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R J Coman Aug 2021
They get you hooked when you’re young
Too young to know what you’re doing
They hit you at your lowest
Give you just a little taste
And before you know it it’s reflexive
Before you know it you can’t quit

The worst part is existing in a world
Where everyone else is addicted too
Who is the pusher?
Who is ******* us over?
No one even wants to know
If you try to quit they lock you up
Give you more to keep you going

But every addict knows
That we’ve all been had
When we wake up in a cold sweat
Choking desperately for more

What would the world look like
Without the veil of dependency?
Will I ever know?
To give up one is to give up the other
Supremely ******* ironic
I bet they’re just doubled over in laughter
At what they’ve done to us
R J Coman Aug 2021
Technically the technique
Is to dissociate so hard
That it becomes a superpower
So your existence
And perception
Dance and whirl
Like a puppet
On a string in your hand
R J Coman Aug 2021
"I can't eat ginger"
My body answers automatically

"I… I grew up in NorCal
Used to go whale watching
Mom used to give us ginger
You know. To keep us
From getting seasick.
But I got sick
Real sick
And now…"

I can't even remember
What ginger tastes like
Fresh or regurgitated
I remember feeling sick
But I can't remember pain

"And now I can't eat ginger
Makes me sick"
My body giggles like an idiot
August 2021
R J Coman Sep 2020
I remember when first my head pushed out of my egg
All about me my sisters stirred, small children testing their muscles
We pushed. We dug. Our long necks straining through wet sand
We said goodbye. We dove. We swam apart. We were happy.
Turtles have not much to say.

I remember the morning when first they came to my bog
Oh the racket they made. The acrid reek. Their footfalls broke my moss
With nets and shovels and loud voices they searched
We dove deep. We swam silently, like clouds in the night. I was snared
I was taken so far from home.

I remember when first I saw the man in a hot, smelly city shop
He tapped upon my glass and spoke, waving his arms and shouting
I pulled my head into my shell. My beak ached for clean water
I tried to hide. I tried to cry. I tried to climb the slippery walls
I went with the man, in a brown sack.

I remember when the first pin was driven into my back
The searing pain through my thick but sensitive shell
Then another. And another. The cruel men drove them deep
I tried to scream. I tried to run. I tried wriggle out of the agony
Gold burned like a thousands suns.

I remember…

I remember the sadness in the man’s eyes. Not for me
Turtles live for centuries, he said. Make it perfect. Gild and jewel
The terror. The weight. My heavy, heavy shell. My legs give out
The longest life a curse. My glittering shelter a prison. My life
This life forever.

I remember…

A poem about a gilded turtle, based off of story 4 of Huysmans' Against the Grain
R J Coman Jul 2020
It was early on a Saturday morning
when I found the tiny slug.
It was stranded in the middle of a parking lot,
still wet with dew, but that would soon
become a trackless desert for small creatures.

With a small blade of grass, I coaxed
the slug onto my thumb. It sat there, shyly
peaking its feelers out, no bigger than my nail.
My heart melted. I walked it to the bushes,
and saying "goodbye, small friend", brought it home.

I think often about the measure of my life.
Do I draw Meaning from my weight on a scale
held by some all-powerful, cosmic being?
From how my life touches those around?
From the music I leave behind?

The answer to these questions is not the one I like.
But as long as there are tiny slugs in parking lots

I will live on
R J Coman Mar 2020
It's funny to think
that I once liked this room.
It was so... *****, comfortable.
But now that I cannot leave,
all the comfort shrivels
into ringing pain.

All my decorations and trappings
to reveal nothing but padded walls
Written from quarantine, with nowhere to go, and no one to care
R J Coman Dec 2019
I awoke to a world white to my touch:
All color and shadow had faded
to a blinding, uniform brightness.

I don't remember who I was before:
That is perhaps a blessing for me
for now I am everywhere.

I hear its voice inside my head:
Dreamlike and calm, but spoken
as if from the mouths of billions.

I am just an avatar for myself:
A husk of a form, a vehicle to move
one of endless forms among the stars

I turn my countless eyes upward:
I laugh for the twinkling universe
that has yet to know my oblivion

And all my bodies try to scream
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