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Jasper Downey Aug 2013
All the elders in my life
take it upon themselves to guide me
to some mystical goal I apparently have.

Even my father,
a man who thinks of me as just a mistake,
has found it within himself to tell me
what it is I'm destined for.

They all use different words and syntax
and present it in their own unique way
but the message is just an echo.

"You're gonna be somebody you know.
With your smarts and the way you see the world,
you're gonna be big. No question.
You just need to take the time to sit back
and really ask yourself what it is you want
because lemme tell ya,
you can get it what with all you got"


But I smile and nod and sometimes
I even stare off into the distance
as if suddenly taken by some ethereal force
that will point me to the future.

In reality I couldn't care less what my elders think.
Or what anyone thinks about who I'm going to be.
What does it matter to you what I become?
It won't be because of you.

I have no idea what I want to be.
Why be anything?
So many of my days are spent juggling around
the idea of if I even want to be at all.

But their thoughts of me fill my head some nights
and I sit here staring up into the ceiling
for empty hours on end
trying to see myself as they claim to.

What is it that I really want?

In this moment

all I want

is to be ******
and high when it happens.

I figure that'd be just a fine thing to be.
Jasper Downey Apr 2013
Tonight I saw her for the first time in a long time.

I haven't wanted someone so badly in years
and it was beyond any physical yearning.

It was this visceral knowledge that she
was everything I needed to chase away
the bleakness that I've come to call life.

I hate that about her.

I hate that I've dive-bombed into this
******* pit of depression and anxiety
that has ****** away any self-respect
I may have ever held on to and replaced
it with this archaic notion that I can't be
happy on my own.

I hate it because it's true.

I am validated in the eyes of others
and when there's no one around to see
me I don't know who to be.

I don't know how to be.

I sip and I smoke and I pop
and try to fill the vacancy with
any and everything my body will allow.

I've only come to suicide once and it was so
many years back it feels more like the plot
of a ****** soap opera than a chapter of
my life story.

Clearly I failed and by some miracle
not a soul knows that I ever even tried.

They just thought I was sick.

Well the doctors are long gone but the
sickness still pulses through my veins like
a vapid bassline in a song no one
bothers to learn the words to.

And why should they when it's my song to
sing and I can't even come up with the melody
on my own?

I saw her tonight for the first time in a long time
and the only thing I could bring myself to think
was how much happier she would be talking to
anyone else in this world besides me.

She owns parts of my soul that have no value
because they were pried from a shell that housed no worth.

Everything she means to me serves as a poignant
reminder that I'll only ever be as good as the person
that loves me.

And to her I never meant a thing.
Jasper Downey Aug 2013
Every time I wake up in a room like this one,
I can hear her whispering in my ear the same sweet refrain
I fell in love with however many years ago.

The pages of marked up calendars lay scattered around
the bed as I stare up into the ceiling fan,
counting the rotations of the blades.

I've never lost count.

She hates my focus and slides her cold pale hand
around my neck loose enough to entice me but
tight enough to keep me quiet.

I refuse to look her in the eyes because then
I'll be admitting defeat.

She's never cared about winning though because
she's never had any competition.

My heart and soul have been hers since she first
slid past my lips and replaced all the air in my lungs
with her vapid sentiments.

She herself has always been the sweetest tasting thing
I have ever encountered.

A single tear escapes my eye and rolls off my face.

I cringe in disgust at myself as she leans into my ear
and whispers the three words I have grown to hate
more than anything in this existence.

I love you.

A second tear races to join the first
as my heartbeat slows to a near standstill.

I can feel her smiling next to me.

Every breath I share with another feels ripped
from my chest but she never left me and never will,
no matter how much I may beg and plead
it's truly apparent to me that she owns me
and I'll never escape her grasp.

So I turn my head and stare into her eyes
for what I surely hope is the last time.

Even if it means my eyes never open again.
Jasper Downey Mar 2015
Somewhere between
the womb and the grave
was when I realized
I could no longer
taste you

The years I spent
lovingly devoted
helplessly reliant
on your gracious presence
are nothing beyond
hazy memory

I hope I pass on
sooner than later
so that my promise
of being able
to live and die
without you
can be the first one
I've kept

There are no flowers
on either of our graves
but ours were lives
of fulfillment
of dedication
not to the world outside
but to the ocean between
us and the tides we let
ebb and flow
give and take
heal and hurt

No eulogy I could give
could ever express
all that you have made
me become
all that I have blamed
you for being

You were the only solace
I have ever felt
and I will rot in dirt
for all eternity
without ever having
needed you at all.
Jasper Downey May 2015
There are times when the English language fails me.

Times in between flicks of the lighter
and gulps of cheap *****
in which a brief memory
consumes me
and brings me
into the moment I made a promise
to never let my hobbies
become habits.

Particularly those that took me
away from what I
was and propelled me
into a place where I
could be painfully numb.

Remembering when I
used to write with a fervor
that was inspired solely by feeling
and a lust to remain a pure and unadulterated man,
determined to keep his art a reflection of self.

