What you are about to read comes from a part of my life and a piece of myself that I have kept hidden from virtually everyone. Things will begin to add up, and those missing variables that sum up a fraction of the equation that is me will be solved for some of you. Just like that, you’ll see a line, a series of letters revealing parts of me I have shown to only a handful of people, most of them gone now. It’s such a daunting thought, so invasive to think that people, strangers and friends alike, are going to be introduced to some of my demons. Hell, you might recognize them. You may have even given them names.
It all happened months ago, during a road trip I took with my younger brother to Northern California, in a sleepy forest town called Arcata. I was laying down in a cozy apartment at four in the morning during the tenth hour of a hallucinogenic trip under the influence of LSD. I shine emphasis on the state I was in for two reasons,
1: These lines follow no structure and evolved in an entirely organic matter. It’s simply a stream of consciousness spurned on by the effects of the LSD which, while they are mind altering, do not alter your present state of self awareness (on the contrary).
2: While under the effects of LSD, I was able to think in a manner which I had never been able to before. This new found thought process allowed me to remove myself while exploring myself (I can’t explain it any other way)–which was necessary–considering what it was I was going after: the root cause of a very real depression that still beset me.
I was able to see parts of me that I had hidden away and forgotten. Thoughts I had grown afraid to entertain, the memories I had sought for so long to drown; I brought them to the surface and found that I was not afraid, for how much more harm could they inflict on me now that I hadn’t already endured? There came at this time, a very strange kind of acceptance: I saw my life as it was, still effecting my life as it is, and going on into what my life would be. It had to stop somewhere. To me, that meant acknowledging my pain, my hatred, and my sorrow and the child that was. For, instead of choosing to accept them as very crucial parts of myself I needed to recognize, I chose instead to forget them.
So, I remembered.
I beheld it all, all that I was running away from, and found some sense of peace at last that was born out of a sense of understanding I had discovered in an altered state of mind. I saw that I was only the cause of an even greater effect. A link in a great chain whose line had endured for generations. People who hurt others because they could not understand their own pain. The loveless who secretly weep and obsess over the one thing they cannot seem to ever posses. I was born with abandon to people who had also been given very poor hands in life, born with no clean slate to speak of. What I endured at their own hands, they too had suffered once, for suffering was all that they knew. In that respect, they had given me all that they had ever had.
Confronted with that profound truth it was then I felt, for the first time, actual empathy for the people that had wronged me. Not only my parents, but everyone who’d ever done me harm. And then everyone I myself had committed crimes against in some fit of anger or some preposterous notion of revenge. All those people who’d been refused a greater love, all reaching for the same thing at the center, the very thing we all orbit around, we are all connected to that. This great web that unites us all…It all just made sense in those precious moments in a way I may never be able to truly describe. Someday, I will try.
In that place I had found the key that would move me beyond my circumstances. Then it all poured out of me, like a river. This body of work remains largely untouched from it’s original conception save for some minor revisions or lines I needed to add for a “sober” or “unaltered” mind to make sense of all of this and also, it’s structure, which I have since changed to present the lines at the pace I would like them for them to be presented. This piece evolved with no design in mind, the words simply took me where they may.
I wrote this for no one, though it is for everyone.
the 10th Hour
I need you to know I am not well
and the truth is
I haven’t really ever been.
Not for a long time.
I can blame this on the way I was raised and I have for so long
How my Dad beat me because his Dad beat him when he was young
because we come from a long line of Soldiers who couldn’t make sense of war
or how my Mom didn’t love me enough
because she was the last of eleven children
born to already tired parents and wasn’t raised right
so she didn’t know how to raise me
and when I got grown and grew bad she abandoned me
because her God told her to,
but the thing is every addict and every selfish sob story
plays the same damn cards and never takes some goddamn responsibility!
People have had it worse then me.
Some people didn’t and neither of that matters
because none of them are me and I am not them,
but still we need to find some sense of understanding
and find camaraderie in our suffering
and let that hunger in us that’s never filled
be filled with something good for once
and maybe then our stomachs would cease to growl.
Sure, some of that I never had any control over
and I was just a little kid
who didn’t deserve any of that
and no one deserves any of that at all
and it fucking hurts like hell
when the people who are supposed to love you the most hurt you like that,
you are goddamn right it does!
And I took that hurt and that pain
and crafted it into a fucking shield to survive
and how I survived
but my strength that served me then
is a weakness that cripples me now.
