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Matthew James Jun 2016
We're off to Never never land - Paracetamol, cucumber sandwiches and the lost rent boy

Gav called me up.
Him and Tolly were going out to Never Never Land in Blackburn
3 lost boys off on a curious adventure

Mi mum dropped me off at Gavs 'ouse ont' Shad estate
Gav got us a coke before we caught t' buz in
But 'e sprinkled in some white pewder
"What's this? Pixie dust?"
"It's summat to gi' you Speed" said Tolly
"just drink it!" Said Gav
So I did

"2nd Star t' t' reet and straight on t' t' moornin'!"

But we'd bin sold crushed paracetamol

So we just acted like we were ****** and lied to each other about ow buzzin wi were
But we weren't buzzin
Then we caught buz in
Waitin' for t' affects o' t' artificial amphetamine t' kick in
'N' we got t' Neverland
No mermaids 'ere
No pretty ***** girls
There were a few blokes wi dodgy eyes n limps
But no no, no-n-no no, no-n-no no no no there's no pirates!
Just ****** plastic Palm trees
'N' townies in fluorescent nylon shirts
No peacock feathered hats ere
Just steps n curtains n aggressive faces
'N' me wi' a bowl cut and trepidation
Tryin' t' think happy thoughts

Surrounded bi freebooters, piccaroons, Buccaneers, filibusters and Rovers
Wi' their left foot, right foot dancing
And an eye on t' maidens
Sneering in our direction
Lost boys
That 'aven't grown up

I sort o' skirted round edges feelin' scared
Then went to sit at sides on an empty table 'n' hid

On t' next table were a nice lookin' couple o' blokes.
They must o' bin good mates!
They were cuddlin' 'n' touchin' each other a lot.
Anyhow, thi got talking t' mi
Told 'em I'd not bin out before
"Ow old are you lad? 14/15?"
"I'm 18"
Thi sort o' laughed, dunno why
Then one of 'em offered me a cucumber sandwich
I thought t' mi sel'
"I dunno much about nightclubs but I dunt think folk normally bring cucumber sandwiches!"
But I were 'ungry so I ate it
Then I think 'e thought we were mates coz 'e were touchin mi leg
I 'ad to crow for Gav an' Tolly
They came in like Peter Pan and rescued mi and I set off for 'ome

I went to t' phone box n' called mi mum
Didn't know town reet well
So I waited for 'er outside o' mi old school
There were some scary lookin people on one side o't' road snappin at each other like crocodiles
So I stood under t' lamppost so I were int' leet an' t' cars passin could see mi
Felt safer like that
Time passed
Tick tock tick tock
T' crocodiles were lurkin
Each time a car passed I stepped out a bit
To look for mi mum
Drivers kept lookin at mi nervously n drivin off
Maybe thi thought I were a crocodile too
N they kept smirking at mi
Then some officers pulled up like privateers in their blue and white flashin galleon
Made us stand again t' wall as I asked for parle
'N' thi searched mi for treasure
Asked us if I pulled into port for rentin
"Rentin' what? I'm Waitin for mi mum."
"Aye cap'n! Hahaha! I'm sure you are! Dressed in tight little hot pants!"
"These aren't 'ot pants, they're chinos?!"
Then mi mum turned up an said "oh aye! This streets t' red light district!"
"Well ****** me!"

Never, never again... Until uni happened
Mateuš Conrad Aug 2018
.do you really need a disclaimer, for this sort of work? no, not really... it's not exactly being allowed the equivalency of dropping an in excess of 2000mg of paracetamol.

the one aspect of legacy media, that still has some viability, akin to rekindling the famous extract from the movie: all the presidents men... is concerns for metal health issues of youngsters, who didn't have, the, "privilege" of being exposed to internet ergonomics, other than within the confines of gaming, they came far too late for, what replaced mp3 sharing.... ideas are not exactly sound-bites of copyright infringement...

**** me... do i really have to slap then punch
myself in the face, to remotely stay
awake while drinking ***** like pepsi
     i guess so...