There is no word in the English language I
can use to describe my disappointment after those times.
Jasper Downey Aug 2013
When I was struggling my
hardest to keep the will to
stay alive I was taking at most
three pills a day.

I just watched three dissolve in the
sweet tea in front of me while
another two continue to snake
their way through my veins.

I keep flashing back to the
day I first confessed to someone
I was hanging on by a thread.

I loved her enough to tell her
who I was and she loved me
enough to stay anyway.

And now I'm reminded by her
every smile that she sees within me
some strength, some reason to keep

All I see is a ****** up
pill head who can't even
control his own thoughts
without assistance.

I can't feel loved without them
but every moment I think about
how much I need them all I can
feel is hate which does nothing
but drive me deeper into need.

I want to tell her.
I don't want to hide.
But if she sees me for what I am
then she'll never see me again.

And I'm all out of pills for that.
Jasper Downey Apr 2014
There are no mistakes in life,
just lessons
and it is our responsibility
and our right
to learn whatever we may
from what we have done.

With that being said

I've seen what he's done to you
and maybe you really have
forgiven and forgotten
but mine is no house of God
and I will do no such thing

I admit that my own lesson may
be one born of spite rather than
wisdom but despite its lineage
it is a lesson rooted so deep in my soul
that to deny it would be to stand
against my very being

I guess that's just a ******* way
of saying I'd rather die than watch
you wither away with him again.

But maybe your lesson is in clemency
and mine is just in letting go.

So I'm letting you go
and WHEN he hurts you
IF I'm still alive
YOUR lesson will be in heeding
the warnings of the scorned.

Or maybe just in picking better lovers.
Jasper Downey Sep 2013
I spent the morning staring at the clock.

Every second that ticked passed
was one breath closer to pulling the plug on her.

When the time finally came
I could feel a dark breeze blow through me
and I knew she was gone
and that was it.

I told my best friend I needed a drink.

So we got a drink
and as I'm sitting at the bar
I try to tell him how I'm feeling
but he stares me in the eyes and says
"Don't think about it".

He walked off and that was it.

Hours and drinks pass and I'm in another bar
with a familiar face pressed against my chest
with my arms wrapped tight around her.

She's warm and beautiful and affectionate
and everything I need right now
so when her phone screen flashes
and her boyfriend tells her goodnight with an "I love you"
I think nothing.
I feel nothing.
No regret.
No sin.
No anguish.
In this moment she is everything to me
and I couldn't care less what she means to anyone else.
She's mine, if only for a moment.
Even if it's a moment that means nothing to her.

Days have passed and my mind is swarming with thoughts
of death
and my own cowardice in dealing with it.
My body aches.
I've been laying on this couch for three straight days
and all I want is for someone to hear me
so that I can force out these pervasive demons
that have made their home between my ears.
No one is there.
They've told me hundreds of times they love me
and I matter
and they're there for me
but when I reach out, not a single human creature is there.
Some apologize and make excuses
but most don't even acknowledge what worthless hypocrites they all are.
So quick to beg me for anything their fragile,
tepid excuses for hearts can desire.
So quick to depend on me but never around
to even hear me let out a sigh.

This is death.
This is loss.
This is another morning spent coughing up blood.
This is another day spent burying myself in work.
This is another night spent alone leading into
another day of blood, sweat, and solitude.

Never again will I mourn the loss of a loved one.
They all left me long ago.
Jasper Downey Jul 2013
I'm throwing up blood in the sink again.
I'll spend the rest of today exhausted and
alone with my thoughts.
My persistently pervasive thoughts.
My half-assed attempt at love
has left me unable to enjoy
what should be the greatest
success I've had to date.
I don't think about her like a
person I love or lust after.
I think of her as something I need.
She is my necessity.
My constant.
My control.
I've given her all the power over me
and she doesn't even know because
despite my declarations of love
all I feel in my gut is pain and hate
and bile burning into my chest
and bleeding out onto the page.
And it's not poetic. It's painful.
Jasper Downey Apr 2013
I am never going to forget how you smell.

After all, my bed smelled like your
perfume for months after we broke up.

In part because I only slept with girls
who wore the same brand.

I swear I wasn't being obsessive,
Columbia is just really ******* small.

You'll be happy to learn I ended up
exactly how you always said I would:

Caught between more women than I
have the capacity to care about.

The best part?
Not a single one smells like you do.

Not better and not worse but distinctly
nothing at all like you.

The worst part?
They all taste exactly like you do.
Jasper Downey Apr 2013
An ex of mine once told me that no one ever changed.
She was convinced that whoever you were when you
crawled out of your mother was who you would die being.
She didn't believe in change.
A poster child for the G.O.P. if there ever was one but
blessed with the assets of someone far more liberal.
I tried to argue with her but found myself speaking
into a brick wall with curves that made every point
and counter-point utterly irrelevant to me.
Our relationship didn't last but her sentiment clearly
did because she's still an unyielding jezebel of a
woman and I'm still scribbling my resentment into
paper whiter than the pills still polluting my bloodstream.
Jasper Downey Mar 2013
I don't remember how old
I was when it happened
but I know that I
couldn't have been more than

I don't remember what she
was doing or what she
said so sweetly to make
me give up all I

