Checking Out

Me: That’s an interesting question. According to Joshua Foa Dienstag in Pessimism: Philosophy, Ethic, Spirit, “Freud describes consciousness as the detour an unconscious wish takes on the way to its satisfaction, and life as a detour from death to death. From this perspective, it is not really surprising that our experience is dominated by unhappiness. Our situation is out-of-joint with the universe to begin with. We cannot hope to set it right—we can only await the release from this predicament provided by death.”

Cashier: That’s great, sir, but all I asked was do you want paper or plastic.

Wounded Healers

Wounded healers
Accept we can’t
Ease suffering

Without easing
The suffering
Within ourselves

I’m a wounded healer
Practicing the art
Of suffering well

I see people in pain
But I can’t help them
Ease their suffering

I’m afraid I’m not
Strong enough
To help people heal

I’m afraid I might
Further wound
Those looking to heal

Wounded healers
Accept we can’t
Ease suffering

Without easing
The suffering
Within ourselves

Wounded healers
Taught me first
To heal myself

I’m a human being
Practicing the art
Of healing myself

Defiance

I refuse to become
The person
I was born to be.

I’m too tired
To follow
My dreams.

All I want is sleep.
The deepest sleep.

All I want is to sleep
In the womb
Of the deepest sleep.

All I want is sleep.
The deepest sleep.

All I want is to sleep
In the womb
Of the deepest sleep.

No Angel

Every midnight
At the crack of dawn
My rooster yelps

There’s a monkey
On my back
And a donkey
On his ass

I suspend
My belief
In gravity

Still I rise
Bound to fall

I ride my high horse
To the kitchen
For a bag of crumbs
And a sip of thirst

He draws me a bubble bath
Tells me I’m no angel
I’m a bird of prey
In a house that rattles

All I want is relief
From the burden
Of being me

All I want is a ceiling
On the floor
To rest my wings

Opposite Day

Same shit
Opposite day

I mistake a deep breath
For a panic attack

Same shit
Opposite day

A repetitive poem
Repeats itself

Same shit
Opposite day

A history of trauma
Repeats itself

Same shit
Opposite day

A repetitive poem
Repeats itself

Same shit
Opposite day

A repetitive poem
Erases itself

Same shit
Opposite day

I take my life
One panic attack at a time

Ode To Michael Stipe

Stand in the place
Where you work

That’s me
In the corner office
Losing my reflection

It’s the end of this ode
As we know it
And I feel fine

Kurt Cobain said
Everybody shits

Michael Stipe said
Everybody squirts

It’s the end of this ode
As we know it
And I feel fine

It’s the end of this ode
As I wrote it
And I feel divine

Still I Fall

Thinner than a sliver of hope
I ask a sensitive soul
Walking on sunshine:

Which came first
The chicken
Or the egg on my face?

Which came first
Chicken wings
Or eggshells?

Which came first
Chicken fingers
Or chicken tenders?

Which came first
Hot wings
Or cold cuts?

Hot sauce
Or cold turkey?

Which came first
Walking on sunshine
Or walking on eggshells?

The weight of the world
Rests squarely on the shoulders
Of a sensitive soul

Still I rise
Still I fall

Thinner than
A sliver of hope

Still I rise
Still I fall

Hot Moms In Yoga Pants

Every night in a house that rattles
I suspend my belief in gravity.

Every night in a house that rattles
I take two pills and call
A priest in mourning.

Every night in a house that rattles
I mistake a pinch of salt
For a grain of sand.

Every night in a house that rattles
I sell sex toys and Tupperware
To hot moms in yoga pants.

Every night in a house that rattles
Alex Trebek answers my prayers
In the form of a question

Fats Domino and Little Richard
Play chubby checkers

And I mistake a grain of sand
For an hourglass.

Every night in a house that rattles
Popeye eats Olive Oyl
And a pound of spinach

I clutch my pearls of wisdom
Take two spills and cut
A rug on the ceiling.

Still I Rise

Empty mind
Of thoughts
Not mine

Empty reason
Empty rhyme

Every day
I take my life
One decade
At a time

Empty sky
Of sun
Not mine

Empty moon
Empty tide

Every day
I take my pills
One half-life
At a time

Empty ego
Empty pride

Empty mind
Of thoughts
Not mine

Every day
Uncertain
Still I rise
Full of life

Every day
Night falls
Still I rise

Nothing Light Is Heavy

Today I told my worries
Nothing light is heavy
If we take our time
And bear our burdens lightly

And I introduced each worry
To another worry
And I loved each worry
In a kind way lightly

And I told each worry
Nothing light is heavy
If we take our time
And bear our burdens lightly

Hope And Healing

I’ve been writing the same thing over and over for the last 15 years, and I’m tired. Today I feel less motivated to write anything beyond grocery lists and notes to myself. This is fine.