   i too, "suffered" from roman bulimia,
the classical kind...
   don't ask me how i managed to make
the esophagus contender of the heart,
                 at first it was cheap choc down
the throat, missing on brushing my
teeth for 48 hours...
   then... ******* down the throat,
like the ****-style gimmick of the Watergate
       came back up, bundled in quasi turds
               classical Roman bulimia -
eat, regurgitate, eat some more,
hell, now you have a Pompeii style
banquet of the coming of age...
that's no bulimia...
  bulimia is an extension of an ancient
Roman practice, akin to throwing yourself
****-naked into a nettle shrub area...
to get the "itches"...
     that method, involved in energizing
the neuron extension of the skin...
              it's a "placebo" itch...
   nettles, ancient Romans,
and bulimia like the rite of a loss of
virginity of kings...
      festering at its core... of the French court...
with a *****'s teaching apparatus,
leveraging the use of, a single "tool"...
           and even though the ancient Romans
never reached my people...
i get to abuse their phonetic encoding stratum...
bulimia... sure... i, "suffered" from it...
not really, no... i ******* enjoyed
the regurgitation process...
   anti-Grecian pederasty gimmick...
(a) taking a ****
   (b) oral regurgitation
   imitating an ancient Roman banquet
(c) / (d) ensuring the two entry points
are filled by an external source -
wishing for vanilla custard *******...
none to be...
               so no one taught these girls
about ancient Roman bulimic
   you work on the esophagus...
                       by the time i finished
the transition period...
  i automated the esophagus reaction...
like training gymnastics for a six-pack...
no longer ******* down the throat...
you say charge? i think of
a rhino juggernaut...
           so no one bothered these girls
introducing ancient methodologies
to their predicament?
    no training of the esophagus,
no two (index + middle) fingers down
their throat to ease their larynx from
a gagging order?
    none of it?
   they'll grow out of it!
i did...
       drink a liter of ***** per day
and i'm feeling: shimmy!
          upon each nocturnal investment
that i translate into writing...
    give them excess coffee...
              or strong cider...
      the most pristine aperitif...
    you can't cure anorexia with either
drips or syringes...
   you need aperitifs...
                     but please don't give them
white vinegar...
           you need a balance of alcohol
overcoming the sugars...
     strong beer is alcohol overcoming
starches... won't work...
     coffee and sugar helps...
  both simulate the pristine form of
the marijuana *****...
             it's not poison...
so why should i care?
   oh but i do care... reading this article...
troubled teenagers dodge Instagtram
   curbs on photos glorifying self-harm
ever tried burning out a cigarette tip
on your knuckle?
   ever wondered about
    warming up a hand of scissors and
giving yourself an indie tattoo?
   while at the same time...
relying on the mouse principle?
i.e. remaining pipsqueak clean from
making any noise?!
              cutting is so crass...
so unimaginative...
  you will not achieve the adrenaline *****
status of a stab-victim...
   there is no element of surprise...
     if you really want to ingest pain?
hmm... hmm?
            heat up a scissor arm...
   and put it against your skin...
            and then... EAT... the pain...
with what you can surmount in and with,
                   cutting is too... dramatic...
at least burning yourself you have
not achieved the stature of a shedding blood...
cleaner, more effective,
think of orange recycling bags
collected at the start of the week...

              **** me though...
you seen the comradely behavior
of competing athletes, at the european
championships in Berlin,
   with the pole vaulters?
   Armand Duplantis -
congratulated for having crossed
the 6m benchmark of respectability...
now... that's sport!
football, soccer, basketball,
call it what you like...
   that's not sport, that's business,
that's advertisement...
     that's concussion cover-ups...

Epke Zonderland? also a doctor...
communist Poland believed in
sport, sport on the side,
   sport was never to reach status
of a mono-career investment...
            most of the local football
players from my hometown,
also worked less hours in
the metallurgy plant...
                  that's sport...
   a healthy balance...
which, mainstream sport is lacking...
oh look...
   the women doing the hammer throw,
or the discus...
   not exactly Vogue / Chanel catwalk
    mandible beauties...

    to be honest? the doping affair
in the Olympic sports?
   but a minor setback of credibility...
     i rather watch that...
   than those pitiable 22 ballerinas in soccer.
Matthew James May 2016
Gav called me up.
Him and Tolly were going out to Never Never Land in Blackburn
3 lost boys off on a curious adventure

All I wanted to do were stay in and play Championship manager and drink Ribena.
I were a slow starter int' drinkin' scene
Mi mum and dad had bought us a tiny bot'le o' mead once on 'oliday
Took mi about 2/3 years to drink it
Another time I had 2 or 3 cans at Gavs
Blacked out
Set off t' t' taxi wi'out mi shoes on
"2nd Star t' t' reet and straight on t' t' moornin'!"
Then puked out o' t' taxi windo'

But I went
Mi mum dropped me off at Gavs 'ouse ont' Shad estate
Gav got us a coke before we caught t' bus in
But 'e sprinkled in some white pewder
"What's this? Pixie dust?"
"It's something to give you Speed" said Tolly
"just drink it!" Said Gav

(At this point in this poem, it's starting to sound like I were on the verge of some cool, coming of age experience. But Gav were only a naive little lad and it turned out he'd been sold crushed paracetamol)

So we caught bus
Waitin' for t' affects o' t' artificial amphetamine
'N' we got t' Neverland
No mermaids 'ere
No pretty ***** girls
There were a few blokes wi dodgy eyes
But no no, no-n-no no, no-n-no no no no there's no pirates!
Just ****** plastic Palm trees
'N' townies in fluorescent nylon shirts
No peacock feathered hats ere
There hair were all steps or curtains
(I was sporting a rather fetching home cut hair style wi no gel and my neatly ironed school shirt with the top button fastened)

