An Old Story

I am telling myself a story about the past. The story is true. The story is not true.

Daggers raked across my chest and my breathing stopped. It started again and my heart beat uncontrollably fast. I was dizzy. I was feeling so faint and light that I thought I would float away. My vision blurred and returned to normal. As I lost almost complete control of my physical body, my mind was consumed in my thoughts. I was in control of my mouth. I tightened it into a smile and spoke encouraging words. I don’t know what they were, but the smile didn’t reach my eyes. My hands were sweating. I spoke a lie. I was going to check something. I couldn’t think of a better lie.

I looked on the ground and found pieces of myself were scattered about the floor. Something was drip dropping from chest. Pieces of my heart? Or were they coming up through my throat. I had to get out. I had to get out. I am going to check something. I will be back. The latter was true. I didn’t want to come back, but I had to come back. I didn’t want to face this choking fear, but I had to come back. Before I came back, I had to leave. Anywhere but here. Anywhere but here.

The dizziness was consuming. The stairs or the elevator? I couldn’t trust my legs. I could barely stand. The shaking seemed uncontrollable, but it may have been only in my mind. I thought my heart was going to explode, but it may have been only in my mind. I leaned against the elevator walls. Basement. I will go to the basement. I will sit with the ghosts who haunt the morgue that was no longer a morgue. I felt like a ghost. I was a ghost of myself, and I carried so many ghosts with me. I was reliving my university years. I relived multiple confrontations with multiple people. It seemed all of them were screaming the same thing:

Not good enough! Not good enough! Change your expectations! Change your behaviour! Look at yourself in the mirror! You’re not enough! You’ll never get this right! Everyone is talking about how you’ll never get this right! Nobody wants to talk with you! You don’t listen! You don’t understand!

I replied:

Shut up! Shut up! I don’t want to carry you around. I thought I was rid of you.

My hands were shaking. I had to have help. I knew that much. But who could I ask? I just needed to tell someone. I typed the story in jerking lines. I saw this. I read this. I am not okay. I am trying to be okay. I am shaking. I feel like vomiting. Everything in my stomach, in my chest, is too tight. I can’t vomit. I can’t talk. I can’t cry. I want to cry. I want to scream! Why me? WHY ME?

The ghosts still follow me. They escape in my envy. With every jealous thought that defies rejoicing, another ghost is born. It hangs on my back. It eats away at my body. It toys with my mind. It hurts and it hurts and it hurts. It hurts me so much that I must give that hurt away. I want to rake my daggers across a different chest. One that deserves it. Who deserves this pain? Why me?

I have tried. I will continue to try. But I want to ask How can I? It feels as though I have been wronged. There is no apology. I don’t want to forgive what can easily happen again. Where is the remorse? I don’t want to hear I’m sorry you’re alone. I want to hear I’m sorry I made you feel alone. I don’t want to hear I’m sorry you are hurt. I want to hear I’m sorry I hurt you.

Do I have a right to want these things? Do I have a right to ask for these things? Can someone make me feel alone if I am whole? If I am whole, can someone make me feel alone? Can someone hurt me, or can we only hurt ourselves? What is human, and what can I control? Am I a reactionary? Is it wrong? Or is it just hard not to be one? Is it an excuse? Is it forgivable?

The karmic perspective has been lost. There are too many questions. My mind is not clear. I know the answer is to meditate. The answer is to ask for help – not from humans but from spirit.

Must I ask for forgiveness? Or must I ask to forgive? I feel as though I cannot handle feeling this way another moment. I want to rejoice for the one who receives what I want, but I cannot bring myself to do it. I am insane. I am fully deluded. I count my flaws and I wish – how I wish! – I could be rid of them. Do I mean my wish? I think I do. I know I must meditate. I know I must not tell myself stories about my pain – past or present.

The stories feel true. The stories are not true.

I am tortured. I am suffering. The suffering is needless. The torture is self-inflicted. It would be so easy to stop the pain. It is so difficult to stop the pain. It is difficult doing what is right, even when what is right is simple, easy. I must cut the chains that threaten to pull me into the abyss. I must, instead, seek the wisdom in the place of emptiness. I must awaken from this nightmare. I must awaken from my dream state.

I will meditate.

I wish to be free.

