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jeffrey conyers Mar 2014
Love exit, my body.
Love exit, my soul.
Love went out of my heart along time ago.

Love exit, my mind.
Love exit, my eyes.
I rather act blind when I see it.

Just the mention of it in anyone breath.
Make me question, why they want it?
We obviously aware, it has no worth.
Many states, it's priceless.

Except, love exit me.
And I'm in no hurry to feel it.
Really doesn't miss it.
Until I see others happy.

Just walking and smiling.
Then I question, myself again.
To why?
I let love exit me.
theo holland Oct 2011
Emergency exit,
The escape for the desperate,
Afraid of where they are,
Panic fills the mind of the desperate,
Finding the thoughts they thought
Were left behind, the past is wrought
With steal and lies, too strong to be forgot,
Shame stays within,
Rising up in emergency situations, to those now needing an exit.
The desperate are too high on the drug
Of the mind, me myself and I, and shrug
Off the responsibility of helping others, stop cleaning the rug
Of the man, to find an exit away and emerge better.
Attempts made to forget,
But the desperate know the consequences
Of the situation, of the emergency, a repeated sequence
Of violence and death, so the desperate don’t have the sense
To help others find the emergency exit, just them.
Weakness clings,
So while the desperate survive and climb
They are really being propelled by the crime
Of the dead members and minds they left behind
Stop the violence, the meekness, and exit from the emergency,
Accept the past and make the person, whole.
"I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my lids and all is born again.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

The stars go waltzing out in blue and red,
And arbitrary blackness gallops in:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed
And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

God topples from the sky, hell's fires fade:
Exit seraphim and Satan's men:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I fancied you'd return the way you said,
But I grow old and I forget your name.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

I should have loved a thunderbird instead;
At least when spring comes they roar back again.
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)"
preservationman Sep 2018
Arriving but never staying long
I guess the theory is he doesn’t need to belong
But that is the way it is
It may sound like a fiss
But the ongoing continuous moment is truly his
Moving at a fast pace
One would think Mr. Exit has entered a race
But from time to time one will meet face to face
Some might feel Mr. Exit is from Outer Space
He’s a human being from Earth
Mr. Exit is a person who arrives but abruptly leaves
Revolving thought
An idea of sought
Mr. Exit being like no other
But in the crowd he’s just another
I tell you the truth
Yes, I still have my youth
Mr. Exit does his thing
The movement being his sling
So while Mr. Exit gets ready to depart
Now let’s make our start
Mr. Exit just left, and made his mark.
Wade Redfearn Sep 2018
The first settlers to the area called the Lumber River Drowning Creek. The river got its name for its dark, swift-moving waters. In 1809, the North Carolina state legislature changed the name of Drowning Creek to the Lumber River. The headwaters are still referred to as Drowning Creek.

Three p.m. on a Sunday.
Anxiously hungry, I stay dry, out of the pool’s cold water,
taking the light, dripping into my pages.
A city with a white face blank as a bust
peers over my shoulder.
Wildflowers on the roads. Planes circle from west,
come down steeply and out of sight.
A pinkness rises in my breast and arms:
wet as the drowned, my eyes sting with sweat.
Over the useless chimneys a bank of cloud piles up.
There is something terrible in the sky, but it keeps breaking.
Another is dead. Fentanyl. Sister of a friend, rarely seen.
A hand reaches everywhere to pass over eyes and mouths.
A glowing wound opens in heaven.
A mirror out of doors draws a gyre of oak seeds no one watches,
in the clear pool now sunless and black.

Bitter water freezes the muscles and I am far from shore.
I paddle in the shallows, near the wooden jail.
The water reflects a taut rope,
feet hanging in the breeze singing mercy
at the site of the last public hanging in the state.
A part-white fugitive with an extorted confession,
loved by the poor, dumb enough to get himself captured,
lonely on this side of authority: a world he has never lived in
foisting itself on the world he has -
only now, to steal his drunken life, then gone again.

1871 - Henderson Oxendine, one of the notorious gang of outlaws who for some time have infested Robeson County, N. C., committing ****** and robbery, and otherwise setting defiance to the laws, was hung at Lumberton, on Friday last in the presence of a large assemblage. His execution took place a very few days after his conviction, and his death occurred almost without a struggle.

Today, the town square collapses as if scorched
by the whiskey he drank that morning to still himself,
folds itself up like Amazing Grace is finished.
A plinth is laid
in the shadow of his feet, sticky with pine,
here where the water sickens with roots.
Where the canoe overturned. Where the broken oar floated and fell.
Where the snake lives, and teethes on bark,
waiting for another uncle.

Where the tobacco waves near drying barns rusted like horseshoes
and cotton studs the ground like the cropped hair of the buried.
Where schoolchildren take the afternoon
to trim the kudzu growing between the bodies of slaves.
Where appetite is met with flood and fat
and a clinic for the heart.
Where barges took chips of tar to port,
for money that no one ever saw.