Didn't kno' what to do about this weird scenario
T' girls and t' boys weren't stood on opposite sides at this party
They were all in t' t' middle
****** loads on 'em
And they were doing some sort o' side stepping thing that I found later were called dancin'
I sort o' skirted round edges feelin' scared
Then went to sit at sides on an empty table 'n' hid

On t' next table were a nice lookin' couple o' blokes.
They must o' bin good mates!
They were cuddlin' 'n' touchin' each other a lot.
Anyhow, thi got talking t' mi
Told 'em I'd not bin out before
"Ow old are you lad? 14/15?"
"I'm 18"
Thi sort o' laughed, dunno why
Then one of 'em offered me a cucumber sandwich
I thought t' mi sel'
"I dunno much about nightclubs but I dunt think folk normally bring cucumber sandwiches!"
But I were 'ungry so I ate it
Then I think 'e thought we were mates coz 'e were touchin mi leg
I 'ad to crow for me mates
Then Gav came in like Peter Pan and rescued mi and we set off for 'ome

I went to t' phone box n' called mi mum
Didn't know town reet well
So I waited for 'er outside o' mi school
There were some scary looking people on one side o't' road snappin at each other like crocodiles
So I stood under t' lamppost so I were int' light an' t' cars passin could see mi
Felt safer like that
Tick tock tick tock
The crocodiles were lurkin
Each time a car passed I stepped out a bit
To look for mi mum
Drivers kept lookin at mi nervously and drivin off
Maybe thi thought I were a crocodile too
But they also kept smirking at mi
Then some cops pulled up
Made us stand again t' wall
'N' searched mi
Asked us if I were rentin
"Rentin' what? I'm Waitin for mi mum."
"Aye cap'n Hahaha I'm sure you are! Dressed in your tight little hot pants!"
"These aren't 'ot pants, they're chinos?!"
Then mi mum turned up an said "oh aye! This streets t' red light district!"
"Well ****** me!"

Never, never again... Until uni happened
the update on my teeth worked on by athena

you see, i take paracetamol, and brush my teeth

and i am sure the coke helps it as well, and athena \

sprays a big dose of methane, i do this, to avoid

going to the dentist, and with the paracetamol and fluoride

and the gas in the coca cola, with the dose of methane

it really leaves my mouth very clean, and cavity free

you see i recommend  athena to everyone who is poor

fillings ain’t really good for you, no, what fillings do

is put too much chemicals in your mouth, and

your mouth feels cleaner from what i do anyway

you see the paracetamol really relieves any ache or pain

and the gas from the methane and coke, can get into the mouth

and then the fluoride as you brush, can also clean and clean your teeth

and athena’s way might sound unrealistic, but, dudes, it works

and it’s more relaxing, and i can’t feel pain no more

doctors and dentists on earth will disagree with this

but why is it working, in my body

so, who needs earth dentists when your got athena from above
Akemi  Apr 2017
Kill Yourself
Akemi Apr 2017
Barbiturate is one of the few drugs capable of killing you painlessly, so of course the state has banned it. Instead we get paracetamol, a ****** over-the-counter painkiller that leaves you in pain for up to five days while your liver and kidneys shut down. Suicide prevention is a ******* joke. Secular appropriations of Christian values that assume life is worthwhile, whether you desire it or not. It’s long been known that rates of suicide rose dramatically with the birth of modernity—techno-scientific paradise for the middle-class which stresses efficiency over existence. New forms of automation, the human body disciplined into repetitious acts, the partitioning of workspaces so that no single worker could operate the whole—so that any worker could be fired and replaced with the minimum amount of training necessary for capital to continue circulating. The body is individualised, scrutinised, and punished by rich kids playing panopticon, so that any mass agitation is coerced into silence through the threat of destitution.

Slitting your wrists barely succeeds and more likely than not leaves you with tendon and muscle damage. Catalytic converters in cars now convert carbon monoxide into harmless CO2 and H2O. Drowning is one of the most painful ways to die. You cannot escape. The state places helpline numbers around suicide spots to treat life after the fact, rather than at the source of suffering. Vocal band-aids, ****** ******* aphorisms that seek to revert you back into a happy state-serving commodity. Things will get better. Life is worth living. Think positive. Alienation is omnipresent. Neoliberal discourse requires you to be subservient to the greater system of capital and the easiest way towards this is the instilment of comfort, of pleasant nullity, the circumscription of emotional capacity and reflectivity. Suicidal thoughts are abnormal, because life is worth living. Eat your packaged food item and watch Netflix.

