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That leaden fatigue
The heat in my bones
This listless proclivity
The itch in my blood
The twitch of my hips in my sleep in the throes
Of a wintry white nightmare of demons and woes
In listing my sorrows
I’m struck with a thought
This glistening madness
Is something I’ve wrought
A slick circumvention of hardship and anguish
Lilting along to the sweet song of nescience
Irking the gods by dismissing their will
And wasting the space that a good man could fill
A willful belligerence
Delusions of giftedness
Illusions of movement in moonlit hallways and a looming suspicion that darkness awaits
Doomed to a fate
Of self-centered hate
For a self that I selfishly shelter from pain
For I’m well-educated in stating the ways that my velvet despondence is laughably vain
Ever the honest in self-exposition
I’d venture to guess that I’ve no seat in heaven
So help me develop the senses to see
How life’s magic was crafted for someone like me.
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And how her body was spread
O’er the winter-white bed
While visions of dark things rain-danced in my head
That all-knowing gaze
Her cerulean eyes
Hypnotizing me blind with unending desire
Skirting slyly the lie which she knows that I hide
Which she knows once is told will unshackle our lives
Surely she sees how I find her sublime
In her ire; and here I, so broken and tired
So hopeless, inelegant, resigned to a sigh
“In her own way, like I, she can set life on fire.”
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theroadunkown asked: What's eroding me within? Feelings! Sadness, depression, the overwhelming stress of life in general. What about you?
Not so dissimilar. I harbor that sadness and play host to depression, though mostly I’m crippled by thoughts and by questions. Life stirs an intimate stress when you know that a dust speck is suspect of nothing to no one. But don’t let the knowing defeat you, for at least you’re not knowing alone.
The forest, it has a heartbeat. Can’t you feel the sound? Like a cell in the bloodstream of something deeper than alive.
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I am the shapes among the clouds. I am the searing heat of lust witholden. I am the nameless sense of wonder in the stars and the serenity in a lover’s arms. I am everything which sustains you in the dark; the end toward which you reach but never touch. I am all of these things because I am a writer - there is no truth to my existence in and of itself. I am nothing but a conduit.
Words are nothing without the spaces between them. Music cannot exist without silence. Life is the language; Life is the opus of the cosmos.
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To be certain, there is unbounded beauty in life. In the universe. It is not that I cannot see the beauty - it is that I know it is not for me to behold. For there are the stars, and there are the galaxies, and there are the uncountable worlds and the immeasurable beauty of their contents, and then there is the void, that endless blackness in which they drift, providing a surface off of which the eternal light can rebound.
I am not of the light. I am not of the beauty. I am the darkness through which light passes but where it cannot remain.
There exists within me so vast a reservoir of untapped passion which funnels through my very bones and rides the current of my blood through breath by quantum breath of life, through all the daily wanderings and all the nightly sufferings and through my head, where lies a breadth of discontented wonderings.
I would rather die resigned and disconsolate that I never managed to find that person who could take me where I so desperately yearn to be, than pass on wondering if perhaps I should have looked a little harder. I’ve been fully prepared to die hopeless once before – I mean to ensure that if I face the situation again, that bleakness will be empirically warranted. What else am I to do with the undeserved extension I’ve been granted with this body, which houses my hopes and dreams and doubts and fears and everything I’ve ever known; for all these things are strictly linked by one communal fundament – I’ve only ever known them in my thoughts.
Cogito ergo sum. I think, therefore I am; and as I am I am comprised of you, of everything we ever knew, of hopes and fears, the Earth, our tears and all their quantum elements. I am the face of empty space; these hands cradled the galaxy; my ancestry dates to ages immemorial, to the time before time was a concept. Forged in a hearth of nuclear fire, I walk the earth a testament to all the beauty of the cosmos, reifying existence itself by the very act of perceiving it. But so too do I rove this land ever exemplary of the fallacy of consciousness: for the very faculty by which I am gifted cognizance of myself and my environment will likely be my own undoing. I do hope; indeed, I pray - to God, to the Dead or the Void or whatever higher order there might be to the universe in which we live – that my failures and the failures of my generation represent a waning of the tide of suffering in human existence. That we shall perish in the penultimate era of a cruel and indifferent humanity, perhaps even living to see the death of the anthropocentricism of man and departing with some measure of faith that our species will live to grow beyond the bounds of our Mother Earth, to venture forth into that vast, expectant void to one day knock upon the door of God and pose that one ancient, exigent query: What are we doing here, and why?