Tar sticks the heel but isn’t courage.
Tar seals the hulls -
binds the planks -
builds the road.
Tar, fiery on the tongue, heavy as bad blood in the family -
dead to glue the dead together to secure the living.
Tar on the roofs, pouring heat.
Tar is a dark brown or black viscous liquid of hydrocarbons and free carbon,
obtained from a wide variety of organic materials
through destructive distillation.
Tar in the lungs will one day go as hard as a five-cent candy.

Liberty Food Mart
Cheapest Prices on Cigarettes
Parliament $22.50/carton
Marlboro $27.50/carton

The white-bibbed slaughterhouse Hmong hunch down the steps
of an old school bus with no air conditioner,
rush into the cool of the supermarket.
They pick clean the vegetables, flee with woven bags bulging.
What were they promised?
Air conditioning.
And what did they receive?
Chickenshit on the wind; a dead river they can't understand
with a name it gained from killing.

Truth:
A man was flung onto a fencepost and died in a front yard down the street.
A girl with a grudge in her eyes slipped a razorblade from her teeth and ended recess.
I once saw an Indian murdered for stealing a twelve-foot ladder.
The red line indicating heart disease grows higher and higher.
The red line indicating cardiovascular mortality grows higher and higher.
The red line indicating motor vehicle deaths grows higher and higher.
I burn with the desire to leave.

The stories make us full baskets of dark. No death troubles me.
Not the girl's blood, inert, tickled by opiates,
not the masked arson of the law;
not the smell of drywall as it rots,
or the door of the safe falling from its hinges,
or the chassis of cars, airborne over the rise by the planetarium,
three classmates plunging wide-eyed in the river’s icy arc –
absent from prom, still struggling to free themselves from their seatbelts -
the gunsmoke at the home invasion,
the tenement bisected by flood,
the cattle lowing, gelded
by agriculture students on a field trip.

The air contains skin and mud.
The galvanized barns, long empty, cough up
their dust of rotten feed, dry tobacco.
Men kneel in the tilled rows,
to pick up nails off the ground
still splashed with the blood of their makers.

You Never Sausage a Place
(You’re Always a ****** at Pedro’s!)
South of the Border – Fireworks, Motel & Rides
Exit 9: 10mi.

Drunkards in Dickies will tell you the roads are straight enough
that the drive home will not bend away from them.
Look in the woods to see by lamplight
two girls filling each other's mouths with smoke.
Hear a friendly command:
boys loosening a tire, stuck in the gut of a dog.
Turn on the radio between towns of two thousand
and hear the tiny voice of an AM preacher,
sharing the airwaves of country dark
with some chords plucked from a guitar.
Taste this water thick with tannin
and tell me that trees do not feel pain.
I would be a mausoleum for these thousands
if I only had the room.

I sealed myself against the flood.
Bodies knock against my eaves:
a clutch of cats drowned in a crawlspace,
an old woman bereft with a vase of pennies,
her dead son in her living room costumed as the black Jesus,
the ***** oil of a Chinese restaurant
dancing on top of black water.
A flow gauge spins its tin wheel
endlessly above the bloated dead,
and I will pretend not to be sick at dinner.

Misery now, a struggle ahead for Robeson County after flooding from Hurricane Matthew
LUMBERTON
After years of things leaving Robeson County – manufacturing plants, jobs, payrolls, people – something finally came in, and what was it but more misery?

I said a prayer to the city:
make me a figure in a figure,
solvent, owed and owing.
Take my jute sacks of wristbones,
my sheaves and sheaves of fealty,
the smell of the forest from my feet.
Weigh me only by my purse.
A slim woman with a college degree,
a rented room without the black wings
of palmetto roaches fleeing the damp:
I saw the calm white towers and subscribed.
No ingrate, I saved a space for the lost.
They filled it once, twice, and kept on,
eating greasy flesh straight from the bone,
craning their heads to ask a prayer for them instead.

Downtown later in the easy dark,
three college boys in foam cowboy hats shout in poor Spanish.
They press into the night and the night presses into them.
They will go home when they have to.
Under the bridge lit in violet,
a folding chair is draped in a ***** blanket.
A grubby pair of tennis shoes lay beneath, no feet inside.
Iced tea seeps from a chewed cup.
I pass a bar lit like Christmas.
A mute and pretty face full of indoor light
makes a promise I see through a window.
I pay obscene rents to find out if it is true,
in this nation tied together with gallows-rope,
thumbing its codex of virtues.
Considering this just recently got rejected and I'm free to publish it, and also considering that the town this poem describes is subject once again to a deluge whose damage promises to be worse than before, it seemed like a suitable time to post it. If you've enjoyed it, please think about making a small donation to the North Carolina Disaster Relief Fund at the URL below:
https://governor.nc.gov/donate-florence-recovery
Nicole Joanne Sep 2014
More than once I've tried to push open a door that said pull,
I suppose it's not a coincidence that I have never pulled thoughts
from my head without at first trying to push them away.

Safety precautions say that most doors should open outwards
from an enclosed room, says that it's easier to escape if there were a fire
-there's a fire inside of me, but my door opens inwards
and I'm locked in the corner of the burning room I call my head.

