You speak to me though I don't hear a sound Without you I am lost, but in you I am found Your voice submerges me in the purest, living stream You wash me clean and then I see you're more than you seem Hearing your voice doesn't disturb the air around me but opens my eyes and pierces my spirit profoundly A gentleman, you invite me in but don't force me to stay Your unconditional love makes me want to listen to what you say You surround me with yourself and make a home in my heart I crawl in your cocoon and the transformation starts I wasn't dead- I was sleeping. It was better that way I thought I could ignore the pain and darkness away But now with open eyes I see that spring has arrived Flowers in bloom, this bride has a groom, my heart is revived Someday I'm going to burst forth and open my wings and from that day on this butterfly's song will play eternally
Part I Life is a paper money relay race Hand to hand and face to face Pass to past without a trace Death is for those who finish first place Meaning is to define is to exist and sometimes to break down barriers with fists to scale societal walls and check off lists Promotion is just making sure butts get kissed Society is a paper mache promenade Using chemically altered tomatoes to make life's lemonade without thinking of future debts to be paid until all peripheral visions fade A road paved with lies meets crooked and corrupted feet Sprinting blindly down a dead end street ignoring and adding to the havoc wreaked expectations impossible for the next generation to meet Part II Real living isn't anything like that No carefully laid plan or rhyme scheme can fill an empty stomach or pay a bill No promotion can compare to a child coming home safe from war Monetary compensation is not a salve for the heartbreak of losing a loved-one Something is to be said for a culture whose idea of a struggle is the line at Starbucks A culture so over medicated, yet apathetic, they rely upon fabricated media to make them feel something Something is to be said about a people so comfortably bored that contemplating suicide has become a favorite passtime Don't get me wrong, I've contemplated suicide It's not a joke Sometimes the world turns upside down The sea is the sky, the sky is the sea I feel like I'm drowning mid-air But it's all in my head and sometimes I wonder what it would be like if monsters lived under my bed and not in my head and I could physically raise my fists to fight them I am my society, my culture and I'm tired of riding the conveyor belt to meaningless existence of never putting my hand to a plow I'm tired of being tired and afraid to speak out Who would I- the first world- be without my wealth and privilege? without movie screens and sports stadiums? without safety and security? It's time to unmask our sterilized society, to find what lies beneath. It's time to learn how to feel again. To struggle again. It's time to learn how to live again.
Alone is a lazy river to a raging sea I never thought no one's arms around me could feel so heavy Loneliness has me grasping at cheap rhymes like poor pockets A rosebud in a drought all potential for love dried out The rains come The shriveled petals fall Leaving a question: If no one's there to see, was it ever there at all?
19 years of life experience produce nothing but exhausted graphite scribblings and a recipe for inedibly stale bread. Dough that’s already molded before it hits the oven. What do I have to say for myself? I’ve been free falling through life and pain and only noticed the noose once I’d reached the end of my rope. Time to Tarzan swing to the next one, I guess. It’s too bad I’m an airplane. I wasn’t designed to navigate a jungle of trees. What do I have to say to everyone else? Nothing. I’m just as lost as you are; trying to fit 7 billion cylinders into 7 billion different square holes. Nothing fits. I’ve been writing for 5 years now and all my notebooks have as much to say empty as they do full. Words are just bridges over endlessly troubled waters. My only wish is to help someone else more than I’ve helped me.
by Sarah Jaffe
50 states 50 lines 50 crying all the time’s
50 boys 50 lies 50 I’m gonna change my mind’s
I changed my mind
Now I’m feeling different
We were young, we didn’t care
Is it gone? Is it floating in the air?
I changed my mind
Now I’m feeling different
All that time wasted I wish I was a little more delicate
I wish my name was Clementine
For those days we felt like a mistake
Those times when loves what you hate
We keep marching on
For those nights that I couldn’t be there,
I’ve made it harder to know that you know
We’ll keep movin’ on
There’s so many wars we fought
There’s so many things we’re not
But with what we have
I promise you that,
We’re marchin’ on
We’re marchin’ on
For all of the plans we’ve made,
There isn’t a flag I’d wave,
Don’t care if we bend,
I’d sink us to swim,
We’re marching on
For those doubts that swirl all around us,
For those lives that tear at the seams,
We know we’re not what we’ve seen,
For this dance we’ll move with each other.
