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Brandon Barnett Feb 2018
do you feel the same?
that without faith, grace had no name
that before salvation the war looked like a game
that addictions weren’t monsters, just pets to be tamed?

the excuses never made sense no matter how many times I explained
I had no acquaintance with restraint or refrain
Indulgence was my starlight; bright but only in the dark, everywhere and impossible to contain
and I always found someone else, knew someone else, found another way to blame

**** it all, I jumped in grinning into the brawl, I ran the gamut of lust in my fall
and it all started with red hot frustration and sweet, soft temptation
and chances to cheat and win and do it again without facing weakness and I gave in to it all
opportunities to fake it through the hatred and I lied through black smiles at them all

makes the feeling heart bleed, and the gritted teeth crack, and the demons feed, and the memories all come back
and the hatred plants the seeds then the anger waters the vine
and the brokenness strengthens the thorns then the blackness starts to climb

up my solid ground, up my aching spine, up my choking throat, upside down into my mind
and I reached for bottles, and I reached for pills, and I knelt for coke lines
but I never knelt for the divine
what would a God do with a vommiting waste of my kind?
judgement sounded so unkind
we men are wretched things sang to me in every song, in it’s every every line, in each instrument’s chime
and anyway… anyway… who could overcome spent time
no, this slow burning suicide was my forever, my chosen lover, mine all mine

because look what I had done with what I was given, look at the killer I had been
look at the people I had run through and scars I had gouged caressing my sins
how would I ever begin again?
What does it even look like to begin again?

I found rock bottom will a shovel and a map
I was digging and it was my intention and I was never coming back
I laid in my own grave
how many people can say that?

I had burned every love letter family ever written me without thinking twice
and I had spit in the face of everyone who cared enough to run to my rescue with advice
and I had bullied the playground and never played nice
I had cut the wrists of my own life in unstitchable ways with self destruction as my knife to be sure I died

but just when it was truly just a few words from over, just where my poems always ended
hanging in the margin of the page just past that last line something was amended
I wanted to live
and I wanted to be happy
and I was scared
that I never could be

in those last twilight words on the paper, written by the me everyone had met, peddling pretty failure
as I sank in my waste, choking on my entire personality’s behavior
under the ominous weight of all my precious loss and terrible regret for everything I had wagered
I met my savior

He didn’t ask for blood or gold or indignity or shiny things I owned
and He didn’t punish under foot or berate with words for my every action He didn’t condone
He didn’t hate me and He wasn’t concerned with what was past now and He didn’t offer a loan
He just spoke to me, in that hushed moment, to tell me I didn’t have to be
quietly, He said simply, “set down that house key, and come home”

thank you
Lord God thank you
for letting me finally rest
for saving me
for letting me come home
Brandon Barnett Mar 2016
unbelievable the breadth
of what I have to regret with every breath
you could fill a lifetime with it
I have, and now I have nothing left
monsters in the dark
what I have puppeteering my heart
I’m a phantom of a man and deserve to be apart
from the one I love, the lover I chose
the one who saw my soul exposed
and was driven away

I’m horrified and confused
at how easily I can abuse
how can I be so infused with bipolar?
and why would anyone choose to stay on that coaster?
but what does that matter when I drive them away?
What do I matter? so tattered, who am I at the end of the day?

failed father, alcoholic, no apologies to erase what I say
I’ve already said this but now I’m screaming it night and day,
I am a monster
puppeteering her heart
eating her whole with every memory of my part

but this isn’t how it was meant to be, I love her when I’m me
how can that be taken from me so easily by chemistry?
and with all of my sickness what else could I have been or every be?
when my self, isn’t meant to be healthy

I would take my own life, not to end my misery
but to extend an honest apology
all I ask is that she know that I didn’t intend any insanity
I didn’t know it could get this bad, that I could sling such brevity
and now with the loss of this all I want to say is I am sorry, Ashley baby
seven days now I’ve cried until I choked
lost my step walking because I sobbed so hard
now I cry in doctor’s offices and they say I should’ve come sooner
I’ve lost her
I lost my best friend, dear god I miss her
but I love her so much I am honoring her memory by getting help