There's a sign over a door in the building I work at,
it says 'exit' in a red light -which I found quite ironic,
if red means stop, and exit means leave, where do I go?

Most of life is spent in anticipation and haste,
anxiety and fear of mistake;
what changes have occurred that have made life a competition?
We were taught as children that 'slow and steady wins the race,'

so why am I speeding up at yellow streetlights,
and running towards red exit signs?

(NJ2014) © All Rights Reserved.
Sean Kassab Aug 2012
I caught myself thinking today about life and the way we live it. The different exit signs we place here and there for our safety as we navigate our existence. We place them on relationships, jobs, and hard times. They make us feel better somehow. Having an exit strategy or a way out, not feeling trapped all the time. If you were to pay attention you would see them too, maybe in your own life, or the lives of others. They are everywhere. Yet, they are only immediately visible to the person who put them there. To everyone else, they are naught but a hind sight. I have lived long enough to place my own, and sadly see those placed by others. What I didn’t see, was the distance of someone as they were moving away. What I failed to see in time was that they were heading towards an exit sign.
Suicide is more common than we think, it is not always noticable by symptoms or actions, but it is always devastating. This is not a poem, just a bit of wisdom.
I

Now it is autumn and the falling fruit
and the long journey towards oblivion.

The apples falling like great drops of dew
to bruise themselves an exit from themselves.

And it is time to go, to bid farewell
to one's own self, and find an exit
from the fallen self.

II

Have you built your ship of death, O have you?
O build your ship of death, for you will need it.

The grim frost is at hand, when the apples will fall
thick, almost thundrous, on the hardened earth.

And death is on the air like a smell of ashes!
Ah! can't you smell it?
And in the bruised body, the frightened soul
finds itself shrinking, wincing from the cold
that blows upon it through the orifices.

III

And can a man his own quietus make
with a bare bodkin?

With daggers, bodkins, bullets, man can make
a bruise or break of exit for his life;
but is that a quietus, O tell me, is it quietus?

Surely not so! for how could ******, even self-******
ever a quietus make?

IV

O let us talk of quiet that we know,
that we can know, the deep and lovely quiet
of a strong heart at peace!

How can we this, our own quietus, make?

V

Build then the ship of death, for you must take
the longest journey, to oblivion.

And die the death, the long and painful death
that lies between the old self and the new.

Already our bodies are fallen, bruised, badly bruised,
already our souls are oozing through the exit
of the cruel bruise.

Already the dark and endless ocean of the end
is washing in through the breaches of our wounds,
Already the flood is upon us.

Oh build your ship of death, your little ark
and furnish it with food, with little cakes, and wine
for the dark flight down oblivion.

VI

Piecemeal the body dies, and the timid soul
has her footing washed away, as the dark flood rises.

We are dying, we are dying, we are all of us dying
and nothing will stay the death-flood rising within us
and soon it will rise on the world, on the outside world.

We are dying, we are dying, piecemeal our bodies are dying
and our strength leaves us,
and our soul cowers naked in the dark rain over the flood,
cowering in the last branches of the tree of our life.

VII

We are dying, we are dying, so all we can do
is now to be willing to die, and to build the ship
of death to carry the soul on the longest journey.

A little ship, with oars and food
and little dishes, and all accoutrements
fitting and ready for the departing soul.

Now launch the small ship, now as the body dies
and life departs, launch out, the fragile soul
in the fragile ship of courage, the ark of faith
with its store of food and little cooking pans
and change of clothes,
upon the flood's black waste
upon the waters of the end
upon the sea of death, where still we sail
darkly, for we cannot steer, and have no port.

There is no port, there is nowhere to go
only the deepening blackness darkening still
blacker upon the soundless, ungurgling flood
darkness at one with darkness, up and down
and sideways utterly dark, so there is no direction any more
and the little ship is there; yet she is gone.
She is not seen, for there is nothing to see her by.
She is gone! gone! and yet
somewhere she is there.
Nowhere!

VIII

And everything is gone, the body is gone
completely under, gone, entirely gone.
The upper darkness is heavy as the lower,
between them the little ship
is gone

It is the end, it is oblivion.

IX

And yet out of eternity a thread
separates itself on the blackness,
a horizontal thread
that fumes a little with pallor upon the dark.

Is it illusion? or does the pallor fume
A little higher?
Ah wait, wait, for there's the dawn
the cruel dawn of coming back to life
out of oblivion

Wait, wait, the little ship
drifting, beneath the deathly ashy grey
of a flood-dawn.

Wait, wait! even so, a flush of yellow
and strangely, O chilled wan soul, a flush of rose.

A flush of rose, and the whole thing starts again.

X

The flood subsides, and the body, like a worn sea-shell
emerges strange and lovely.
And the little ship wings home, faltering and lapsing
on the pink flood,
and the frail soul steps out, into the house again
filling the heart with peace.

Swings the heart renewed with peace
even of oblivion.

