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  • Category Archives Poetry
  • poetry (I’m late, April was National Poetry Month)

    there’s often a story behind old cloths
    the people who reject you for the old cloths
    wouldn’t be interested in the story

    people who were coddled
    and people who were spanked and thrown around
    will just talk past each other most of the time

    I will make a poor showing in the hereafter
    the parts of me I connected to God through
    were destroyed by my mental illness

    I go to a church
    God’s rays penetrate
    I go home more deranged than I came

    when you wash your hands of those destroyed by suffering
    they’re clean enough to do God’s work

    the world is like a paper shredder
    it tears you up
    and puts your words out of existence

  • more poetry

    hope is that space in the middle
    between conjecture and wishful thinking
    and when times get lean
    that space becomes the fat that burns away
    forcing you to choose between the two

    when you have multiple disabilities
    you just have to be twice as good for half as much
    because being good is the only bulwark
    against the world being cruel

    science is for the why
    humanities is for the why bother

    no, society is not broken
    it’s working perfectly
    it only seems broken to those of us far from privilege

    if God were on Yelp
    he’d get mostly five star
    and one star reviews

    as long as righteousness is isolating
    and sin is communal
    sin will win

  • poetry 12 24

    pointing to Jesus
    in defense of Christianity
    is like pointing to the product packaging
    in defense of a product’s quality

    when you admit you’re suicidal to someone you want
    that relationship generally kills itself

    (don’t lean against your invisible cage in a way that creates a posture that couldn’t be maintained solely by your own balance)
    you can’t out the beliefs that you’re not allowed to hold
    because then the powerless would catch on that these beliefs were empowering

    the gospel is fresh water
    to those who are being redeemed
    and salt water
    to those who are perishing

    suffering is measured with an odometer
    the short distance is comedic
    the longer distance is tragic
    and the longest distance flips back to being comedic

    you can tell you are in a hallucination
    when you’re right too much of the time

    when you’re mentally ill
    God and the devil
    are like wires of a bomb
    and you never know where to cut

    there’s a surefire way to test the character of someone you’re in a relationship with

  • suffering and character

    life rarely decrements gently
    you usually lose a lot of things at once

    I don’t see anything redemptive in any of my suffering, at least not in any way shape or form that offers any benefit to me.  As one of my poems suggest, suffering may build character in one’s life but it definitely removes characters from one’s life!  “God’s plan” is complete red herring because people will let you know your life isn’t going according to it by treating you like you’re invisible.  Very little of what I write is redemptive because very little of what I experience is redemptive.  And the rare times I do experience things that are redemptive I chalk them up to dumb luck because they happen so seldom.

    Keep in mind all my poetry and all my writing (especially writing on religion) is a waste product of my mind.  I don’t regard it as anything above that.  The programming I do and the music I (rarely) write is the non waste product I produce (admittedly I produce less of this than the waste).

  • truth we can handle

    the mentally healthy can take religion
    a kernel of crazy stuff
    with a shell of rationality
    but those of us mentally ill
    eat through the shell and cannot handle the kernel

    I don’t choose what to believe
    the evidence
    chooses for me

    Listened to an amazing Blind Hour podcast on bipolar.  One of the things I took away from it is it’s very hard not to give in to psychosis.  This has been a fundamental to the way I reckon truth.  I have deeply personal reasons for tying truth to the things I tie it to.  For me it’s a grounding mechanism, a bulwark against encroaching psychosis.  The guy in the podcast who was bipolar said the medication kept 95% of the psychosis away and my experience bares that out.  Belief in the supernatural and in particular that a god is talking to me has caused me a whole heap of trouble in the past so I avoid it now.  God has basically told me to date women out of my league, drink piss, and kill myself so I don’t think too highly of his advice.

    Communications with God are so hard to shake off, no matter how toxic, because communicating with a deity is, by its very nature, extra-rational.  You consult a deity when you need an opinion that might not line up with reason or what those around you want you to hear.  Crack open a Bible and you will hear God telling people to do all kinds of interesting stuff.  Delusions of grandeur brought on by psychosis are easier to combat because once you start thinking rationally again you can read cues from the rest of the world as to your place in society and since those cues persist through all levels of sanity they’re easy to accept.

    And then, whaddaya know I got people shoving religion down my throat because I am in a low position in society and the answer to all your problems (even your problems with religion) is more religion!  You don’t shove peanut butter down the throat of a kid who has peanut allergies do you?  Then why do you shove God down the throat of someone who obviously had adverse reactions to God and religion?

  • losing parts of yourself

    the parts of yourself you lose
    are GONE forever
    but often the moments of when you lost them
    remain clear in your memory

    Losing parts of yourself in a way is almost worse than death because, like disability, you have to suffer through what you are given.  You are cognizant of less and less of you being there as your life wears on.

  • BACKSPACE [poetry]

    I have started reading my poetry aloud at an open mic down by the bus station.  I’ve been writing poetry since 1997 so I figure by now I should try reading it.

    saying “human reason is bent”
    so we can’t use it to argue the faith
    is like writing “math is wrong”
    as an an answer to a calculus problem

    when you’re bipolar
    being outside of your head
    is preferable
    to being inside of it

    negative symptoms hollow you out
    your inner light might shine
    but you’ve been gutted!

    hear your wound?
    that’s the sound of the self escaping into thin air
    like a plume of ice emptying into space
    on some distant moon (Triton perhaps)
    (and they say pain makes you grow)
    yes, scars look tough but they’re not really skin
    and on the self
    they are always in the wrong place, like the face
    they’re ugly but serve a purpose
    they keep the rest of the self from escaping

  • by June, poetry

    in a vacuum cleaner sucking up present ribbons
    a better one will get gummed up worse
    in a brain, a faster mentally ill one
    will do more damage to itself
    in the same amount of time

    (passionate people leaving Christianity)
    passionate people
    sometimes turn into angry people
    they’re as potent
    whether they hoist the Union Jack
    or the Jolly Rodger

    mystery is just sugar coating
    someone powerful hiding something from someone powerless

    forgiveness is like a dart against a brick wall
    try to will it and the emotions will kill it

    pale blue dot
    hospitality has a reason
    because the place life can find a home
    is so infinitesimally scarce
    (so the practice is honoring to
    where we were placed)

  • poetry

    there was go in my ego
    and once it deflated
    i stopped!

    bipolar is a hurricane
    but parts of mania
    are the quiet and peace
    of the eye of the storm

    (couldn’t make religion work
    despite it being shoved down my throat)
    i wasn’t able
    to get square thoughts
    to fit into round holes
    in my brain

    the gospel is fresh water
    to those who are being redeemed
    and salt water
    to those who are perishing

    God is like a porcupine
    try to pursue him while his back is turned to you
    and you will hurt

  • mental illness poetry

    Christianity (in your head)
    is like a gun
    powerful both in your service
    and when turned on you

    when you’re manic
    you can keep God
    on the right side of your delusions
    when depressed
    not so much

    someone say something hurtful
    (that didn’t hurt you at the time)
    thought of it was a dull pencil
    your mind will spin, sharpening it
    to stab you later

    God is a dumping ground
    for people Christians are unable
    or unwilling to help