Tough Timing, but then you know, Poetry

I’m glad it’s Poetry Month, even if I can’t devote as much time as I would like to.

It’s been a rough few weeks — and I’m what the docs call an “under-reporter”, so by that, please read: very hard.  I’m depressed, and my confidence is shot to hell.  I’m half-nervous, half-apathetic about an upcoming art show, which is a terrible mindset to have going into it.  I’ve mostly kept my head above the depression, but I anticipate an even bigger crash once the show is done.  That’s the usual pattern.

That’s the problem with putting so much energy into masking the symptoms of mental illness.  I’m already short on energy, so I need to burn “borrowed” fuel to pull it off: to hold casual conversations, to remember to start the dishwasher, to keep from bursting into tears until I’m safely behind closed doors.  To pretend I’m not terrified about my pending (looming) job-search.  I’ll burn even more playing the “cheerful productive professional artist” at the art show, instead of feeling my art career to this point has been a waste.

(Remember: depression lies.)

But having the poetry to distract in measured doses has helped.  Reading what everybody’s coming up with. And the NaPoWriMo “prompts” give me a framework to muddle about in.  I’m not trying to push myself too much this time around — no scrambling to make up lost days — but even eight or ten poems this month is enough to make me feel I’ve done something productive with my time.

I’ll enjoy that while I can.  The crash will come later.


Brain-Cage 3 (of 3)

(spoiler: darkness ahead, reader discretion advised.  
For Brain-Cage 2, click here. )

I do though, I do try
to go out sometimes but
people just minding their own business
start screaming in my head
or claw at my eyes instead
or jump out of nowhere
one person is a whole crowd
their living is so fucking loud
I think my ears are starting to bleed
I think I need to bleed myself
to let off pressure
I think I need
to go foetal

for all this distortion
the only other option I can think of
is hiding out at home, hiding
from the rage, hiding
in this brain-cage;
I turn away from windows,
and bleed out on the page
and screen-stare till my eyes sear
eat myself in,
drowned in the din
of my own toxic voice
hating. every. choice.
I never wanted to spend my life
crying all day

so I do go out,
but in controlled bits
in starts and fits
scripted, clocked and cloaked
so they’re all unaware
there’s a trick to it
thick makeup mask
no sign of despair
all my scars hidden
all my wounds under wraps
my self-disgust under wraps
my ears still bleeding
behind my hair,
but better goddamn make it look effortless

nobody gets it
unless the mask slips
even I’m not sure what I really look like
and now
so much time has gone by
since this storm rose beneath me
I start to fear I can’t
pull it off any more
won’t be me under there
just a void …
so God I hope I can keep
pulling off the trick
long enough
to pass


(c) 2016 by Rosetti C / Translunary Things

Brain-Cage 2 (of 3)

(spoiler: darkness ahead, reader discretion advised.  
For Brain-Cage 1, click here.)

all I know is it hurts
in all the deep places
hurts to dress, hurts to shower
to tighten laces
hurts to look in the mirror
without hurting myself
it hurts to answer the goddamn phone
brain broken, in pieces
shards of bone
and the pills that
help keep me the hell alive
just make me ravenous
greedy beast, all the time
they just make me empty
make me hate myself. I

can only imagine how
it would be without them…
thinner maybe, but fatally sunk
no lifeline to climb
no sign of the shore
I’ve been on pills so long
I don’t know me anymore
I only have their word
on the dangers of desistance
statistical insistance
how fatal my fortune, but
don’t dwell on it, sweet-cheeks:
self-fulfilling prophecies and all that

I never wanted my actual life
to depend on meds
counting them out like soldiers
dreaming instead
of taking them all at once;
I never wanted to depend
but then I never thought I’d live this long

by peace I never meant
to be so alone
now I’m alone all day
neurotic basket-case
bad wiring in your brain-case
stupid useless stupid stupid
stupid, just


(Click here for Brain-Cage 3)

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