Oh build your ship of death. Oh build it!
for you will need it.
For the voyage of oblivion awaits you.
Jasmine Somers Sep 2016
I catch you sitting at the diner counter again at 2am, the fourth day in a row. The waitress comes over and hands you a black coffee. I stare, but you don’t turn around and catch me looking. You’re glaring into the mug, like somehow you’ll drown in the warm murky mix. Like somehow if you keep looking your problems will dissipate into the rising steam. Like somehow it’s the answer you’ve been searching for since you were born. You wanted an answer. Something that would make everything come full circle. It’s been years of you driving down an endless highway, passing every exit because you don’t know how to stay in one place. Even ghost towns won’t harbor something so deeply damaged. A person who can only pull the emergency break when they’re afraid they might crash. Crash into what? Not everything walking by you is a catastrophe.  Accidents only occur when you forget to pay attention. Just like how you forgot that your side door mirrors were broken. Those objects are not closer than they appear. You tried to slow down but they only seemed further away. Everything you’re trying to hold on to is slipping through your hands the way sand falls through the hourglass. Tick tock. Did you forget that people need affection if you want them to stay? They are not dolls you can glass-case until you feel like playing with them again. Not everybody enjoys being a toy. How long has it been since someone sat in the passenger seat? The car rides must be lonely when there’s no one around to fill the silence. You can blast the radio as loud as you want to but that won’t block out the hollow feeling in your chest. The one that sits where your heart is supposed to be. Something that music can’t fill. Your mother once told you that history repeats itself but did she mention that only happens when you refuse to change the scenery? If you always stay on the same road you’re never going to snap out of it. Break the curse. Realize that love is sitting at the base of every exit if you weren’t so scared of swerving into oncoming traffic. The only head-on collision that’s going to happen is when you grow too tired of driving alone that you forget to keep your eyes on the road. When you realize you placed yourself in your own hell and your breaks finally give out. When you fall asleep at the wheel and never wake up because you were terrified of letting somebody else steer.
Tom Leveille May 2014
kissing you was like swerving into oncoming traffic

i can never tell if i am more haunted by empty picture frames or the ashes of their contents

you taught me that the saying "pick your battles" meant not answering when love was at the door

sometimes when i drink whiskey i swear i can hear your voice in the creases of my bedsheets & i sleep on the floor

i still catch myself running my hands over things you touched the most, looking for the echoes of your fingertips

i practice things i'll never say to you

i remember the day you told me you didn't like poetry, how "everything's already been said" & how "nothing meaningful can be captured without being cliche" you know, i don't miss you like the sun and moon, i do not miss you like tide bent waves crashing on the shoreline, i miss you like a chernobyl  swingset misses children

rumor has it that drowning is a lot like coming home, that drinking bleach can **** the butterflies in your stomach

for your love of cigarettes, i would have been an ashtray

this halloween i want to dress up as the you when you loved yourself and show up on your doorstep

i never understood what you meant when you said i was an instrument, back when you would cup your hands around my chest and breathe through the holes in my heart, i still wonder if the sounds i made remind you of wind chimes

i never paid much attention to abandoned buildings until i became one

in my dreams all the flowers smell like your perfume

i am the only person who has ever wished for the same snowflake to fall twice

if i could go back, and rewrite the definition of audacity, it would be how when we lost the bet of love, you said "we never shook on it"

i love you, if the feeling is not mutual, please pretend this was a poem

the only apology i want from you, is to have you repeat the names of children we will never have in your parents living room until they *****

we are the same person if you find yourself up at 4am dry heaving promises, or if you are kept awake by the laughter of those who've abandoned you

nobody ever told you that goodbyes taste like the back of stamps

sometimes i'm convinced that the only reason we hug, is so you can check my back for exit wounds
Antino Art Feb 2018
South Florida
if you were a body part,
you’d be an armpit.

You’d be a bulged vein
on the side of a forehead
forever locked in a scowl
behind sunglasses.

You speak the language of horns
middle name, finger
blood type, combustible

You're a melting ***
that's boiled over the lid
sweating salt water at the brows
eyes red as the brake lights
in the maddening brightness,
you’re torrential daylight
heating nerves like greenhouse gasses
waiting for a reason to explode.

You’re a tropical motilov cocktail
no one can afford
2 parts anger, 1 part stupidity
melting in place, thirsty for attention
full of yourself in a souvenir glass with a toothpick umbrella
You're all image

You’re the curse words breaking out the mouths
of the angry line mob at Starbucks in the morning
You’re the indifferent silence
in the arena at the Heat games leaving early,
showing up late
due to the distance
from Brickell to Hialeah,
West Palm to Pompano
the gap between the entitled and the under-paid
a skyline of condos in a third world country
You’ve always been foreign to me.

