I’ve lost all hope a thousand times before 

But with every fall, it’s a little more

No one knows just how deep these hooks go

But I do

I don’t know how to break these chains

Because I’ve tried and prayed everything

I am on my way down to the grave

God forgive me, for all that I am

And teach me, to be more than human

Cuz I am living at the end of my life

And I know that I am going to die
Was it always meant to be this way

I have wondered every single day

I tried so hard to right my mistakes

But I never thought that I’d pay

A price so high

With my life
I know I can’t break these chains

Tried a thousand times, there is no way

I’m on my way down to the grave 

I fought the war and washed the blood away each day

Just to find that there was no other way

You are the only one who knows my pain

God deliver me, from all that I all

And relieve me from being human

Cuz I am living in my last days

And without a miracle

I will fade away
I’m sorry that I would throw my life away

But all I want to find anymore is an escape

Never thought it could get so bad

That all I want is to forfeit all I have

Just know with this breath now

You’re not the only one that I’ve let down
God forgive me, for all that I am

And teach me, to be more than human

Cuz I am living the end of my life

And I know that I am going to die. 


P.8 the Red Letters

       I met Shawn on an online matching site I had used on and off over the years for some form of social interaction. Though he lived somewhere on the other side of the country, so we’d never technically met. Like 99% of the countless people I had spent varying amounts of time talking to, there was no romantic inclination, but we seemed to enjoy harassing eachother. Our friendship eventually consisted of the occasional handwritten fuck you letter or some other Russian or Japanese profanity; we hadn’t talked in some months but I knew that he was a “good Mormon” as I always teased, and would actually say a prayer for me. Though I wasn’t sure what there really was left to even pray.

      I remained in that spot for an exceedingly long time. I couldn’t even think where I could fasten the damn rope if I were to work up the guts. I almost laughed; of course I was terrified of the process of dying, but even more so I was afraid that God would condemn my already tormented soul to an eternity of the hell I already carried pieces of inside. I know they say how could a loving God send anyone to hell- but I think we send ourselves; most often paved with good intentions. The dreams never failed to remind me what hell was like, and I had seen things, so it made it easy for me to believe that there is such a place.

I had taken plenty of time doing extensive research on the statistics; success rate, cleanup, risks of failure, and pain level. How the fuck you could really have information on how much it hurts to die of a shot to the head ot number of other things, I wondered. But I had always considered the high probability suicide attempts carried of just fucking myself up and ending up worse off. I had already tried stopping my heart with excessive stimulants, and had more than once starved myself into multiple organ failure; surprisingly, I ate even less now. but I always seemed to elude the odds as well as the Laws of Thermodynamics ; cheating death so many times and in such circumstances that most would attribute it solely to the hand of God saying I needed to stay for some reason.                                                      He would never tell me why.              I didn’t believe He had any “plans” for me anymore , like everyone has always told me. Still don’t.  I believed it for a long time; but counting the years and now in my heart I only believed that my life had been closing for a while. I knew God was real, there was no debate as to that. I’d seen too much, been given too much proof when I laid out my fleece time and time again; and we had talked for long enough in these ways that I could never question His existence. We simply disagreed on most things I guess. 

     I considered maybe I should try something less traumatic for whoever found the body. Or if I should just do it far out in the mountains, where I liked to be. I was barred from purchasing a firearm, so I had been thinking of overdose or preferably a fatal drug interaction. I was a small person and I had already been mixing all kinds of drugs for some time now, as well as taking benzodiazapenes with alcohol every night after I learned Thomas Kinkade died that way. “The Painter of Light” he was called; My parents had a Kinkade in practically every room of the house. The irony.

I hoped that I would leave something behind as well; because I think the only thing worse than leaving or being left, is being forgotten.

7.8 free write

I am nowhere

And all I can feel is the fear

I can’t reach anything

That’s worth hearing

The pieces I lay out upon the floor

That I can’t arrange together anymore
The fire’s out that hastened me forward

What can ignite a flame that’s too far been ignored

Pain is my teacher

But I’ve lost the objective I was working for
I am beside none

When I can become so numb

That I can’t reach you or anyone

Hell is too close

When you lose sight of hope

Carving straight through brittle marrow of bone
Turn away your face

I’ll make the same mistakes

For there is a torture that is known by some

They know who they are- and that it cannot be won

It’ll drive you to eat your own flesh

destroy yourself inside- or anything that’s left

For an illusion you can’t unsee

A delusion that’s become a part of me
Weary of the lesson

I admit I’d rather seek death

Than wake up to fight to do the right thing again

When there’s no reason left of any benefit
No choice remains though 

We all are made to walk 

What we fear most

And some will choose to do it all alone 

So as to not have to fail to explain to anyone. 

