I declare up
front that this is an essay. Essays appealed to me
during one part of my life when other things were important to me. It’s been weeks
since I wrote a poem and months
since I wrote a good one, and my last
effort at a series secretly unveiled my current world where nothing is important to me.
I thought I couldn’t write
poetry because my depression was in
remission. When the depression becomes most disturbing, the evil
fingers of all of the nerves crawling through me seem
to force me to write. And then after I’ve written, I feel
Is this god’s design for this worthless mortal?
It’s an odd cycle:
hate the writing,
enter remission causing inordinate amounts confidence in my Superman powers in creation of recovery,
inadvertently encounter some minor and inconsequential
but despicable piece of human behavior,
suffer and here
we are back
to the beginning.
One time remission lasted three weeks, and my joy
was overflowing as I thought, “This is why
people might want to live.” I thought, “I knew
this shit would leave me someday! Everybody
gets better some day! All of my recovery
work is paying off! I’m human!”
And right when I start questioning what kind of god it was
that has pushed me into unfathomable joy,
(I have a question for you: do you know what I describe when I say Crash? Let’s pause on Crash.)
Then I feel like a victim, the idiot in a con
game, where the trickster is able
to repeatedly make me feel as though I am progressing, when
really, the spiral only goes right back
to the sick depths of insanity. It
never goes up for
long, and right when it stretches
my credulity, it strikes out
for the bottom,
for the basement,
a shadowy world
than the last one.
So I’ve just had another crash, and I’ve been coaching myself to ignore it. Just think
of the others, any others, even the mean others, and try
to help the others. There will be no pain.
So I zip myself into the trivial. This includes my day
job. It includes raking the leaves, watching the Chiefs lose and thinking
this might bond me with some community out there, and seeing all of the terrible
muckraking of Facebook, or the grandest triviality ever fashioned
by man, Twitter,
but even those Trivialites, who enjoy those
snowflake machines, think I am a worthless
clown looking for my own gravesite.
Then I think, “Why I’ll write like my
heroes did. I’ll write grandly,” but these tiny
insects bite at my brain cells and tell me I’d have more
success flying to India and becoming
a heroin addict.
I’ve been the sickest of addicts before, and I won’t go
back there, so it is death or fool
myself into doing the greatest triviality of all, writing trashy
poems and getting lucky every
hundred or so, and seeing my humanity in a
poem and feeling as though
creating this crap is worth something.