You’re winterless, no chill
you attract only hurricanes
and tourists,
shoving anything that isn’t profitable
out of the way like the Irma storm debris
into the backyards of the Liberty City projects,
onto Mount Trash Can off the side of the Turnpike
hidden beneath Bermuda grass, lined with palm trees
you’re cold blooded
crawling with iguanas
blood-******* mosquitos
parking lot ducks and people not afraid to get run over
you get yours, Soflo
and you'll go as low
as the flat roofs of your duplexes
and the incomes that can barely pay the rent to get it
latitude as attitude
temper as temperature
if you were a body part
I swear you’re an *******

south of the brain, one hour
in all directions,
I’d find you.
You’d impose your way
onto my flight to the Philippines,
to Seattle, to Raleigh
You’d follow me like excess baggage,
like gravity,
bringing me back when asked where I'm from:

That area north of Miami, I’d say
(the suburbs, but whatever, we are hard in our own way)
I'd show you off on their map
as if some badge of grit,
certificate of aggression
I know how to break a sweat
walk briskly thru Walmart parking lots, drive evasive
ride storms in my sleep
I know you, I’d say,
“He’s a friend of mine.”
and I’d watch them light up
and recount
the postcards you've sent them
of the sunrise
welcoming brown immigrants
onto white sand beaches
You were foreign to us
yet raised us as your own
in the furnace of your summers
edges sharpened, iron on iron
the forger striking softness into swords
built for survival
I'm made of you

my South Floridian anger cools down
in your ocean breeze

if you were a body part,
you'd be a part of me
a socked foot in an And1 sandal
pressed to the gas pedal
as my drive takes me north
of your borders, far from home
You in the rear view mirror
tail-gating
like a sports car on the exit ramp
the color of the sun
Iska Feb 2018
The false crisendo of your words
Grate against my every nerves.
Wandering round
With ****** feet
How many expectations
Have I failed to meet?

What more do you want
Of my sorry soul
When I cannot bring
My self to breath anymore?

So I watch your hopes
all tumbling down
It feels quite cold
Down here in the ground.
I'm sorry that I wasn't enough
I tried to be what you asked of me
But I didnt think it'd be So tough.

My weary bones creak and ache,
My wrist all burned and ******,
Can you not be quite just once for my sake?

I understand the gravity.
I know Im failing at life,
But you dig right in,
spreading the cavity,
How to ignore the strife?

Whispered arguments bleed through the walls
How much longer until we fall?
Through the floor straight down to hell
All because I could not tell.

Should I weep in pain,
And slave away,
To satisfy you're whimsical ways?
Should I sell my soul,
And bite my tongue,
Just to keep the wallet full?
But "your so young,
You've no excuse,
So bend your back,
Put those hands to use."

Welcome to life.
Put away your pain,
No time for strife,
No time for play,
Just nod you head,
Exit the stage,
And get a job,
So you'll be payed.

I'd sooner live a poor church mouse,
Then lose myself in persute of a house.
But no, I'll smile my candy grin,
And talk with sugar sweet.
Hide the weight of the pain,
So your expectations, I'll meet.
Some times it's just not enough.
TD Feb 2016
Who am I

I watch a cinematic "masterpiece."
Han Solo is about to die
I can *"feel"
it.

(Pardon my sarcasm,
it slips in when I'm sharing my soul.
I call it my defense mechanism.)

Glancing down at my Sour Patch Kids,
to avoid seeing the inevitable,
I close my eyes
and look back up when it's over.

Biting off the head of the yellow kid
I stare at the now decapitated sour sweet deliciousness.
I mutter
"some people are just so barbaric."

Act One:

A brief lull
Bathroom break!


Yes! I'm near the exit
I'm such a planner.

Walking down the hallway
with faded carpet
and cardboard cutouts
lining my "runway,"
I swagger like I don't feel...

self-conscious.

Anxious
my eyes are scanning
and my thoughts are heavy.
Perfect Pink gloss paints my lips with subterfuge
I paste on a smile for the theater's smudged mirror.

Act Two:

I scan the aisle for potential suspects.


How can people be so human errr.. so inhumane?

A little girl is asleep against her father's shoulder
as he stands in the aisle next to a green light glaring "exit."

We live in fear,
the plastic bullet-proof glass
only holds so much impact
before it gives.

Alright.. if any violent offenders come-in
I'll slide to my knees, dive for the exit door
and hope that they can't read.
So much fear.

Have you ever heard mocking laughter
cackling somewhere on the outer rim of your mind?
And then some wise-cracking joe of reason yells out
"control is a myth!"

Light-bulb moment!

Are y'all ready to die?
Cuz it's gonna happen
and when it does,
there won't be an exit sign.

Little girls and little boys and fathers
and insecure women who eat sour patch kids
that look away when emotionally charged
scenes in movies are too much for them to handle
--can't control anything.

*End Scene
Real people can eat sour patch kids and think control is accessible, no matter how wrong they are. Real people see fathers holding their children close and pray that they will be spared from whatever evil is in the world. Real people crave normalcy when the world is upside down and sideways. Real people know that we can die by not living. --At least this real person does.
i've been walking now
for miles
in this damp, stale

underground

left to right
right to left

but i can't find the exit signs

it's dark in here
and i don't know what it's like

outside

i just need to find the exit signs

i never enjoy being here
not even for a while
keeping my balance
walking on the lines...

...i wish they'd lead me to the exit signs.
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.
6. https://hellopoetry.com/poem/1936097/meconnaissance/
7. https://thesleepofreason.com/2017/04/04/****-yourself/
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.
KA Sep 2016
My soul back from the exit .

..:from the dark and not knowing

The light always present and was sometimes dimmer than dim

My soul back from the  exit .

