A depression—or a series of small but relentless and irrefutable episodes of tiny depressions—will overwhelm in places where we feel the most alone.
You are not alone. The pressures and disappointments—the longings and the nostalgia—the struggle to be in your own skin—you are not alone.
I found these words satisfying and healing and connective and that is why I wanted to put them here for you. Whether you need them right now or not—here they are.
Thank you to the author of these ‘fragments’ for allowing me to share—and the rest of you—you take care out there.
woke up unfrozen in ten years back time,
walking in circles around
a bottomless pit of need, grinding molars and incisors flat,
ego bruised, unrested.
what accomplishments? i feel fake,
a survivor clinging remnants of the wrecked medusa
of a would-be career,
and these gleaming speedboats
yachts piloted by calvin klein models-
craft white as bleach creekbed shark teeth
circle around in the waning sun.
will i be able to stand on my own two feet?
will i sail-walk on the water?
will i drown in the water?
will a big shark take me for a ride?
how long before i get to plant
in some ground mommy
a dogs age since held with care
soil warm not attall
held by someone
other than myself
body chemically rusted shut acidly pissed from ignoring itall
i miss sylvia, my grandmother who loved me.
i wish she was around to see me all manly
and full of all these crusty man regrets
that never get aired out-
me and my boys have a lot of good reasons not to respect our fathers
not much there to miss little to nothing human to reconcile with
but we learned soo well how to stuff
our emotions beneath
our work boots / keep on truckin.
where i’m from its only ever foaming out over a train a fire a shot the bottle.
I just watched times goin by unsloshed on the hoppy drink
from a purple haze all saucy with youth,
failing to perceive a substantial and unjustifiable risk
everyone around me- to a friend, to a lover, running the jagged path,
there in an eyeblink went ten years.
Hey now a slew of my close friends from my 20s
are still finding oblivion the daily meal of FUBAR
harder and harder to reach packing snow
cross electricless space
mores of east coast/midwest,
canyon deep familial love,
the kind you can only have
when your bedrock is pocked, cratered with
kitchen explosions that burn off your eyebrows
the plague from Canada
sweet music time for it all starlight.
i used to smoke vanguards
and wind up sucking vapor from a ventilator in ER
b/c chronic lungs-dead poems no future
i cant wait do it now
think of a trick to shock and amaze
transform oppression impossibility
and human suffering into beautiful possibility.
teach me to not quit i have to keep learning this
and i forget unlearn to next forget and forget
because when fighting powerful
entrenched evil institutions
so unlike my youthful dreams of freedom,
the adult dream of collective freedom fails
does not fill me with optimism
or a sense of possibility
but a kind
of grim acceptance
of the material fact. rewards can only
be reached, in half measures, puttering, across
the hostile moonscape, desert of logistics,
fighting guns and dogs
with pebbles, bloody paper.
i am trying so hard to stay here
in this hostile and lonely place
to engage the enemy
of all of us in this
the prison system,
amidst impossible tumult,
on ground that wont stay fixed.
i cant walk on the water
float and survive for awhile on my belly fat,
eat onesself if necessary.
i try to explain the feeling of loss
that is a tiny death when i lose track
of one of my boys
thinking they are in the rearguard of my army,
and suddenly they shock me mad max
out of my complacency
with a racist or sexist outburst
on social media.
steel myself against good news.
my greatest antiracist white allies,
looking after the soup kitchen babies
they’re gonna have white children
in a black city
but suddenly plan to move away
because the drunks and the ghosts of drunk dead friends and the schools are so v. fucked up and the lead levels so high cause
they can plan to sell the house the garden
they can move on up
to a farm, a whiter, less perma-fucked enclave.
i renew my antiracist tirade to the void.
feel all smelly with self-riteousness
spectacularly failing again and again,
my body goes on
and wakes up
and i shower
i get to eat
about my computer breaking
and how the dollarstore underwear
has holes after one week
how everything is always breaking
and being maintained and mended over and over
yet always full of holes,
but I get to have my medicine
and my woo and my queer sex
and maybe someday therapy
into my own beautious manhood
wracked with the vile aspirations of others
because i have somehow but not really
escaped working class addiction,
working class early death from
instead i can have my own
big city heart attack death
on this shattered raft
that i never wanted.
fucking jesus probably felt empty
walking on water.
feeling empty because
i am scared of all the things
i think i want,
these big adult goals are so wracked with anxiety,
unlike my youthful dreams
that were all about freedom,
exploring the cosmos… endless possibility.
i dont want to let go of any of my
youthful dreams either,
and i am not unappreciative
of the richness of this
adult life of minutiae.
i am in a body.
and it just needs needs needs
but i like to forget that…
can’t remember how it feels
to wake up feeling safe
in the oasis of someones arms
who can handle every part of me.
more of my real friends
can hold up tiny little parts,
sometimes substantial parts of me
and it makes my steps lighter,
and that gives me an army of real friends
that makes it possible to put on my
shit kicking boots,
i still have these dreams,
raw jerky art,
somewhere behind the smog,
there are campfires next to rivers,
somewhere beyond the strangle
and life in the matrix
a hope for love,
a knowledge that it is out there
across the desert,
across the sky,
across the ocean too.