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Dominion

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Sometimes the truth is too hard and brittle and must be snapped into pieces to become palatable and even still gets stuck in your teeth then your throat and cuts holes in you and it works its way through your system. Perhaps it was safer to keep it whole. But still, the corners were sharp. And how uneven was this truth shape? Where was the symmetry? You harboured such distant thoughts that were withheld for such a time until you felt it appropriate. Sin by omission but never dishonesty. I, however, ate the fruit and spat it out. I told you it wasn’t me, and I picked up the chewed rot off the forest floor, tried to feed it to you and convince you it was a balm to soothe your aching throat. It ached as though scratched raw with the words you refused to scream. How I longed for you to scream them. I told you a story that was true. And then a story that was not true. And yet, both were the truth, this smashed truth, pasted together with a shimmering glue that reflected unto us both the shiniest and best moments so that we did not notice the dirt in the grooves. I wanted happiness, but it was just out of reach. You had happiness in the moments that were not mine. You found it in the trees and the light and I tried to share it. But my piece was too big. You said: you can’t have that and eat it too. But that’s what I wanted. Was I selfish or were you ignorant? Was I ignorant or were you selfish? I will tell you a story that is true. I will tell you the story that is not true. I am a sadist, a masochist and seek the pain within existence if only to share it with another, such that misery loves company. I am whole and good and rejoice in the wondrous gains of others who have worked hard to display their glory. I am jealous. I am not envious. I wandered through willow branches and bead curtains until I came to the counter with the jars. There were so many jars. Which one do I choose? What does it contain? Pass me the one I am not allowed to have. I will drink to my purposeful demise. I will break until my pieces are contained in this vessel, and I will let you find the truth – if there is one.

I owe you naught, I know you not

You are so far away from me now

You no longer read my mind

You no longer read my body

You have lost my words, my telling

You have lost whispers in your ear
of love and stories that acknowledge your belonging

You have lost my smile, my lips

You have lost my strong arms, soft fingertips,
my dirty nails

You have lost my laughter and my loud voice

You have lost my loyalty and devotion

You cannot speak the language of love to another until
you have spoken it to yourself

Maybe some will believe what they hear, but not I

You have lost the ability to box me into an
idea of normal, an idea of what is expected

You have lost me.

How it Feels to Miss You

I have gone on a trip
I made the plans, bought the tickets
I arrange the accommodations, facilities
No return date, but there is one.

Butterscotch sundae, sticky sweet, stomach ache
On Wednesday, Hump Day, steamrolled day,
forever stained sheets and shirts day,
carried in my bag – one a curse. It’s tears-day.

Missing is a scoop. A hole. An absence.
(Craves absinthe. Craves death.)
Missing isn’t action, but impact.
(Craves symbolism. Fucks regret.)

Carved. I am written with new stories,
more than utterances. These were words
and promises. They held weight but not water.
They were true. They are not true.

Nail clipping, stabbed through sock
ring-stained tub with purple walls
I cannot speak I cannot talk
choked by fervour, crushed by wrath.

Missing is the longing, the yearning
the searching, the dredging, the scouring.
(Oh how many things you’ll find,
but none is that which you seek.)

I am filled with oxymoron,
emphasis on feeling moronic.
Flip flopping and flying and diving
Aerobatic stunts pulled through lusting language.

Don’t stop this pain of endless rhetoric
round my mind and round it goes
a cyclical spiral of memory grows
–how the good times use to flow!

Missing is the angel from a nightmare
(an unsuspecting victim)
Missing is the webs from all the spiders
(and my indecision to call you)

A wondrous passionate feeling of lightness and happiness
that spread itself out between my shoulders across my chest
has been replaced by a pressing, pinching, tightening weight
that comes in a tidal wave with each reminder of loss

Any song that speaks of love shapes and heart beats
threatens me with a pain so deep and cutting
the only way I can survive is to focus on it
wholly and fully and thank the universe for giving

Missing is a rollercoaster ride with an unexpected turn
It’s repeating seven stages seven times and seven times again.
(Some days are so happy that I forget there has ever
been a moment of tragedy in life – how I love that!)

me an opportunity to radiate a strength I hate
remembering I have. For the threshold turns
upon itself and births a hurricane not disguised
gloom in a heart, scary to contain such dark places

I am confused by the simplest situations.
Why the warm bath water feels cold.
Why the best songs process painfully off key
How I am no longer anchored, officially come to form. Air.

Hard. Hot. Husky. Hushed. Voices. Whisper. Push. Shoved.
The game we played, all too often, not enough
Upward, Downward, Cold to Ice. Frozen Tundra
lacking Nice. But oh so beautiful and Vast. Untouched
landscape. Escaping Fast.

Missing you is remembering that I crea-
ted the moments of magic that I loved.
(You fit so perfectly I miss you too
but most of all I miss the me I was.)

So though I long for the return trip,
I don’t have the money nor the armor
nor the capacity to rise to the challenge
just yet, though I drool at the lips

Ripened peach, juicy squeeze
water flows, between your knees
from out your eyes, your poured-out heart
No tact and function, we’ve fucked the art.