There ain’t no other step than one foot
Right in front of the other
We’ll have the days we break,
And we’ll have the scars to prove it,
We’ll have the bonds that we save,
But we’ll have the heart not to lose it.
For all of the times we’ve stopped,
For all of the things I’m not.
We put one foot in front of the other,
We move like we ain’t got no other,
We go where we go, we’re marching on.
I haven’t yet come to grips with reality. Cause and effect I believe in, but I’m reluctant to accept that anything I say or do has any impact. It’s easier to try not feel at all, than to admit that life has more control over me than I do of it. I’m merely a puddle from a scattered shower, so easily evaporated, licked up by passing animals, or drained into the nearest, larger, more significant body of water. My splash affects as equally as it’s vanquished by the bottom of a shoe.
At least, that’s what I’d like to believe. Thinking I won’t live long enough to see the consequences, I don’t follow the advice of my elders. I listen to loud music, read in the dark, neglect sunscreen, etc. I refuse to sacrifice present freedom for an imaginary future comfort that isn’t guaranteed to anyone.
I am not an active member of my community. I don’t vote. I don’t get regular flu shots. I don’t read the paper or watch the news. I don’t participate in holidays. I don’t like to watch sports. I don’t even own a smartphone or use a GPS to get around.
I’m not attached to my possessions. It’s not that I don’t believe in thievery. I’m not naive, I simply choose to focus more on what is than what could be. I like roller coasters, and feel very strongly that fullness of life comes when disaster is not feared but embraced as a part of learning and experiencing.
I fully believe I’ll live to see the end of the world.
I wonder if I’m alone but the thought is fleeting. It’s preposterous and pretentious for someone to believe that in a world of 8 billion people- with more coming and going every second- I’m the only one capable of original thought.
My best thoughts come at 3 AM when either my broken heart is keeping me up or I’m too tired to pick up a pen. Most of my head is cluttered with debris, and so many of my trains of thought are swept away and buried again before I can catch them. They almost never make the same stop twice. Always in motion I must remain. If I let the dust and ashes of my mind settle around me I’d be buried right alongside all my forgotten dreams and half formed ideas.
You want to know what’s on my mind.
You want to know what’s on-
Don’t think twice.
Overthinking is my vice.
Soul without a light switch
Thoughts provoking mind’s itch
Mine circumnavigates itself-
looking for substance not displayed on a shelf.
Answers to questions that I haven’t asked
Finding the results of the present and the past:
A life plagued by reasons for firsts and for lasts
Resistance is futile.
There’s no reason to hide.
Throw away all your pride.
Years of rebellion wash away with the tide.
Mature and complete
Victory comes with defeat.
As long as you learn something.
So what’s on my mind?
My hair and your hat
You put it there to make me laugh.
Reason floats away on a breeze
and for once my restless soul is at ease.
*please note* this piece is ironic satire and is meant to be read figuratively- NOT to be taken literally. it highlights suicide related issues in a dark light as a reminder to anyone that considers ending their own life they still have so much for which to remain alive. If anyone reading this is one of those people, you are not alone. People care. Find them. Don’t give up. It’s going to be okay.
If you’re going to kill yourself, do it while no one’s looking. This is between you and yourself. It’s nobody else’s business. As a matter of fact, if you want to make it easier, turn yourself into someone whom no one wants to pay attention. Fester in your filth- really marinate in it. Tell yourself you don’t mean anything to anyone until it becomes true. After all, no one wants to wash themselves with a dirty rag. Retreat into yourself and never come out, or else the light outside might blind you, or worse: make you change your mind. Vegetate, and let everyone and everything around you slowly forget you exist. You don’t want your cold, dead body dripping behind the eyes of your loved ones while what’s left of you hangs from the ceiling. You don’t want to ruin holidays and family gatherings for them forever. You don’t want your loved ones to stare at your empty chair at the dinner table every night. You don’t want to have loved ones at all.