Back from the lies and dark dark dark.

Kevin you know who you are .

You know .

You know .

You know.

Back from the exit into the light .
JoJo Pantoja Feb 2016
Just when i thought the person i saw at the blurry exit was going to help me out….
I know its another girl…
I started walking a little faster…
Been yelling back & forth having conversations…
She wasn’t so happy to be in this fog either…
She said she started to feel comfortable because i was there…
I haven’t reached her yet but
She tells me shes leaving…
We both got sad..
im still walking to her…
We just found each other
& Now shes leaving.. 
It makes me sad because i thought she would help me out & we could have a chance to be best friends & maybe end up together…
I want her to stay…
She does wanna leave
but 
she doesn’t wanna leave
because of me…
i want her to stay ….
She starts walking away slowly from the exit…
I keep walking to the exit watching her walk off in this fog….
my face drops….
walking slow again…
watching her disappear 
out of here….
Robin Carretti Aug 2018
Breaking up is hard to do
       let's rise take it easy
       Waking- up don't be lazy
My morning glory spiritual stretch
Soothe me like a tranquilizer
His words are my pacifier
The shooting star sprinkling shot

Stars work dot to dot
They connect get rid of all
broken heart subjects
Soothe me star even if there
is nothing to do

We need to do something
Earth wind and fire just
knock-me-out
Don't lock me and throw away
the star key is it going to Key- West
 Daylight no broken light in my
        Star stuff- sight
Light to the dark twilight

Those zillions of stars my
eyes closed I suppose
Take another look lovely rose
The same spot share the good stuff
I saw the soothing words
Star pointed toes who knows
Even
or to out-win the odds?

Not the starry night
Going through something
It's been a hard day night
One star light years to fight
Breathe in and soothe me
It was up to me not to blind me
My cool spirit meditation table

The New York soothing menu
Rendezvous all talk but delicious
She is tough walking
The hardest avenue
The *Positive me
even if its the
broken up me that's the only me
No one can take his place to soothe me

French fondue it suits her another clue
Red White moody blues the statue
Do you all agree? Another feel good
shopping spree are the stars true
I cannot even say soothing-word
Your home is your oasis love stuff
                Venus

Sooth me star stuff no one to minus

The hard stuff is to better yourself
The feel-good smooth flowing
Even if you missed your star
You're the no star he's is always late
Soothe me star may be my fate
Cafe warm running lattte late

The forever flight hit so hard
  Got_  Thrown brick harder
They say remorse is the
poison of life
And divorce could be the best
change in someone's life

OH! Lord The new? Hard cushion/night

"The winding rough road see the light"
*It may be tough but make it good deed
Athletic Girly curve walk
The pep talk she had the tough birth
The Preppy he's training the puppy stuff
You don't have to be a star it doesn't matter

Who you are
Never get in the middle of a dare
Show the whole world you care
Puff the magic dragon
Harder side of logic is the mission
Been Moonstruck light flick
Both mouths a volcano

Hard star stuff ham and swiss hero
Exploring new stuff
Please take it from pointed star
beware?
She walks like she is hot stuff
Those color forms of love stuff
Things and stuff
Stuff and things

Walking through the end of
the exit
It a hard position of the angle
Tough to be single even more
to deal with lotsa stuff to be married
Being the first online
I am getting a handle on my stuff

Indie Pop like Ice Queen Pop
Going mainstream
She's Brook long stream
He's under the influence
She doesn't nearly have
the up to par patience
Gifts of curiosity

Adjusting to reality
Hard life too much focus
On our happiness
He's coming home
breadwinner of money
Just one loaf of
bread she blossoms
Disavows humanity

The harder the words
How it challenges our sanity

Dark crayon hard stuff
Heavy_Rough__Tough
Wild Hawaii Say Hi to all our
blissfully but soothing hearts
She is like a hard sandpaper
He is so cool reading his
worldly carefree life

He is inside the newspaper
Big Ben London guard
How mindset like Hallmark card
Too much Holiday Turkey going
****** tunes when there is I tunes
So powerless word hard ingenious
Be thankful for what you have
But feeling too much
of the dry spell that rain fall
Going to that heavenly gifted secret
Like an Elephant, you are

the tough one the smart one magnet
No-one is perfect to be the
brilliant one
The star way of the fantasy
Nothing fancy doesn't make you jump
Presidential Trump Roger Rabbit
My lucky tower rabbit foot
Between a hard rock meets her sexuality

Having bad luck long shot solitude
Hallucinations all dark things hurt
My imagination world is sometimes
belly overstuffed Santa Claus
I love the hard candy bitter- sweet metal
Who gets the Metals and honors
The Terminators better leaders

PJ-Clarkes Princeton NJ
Superman Clark Kents
We need more therapy events
Princeton pancakes no remakes
And tons of maple syrup
***** Tonk women at the rodeo
Her horse lucky hoof sooth me

Stars real stuff
New York City roof ruff ruff
A hard rock and critters
And then you wake
back to the hard stuff

Soothe your pain the goodness of the rain
Hard life or its way too easy what is truly better I know my moods change in this hell of a gun weather. Let's keep our spirit high and heal our minds to get better don't you want a better life or something in the middle of the road make sure you don't kiss deeply inside of a hard binding book of the fairy tale. You are worth so much more than kissing a toad but we are talking about the hard stuff please go easy on me
Jonny Bolduc Jan 2013
exit bag

It's easy enough to peer through the underside of a hearse-
easy enough to **** those gears.
Easy enough to try it once or twice or give up or spit it out like a bad fruit.