I’m so ******* sad
Worse than losing the best person of my life was driving them out. I didn't know how sick I was but that's not much of an excuse. I would give literally anything to hold her again in that wonderful embrace. I wish the constant crying would just drown me dead because this is worse than death.
Brandon Barnett Sep 2015
if you don't believe in demons
look deep into me, past all the spoken reasons
past the medication, into a man with only two seasons
see a shattered, loving heart that always commits treason

I don't want your sympathies when my twin takes the stage
I don't want your compassion when I appear as rage
I don't even want the answers when I turn the next page
I am a beast that the truth will only prove cannot be saved

hateful words in my mouth like mother's milk
so contrast the love when my touch is skin on silk
my flattering phrases only build a debt I will always bilk
lover, monster, sweetheart, killer, gentle, evil; my ilk

do you think I don't see what I am, do you think I don't know?
do you ever see me shred at the seams trying not to let it show?
consider that I never can avoid threshing anything I grow
you know the me that lives with knowing he is my strongest foe

taken apart and put back together
sewn with love, every stitch that I sever
mend then break, fix and adore, then become a storm to weather
a soul like an anchor that somehow, is sometimes light like feathers

It's ******* maddening to be two people
one good
the other so dismal, truly evil

I can say I will change
but that commitment comes only from half
I will always be defeated by days deranged
because my self, the other, always has his final laugh

purge me out of your life
even seeing me weeping puddles and cringing for the loss
purge me from your heart
because my love, however genuine comes at too high a cost
Brandon Barnett Sep 2015
I held on through your jealousy and fear
your deep insecurities and I held you near
I survived the conversations about the terrible what if’s
silly girls in beach jeans and all the fights and tiffs

all I wanted was a piece of the movie star dream
beauty and money like you only see on the screen
I thought I could cheat the universe if I truly believed
thought if I built us an island you’d never leave

I sat with you and listened to the stories you’ve never told
held your hand and said to go out and be bold
I tried with all of the strength in this body to inspire you
bragged about your glow and hoped you know I desire only you

I can’t hand you happiness or I’d send it to your shore in bottles
I can’t stop your pains or slow the hurt when you push the throttle
there are no more ways for me to prove what I already have
no ways for me to glue back together the two of us you’ve halved

I can’t undrink the bottles or unyell the words or light the dim rooms
there’s no way for me to bake the cake with a wax bride and groom
now I’m slipping into the darkness where you tucked us away
and I’ve run out of words to say because you’re about to throw us away

I’m about to lose my love to the same person that said it would always stay
I crumple and I tarnish because you’re about to throw us away
Brandon Barnett Sep 2015
dressed for my own funeral again
black suit and tie, I've died so many times without amends
I can't count the ways I've started over and then
the shadows of wasted loves show teeth and rend

cracking my spine in convulsing shakes chewing on faith that breaks
and it takes all of my fleeting strength to out swim the wakes
the drowning, dingy echoes of fake affection and birthday cakes
when there was no connection between us but the quakes

and you don't know who I am now in my disparity
any more than I remember who I set out to be

stressed and smoking too often, new nails in the coffin
black tar and coughing because the fists never soften
beaten so bad my heart won't beat if I can hear you talking
on the other end of a phone when the tears aren't stopping

the eulogy for a wasted man sounds like loved one's bitter tones
that don't understand that a dead man is free from what caring owns
and the soil not drinking one tear won't notice one more set of bones
but in the darkness, the silence, the solitude, I'll bury what my demons condone

to the praises of others you raised us but you were no mother
handing out soul snuffing black eyes that still won't let me recover
why did it have to be you; wicked you, split in two, and not another?
schizophrenic, stick it in and twist it, breaking me and a lonely brother