For a drop into water to be fatal, it has to be 250 feet. Try to aim for your head to maximise brain injury. The most prominent suicide spot around here has a drop of 100 feet. They cordoned it off anyway. Your life doesn’t belong to you. The first time I tried to suicide my mother asked ‘why would you do that?’ as if it was the dumbest thing in the world. The second time, the doctor looked at me in an exasperated manner and prescribed me lots of drugs. Geettt bettterrrr. Nobody cares about you, they simply want you to return to normal. Normality as in serving your parents, serving your friends, serving the state, and serving the market. Normality as in not questioning social norms and institutions. Normality as in get a stable job (i.e. compete against other workers in an exploitative, undemocratic system that values and inculcates self-serving desires), get married (preferably to someone of the opposite *** who is middle-class and imbibes European culture), get pregnant/get someone pregnant (but only once or twice, because anyone who has more children than that is backwards), invest in housing (those students and lower-class families need to learn how the world works; really, it’s a benefit to take their money), watch sports (to instil national pride in your children; no son, we didn’t colonise the Pacific Islands, keep watching the man with the wooden stick hit *****), eat out every week (preferably exotic restaurants), go see the world (preferably exotic locations, so you can be served by exotic people, take in exotic sights, then leave without considering where any of your money has gone to, whether any of it has reached the slums, whether the beach you lay on is accessible to the people living there, or whether it has been privatised by the tourist firm so that only rich tourists like yourself can lie on it), join a club (those capitalists were innocent, it was the indigenous folk that were making a ruckus over the new golf course; it’s not like we’ve been colonising their land and culture for the past three centuries), donate to charity (but never any charity desiring systemic change; that’s crazy), consume, always consume (keeps the economy going; why question the desire for infinite growth in a world with limited land, resources and markets?), replace your phone every year (those poor workers in Asia need our help), repeat to the point of nausea.

The most successful method to suicide is a shotgun to the head; high calibre, slug rounds. Of course, with all these methods, the chance of failing may leave you disfigured, paralysed, mentally disabled or physically crippled (spinal damage, broken limbs, failed organs), with no guarantee that your family, or even your state, will allow for euthanasia. After all, the popular discourse paints suicide as selfish—an irony, considering liberalism places the self first and society second. It is viewed as sinful regardless of context—deontologically detached from anomie, alienation, material deprivation, social pressures, psychological affectations, any cause or structure. Life is worth living. This ignores that the subject is situated in existence. The subject moves through existence to live. Life, then, is the totality of the subject’s interactions. It cannot be universalised into a single state or judgement that merges all subjectivities into a catch-all worthiness. Worth is dependent of the subject.

I don’t know why I’m writing this. Maybe I just want everyone to **** themselves, because the world is ****** and the majority of people are ******* it worse. Most people think being nice makes them good. They turn blind to the systems of oppression they partake in. A while ago my mother was asking if I’d heard about the mass suicides happening at Foxconn, the largest electronics manufacturer in the world. This year she showed me her new iPhone. I don’t ******* understand. I don’t understand how people can be outraged at humanity abuses, yet do ******* nothing to help or change their ways. Yes, market solutions are ******* ****, but these commodities are still coming from somewhere, and while capitalism is in place, our money is still flowing back. I don’t understand how people can be concerned about ecological issues, then pour dishwashing liquid down the sink every night, dissolving the gills, eyes, and organs of fish in rivers and oceans. I don’t understand a ******* thing. I feel physically sick most days. I can barely function outside of university, because engaging with real people, in real systems, just reminds me of how careless, worthless, and disgusting they are. When I first turned vegan, my dad simply said plants are living too. Well no ******* **** dad, why didn’t you ask me my reason for turning vegan, rather than simply repeating the dumb **** everyone else says? If you were stuck on a desert island. Well I’m ******* not. I’m stuck on this **** world filled with nice people who don’t give a **** about anything. I’m stuck every week walking the same roads, to the same university, where I become more and more distanced from reality through abstract philosophical theories that no one else cares about. I’m stuck walking through the supermarket every week, to purchase overpriced commodities produced by transnational corporations I don’t support, but nonetheless have to buy to survive. What alternatives I buy are mocked because it's so funny being ethical in our day and age. Because it’s so much more normal eating pies, and drinking beer, and treating women like objects, and affirming nationalistic sentiments of white supremacy, and making fun of ethnic minorities while they’re incarcerated, and beaten, and killed. All lives matter, the liberal conservatives cry out, while doing ******* nothing to help any cause. I don’t understand this world, and I have no desire to be in it if this is all there is.
Akemi  Apr 2017
Exit Bag Out
Akemi Apr 2017
Awhile ago, I had been at a party. I’d listened to someone talk about Kate Moss for ten minutes straight. I left the room, found my flatmate and asked why anyone was interested in anything at all. We’d come up with no answers.

All this started a month ago, and all that started long before. I will not bore you with trite aphorisms about how I survived, or how wondrous life has become since. At some point my mind broke. This is a collection of memories about my attempted suicide and the absurdity of the entire experience.

Wednesday, 26th of April, 2017, midnight.

Couldn’t sleep. Surfed the internet. Fell into ASMR sub-culture.[1] Meta-satire, transitioning to post-irony, before pseudo-spiritual out-of-body transcendence. I thought, *this is the most ****** experience I’ve had in half a decade
, while a woman spun spheres of blobby jelly around my head and whispered elephant mourning rituals into my ears.