If you’re going to kill yourself, do it while you’re still young. Before you’ve made mistakes and bad decisions. Before your mid-life crisis. Before your duties and responsibilities trap you. Throw yourself off a cliff, before you live a life you’ll regret throwing away.
If you’re going to kill yourself, clean out everything. Clear your mind, sweep away the cobwebs and good memories. Don’t remind yourself of the box of pictures collecting dust in the attic. Throw out all the faded blue ribbons from your horse riding and 3rd grade painting days. Give away everything you own. Clothes can’t keep a dead body warm. Dead people don’t need toothbrushes or beds on which to sleep. Dead bodies don’t need air. Suffocate yourself, before you waste any more of the oxygen that’s more deserving of someone else’s lungs.
If you’re going to kill yourself, eliminate positivity from your vocabulary and your surroundings. Stop telling yourself it’s going to be okay. Stop thinking about your future: your spouse, your children, your pets. Your white picket fence and rose garden and two story cottage in the middle of the suburbs. Your penthouse studio apartment in the middle of New York City. Your ranch house in the middle of nowhere. Forget about everything you’re capable of and all the things you can do or be if you set your mind to it: astronaut, firefighter, teacher, nurse, photographer, pharmacist, computer technician, engineer, or even the president. Forget about making a difference in the world. You’re worthless. Forget about everything you love: food, sunsets and sunrises, animals, flowers, butterflies, and words like bubbly and dulcet and eloquence. Stop trying to be happy. You don’t deserve to be happy. Stop picturing the light at the end of the tunnel and instead imagine the sweet dark bliss at the end of your life. You don’t want to regret your choice when you’ve overdosed and the life you could’ve lived flashes before your eyes while you breathe your last jagged breaths.
Finally, if you’re going to kill yourself, don’t. You still have so much left to live for.
You struck a chord with me tonight. Like your words hit just the right note and found just the right harmony. It resonated in my memories.
Hiding behind closed doors because the threat outside is much worse than any closet monster. Trying not to cry because the voice on the other side is the same one that used to lull me to sleep. Only now it’s a growl, no longer distinguishable as a lullaby.
What is wrong? What is right? Why does this voice keep me up at night? What is fake? What is real? What will allow my wounds to heal? More than static to feel? My layers to peel?
The room is empty now- the storm has passed. But my mind is still spinning, still screaming.
“Bury your demons, bury your dreams, bury yourself, bury everything.”
Under six feet of myself I hide, my own graveyard.
Reality’s ordinances defied, I let down my guard
and succumbed to my defeat.
My past keeps me off my feet.
The silent sound of loneliness follows me to bed
like the anthem of a misunderstood soul.
Like a foe disguised as a friend.
But filling a glass heart with lead won’t make me whole.
Every broken glass shrieks violently
My past is reflected in every broken piece of me.
You were the first to seep through the cracks in my heart. You were the only one to help turn my scattered scraps of sound into a symphony.
“Take your time,” you said. “You don’t have to say anything.”
Permissible apathy won’t stop the bleeding.
Ignoring gaping wounds won’t promote healing.
Enabling an addict to one more hit, one more swig…
one less word.
One less confession.
One more buried experience and a princess trying desperately to sleep on something far larger than a pea.
I wanted to speak, I wanted to share.
I wanted you to see, I wanted you to care.
And you did.
I was in need of a friend.
There’s no need to pretend.
Whether to follow or to fend,
You are a good thing that doesn’t have to end.
The memories are still there they just don’t bother me like they used to.
Everything is a metaphor.
Coalescence is what harmonies are for.
Peering through my mended shards I see you next to me.
I am not alone, my heart soars- I am free.
“C’est la finis de la guerre.”
For you, my Dear, I thank the Lord.
Now I sleep soundly.
Our symphony ends and begins with the same chord.