Easy enough to shiver in bed
Easy enough to last it out and sleep all day

puff on the bag and go somewhere else

A quick, easy blur. Negation
hand in hand loyal love with sleep. A handshake, low,
tossed about with a final farewell, a quick gulp
in the arms of a surrendering light- a face-mask.

It's easy enough to stick it and last.

So level out with a spliff, take another chance-
a homespun remedy will extract the saccharine
days and take out the "too sweet" sweat of a poison
milkshake-

it's easy enough to do it quietly.
It's easy enough to have a pay-order-death.
Spit-up, a final Sampson barber drain. You'll never
sleep through another day if you put on
that exit mask and breathe
slowly until you can't

until the surprises stop coming
until the wounds stop laughing
until the only obdurate straight man will stop his act and take you home and lay you on a couch and drape a clean blanket over you like a white sheet
and cover your eyes with cloth and pennies and
gently weep when no one's making a joke anymore
JV Beaupre May 2016
I. Long ago and far away...

Under the bridge across the Kankakee River, Grampa found me. I was busted for truancy. First grade. 1946.

Coming home from college for Christmas. Oops, my family moved a few streets over and forgot to tell me. Peoria, 1961.

The Pabst Brewery lunchroom in Peoria, a little after dawn, "Who wants my sandwich? ****, this first beer tastes good." I won't tell you what he really said. 1962.

At grad school, when we moved into the basement with the octopus furnace, Dave, my roommate contributed a case of Chef Boyardee spaghettio's and I brought 3 cases of beer, PBRs.  Supper for a month. 1962.

Sharon and I were making out in the afternoon, clothes a jumble. Walter Cronkite said, " President Kennedy has been shot…” 1963.

I stood in line, in my shorts, waiting for the clap-check. The corporal shouted:  "All right, you *******, Uncle and the Republic of Viet Nam want your sorry *****. Drop 'em".  Deferred, 1964.

He electrified the room. Every woman in the room, regardless of age, wanted him, or seemed to. The atmosphere was primeval and dripping with desire. In the presence of greatness, 1968.

US science jobs  dried up. From a mountain-top, beery conversation, I got a research job in Germany. Boulder, 1968.

The first time I saw automatic weapons at an airport. Geneva, 1970.

I toasted Rembrandt with sparkling wine at the Rijksmuseum. He said nothing. 1972.

A little drunk, but sobering fast: the guard had Khrushchev teeth.
Midnight, alone, locked in a room at the border, why?
Hours later, release. East Berlin, 1973.

She said, "You know it's remarkable that we're not having an affair." No, it wasn't. George's wife.  Germany, 1973.

"May be there really are quarks, but if so, we'll never see them." Truer than I knew.  Exit to Huntsville, 1974.

Hard work, good times, difficult times. Not fully digested. 15 years in Huntsville and counting.

The golden Lord Buddha radiated peace with his smile. Shots in the distance. Bangkok. 1992.

Accomplishment at work, discord at home. Divorce. Huntsville. 1994. I got the dogs.

New beginnings, a fresh start, true love and life-partner. Huntsville. 1995.

II. In the present century....

I started painting. Old barns and such. 2004.

I quietly admired a Rembrandt portrait at the Schiphol airport. Ever inscrutable, his painting had presence, even as the bomb dogs sniffed by. Beagles. 2006.

I’ve lost two close friends that I’ve known for 50-odd years. There aren’t many more. Huntsville. 2008 and 2011.

Here's some career advice: On your desk, keep a coffee cup marked, "No Whining", that side out. Final retirement. 2015.

I occasionally kick myself for not staying with physics—I’m jealous of friends that did. I moved on, but stayed interested.  2016 and continuing.

Honest distortions emerging from the distance of time. The thin comfort of fading memories. Thoughts on poor decisions and worse outcomes. Not often, but every now and then.
idk Feb 2018
I stopped writing.
Not because I fell out of love with it...
My emotions just seemed to disappear.

I started a new medication.
The doctor said it would help my panic disorder, and it did.
I took that pill, like my mother talks to God (every morning).

When I went back to the doctor she said we had to up the dosage because apparently having 2 panic attacks a week still isn't okay.
I told her that when I woke up this morning I got out of bed without crying, but she didn't consider that as much of a victory as I did.

When I was put on a higher dosage, my emotions shut down.
After a few weeks I stopped crying, my OCD got better, my panic attacks were gone, and I could even go into the student union of my college campus without my heart trying to win a race against my thoughts.

I could breathe.

But, I also stopped having fun.
I felt like a stranger in my own body.
My emotions found the exit on the plane and jumped, never to be found again.