Tuesday, 27th of April, 2017, afternoon.

Woke up mid-day. Looked at all the objects in my room, unable to understand why any of them mattered. Milled around the flat. Went online to order helium so I could make an exit bag.[2] Cheapest source was The Warehouse, though the helium came with thirty bright multi-coloured party balloons. I kept imagining one of my flatmates walking in later that day, seeing my crumpled body surrounded by these floppy bits of rubber and a note saying this life is absurd and I want out of it. There was no online purchasing option, however, and I couldn’t be bothered walking into town. I began reading suicide notes. One was from a kid who’d slowly taken pills as he watched TV, culminating in a coma. That sounds pleasant, I thought, whilst at the same time knowing that it takes up to three days to die from painkillers and that the process is anything but painless or final. I opened my drawer, found a bunch of paracetamol and began washing them down with water, whilst listening to the soundtrack of End of Evangelion.[3]

I’m not sure why, but I began crying violently. I knew I’d have to leave the flat before my flatmates came home. I hastily scrawled a note that said, donate my body, give my money to senpai, give my possessions to someone I don’t know, it smells like burning, it was good knowing you all, before walking out the door with Komm Süsser Tod playing in the background.[4, 5] I’d already written my personal and political reasons for suicide in the pieces méconnaissance[6] and **** Yourself,[7] so felt there was no reason for anything more substantial.

I wandered the back roads of my neighbourhood. My body shook. I felt somnolent, half-dazed. I wanted a quiet place to sit, sleep and writhe in agony while my organs slowly failed. My legs kept stumbling, however, and my head was beginning to feel funny. I found a dead-end street and sat on one of those artificially maintained rectangles of grass. There was a black cat lying in the middle of the road, just bobbing its head at me. I zoned out for a bit and when I came to a giant orange cat was to my left, gazing intently into my teary face. I tried to refocus on my crotch. I couldn’t help but notice a white cat across the road, pretending not to be seen. It had a dubious look on its face, a countenance of guilt. What the hell was going on? A delivery person looped round the street. People returned home from work. Garage doors opened, cars drove down driveways. Here I was, slowly dying, surrounded by spooky ******* cats and the bustle of ordinary existence.

“Uh, hey. You look, uh, like something isn’t . . . do you need, uh, help?” a woman asked, crossing the street with a pram to reach me. I groaned.

“It’s just that, you know, ordinarily, um, I mean normally, people don’t sit on the sidewalk,” she continued, glancing down with the half-confused look of a concerned citizen who is trying to enter a situation outside of their usual experience. I mumbled something indistinct and went back to staring at my crotch.

“You know, I can, er . . . I can . . . I can’t really help,” she ended, awkwardly. “I have a daughter to look after, but . . . if you’re still here when she’s asleep . . . I’m the red fence.” She darted off without another word.

Had she wanted me off the sidewalk because it was abnormal to sit there, or had she seen the abnormality as a sign of something deeper? Either way, she’d used abnormality as a signifier of negative change. Deviancy as something to be corrected, realigned with some norm that co-exists with happiness and citizenship. I was being a bad citizen.

I thought, I miss those cats. At least they had judged me in silence. Wait, what the hell am I thinking? This is clearly a case of deviancy associated with negative feelings. Well, negative feelings, but not necessarily negative change. Suicide is only negative if one views life as intrinsically worthwhile

I could hear pram lady in the distance. She was talking to someone who’d just come back from work. They thanked pram lady and began moving towards me. Arghggh, just let me die, I thought.

She introduced herself as a nurse. From her tone and approach, it was clear she’d handled many cases like me. I’ve never hated counselling techniques. They seemed to at least trouble neoliberal rhetoric. There is little mention of overcoming, or striving, or perfecting oneself into a being of pure success. Rather, counselling seemed to be about listening and piercing together the other’s perspective. Counsellors tended not to interject words of comfort. They’d tell you mental illness was lifelong and couldn’t be fixed. They’re the closest society has to positive pessimists. Of course, they’d still want you to get better. Better, as in, not attempting suicide.

I talked with nurse lady for an hour about how life is simply passing. Passing through oneself, passing through others, passing through spaces, thoughts and emotions. About how the majority of life seems to be lived in a beyond we’ll never reach. Potential futures, moments of relief, phantasies we create to escape the dull present. About how I’d been finding my media and politics degree really rewarding, but some part of my head broke and I lost all ability to focus and care. About how the more I learnt about the world, the less capable I felt of changing it, and that change was a narcissistic day dream, anyway.

She replied “We’re all cogs. But what’s wrong with being a cog? Even a cog can make changes,” and I thought, but never one’s own.

She gave me a ride to the emergency clinic because I was too apathetic and guilt-ridden to decline. Why are people so nice over things that don’t matter? Chicks are ground into chicken nuggets alive.[8] The meat-industry produces 50% of the world’s carbon emissions.[9] But someone sits on the side of the road in a bourgeois neighbourhood and suddenly you have cats and nurses worried sick over your ****** up head. I should have worn a hobo coat and sat in town.