That shield has since grown into a wall from all the bones
of the bodies thrown against me
and now no one can get in
and I am lonely
and I don’t want to be alone anymore
but love is the scariest thing to me
because I have seen what it can do to people
and it hurts every time I try and make it happen for myself,
but I am trying to confront my fears and it starts and ends there.
A whole mesh of seasons unfolding
that I hope will bear at least one good harvest.
but that was a long time ago
and I am no longer a helpless child
and they are no longer who they were
and everything changes.
So blaming other people, that just arrests you.
You stay ever the helpless child.
Haven’t you cried enough?
For once shed your tears for someone else!
Because now you know what hurt is.
Because now you can recognize it.
And so many people are hurting.
And they are hiding it with painted masks and excess
and nothing gets better,
they just wait for it to go away
and it won’t go away
because it’s a part of them now,
well how do they fix it?
Love you gotta let it in.
This is all on me now
and that’s just the damnable misery of it all:
knowing I can’t blame anyone anymore
and I alone am the sole author of this story
and I am just learning how to write
and I guess you can call that a strange sort of strength all on it’s own
but it’s just the beginning
and I didn’t really have one,
not like a “Once upon a time,” or anything,
so I have to start all over
and I don’t know that much but I am learning
and I am learning so much watching
but I know I need to participate even more.
Because you see people like me,
we have to know that this all has a meaning,
that there is something behind all of this,
there just has to be some meaning behind all our suffering
and we know that we have to find something
and we can’t settle for anything less than real
because in spite of it all
we still hope
and we still dream
of a real kind of love.
The kind that accepts
Cause I need to heal something bad.
Can’t you see it?
I see some people that find happiness in the most mundane things
but really nothing is trivial
and they smile anyway
and everything is relative
but I still wish that I could be that simple
but my life permitted me no ignorance to procure that kind of bliss
so it has to be something so much more
and it’s a curse I think is really going to bless me.
I know I can find a way to make it better
because it has been better
so I can’t go yet
because I have barely seen a fraction of anything
and I have to make it all worth something.
I need to find something
and I have been going mad just to trying to find what that something is,
something I know is going to save me,
or the world
but I don’t know what it it is I am supposed to find!
I guess I will know when I find it.
It’s looking that gives me purpose.
It’s the search that makes it all worthwhile.
Because I don’t know if it’s just around the next bend of the highway
or the next turn of the page
where the author may have wrote something
that makes you feel like they wrote it just for you
to reassure you that you are not alone!
Someone has been there, where you are before
and they came out of it
and it’s there in the pages of history and poetry
to make you write something beautiful now
and give back that same gift!
It could be in the face of an unconventionally beautiful woman
sitting alone in the window of a cafe
looking over the menu for the seventh time
cause she is waiting for something big
to walk in through the door on a lonely night in Brooklyn.
It could hit me in a shoulder high crest in summer time
and cradle me in it’s salty truth like sunlight holds the pacific at high noon.
Or I could make it out in the shadows of the clouds
floating along the unfurling valleys below me
as I fly overhead and overwhelmed towards some strange new land
in which to lose and find myself.
It can be in the smiles of my friends,
behind a patient glass of wine in Summertime
where we talk real good talk of all the good things
we will do in good time
cause we want to be good men to not even really good people.
Perhaps it’s in the ivories of a piano
hidden away in an old house you just have to play
because no one has played it in years
and it was meant to be played
and You and I were meant to be loved!
It can be in the leaves falling in Autumn
reminding me beautifully and morbidly that life is still magic,
even when it’s ending,
but from that fleeting end Springs a new beginning
and the world will soon be green again.
Maybe it will be illuminated by a full moon on a white beach
that causes the blood to boil in our veins with passions beyond our understandings
and spurns us on into that ethereal world where the tides meet the skies
and you can’t tell if you are swimming or flying
because sometimes the stars align and anything can happen.
What if it’s in the arms of a woman who’ll fall for and into me,
touching me in a way that’s more than physical
and I don’t tremble at the thought of surrendering
because maybe this time it’s a victory and not a defeat.
I could find it one tiny raindrop in a storm that fell
not one second before the precisely perfect moment
upon a window in November
and reminded me in it’s following symphony
how truly wonderful this world can be
in the morning, and at noon and at night
and every day there after.
It can be anything.
It can be anywhere.
It can be anyone.
So I am going to stop looking for excuses and start searching for this.
Whatever it is.
Because I am not going to find it sitting here feeling sorry for myself anymore.
Because I want to be well
and I want to be whole
with all of what’s left of my soul.
It’s out there.
Waiting to meet me on some unknown platform and
slowly I am moving towards it,
I can feel it.