The Red Letters p.5

        Within days of picking up that object of bittersweet memory, I began writing music; and nearly every night a different song. I have long easily gone six months to a year without mentionable human contact, so I didn’t have much beside time, quickly discovering how to play and exhausting a hundred songs and melodies, a thousand hours, and a million words. But it didn’t reach beyond the thick glass about me; 

because just like words, music has its limitations and I had found them some time ago. Nothing any longer seemed to be consuming enough to continue to temporarily drown out the pain in my bones or the undeniable, urgent alarm in my mind that something was direly wrong and required immediate fixing before I could be permitted even a fleeting moment of physical or emotional respite; tone it down and I could almost relate it to as an insatiably hunger, thirst, or continually crying child that eventually drove you mad. 

Yet I still did it;                                        I still played and I still attempted to transfer myself, to seek distraction from what I was convinced was soon to burn its way from the inside out of me for everyone to see and misunderstand. But it never did; it had kept me perpetually on the precipice of a threatening fragmentation from reality that never quite showed enough to mean anything. But maybe that was a good thing. And so I played the melody that I could hear running though my head and attempted to dampen my awareness of the spinning and every other thing in the world but the sound of words that would never be heard. 

        There was a sycamore tree that just barely reached out over the top of the cage- The only part you could see out of- and a large murder of crows had gathered in its boughs. One crow in particular had perched itself on a bar nearly just above my head, and was cawing as though a cat had it by the mouth, very clearly staring back down at me. I attempted to resume playing but each time the crow immediately began to call again.                   

   I instantly heard an inaudible voice in my head that said I was the Calling Crow. Thankfully I’ve never been one to experience auditory hallucinations, but if I had to specify some of the many uncannily sudden and intrusive “voices”- this was one of them. Given the circumstances and my manner of appearance, It seemed a more appropriate pen name. So I did; should I ever again find a spark of passion in this incrementally expiring life. 

       The crow finally let me finish the song I was playing, and I looked up to see a hummingbird sitting only a foot away from the crow, on the same bar. And for the next few months, everytime I came out onto the patio -there they would be; or sometimes outside the dreary window of my room or any other room I had been condemned to for “disciplinary consequences”.

“Beautiful…”                                       The old lady looked up, dragging out each syllable.

“I could listen aaall day…” she spoke with a broken Southern accent, 

“Are there words?”

“No, I’ve already wasted enough words with other songs,” I replied. 
“You should use them words; swear to God you won’t run out. Sing me one?”

“I’m good,” feeling suddenly a bit embarrassed; I realized I’d never actually sung in front of anyone before; I wasn’t shy, I simply had always been by myself.              “they’re all really depressing anyways,” I concluded. 

Her gaze again sank to the ground and she mumbled something I didn’t catch.  

“tsk tsk…                                               So fraid of the truth that you won’t tell the whole story…                       Why don’t you a least try writin it down? We’re all sayin the same things, just in different ways.”

My mind interjected to disagree. I held my tongue. 

“I see you each day and I seen it…But we all gotta make our choices. We can hide who we really are, but no matter what ya do…at the end- and believe me honey- everyone will either love you or leave you. We all gonna make our choices.. ” she repeated.    “I bet nobody ever told that caged bird what kinda song to sing,  No sir…” she glanced up, “and I think you got your bird…                                      Write it for *you*.                             Cuz you gotta see it.                                  You gotta see the story. ”

And little else ever made as much sense to me as that. 

And so I did. Or I would. Or I tried.

I never again heard her speak lucidly after that, but would often sit and listen to her ramble on endlessly, so sad and passionate about something I never would understand. 

“You know, I think I know where I can get you that Pepsi…” I was being called in, there was a call on the payphone for me. 