Tuesday, 27th of April, 2017, evening.

I had forgotten how painful waiting rooms were. It was stupidly ironic. I’d entered this apathetic suicidal stupor because I’d wanted to escape the monotony of existence, yet here I was, sitting in a waiting room, counting the stains on the ceiling, while the reception TV streamed a hospital drama.

“Get his *** in there!”

“Time is the real killer.”

“It wasn’t the cancer that was terminal, it was you.”

Zoom in on doctor face man.

Everybody hugging.

Emergency waiting rooms are a lot like life. You don’t choose to be there. An accident simply occurs and then you’re stuck, watching a show about *** cancer and family bonding. Sometimes someone coughs and you become aware of your own body again. You remember that you exist outside of media, waiting in this sterile space on a painfully too small plastic chair. You deliberately avoid the glances of everyone else in the room because you don’t want to reduce their existence to an injury, a pulsing wound, a lack, nor let them reduce you the same. The accident that got you here left you with a blank spot in your head, but the nurses reassure you that you’ll be up soon, to whatever it is you’re here for. And so, with nothing else to do, you turn back to the TV and forget you exist.

I thought, I should have taken more pills and gone into the woods.

The ER was a Kafkaeque realm of piercing lights, sleepy interns and too narrow privacy curtains.[10] Every time a nurse would try to close one, they’d pull it too far to one side, opening the other side up. Like the self, no bed was fully enclosed. There were always gaps, spaces of viewing, windows into trauma, and like the objet petit a, there was always the potential of meeting another’s gaze, one just like yours, only, out of your control.

I lay amidst a drone of machinery, footsteps and chatter. I stared at ceiling stains. Every hour or so a different nurse would approach me, repeat the same ten questions as the one before, then end commenting awkwardly on my tattoos. I kept thinking, what is going on? Have I finally died and become integrated into some eternally recurring limbo hell where, in a state of complete apathy and deterioration, some devil approaches me every hour to ask, why did you take those pills?

Do I have to repeat my answer for the rest of my life?

I gazed at the stain to my right. That was back in ‘92 when the piping above burst on a particularly wintry day. I shifted my gaze. And that happened in ‘99 when an intern tripped holding a giant cup of coffee. Afterwards, everyone began calling her Trippy. She eventually became a surgeon and had four adorable bourgeois kids. Tippy Tip Tap Toop.

The nurses began covering my body with little pieces of paper and plastic, to which only one third were connected to an ECG monitor.[11] Every ten minutes or so the monitor would begin honking violently, to which (initially) no one would respond to. After an hour or so a nurse wandered over with a worried expression, poked the machine a little, then asked if I was experiencing any chest pains. Before I could answer, he was intercepted by another nurse and told not to worry. His expression never cleared up, but he went back to staring blankly into a computer terminal on the other end of the room.

There were two security guards awkwardly trying not to meet anyone’s gazes. They were out of place and they knew it. No matter what space they occupied, a nurse would have to move past them to reach some medical doodle or document. One nurse jokingly said, “It’s ER. If you’re not moving you’re in the way,” to which the guards chortled, shuffled a metre or so sideways, before returning to standing still.

I checked my phone.

“Got veges.”

“If you successfully **** yourself, you’ll officially be the biggest right-wing neoliberal piece of ****.”[12]

“Your Text Unlimited Combo renewed on 28 Apr at 10:41. Nice!”

I went back to staring at the ceiling.

Six hours later, one of the nurses came over and said “Huh, turns out there’s nothing in your blood. Nothing . . . at all.” Another pulled out my drip and disconnected me from the ECG monitor. “Well, you’re free to leave.”

Tuesday, 27th of April, 2017, midnight.

I wandered over to the Emergency Psychiatric Services. The doctor there was interested in setting up future supports for my ****** up mind. He mentioned anti-depressants and I told him that in the past they hadn’t really worked, that it seemed more related to my general political outlook, that this purposeless restlessness has been with me most of my life, and that no drug or counselling could cure the lack innate to existence which is exacerbated by our current political and cultural institutions.

He replied “Are you one of those anti-druggers? You know there’s been a lot of backlash against psychiatry, it’s really the cultural Zeitgeist of our times, but it’s all led by misinformation, scaremongering.”

I hesitated, before replying “I’m not anti-drugs, I just don’t think you can change my general hatred of existence.”

“Okay, okay, I’m not trying to argue with your outlook, but you’re simply stuck in this doom and gloom phase—”

Whoa, wait a ******* minute. You’re not trying to argue with my outlook, while completely discounting my outlook as simply a passing emotional state? This guy is a ******* *******, I thought, ragging on about anti-druggers while pretending not to undermine a political and social position I’d spent years researching and building up. I stopped paying attention to him. Yes, a lot of my problems are internal, but I’m more than a disembodied brain, biologically computing chemical data.