I don't even remember liking
her at all. She was
just a girl in my class
that lived close enough to

I don't remember what I
saw after her legs spread
but I knew in that
moment that everything was changing

I don't remember every detail
because I've spent life trying
to accept the thing I
can't change and won't ever
Jasper Downey Jul 2013
To put it all in perspective,
my heart is neglected
so I apologize if my love notes
get hectic.
My ex's are restless,
aiming above the necklace
They're coming for my head,
I'm just ticking off the seconds.
What I never expected
was seeing your face
every time I run away
into the void that is space.
I hesitate
to give a name
to whatever we are
'cause words are just sound waves
that never reach the stars.
But how did we ever start?
I feel safest in the dark
with no one else around.
See apathy isn't hard
but empathy is an art
and lying is a profession
When you tell me how you feel
my reaction is second guessing.
Maybe you'll get the message
and just leave me alone
My heart is a lot of things
but it's hardly a home
Too many have hurt so
too few do I trust.
She looked at me and said
"What's that got to do with us?"
Jasper Downey Jul 2013
She told me she loved me today
which can only mean our clock
is ticking.

To most that word marks a beginning
to a new and wonderful existence
full of meaning but to me it's
a single syllable that ushers in
a cascade of doubt, lies and
animosity that slams you into the
ground so hard the Devil thinks
you're knocking on his door.

To me it's the signal that I've
overstayed my welcome and if I want
any chance to spare myself from misery
I should just jump ship and take
my chances with the sharks below.

I'd rather be ripped to shreds by
ravenous beasts than get fooled into
thinking I truly matter to her.

The sound of her sweet sincerity
is drowned out by the echoing sentiments
of her predecessors, forever ringing
in my ears like a constant reminder
that all you have in this world
is your ***** and your word and
she has neither.

But the joke's on her this time.

I've found my way out.

Because I love her too.
Jasper Downey Aug 2013
She slid her ******* on
and looked at me with a smile.
"You've done a lot but
there's plenty more for you to do"

She left her boyfriend in a week.

She put her hands on my chest
and looked into my eyes.
"I just want you to
fix me"

Her boyfriend was in Europe for the summer.

She put her phone face down
and never took her eyes off me.
"I told him I was at home
doing homework"

Saw her twice more and then never again.

She had the Devil's grin
as I held her hand in mine.
"Oh it was gift
from a friend".

Turns out he's her soulmate.

She touched herself and spread
the cigarette smell across my sheets.
"I need to have you whenever
I want".

Wonder if that's what she told the others?

She sat across from me
as we shared the same thought.
"We'd still be together
if it wasn't for him".

I owe him more than he knows.

She felt so strongly that
her words are the only I've kept.
"You're the only one I
trust enough to tell".

I lied to her and never saw her again.

So as yet another sits before me,
eyes bright, smile soft
with a sweet song whispering away between us,
I can no longer find any solace
in the comfort of the lie.
Jasper Downey Mar 2013
I always knew what this was.

Sure I'd smile and I'd hold you
I'd want you and I'd take you
to every place you ever saw
inside your deepest darkest dreams.

But dreams is all they were.

You needed me in ways that
air and sun could never fathom
while moon and stars watched
me introduce you to the world.

But we were never alone.

And now you've left me to be
with him and love him while
all the while pretending like
you never needed me at all.

I always knew what this was.

So now your nights can be spent
wrapped up in him and I can
go back to being high off things
I never got the chance to show you.

In the end we get what we need.
Jasper Downey Mar 2013
White pills and resin hits.

This vendetta against sobriety
is deeply rooted in my soul.

On the television they all say
they do this **** for fun.

I do this **** to breathe
without wanting to **** myself.

So either I do it too much
or I'm not doing it enough.

Every breath is a reminder
that the next will be even worse.

And to think when I was a kid
they promised me the world.

All I got were these ******' pills.
Jasper Downey Jul 2013
"There is always one woman
to save you from another
and as that woman saves you
she makes ready to destroy"

Chinaski taught me that

when I was still in
high school and looking for
answers in poetry books.

I managed to find few and
far between in those four years.

Then I became a college
student and my hunt turned
to the wilderness of
crowded bars, living room floors
and enough pills to
swim through
only to drown in the deep end.

I caught my breath in three years
and surfaced to a job I hated
in a town I loathed
but always called

I kept my company but they
never sought to keep me
or so I tell myself.

Really I used every last drop
of them I could get
before the next one rode along
because of what Chinaski told me.

But this one won't ride along again
and I fear the day she does
Chinaski might be wrong.
Jasper Downey Mar 2013
The man that gave me life regrets it
so every time I gave him hell
I was really giving him credit.

Introduced me to the world.
Told me to be the best.
Said I was a waste of *****
if I was anything less.

Resentment doesn't cover it
and hatred is too eloquent.
My God thinks I'm worthless
and you still think I'm arrogant.

I'm disgusted with this world
and can hardly find the time
to explain just how I feel
without reverting back to rhyme

See that's the one thing that
I know I will always be God of
and I won't ever take for granted
any token of its love.

— The End —