Though I hold a sneaking suspicion that his answer may prove exceedingly simple: “Welcome home, my kin. It’s your turn.”
Well, it’s late…and I don’t really know what else to say. I had a strange day, something profoundly significant stirring from deep within me, stronger with each passing moment. And then I wrote this song. I had the opportunity to record it, so I did. As such, I apologize for any mistakes. I hope someone likes it.
Here are the lyrics:
I see you walk to me, your smile the light of day
I feel you come to me; a child of God inveighed
And like the thunder in the sky we cry together
We’ll die here. We’ll die here.
It’s getting far beyond our years, this melancholy
Your fevered breathing as I travel down your body
We’re like the beauty in the chaos of a flame
One and the same. One and the same.
I shield you under me, as life is torn asunder
We reel and tumble through the dark and ride the suffering
And like the lightning cracks the air, you scorch my soul
As we grow old. As we grow old.
A demon seizes me as dreams and hope forget me
I’m feeling queasy as my breathing’s getting heavy
And as I briefly meet with God, this much I know
I’ve found my home. I’ve found my home.
This sweet disease in me is leading me astray
But I’ve known eons as my hand ran down your face
And like the tempest o’er the sea inside your eyes
I’ll never die. We’ll never die.
I’ve known a great deal of things in my life. I’ve known the screaming injustice of a helpless youth; the searing agony of unrequited devotion; the sunken dejection of ultimate betrayal. I’ve known love; something which I wholeheartedly believe, after innumerable dialogues with all manner of people, that few others have had privilege to experience. Something the description of which I could devote ten-thousand pages to and still capture nothing of its sublimity. I have soared on seraphic wings across the rapturous valleys of its highs and surrendered my soul to the demon drink to escape the unbearable weight of its lows. I have forsaken family; slept on the frigid pavement of a train station overpass in the dead of winter, and danced with the devil in surreal states of consciousness induced by those selfsame elixirs I’d imbibed to rid the disease of his presence.
I have felt the touch of death.
Through all the chaos littered throughout the pages of my history, I’ve somehow emerged intact. No…perhaps not intact – but alive. I walk now into the glittering gold of a sunlit morning and can honestly say, on most days, that I feel the touch of God in every moment; the miracle of life by which the universe experiences itself in all its celestial beauty. But I am often haunted by the vestiges of memory which linger from those unspeakable days, reminding me always of the path I’ve tread to arrive here as the man I am today. As the light of day recedes and that sacred abeyance of corrosive cogitation yields to the trenchant gold of dusk which heralds the advent of nightfall, I cling desperately to those fading hours of divergence from the ineluctable torment nearing in the unfeeling nocturnal dark when I retreat unto my solitary slumber – no true sleep, as men who pass the night in quietude might know it, but rather a silent meditation, a still position and a whispered prayer to what God I’ve yet to incense to deliver me just once more through this purgatory. An atemporal limbo when no man or mission remains to quell the incessant, disquieting cerebral machinations; diverting my mind’s wandering eye from that weathered, wintry segue which I cross once more unwillingly, to will that evil entity which lends itself so willingly to ill intent and recompense from whence was bred my misery away.
On most of these nights, I ultimately fall into a fitful and restless sleep, at least for a time. And time after time I find myself cast into that same eerie realm in which he dwells; this malicious entity who stalks me always from the shadows in the darkest recesses of my mind as a constant reminder of all that in life which I do not deserve. Upon waking in the dark and mist of a barren and hopeless wasteland, I search for signs of life and venture forward into the thick and overbearing blackness only to find that I seem to be walking along a uniform plane with no end. I stop, and I can feel the aura behind me. I turn to see him, and gaze upon a man for whom I hold more loathing that any other who has every walked the earth; A caustic hatred which transcends time and space and boils the blood beneath my skin at the very thought of his existence. He stares at me with an expression of worn indifference and even with the long and disheveled hair, the wild and unkempt beard, the dirty, faded clothes and those sunken, hopeless eyes I am struck by how little my appearance has changed over the years.