At the end of his rant, he said something like “You’re a good kid,” and I thought, ******* too.

Friday, 28th of April, 2017, morning.

The next day I met a different doctor. I gave him a brief summary of my privileged life culminating in a ****** metaphor about three metaphysical pillars which lift me into the tempestuous winds of existential dread and nihilistic apathy. One, my social anxiety. Two, my absurd existence. Three, my political outlook. One, anxiety: I cannot relate to small talk. The gaze of the other is a gaze of expectations. Because I cannot know these expectations, I will never live up to them. Communication is by nature, lacking. Two, absurdity: Existence is a meaningless repetition of arbitrary structures we ourselves construct, then forget. Reflexivity is about uncovering this so that we may escape structures we do not like. We inevitably fall into new structures, prejudices and artifices. Nothing is authentic, nothing is innocent and nothing is your self. Three, politics: I am trapped in a neoliberal capitalist monstrosity that creates enough produce to feed the entire world, but does not do so due to the market’s instrumental need for profit. The system, in other words, rewards capitalists who are ruthless. Any capitalist trying to bring about change, will necessarily have to become ruthless to reach a position of power, and therefore will fail to bring about change.

The doctor nodded. He thought deeply, tried to piece it all together, then finally said “Yes, society is quite terrifying. This is something we cannot control. There are things out there that will harm you and the political situation of our time is troubling.”

I was astounded. This was one of the first doctors who’d actually taken what I’d said and given it consideration. Sure we hadn’t gotten into a length discussion of socialism, feminism or veganism, but they also hadn’t simply collapsed my political thoughts into my depressive state.

“But you know, there are still niches of meaning in this world. Though the greater structures are overbearing, people can still find purpose enacting smaller changes, connecting in ephemeral ways.”

What was I hearing? Was this a postmodern doctor?[13] Was science reconnecting with the humanities?

“We may even connect your third pillar, that of the political, with your second pillar and see that the political situation of our time is absurd. This is unfortunate, but as for your first pillar, this is definitely something we can help you with. In fact, it’s quite a simple process, helping one deal with social anxiety, and to me, it sounds like this anxiety has greatly affected your life for the past few years.”

The doctor then asked for my gender and sexuality, to which after I hesitated a little, he said, it didn’t really matter seeing as it was all constructed, anyway. For being unable to feel much at all, I was ecstatic. I thought, how could this doctor be working in the same building as the previous one I’d met? We went into anti-depressant plans. He told me that their effects were unpredictable. They may lift my mood, they may do nothing at all, they may even make me feel worse. Nobody really knew what molecular pathways serotonin activated, but it sometimes pulled people out of circular ways of thinking. And dopamine, well, taken in too high a dose, could make you psychotic.

Sign me the **** up, I thought, gazing at my new medical hero. These are the kinds of non-assurances that match my experience of life. Trust and expectations lead only to disappointment. Give me pure insurmountable doubt.

Friday, 28th of April, 2017, afternoon.

“The drugs won’t be too long,” the pharmacist said before disappearing into the back room. I milled around th
1. Autonomous sensory meridian response is a tingling sensation triggered by auditory cues, such as whispering, rustling, tapping, or crunching.
2. An exit bag is a DIY apparatus used to asphyxiate oneself with an inert gas. This circumvents the feeling of suffocation one experiences through hanging or drowning.
3. Neon Genesis Evangelion is a psychoanalytic deconstruction of the mecha genre, that ends with the entire human race undergoing ego death and returning to the womb.
4. Komm Süsser Tod is an (in)famous song from End of Evangelion that plays after the main character, who has become God, decides that the only way to end all the loneliness and suffering in the world is for everyone to die.
5. Senpai is a Japanese term for someone senior to you, whom you respect. It is also an anime trope.
8. See Earthlings.
9. See Cowspiracy.
10. Franz Kafka was an existentialist writer from the 20th century who wrote about alienation, anxiety and absurdity.
11. Electrocardiography monitors measure one’s heart rate through electrodes attached to the skin.
12. Neoliberalism is both an economic and cultural regime. Economically, it is about deregulating markets so that government services can be privatised, placed into the hands of transnational corporations, who, because of their global positioning, can more easily circumvent nation-state policies, and thereby place pressure on states that require their services through the threat of departure. Culturally, it is about reframing social issues into individual issues, so that individuals are held responsible for their failures, rather than the social circumstances surrounding them. As a victim-blaming discourse, it depicts all people equal and equally capable, regardless of socio-economic status. All responsibility lies on the individual, rather than the state, society or culture that cultivated their subjectivity.
13. Postmodernism is a movement that critiques modernism’s epistemological totalitarianism, colonial humanism and utopian visions of progress. It emphasises instead the fragmented, ephemeral and embodied human experience, incapable of capture in monolithic discourses that treat all humans as equal and capable of abstract authenticity. Because all objective knowledge is constructed out of subjective experience, the subject can never be effaced. Instead knowledge and power must be investigated as always coming from somewhere, someone and sometime.
Got Guanxi Jun 2015
Sharp pain side splitting,
harsh words hard hitting.
Sleepless nights, endless fights.
Try as I might the pain remains inside...