it's you I'm burying in this soil
because I'm half you so I too and spoiled
like you, I am halved by my bipolar turmoil
giving up on surviving anymore with this blood that boils

ashes to ashes
dust to dust
the last of my crashes
because burying you is my final lust
Brandon Barnett Sep 2015
you wont stop haunting me in my dreams so listen now as I talk
you said I ran away from home but I’m more ashamed that I walked
I understand I failed you in drastic, uncountable ways
but I pay for it in carrying sadness through lengthening days
I pace this dingy house offering apologies to your ghost
now I see that all you ever asked, was for me to want you most
and I am humbled and regretful and tortured with sorrow
now I lose my sleep to the nightmares and I fear my tomorrows
I know I borrowed from you more than I can ever repay
so now I lie sleepless under the weight of the ways you think I betrayed

your heart, our son, the wedding vows spoken
the closeness, the trust, the every promise broken

please let go of me in my dreams, please leave me
please let me sleep without the terrors that beat me
believe me I never meant to color this hate in your white heart
and I never meant for the widow to ever be your part
I wasn’t sure what I was doing, I didn’t know where I was headed
I couldn’t see the road before me, I couldn’t predict the loss to be regretted
I am sorry, deeply, I am all apologies please believe me
never again would I ask you to have to love or need me
I concede, I give in, give me needed rest within
and I will give you forever in apologetic rhetoric just let me begin
we were corrupted, love interrupted, and it was abrupt but release me
please, I am ground into pieces, this never ceases, stop cheating me

I am so sorry for what I took when I walked out that door
I will give you back all that you can carry, all you ask for and more
I offer you solace in every regret I drag and I will drag them until I have sores
I am so sorry I was the one you married but please, let me sleep once more
Brandon Barnett Feb 2015
my Love She’s got bottomless holes inside, dividing us that I didn’t dig
so I’ve been choking down her past days from amber bottles in burning swigs
most people see only a darkness and call the task of healing Her too big
i see an angel trapped on earth so i pick up my shovel and climb in

She never says She’s sorry without breaking a promise in compromise
but a real man knows his Goddess should never have to apologize
so i never let it traumatize my heart as long can lay next to Her at night
I’ll make the shortcomings all alright because our love can never be ostracized

Her broken parts are jagged to the touch, cut hands and tear fingertips
but to me they look like puzzle pieces so I give my skin to mend Her rips
one shovel full at a time I fill the craters wiping tears from Her lips
because deep, burning, hungry love finds where each ragged piece neatly fits

She only wants a relationship with honesty if it’s a war to be fought
so i become the soldier and the thief never caught ignoring lessons I was taught
for Goddess I bleed and heal then give more so each of Her cuts can clot
because true belief must truly believe these hands were wrought just to undo her knots

i worship in prayer by her waters and ask only for absent minded affections rife
baptized in her kiss i dive in to feel more and need no shores’ safety to survive
and when the floods come and Her swells cut me away from my own being like a knife
i give myself to Her riptide, sweet Lover I am only our bond, i give her my life

and when the pain makes my teeth crack from brandishing false smiles
i patch the wear in my boots, rise from those fires and walk the next miles
and where others blaspheme the word love and fall, i climb over the discarded piles
because a real man loses blood, loses fear, survives the fights, passes the trials

and when loving under the storming skies of her sick, sullen past
means exhaustion claims my flesh and the next strained gasp may be my last
i rupture, i spill open with praises and crawl to her feet to prove i was chaste
for Goddess i give my days, my treasures, my home, my every emotion grown vast

for Goddess I will steal starlight and empty seas and I don’t care what anyone else can’t see
they whisper behind their doors that I stink of obsession like a fatal disease
but i know that a real man stands tallest when he pledges in prayer on two bent knees
to his Lover, to Her, his every lock opened because without her there is no good nights sleep

i give her
only what Her love demands
because a real man
is tall even if he doesn’t stand
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