I remember the very day from which is summoned that long-ago image of my younger self. I can remember very little of what transpired in the early hours, and that which I do melts together in a swirl of blurred and contorted images, the hazy distortions of a memory damaged by the inanely human act of toxic self-destruction. I know that fights occurred with loved ones, and how many unspeakable words were said on that day which must surely still resonate in the minds of those whom I would readily die for I will likely never know. I remember my father asking me why. Just…why. And for all the depth of contemplations on the thousands of reasons I could cite and the vast philosophical venues I could explore in the answering, I leaned my head against the wall to balance my failing equilibrium and responded such that I could swear I saw myself die within his eyes.
I don’t know.
Upon leaving the house, leaving behind an ocean of memories and a man whose very spawn had not an hour earlier been millimeters from opening his throat with the serrated edge of a steak knife - the very same which had so often been passed between them during meals in times which now felt antediluvian – I was met by the gray mist of an early afternoon fog which hung heavy as my heart, its veiling of the path ahead so much an allegory which I was too somber or stupid or high to understand in the moment. I reached into my pocket and felt my fingers close around my salvation. I withdrew a small bottle of vivid orange liquid not unlike the ones I’d been given as a child by a loving mother when I was afflicted with a minor cough or cold. The bottle was almost empty. The morning had seen me strolling through the aisles of the local supermarket, lifting the tiny bottle with the practiced hand of a learned thief. No less pitiful an epithet that anything else which could accurately summate my character. I ambled listlessly down to the town docks and sat upon the ledge, gazing out into the distant horizon and admiring the gray and clouded skyline for its verisimilitude as a light rain began to fall. I stayed there for a time and drank deep of my succulent reprieve, and then all at once I was sitting solitary on a bench in the park where once I gamboled with an old and all but forgotten friend. And then I found myself facing down my father in a truly vicious exchange which nearly resulted in his blood on my hands. And then there I stood, opening the bottle and downing the very last of the sickly sweet liquid.
I pressed on through the haze of mist and trickling rain, guided by my blurred vision as my legs had long since been rendered numb. It always provoked the feeling that one was gliding forward on the air like an apparition, with such dissociation from the world in which you’re walking it truly begets the full sensation of being a ghost, a specter from another realm, a revenant drifting melancholically through this mortal plane in search of some desideratum which eluded him in life and that he hopes to find in death but is unaware that never existed in either. In retrospect, the truth was not so dissimilar.
I continued on in what I thought was aimless meandering; however I soon found the Port Washington train station looming before me. I had lived here for the first thirteen years of my life and so had viewed this scene a thousand times before, stood in that very spot, at that very time of day – but never had it been like this. Rising before me was the set of stairs which led to the elevated walkway that bridged the gap between the three platforms at the terminus of the station. Peering up toward the apex with the light rain falling visibly from on high I felt the sudden urge to ascend, an incontrovertible understanding that this was a place of great importance. There was something atop those steps, I knew, which I needed to see. I placed my phantom foot upon the first step and began the solemn ascent.
When I reached the cusp, I looked around slowly. The walkway was vacant, as were the platforms below, for the most part. I gazed out into the horizon, turning a full three hundred and sixty degrees to get a full, panoramic view of the uniformly grey sky. I looked up, and rain fell upon my face but I saw no God. A distant horn captured my attention, and I focused my gaze to the southeast to see a train approaching. That sense of purpose lurched once more in my stomach, and I realized why I had come here. I was summarily beset by an ineffable, overwhelming tranquility, and with the very real prospect of death before me my senses suddenly intensified, though not entirely; the drug was still in effect, and the rain on my skin and the air on my face felt insubstantial, evanescent – like a dream. And maybe that’s what all this was. Just a dream to wake up from, or perhaps simply depart from into nothingness. The thought was almost uplifting. The train was decelerating but drawing nearer, and I clambered clumsily over the railing to stand precariously above the tracks, the full weight of all my endless sorrows pulling me toward the blissful descent. It was so close, and it would be so effortless to just let go. I swear to God I started to.