Unidentified, but never left,
uncomfortability felt with each breath.
Unbearable days and unimaginable nights,
Take the pain away and turn off the lights.

Heavy breath, wheezing tight chest,
freezing and cold sweats,
feeling so close to death,
paranoid to eat them all.
Think I'm dying lol x
Kevin Castro Dec 2019
(in heavy breath)
my eyes take her in
her body lying prone.
her smile, smothered in her pillow.
back arched,
she releases a moan.

(moaning, quite sharply)
my hands stroke with her cadence
staggered gasp
and with a click
i lock my screen
as her moans send me to space.
my own fluids are now
the fluid for stimulus,
for an eye rolling **** numbing high.

but in thirty seconds
i crash.

i am tasting myself now
with desire
with disgust
like raw eggs mixed with salt
like water laced with crushed paracetamol
exactly *** mixed with spit.

i sink into the dark musty scent
of stale air, *** and sweat.

and i awake
and once again
my eyes do hunger
and so does my ****.

Eshu, end your tricks now
it’s not funny anymore.

my gaze ***** everyone it meets.
it strips them bare
of their skin
of their flesh
it turns them into meat.
it grinds a person into produce.

these eyes are battered and harmful.
may they now rest, please?
(ekphrastic poem for Eshu by agnes arellano)
meliza  Feb 2018
dear mom
meliza Feb 2018
hey mom, lately I haven't been okay
don't you see as you look me in the eye everyday?
the circles under my eyes are a little too deep
although nowadays all that I do is sleep

mom, last month, someone at school tried suicide
downing a bottle of paracetamol as he cried
I wanted to tell you about him, 'cause now he's dead,
but I remembered some of the things that you said

when the other day you were at the drug store
you heard someone overdosed on paracetamol
you laughed then you said, "why hold back at all?
why not drink poison? that'll work for sure!"

mom, I looked it up, it only takes fifteen tablets
fifteen of paracetamol and it'll send me straight to a casket
mom, what if I were that overdosing teen?
if I take only fourteen, would you tell me the same thing?

mom, I've been starving myself - I hardly eat
I don't know how I'm still managing on my feet
that's fine anyway, you told me I should go on a diet
so go on and tell me that I'm fat, I'll just keep quiet

hey mom, my arms are lined up with slits
but you're worried about if my clothes still fit
so I'll keep my mouth shut, I won't make things bigger
maybe if I tell my friends I'll feel a little better

mom, everyone keeps telling me I'm depressed
that I've got all these emotions inside me supressed
I only listen to you, mom, and I ignore the rest
after all, doesn't the saying go "mother knows best"?

mom, if I wanted to die, what would you do?
'cause if I tell you, I feel like you'd just say, "me, too!"
don't worry, mom, if I'm suddenly gone one day
I've learned to hate myself because of you anyway

mom, everyday is becoming a little too tough
I'm just holding on 'til I can cut deep enough
maybe it would be a nice surprise for me and you
if killing myself is something I finally do.
you see, i like partying, these celebrities ain't partying, they are popping pills

in the wrong way, you see i have thoughts that athena heals me in my sleep
and sometimes those pills could help, but really dudes paracetaol is good, it's just

that that people want to be so ****** perfect, like, i just woke up from a dream

where an old mate named james taught me all the mistakes i made when i was young

and a bit of mum and dad was thrown into the conversation, when i wasn't paying much attention to what james was actually saying, you see i know i was a crazy *******
but that doesn't mean i approve of their partying, but a lot of people don't approve of my partying,  but i don't care, athena is helping me, with coke and paracetamol and fluoride
and seroquel and serenace, some people hate partying because they are too old, i just
say, hi, old i am brian and partying is going to community events and dancing by the stage
and i know, that looking and examining this documentary, it shows hos partying can lead
to rotten religion, but i believe in rotten religion i believe if you wanna have ***, go ahead and have ***, and if you like to party into the night, go ahead, just because you
party doesn't mean you ain't grown up. it just means i like partying and another thing

i am a grown up dude, i loves to party, with coca cola, you see i feel my voices are

trying to make me a fucken moral citizen, what is the hell wrong with partying at community events, my motto is learn about your drug your taking, saying, do you really
want this kinda life that the drug will provide for you and stay with partying with sugar or alcohol and leave illegal drugs alone, paracetamol is a pill you take to release pain
and if you believe it, send spiritual healer athena to you

ATHENA WORKS WONDER, take paracetamoil
let's party at community events
you don't have to look like you party, just say, at least i am out
i don't want to be the kind of old dogie who says no to going out partying
well, i don't think much of nightclubs anymore

— The End —