesterday under the bed and you’re standing with your back straight while you talk as if you actually have issues you’ll acknowledge.

Bitter, bitter me. I’m sorry. I have problems and you have problems, and that’s the way life works. But my problems are not smaller than yours. I’m not unemployed because I don’t want to work; I’m unemployed because thinking of working makes me weep. I will not tell you what kind of tears they are. You should know what I’m so afraid of if you’re so anxious all the time.

Oh to have real, legitimate problems instead of these “fake” ones. Oh to have pain diagnosable by the layman and not just doctors. Oh to have people around me who don’t try to change my pain into something they can manage.

I think I’ll have another cigarette while you shake your head at the one who just wouldn’t listen.


Dear broken one,
When you hide from Me,
You are Mine,
When you run to Me
You are Mine,
When you fall away from Me,
You are Mine.

Oh freedom,
Once you grew so tall,
Oh freedom, your grandeur, built to fall,
But land on the Rock that breaks,
Rock bottom’s there for our sakes,
This time maybe I’ll stay here,
Leave time and growth to steer,
Is faith a ladder built on stilts,
Or victory accomplished, blade rammed through guilt?
Is it finished, or have I run,
In vain, it’s not what I’ve done,
Seeing was never believing, but believing’s seeing,
What hands can touch is bound to decay,
Set sad eyes on victory that won’t waste away.


I don’t like to complain,
From the negative, I wish I’d abstain,
But this question looms so close and near
What did I do to deserve here?

Early years to regret,
Infinity to fret,
Barbed wire entanglement,
Old habitual enlightenment,
Until I learned to resent,
Until habit got reset,
Until I was all beset,
Fake shadows now, I’ll bet,
Carved in stone nonetheless.

See I’m over the past,
Yeah, it wasn’t a blast,
But I’m not hung up on what’s left,
Feels empty, sure, but I’m not bereft,
So why all this mad, empty clamour?
Why all this fervent, mad chatter?
Dear mind, oh fervent Mad Hatter,
You’re just this side of a bad bladder.

Be still, dear mind,
Dear Solace, entwine,
I don’t wanna lose my mind…

Trunk of treasures

Trunk of treasures,
Filled to full measure,
We’ve got to hide today,
They’ve come to steal you away.

Not ready but the fog’s too heavy,
Fought eager but my promises are meager,
Didn’t mean to let you down, let everybody see your frown,
I’m just one step too far on black ice, detour right…

Now it’s out and now you know,
I’m just another crazy, everything I see is hazy,
Cover him with grains of salt, add injury to insult,
Don’t take him at his word, ’cause half he says is absurd.

I don’t mean to complain,
I really wanna refrain
From making a stink,
I’m already reeling from drink.

But there’s an awful trap, snap, clap shut, can’t backtrack,
Stuck in a rut that’s a one way but for the brazen scuttlebutt,
Does it matter if it’s true that I say I can feel you bleeding me?
So there it is laid out, trampled flat, I’m worn out, no doubt.

Not without hope, but this one’s a rope
To pull, faith without fail, I will prevail,
When you knock me on my back,
You get to see the facts,
I’m the kind that bounces back,
And gets set right back on track
No matter how often I fall flat.

So I’m here, in the mirror,
And I’m there under your stare,
But you’re not here when it’s bare,
You’re just blades everywhere,
And salty only when I’m faulty,
Like I’m getting you somewhere.

Rediagnosis is in order,
Don’t care, just no more bullseye disorder,
Doc, you gotta help me, let it be,
Let it be.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 317 other followers