Next month I’m going back to school to become a Certified Recovery Support Specialist. I’ll get to use my lived experience with mental illness to help other people in their journeys through hope and healing.

I won’t update this blog much going forward, but readers can still find my favorite poems from 2019-2022, along with links to buy my books on Amazon.

For now, I want to close with the testimonial I wrote for the mental health center that changed my life: “I feel less ashamed about what happened to me in the past, and I’m excited to embrace my future.”

Update: On September 13, 2022, I changed my mind and made the entire blog public again.

In Her Infinite Wisdom

Forgiveness,
In her infinite wisdom,
Sighs.

I tell myself:
“This is a moment of suffering.
Suffering is a part of life.”

God’s shadow responds:
“I, too, am suffering.
Suffering is a part of my life.”

We admit
We are powerless
Over time.

I cradle
God’s shadow
In mine.

Forgiveness,
In her infinite wisdom,
Sighs.

Trivial Pursuit Of Happiness Hurts

I once knew a person
Named Ophelia
She worked for United Airlines
She was a stewardess
Or a flight attendant
She was many different
People at the same time

Ophelia get me to a nunnery
I’m a cloud in your sky
I’m an unruly passenger
With this poem I can’t wait
To share online:

“naked and afraid
up all night
weep all day
Big Brother said
Kilroy was here
watching Big Brother
man versus food
man versus nature
man versus man
god versus god
good versus evil
spy versus spy
poet verses poet
verse chorus verse”

To be or not
To be
Ophelia

A stewardess
Or a flight attendant
There’s no question

This trivial pursuit
Of happiness hurts

I’d rather be a cloud
Or the sun in your eyes

Trivial Pursuit Of Happiness

Thesis Antithesis Synthesis
Id Ego Superego
Client Therapist Transference

Cash Credit Debit
People Places Things
They’re Their There

Mind Body Soul
Underactive Thyroid
Overactive Superego

Netflix Hulu Prime
Facebook Twitter Pony Express
Myspace Napster AOL

Anti-Poems Made Of Non-Sense
Like This One Called
Trivial Pursuit Of Happiness

Thesis Antithesis Synthroid
My Reflection Is The Shadow
Of My Not-So-Super Superego

How’s It Hanging?
Little To Left?
Too Far Right?

Low Testosterone
High Blood Pressure
Intensive Care Unit

Rock Paper Scissors
Duck Duck Goose
Skin Tag You’re It

Naked And Afraid
Up All Night
Weep All Day

Big Brother Said
Kilroy Was Here
Watching Big Brother

Man Versus Food
Man Versus Nature
Man Versus Man

God Versus God
Good Versus Evil
Spy Versus Spy

Where Do You
See Your Selfie
In Five Years?

Great News
Your Windows 10
Machine Meets

The Requirements
For A Free Upgrade
To Windows 11

Nothing’s Gonna
Change My World
Across The Metaverse

When You Fall Asleep
You’re LYING Down
Not LAYING Down

Let’s Eat Our Feelings
Bacon Lettuce Tomato
Sloppy G.I. Joe

Uh-Oh SpaghettiOs
Leggo My Superego
Alfred E. Neuman

Ate Too Much
Chuck E. Cheese
What, Me Worry?

Ode To Reese Witherspoon

Billy Corgan spoke in class
Today he said is the greatest day
I’ve ever flown an airplane
High with Eddie Vedder
Over Wrigley Field
But don’t call me
Shirley Temple of the Dog
During the in-flight movie
Monsters vs. Aliens starring
Reese Witherspoon

Dr. Seuss put Paul Newman’s
Fig Newtons all in one
Basket of deplorables
Next to the incredible edible
Fabergé green eggs and silent
Ham radio of the lambs
So let’s go Jodie Foster lock him up
Tomorrow on The Morning Show
Starring Reese Witherspoon

The Incredible Hulk Hogan’s Heroes
Celebrated Halloween on Good Friday
The thirteenth day of Christmas
When the Grinch lost his marbles
Playing Hungry Hungry Psychos
With Hannibal Lecter
And the Hogan family minus
Valerie and Jamie Harper Lee Curtis
And the star of Legally Blonde 2
And Legally Blonde 3
Reese Witherspoon

Dr. Phil Donahue told Maury Povich
I’m not the father of pop psychology
I’m Ryan Phillippe and I know
What you did last summer in the Ozarks
You laundered the color of money
And killed a mockingbird
Named Marty Byrde
Thanks to your cruel intentions