6.8 free write

I don’t know what to do

I feel that theres no future

So I’ll tell it all to you

Cuz I’ve got nothing left to lose 

Hidden and kept secret

In the light of day

You can see it in my face 

But I can only show you pain

I’ve got a tension

Like nothing you’ve ever seen

I don’t want attention

But I’m tearing at the seams
I don’t know what to do

Its too bright and too loud to hear you

I feel I’ve lost my mind tonight

hungry and unsatisfied

All I want is dead and gone

Won’t you please take me far away from

This world
An optimistically deadly mix

Of too many pills and cigarettes

If it helps or kills

I tend to forget

Cuz my names

Gotten so far away

I can remember

Nothing but the pain

Lying in the street tonight

Counting all the dying lights

And the mistakes they eat me alive

Day and night, I can’t fight 

I don’t know what to do

Its too dark too silent to hear you

I feel I’ve lost my mind tonight

hungry and unsatisfied

All I want is dead and gone

Won’t you please take me far away from

This world?

11.4 11.11 

In the wake of October, I always find

But when the day is over, why bother sending signs?

I lose in November,

And then it’s December-

Where I’m wearied  of striving,

When it’s all I can remember


Never more.

Four years and four nights alone, long;

You left me worn, dragging on-

Useless and wanted.

Have You forgotten?

I wandered so far,

Just To be lost at sea;

Striving for Something; 

Just to pray for, to bleed.

I’ve poured out my needs

To Death, my friend;

I’ve slept without dreaming 

Only to this sordid end-

A nameless faceless decade Descending 

Into the countless forsaken Seasons unending

Bound by inhibited fruition for unknown reasons

But It’s mystery still keeps whispering in the breeze

But will it-can it; ever be un-

In just the way that it was all done?

11.4 Ever A Day to Be Reckoned With

I’ve been sitting numbly in this rickety chair in your personal waiting room for the past three hours. The same old familiar sounds are shrieking their piercing suggestions in my ear, and my perpetual visitor looms in the corner waiting for me to get back.

Always waiting.

A part of me wishes you could see the claws and talons lodged in my back and ribs; but I tried to stand strong and stoic for your examination. I’ve learned to not cry so much anymore, so you can think I’m finally OK. It never did anything but embarrass me anyways; after all, I think you don’t understand my tears because you can’t see the wounds- you can’t see them or hear them. But they’re standing just over in the corner.

 Is my own discipline of secrecy and suppression killing me- or is it the only thing holding me together?

I don’t want to make you too feel helpless or uncomfortable, so I didn’t look for the words to answer how I ended up here.                                                  You asked me how long it had been since I’d let anyone see me.

            “Years,” I replied;                 but then realized I had only said it in my head.                                                                        I nodded vaguely.

As soon as I’m alone again, I finally take a breath and sigh deeply. I can’t for another minute ignore the torment scouring every nerve ending in my body. It’s been worse than I remember it being, while I was lost in the naivety of the day or two that it was gone. There’s no refuge or cessation as there usually is.

Did I take two,three, or four? 

I roll the bottle back and forth in my hands, contemplatively. The phone rings and I lose count again. I can’t remember shit anymore.        If it’s been hurting for weeks or months- I can’t tell, because the days blend together so swiftly I can’t discern one’s ending from another’s beginning. The pain stabs it’s rousing reminder, interrupting my thoughts and I finally release my inhibitions to relapsing again.
But now there’s blood everywhere; though not enough for the pain- and I realize what a fucking stupid thing I’ve done again;Too much, too fast and there’s blood soaked through my shirt and favorite jacket. Sure it’s got its rips, patches, and cigarette holes; but I’ve always refused to let go of it, like it’s some old friend or such.

My vision starts spinning, and goes completely blurry. I’m feeling a bit disconcerted this time because now I’ve found myself out in the hills again, feeling a bit faint and delirious, and my legs are shaking just enough to frustrate the trek home. The throbbing pain at the base of my skull intensifies and I steady myself on a rock, feeling my stomach lurch threateningly against my diaphragm. I wish my stomach would stop wasting my time and I could actually throw up for once; Maybe it would help.

I realized maybe I wasn’t best to be by myself tonight; I usually try to not to let it get this far, and all the little “if you ever need anything”s were echoing in my head. But last time I did that I ended up getting locked up. I wouldn’t want to survive it again.

Then there it was again, increasing in volume and urgency; the familiar siren that something was very, very wrong. It had been a while, so I simply ignored it, along with every other sign yelling at me that some unknown factor was ready to imminently implode if I didn’t fix it. I ignored them too. The horizon was still rather far off and continuing to grow increasingly blurry, but I kept walking toward it anyways- unsure of where I was headed or would end up this time.