MY TROUBLED MIND

confessions are self-serving

Tag: depression

Control

I like to imagine
it as an idea rumbled in, wrapped around the rungs
of a thundering chariot’s wheel,
smuggled under the heavy cloth of a toga,
or inhaled in the steam of a communal bath.

An idea as invasive and gripping and seductive
as happiness
working its way into heads at adolescence
like rotten teeth into gum,
often bringing similar rates of agony.

The reason why some men feel
the leather straps of the electric chair
as a mother’s hand, brimming with reassurance,
and the squeak of the guard’s boot on the linoleum
as the crescendo to a wondrous symphony

And why some men burn out of existence
quietly
in the arms of fine lounge chairs
in mansions
or in the bathrooms of five star hotels.

What a dance it is for us common folk;
the clenching of the jaw
the tightening of the bowels
the familiar sting of bile,
the Sisyphean toil
as we
unashamedly
ad nauseam
endeavour to control
that which we cannot –
which, as it happens,
is just about

everything.

Daily Sketch #56 – Kid Cudi

SCAN0035.jpg

A lot of respect for this artist. Didn’t do him enough justice in this sketch! 45mins, 4B & 6B graphite pencil.

The year I tasted coffee

Sit and think
about the year
he said and so I did

On my back ‘gainst rough plastic and rope
and I heard the sky,
swilled it in my mouth
like fountain ink
and tried to think.

Coffee came sweet
this year,
no more bitterness-
the old tan hand Columbian
rested weighty on my shoulder
like an answer
to the same old dread
sprung like from a split hose
leaking sprinkler,
strays shocked, even cats caught unaware

but birds,
much older and much smarter–

been around for donkeys years,
been around since dino times–

fan their wings and nimbly dance
around that twinkling teasing shower,
their movements automatic
like those of mothers
who make the most

of everything-
bowls of potato peel,
pints of drained fat–
some use some where–
torrents of left-overs!

I never learned!
I realise suddenly and with a pang
of panic,veins icy,
junked up on waste
and on the nod,
watching the birds
dry
feathers fluffed,
legs folded neatly underneath
relaxed-

They knew I couldn’t catch them if I tried.

GOOD MORNING

Everyone is on the scale, I’m told and that’s enough-
sometimes contact with an eye scolds like a plate hot
and the world of my dreams-
how can I explain,

they are thick and wet with the quiet of history,

and suffocating with the hot moist stink of gasoline

and always I arise to a racket of light

where numbness gives way to the march of the needle

and my shoulders are curled like the toes of your lover,

and I send out my eyes on their own little mission,

good morning, good morning

my heart is still beating
my lungs still swollen
and shrivelled,
and swollen
and my blood-
still running round headless
seemingly searching endlessly for an exit.

Of men everywhere

I don’t know how you do it;
don’t get overwhelmed
by the smog of sudden silence
like fingers on your throat
after the engine is cut

In that pause
it’s like the world is falling
in on top of you
in that driveway of a rented house
in a leased car owned by the bank
that you liked last year
but like a little less this year

When the radio ceases its dirty talk
and the success of the day
has become a shadow
it takes such strength
to take your next breath

I truly admire you

Captain 5

Some said he reigned from somewhere in the South Pacific, though none knew definitely, as he never spoke. His only verbal expulsion came in the early hours, when squirming atop thin embalmed sheets, he groaned incoherently as he thrashed fitfully in the grip of night terrors. None knew his name, though many experienced his smell, a pungent odor that mewled through the thick ever-closed door to his chambers. When I myself was led to this hovel I strained against the ever increasing urge to retch, I swallowed through gritted teeth, my nostrils flared and my eyes balled and rolled. This was my room for the night, and my travelling companion’s too. We could hear the rhythmic rolling of insects’ scurrying legs as we sat, almost in shock, on our appropriately bald and stained mattresses. The window could not be opened, no, for his bed lay underneath it – I say bed, though nest would probably be more fitting- and there was an animosity in the air that one feels when confronted with a dog that is reared to bite. For a second I studied him; I saw the droplets of oil on his dark arm, the long, wiry black locks made heavy and shapely with human grease, the blemished face, the dull black eyes. I was afraid.

We left our bags in that stagnant pit and stumbled to the street, hands clutched to our throats whispering ‘Wine…wine…please…the horror…’, and I say I didn’t really regain consciousness fully until I felt the warm slug of Merlot pushing the bile that lay in my throat back into the confines of my stomach. I only had thirty dollars left, of which the wine had cost seven, but I regretted nothing. We sat in a dark corner of a cathedral courtyard and drank in near silence, occasionally glancing up at the sky-lit clock face and murmuring, spluttering through wine stained teeth ‘How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!’ spitefully and ironically. The dark presence in room five of our lodgings epitomized the past few days of struggle; our increasingly desperate attempts to find work, our vanishing funds, the seedy comfort of drink and bad food, the discontent of dirty clothes and dirty bodies, a crushing fatigue embodied by our heavy packs, the sadness in our eyes that stared back, rueful, from each public bathroom’s cracked and misted mirror.

Not for the first time I asked myself how I had warped and buckled the ideal of backpacking in New Zealand so thoroughly and with such finality. Though, (clutching my almost finished bottle tight, and smiling) a word pushed itself from my red lips – sui generis