Poetry Friday: Taking Notes in English

Taking Notes in English

They said they liked high school fine, and
at least no one died while they were there.
My insides clenched and I thought of you,
Andrew.

Dead dead dead,
kick the stone all you want but he can’t feel a thing.

Cut me open, display my insides to the ceiling,
snip and saw and slice and
just figure out where the pain is coming from.
Eyes wide to the sky, fingers clenching,
I’ll watch your expression as you operate, perform the autopsy.

Throw books against the wall
scream
topple tables and chairs but no one will put you down,
wrap you up all snug in white silk
or even a snuggly jacket.

Crack open my skull, crush it crush it crush it kill me end it stupid stupid
never gets better, never heals, never fades from memory.

Hold them to the wall, scalpel to their throat
shake them but they have no answer.
It just wastes their time, it’s just embarrassing.
Words can’t fix it, time just numbs you for a while.
Blood running red
running down
running out
running out of time.

I cry, scream, alienate and destroy.
In my mind, I am a naked little girl in a corner
pointing a shattered mirror at the indifferent crowds,
hoping I can pass under their radar,
or at least cut them if they come too close,
or care.

* * *

Hey, sorry this is so dark. It surprises me when moments like this strike. It’s been about four years since he died. Mostly I’m good now. And I don’t want you to worry. No one is going to get hurt; nothing bad is going to happen. My mind is calm and safe. But this happened the other day out of nowhere, and I just wanted it out there again.

Poetry Friday: Average Grace

Average Grace

Fingers pinch at the tips
nerves scream
nails scrape across rough wires
voice strains on highs and lows
muscles stiffen and burn
neck aches

no one I can see can hear me
but my pain brings a circle of ghosts
drawn to the history I share
through song

Poetry Friday: Writer’s Torrent

Writer’s Torrent

Slave to the keyboard,
neck arched, wrists aching.
Eyes closed, clickety-clack,
a new story in the making.

Take my heart and soul,
twist my words into fire;
burn black font up the page,
my voracious literary sire.

A violent mental tug of war frees
the drip-drop patterned thoughts.
Sticks and stones may break my bones,
but words will be my chosen lot.

Everything is Water

Sometimes having depression feels like I have water inside of me, cold heavy water that sloshes around and makes me wonder if I am normal or if I matter or if I care.

Those are the moments I stuff the earbuds in and get lost in Sufjan Stevens and Sarah McLachlan and Iron & Wine.

Those are the moments I seriously doubt that I’ll ever feel happier, or that anyone could stop the tears that keep flowing, or that anyone’s ever going to answer these prayers in my head.

The water freezes my body’s natural defenses, the ones that fight off the sadness, that tell me I’m okay and everything’s okay and everything will be okay.

The water suffocates me and traps me in this dark, murky world of misunderstandings and loneliness and the certainty that no, it never gets better than this. What should have been life-giving is the blackest of holes.

I wish I could give some metaphor of a lifesaver, of Jesus Christ throwing me a flotation device or teaching me to walk on water. I guess this happens sometimes, or it would happen if I were closer to Him. Or it is happening, and I just can’t feel it.

But today, right now, in this aching body and exhausted mind and broken heart, I’m just tippity-typing on a keyboard in a university computer lab, trying not to remember my past or imagine my future or think about what’s going on right now in this little fishbowl of my life where all I can say is, “This and that and everything is water.”

A New Horizon

I didn’t mean to fall in love with him, but I did. Things like that happen, I suppose, in this journey of life. Casualties of the heart, perhaps. Have you ever fallen in love with someone who doesn’t love you back? I tell myself it’s good for me. I tell myself this will help me help others later on in my life; to understand, to empathize. I ignore the pain and I move on. This is one of my acquired gifts. But surely, you don’t think this is going to be the main subject of this post?

There’s a song by The Paper Kites that I’ve gotten into recently. It’s called “Featherstone,” and not only is the music beautiful and uplifting, but the lyrics are just so choice. In particular, I love these words:

And my love is yours but your love’s not mine
So I’ll go but we know I’ll see you down the line
And we’ll hate what we’ve lost but we’ll love what we find
And I’m feeling fine, we’ve made it to the coastline

Basically, I feel like this person is saying, “I love you and you don’t love me back, but, hey, our paths will cross again someday. This moment hurts and we won’t enjoy it, but what’s coming is so much better we’ll forget we ever felt this sadness. I feel okay because we’re at the edge of a new horizon.”

It hints at a beautiful future, and I, Maney, girl of depression and anxiety, dig it. When life is so full of confusion and pain–when you can’t see light at either end of the tunnel, and you don’t know which way to go–I love to believe that whichever way we pick, eventually we will find happiness, fulfillment; even joy.

So, my dear Reader, I hope you saunter forth. Believe me when I say I know how hard it is to do anything some days, let alone take life in your hands and keep moving forward. But from one average human to another, I truly hope you do. And even when you fail and it’s too hard to go on, if nothing else–if you don’t believe in a loving, comforting God or an all-knowing, all-loving Savior to help you forward–maybe it will help to know that a certain Maney is trying most days, failing others, but all around not giving up. And if I can do it, so can you.

“Featherstone” by The Paper Kites.

Free Love

I’m surfing through my old word documents to find something inspirational that I can post on here, and I realize that I’m totally missing the point of my blog. I have this thing so I can write. It’s supposed to be my outlet. Because I’m not working on a book right now, and because I have a hard time writing in my journal most nights, this is where I go.

Maybe I’m missing the point about a lot of things in my life lately. I feel like I’ve kind of given my soul to the Machine, the rat race that everyone finds themselves running sooner or later. For example, getting an education. I’ll be honest, the main reason I’m in college is so I can get a good job afterwards. I’m not really here to learn. I’m not as passionate about learning as I wish I was–and I’m pretty passionate.

Speaking of passion, I feel like I’m missing the point in my relationships as well. Sometimes I’m just so exhausted by existing, and I’m so traumatized by my past relationships and friendships that ended like the Hindenburg, that I can’t summon the mental fortitude to love unconditionally, the way I used to. It saddens me, to be honest.That part of me, that sweet, innocent, love-filled Maney is gone. She’s been gone for years. But I know she was there. I remember… I remember remembering. Just like you know you must have been a child once, because suddenly you realize you’re not one anymore.

I’m terrified, though. I’m looking for her, but I’m afraid of what I’ll find. Because when I lost that Maney, it wasn’t pretty. It was scary. And it hurt. I don’t know if I’m strong enough to love, because I don’t think I’m strong enough to feel so much pain again. I wonder if I’m the only one who is too scared to love freely again.