Missing is a scoop. A hollow under my breast.
A tiny chip from my front tooth. A sunrise in the west.
Some days I feel I’ll miss you until my last breath.
But I can only miss you until your memory’s death.

I have gone on a trip.
I have made the plans, mapped the route.
I cannot stop moving; feel in constant pursuit.
I keep travelling this hard life if only to find truth.

Goodbye.
Goodbye.
I miss you.
I miss you.

The past breaks the future 

My heart is a stone
I lie in the arms of my lover unmoved
My heart is a cherry blossom
As it craves a sensual touch
My heart is a river wide
Drowning with tears, rising upon the banks
And flooding homes

My heart is a stone
As I lie untouched in my lover’s arms
It hardens with craving
And yearns to be spoiled

My heart is a leaky faucet
The bolts are loose and weak
It drips and drops rust coloured water
From pipes older than the house
They reside in

My heart has lived a thousand lives
It doesn’t know How to trust another
After all the war it’s witnessed
And pain it’s caused

Irreparable damage held together
With a duct tape heart
Frayed seams
Caulked valves
Antifreeze in my veins
So I am not ice

But I am rock
Hard as diamond
And yet pretty not
Reflecting light not
All for naught

My heart is a stone
I threw through the window
Of a young man’s house

And I am waiting for him to return it.

Why not Wednesday?

A note to those I have demonized

I no longer put myself in your shoes
I hardly see you as human

Your perspective is different than mine
and although I have the ability to see your side
I refuse to, for you do not attempt to see through my lens

My struggles become greater than yours
and I block out your troubles – big and small
You cannot suffer as I do

How fortunate you are! I see your wealth
and I see how easy things are for you
You do what you want, when you want
with little regard for my interests or even my
NEEDS

I do not empathize with you
You have created your life around you
You have control and power over your SELF
and if you are in a bad situation –
it has been brought on by your
poor decisions and lack of wisdom

You do not seek my help
and I avoid your input
You have poured toxic waste
into my habitat creating cesspools
of misery in my ecosystem
drowning my vigor and smothering my
ESSENCE

I am contaminated by you

I wear goggles when I am around you
that preserve my eyes while altering my vision
of YOU

You scare me

I no longer trust you
and I have felt for some time
that you do not trust me

A bond is broken

I no longer understand you
I no longer attempt to
You do not attempt to understand me
You do not see me as I am

You don’t hear me

Or is it that you don’t listen?
Communication has malfunctioned
The repairman is out for the day,
for the month, the year

I don’t know how to fix it

Or I refuse to fix it

I am tired of bending
I feel I have broken in so many places
I feel that I have attempted
to build a bridge between us
and that you have set it on fire

I am sensitive

I cut the bonds with those who hurt me
My skin is thin
I cannot take your criticism
I think you give it without consideration
of my ABILITIES, my TALENTS, my STRENGTH
I feel you give it unsolicited
I feel you judge me
and I will not hesitate to fight
fire with fire

I have judged you

I have condemned you

If you were a building
I would not enter

If you were a bed
I would not lie there

If you were a meal
I would not partake

If you were salvation
I would burn in HELL

You are a living demon
and if I have not cut you
out of my life yet…

I will.

The Uncanny Heart

I know this to be a broken heart
I know this from experience
I recognize this malady
this discomfort this ache

Broken ribs pierce a lung,
air slowly seeps into the cavity,
now empty, where my heart resided
before it burst, shattering ribs
puncturing the lung
not enough to kill me,
just enough to make me tired,
something about not enough oxygen to the brain
as it slowly fills the empty space,
leeching useless into the body
it no longer feeds

The twinge of vacancy
causing glazed eyes, mislaid thoughts,
forgotten desires…motives not worth the effort
of their eventual loss.

But this uncanny feeling is not what confuses me –
there is comfort in its familiarity
and shelter in the dark,
no hazards to lose what is not there –
what elation, what faith, what ambition?
All absent with the forfeiture of my core –

What obscures conclusion
is that no injury has occurred,
no sudden travesty or infirmity,
so what has generated such a heartache,
a brain sickness?

What is missing, save happiness itself –
which can still be found in
the blue sky
a good song
time with friends
a joke, a laugh
books and escapism –
an unsettling lack of loss dictates
at least an indifferent condition be established
– but not the torment of
heartbreak

Bits of mystery spill from the
Pandora box that now endures
in the airy space under my sternum.

Press on.
Let lack of heart not be distraction,
No more to wear upon my sleeve,
only a secret my face cannot keep.