Then as I looked down at the tracks that would mark my passage from this world, I noticed something I hadn’t considered. I noticed the shoes I was wearing, and I realized that they were not the same worn and beaten antiquities which I had worn until recently but a new, clean, and in fact very comfortable pair of sneakers. And I remembered that my mother had bought them only days before, perhaps even the previous day. And then I thought of the sight of my mangled and desecrated body upon those tracks, and my own mother coming to identify it with the pair of shoes she had just bought still fit snugly on my severed legs.
And I cried.
I cried for a lifetime of sorrows; I cried for my family and the hell that I was willing to condemn them to; I cried for those I had known who had lost the very battle in which I was currently engaged, and for those who I knew would not win in the end. I cried for man. I cried for women. I cried for children, and the inevitable death of their jubilant innocence. I cried for life. I cried for love. I cried for her.
That day was the day that the man you see was born. Something happened there, I could not explain it if I tried, so I won’t. Suffice to say that until that moment, I had never truly understood the beauty of life. I had experienced it, but never understood it. The distinction is subtle, but gravely significant. I may have known love before that moment, and in fact the very best of my experiences with love all came before it – but it was not until then that I knew why it was so beautiful. So precious. I came to know the meaning, not of life, but of living.
Not long after I conquered myself at the gate to oblivion on the precipice of that ledge, I got on that very train which nearly took my life and rode it two towns over, to my first appointment with a therapist whom earlier that day I never thought I’d meet. I would tell you some of those first words that he spoke with me, but for the fact that I remember them only vaguely and because in truth, it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that I may have clawed my way up from the edge that day, but there is not a doubt in my mind that that man is the reason I still live today. That day, though inarguably a turning point, was not the last of my most difficult days. Or nights. If I had not met this man that day, I would be as dead as if I’d taken that fateful dive into the abyss. And if I had not broken down and reconsidered my actions in that moment, I would have done exactly that. I know this to be true as surely as ever I have anything, in all my days.
I suppose that eventually I will make that jump, of course. It is one of those inevitable things; though I don’t believe it will turn out quite as dramatically as it would have if things went differently that day. No, I will – I hope – die quietly, peacefully, and contently in the presence of some distant, insubstantial lover, family, and friends (if I don’t outlive them, of course). But whatever happens, it is a certainty that every moment which has passed from that day on in which I draw breath is a gift. Not from God…but from the one who truly gave me life. So I close the tale thusly; while I dare not be so arrogant as to issue commands or advice – particularly considering the preceding evidence of the inherent fallacy of my character – I would suggest one, simple thing: The next time your mother buys you a pair of shoes…thank her. And hold her tight. For once you step out that door there is no guarantee that you will get another chance. There never is.
Another simple assignment for Philosophy, figured I’d put it up. The assignment was to read a simple passage of text in Ancient Greek, then write what you see “Upon gazing into the mirror of the text”.
Upon Gazing Into The Mirror Of The Text
I see…disquiet. An implacable confusion, beneath which lies a vast wealth of knowledge and understanding solely attainable through fearless passage into the unknown. I see all that I know as it might be known by one of whom I know nothing, and I ask myself what would differ in the knowing each of us might hold. Is that knowledge objective? Is there a truth, an immutable truth, behind the words, behind our cognitive constructions? Or are these naught but machinations of a feeble and underequipped mind endeavoring as valiantly as it is futility to comprehend the cosmos in which it finds itself?
In posing the very question, I deprive myself of the means to provide an adequate answer, as naturally one could not justifiably argue the fallacy of language through the use of words. In supposition, however, I would conjecture that the very subjective nature of language is exemplary of the objective nature of the cosmos – the universe is like a grand and ornate chronicle of all that is and was penned by the hand of God or whatever extrinsic omniscience lies outside of its parameters, written in the points and particles and waves and vibrations, the turning of pages the passage of time; and the hopes and dreams, altruisms and inequities, woes and wants and words of man the extolment of life, the essential constituent of existence for lack of which the scripture would never have been transcribed.
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I’m afraid of being nothing, and I am afraid of becoming nothing. I am afraid of living blandly or without purpose; but I am also, at times, afraid of life itself. I think about all of the pain that is out there to be experienced in this vast world, and I think about how the odds would have me certain to experience the worst of it at some point, and at least some type of it for the rest of my life. I think of this, and I sink into the bench on which I sit. I could stay here for the rest of my life, never experience anything – no pain, no joy, no success, no defeat – I could sit here and just be. Just exist, simply, in this moment, in this spot; and never carry the burdens of being human, the burdens of emotions like love, hate, fear, loss, and pain – I could experience nothing but the pure feeling of resignation. It is so tempting.
But then…there is the question. Is that life? Is that being human? Is it even possible to just exist? Is not the absolute abandonment of everything, the supreme resignation of all sense of life, purpose, duty and feeling – the very opposite of existence? Of existing?
I think about this…and it saddens me. It depresses me. I am tempted, as always, as I say, to lay down and die. But I can not – will not – allow myself to do that. I can accept life itself as meaningless, as I am apt to do from time to time during my frequent ruminations on the subject; but I refuse to let it become nothing. Meaningless though it may be, it is still something. It still happens, and I can create meaning for myself within the context of my own life – and though that meaning may exist for no one but myself, and will therefore disappear when I die – I can at least say that it was there, for me, when I lived.
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Who am I?
I am a person who can not answer this question in any sentence, paragraph, or essay. I am a human, a being so complicated and ultimately irrational in perspective and action that understanding of it or its motives is impossibly complicated to all but the wisest. I am an artist – my soul constantly yearns for a struggle, a problem, a passion. Passion…my greatest reason for being, and the ultimate end to which I always arrive in times of weakness and depression. It is something I need, cannot live without – and yet am consistently tried to find. I am a creature who lives to breathe meaning and hope – yet have so far found none that gives any to my own life. I am a selfish bastard, who tries to help people in a sad attempt to make my life worth living. I am nothing more than a child, crying out for attention and praise to the synthetic gods inside my head. I am a dreamer, one who can create impossibly difficult ambitions that are perfectly suited to be abandoned in exactly the way that they always are. I sit in my room and look out the window, gazing at the distant clouds and the setting sun, wishing half-heartedly that I could some day play a role in something as utterly simple and resplendent before hanging the curtain upon the only window I have left to the lighter side of my mind. I sit in the dark, and I lose myself in alternate realities, where passion is a constant, every second can be a struggle, and meaning is found in every theme.
Books, video games, movies…I use these things like drugs. Losing myself in their expansive worlds and the ever-present emotional turbulence of their stories, I become who I follow in these journeys through fiction.
Pain is my medium for understanding – the vehicle by which I move silently through the ultimate tragedy of this world.
And so I have presented to you the essence of who I am, in frank and forthright fashion, and with no veils to guise the worst of what I may be. Knowing this, now, knowing the truth of the mind behind the man, I ask you this:
Do you still want to know me?
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It is interesting, watching the Sun rise. I’ve done it once before, but only through a window. The experience is one that can’t be watered down…I feel – happy. I feel content. Seeing this, the way a new day dawns so easily, so unperturbed by the inner workings of society, of life, of the story and past and present of every human being upon this Earth, looking only toward the future – seeing this grants me a strange pleasure which I can attain in no other way. It is similar to the effect music has on me – a solemn contentment, a feeling that even with the absence of hope, there is still a future in store, which will be what it will be. I feel as if I could sit here for years, for the rest of my life. I feel as if I could end my life here, and almost be happy. I almost want to. To join them, the ones who know what is beyond, what more lies past this – to join the sun and the moon and the stars, the trees and the sky in their eternal cycle, and become a part of something so beautiful.
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