Since when did being able to breathe require me to feel like this?
Leeann Jan 2019
i have an exit plan.
hush
it's for emergencies only
I'll never use it
who knows?
but I'll keep it there
gently now-
a building shy of too short
a secret resting low in my pocket
a couple of pastilles bright
in the palm of my too-steady hand

the departure may be too sudden-
barely a breeze and a sigh before I leave-
but I rest assured that my mind's ensured
by the choice
the exit
my desired desire path

for if it's ever just too much
and tired becomes too weary to smile
i know I'll have the choice
to take a little time
and sit in front of my exit for a while

i don't think anybody sees it in my eyes
it's probably why all those others will cry
but I'll be safe and sound-
Yes, but it all comes 'round!
and im not that selfish of a guy

so I'll cradle my exit to my chest
ill grit my well worn teeth and do my best
ill struggle through
and ill trudge through the rest
and ill smile, smile, smile, and laugh
with hateful pleasantries and pleasant hate
a bright new day to exacerbate
the itch of joy and the soreness of pain
and once in a while
the heavy rain

and when my fingers slip
from the weight of it all
I'll keep smiling
I'll keep laughing
I know that there's an exit,

after all.
finally came back to this site. if nothing else, it's a good place to store my poems.
Carter Ginter Aug 2018
Dear Sam,

I love you,
But I really hate you sometimes.

I've been cycling through emotions lately
Because our breakup led to me completely shutting down
I felt nothing
Until I felt sadness
And then I felt anger
Now it's all mixing together
In an overwhelming mess
Especially with your recent breakups
With your other partners
The one who I mourned our relationship over
Who you suddenly realized you weren't into
And the one I'm best friends with
Who you told that you were never poly
Because **** me right?

Because if you were never poly
Then you never really loved me
Then again,
Have you ever really loved anyone?
I try to correct the realization
Of you not loving me
With the fact that I love myself
It's probably a lie, but
Fake it til you make it
Right?
It's hard to accept that
Someone I loved more than anyone
Could give zero ***** about me
It hurts
That I was this disposable to you
And I did nothing but love you
And respect you
And hear you
And care for you with every ounce of my existence
And you just left

Remember when you promised that
We could get through anything?
And had me promise you the same?
Whenever we were unsteady
You would ask me that
The same thing you asked your last partner
Right before they left you
"Babe, we can get through anything, right?"
And it sounded so sweet and so
******* real
But you were just scared
You were only ever sweet
When you thought we were leaving you

And ******* it
I wish I had left you
I wish I would've told you all of the things
That led to MY decision to leave
Because when we talked
We agreed it was mutual
And I never told you my story
You never asked
All you asked was what I would tell people
Which to some might sound like you cared
But all you cared about
Was other people's opinions of you
Not me
Not my opinion
Because I was no longer of use to you
And during that break up
You did ask me why I was crying
Though looking back now
You probably just wanted to hear me say
"I love you"
One last time
Because why else would I be crying?

I don't know if I ever told you
But when you got your third partner
I wished I could stop loving you
Ironically, I pretty much did
In an illusory sort of way since
All my emotions shut down from the pain
And if I were religious I would've prayed for it
Begged for salvation
For freedom from
The shackles laced around my limbs
From loving someone who doesn't care
Who didn't respect me enough
To really remind me that I mattered
In the throes of a new relationship
But none of it helped
Because I still loved you
I still do

What's more than you leaving
Is the amount of damage you did first
Convincing me how radical and inclusive you are
When you shame anyone else
For the things that make them happy
Oh, and what about transparency
And how you avoid passivity in conflict?
Where did that person go?
You started being passive-aggressive
Or even silent sometimes
You'd exit the conversation
In the middle of an argument
And yell at me if I tried to do the same
I should've known things weren't ok
When I started to thank you
For not getting mad and yelling at me
Which only made you mad
Because I was demonizing you
Actually,
I was just afraid of you

I was never enough for you
You'd spend a lot of your time
Complaining about your other partners
And, as obvious as it is now,
I didn't know you were doing the same about me
Because when we were together
I thought we were good
I respected your boundaries
Even when they conflicted with my needs
You didn't like physical contact
Something I needed in order to feel safe
And the few times you did let me hold your hand
You complained about it to your other partner
As though I were a burden
But I am NOT
A burden
I am NOT
Disposable
And I may not be perfect
But I sure as hell matter

I deserve love
I deserve openness and honesty
And trust
Not like that one time
You "forgot" you made a promise to me
Then broke it in secrecy
And got mad at me later
When I was upset with you
Because you knew I had trust issues
You knew it would upset me
But you didn't care
Because you "don't need permission"
To do anything
Which is true
Except, when you truly respect someone
You keep your word
Or you don't get upset about it
When they feel pained by your betrayal
You said you didn't want to feel
Like you owed me something
And it's not that you owed me anything
But you sure didn't deserve my trust after that
And that made you angry

Though not angry like those few times
You called me yelling about
How I ****** up
Because 1)
I was hurt that you didn't want to see me
Even though we had plans to spend the weekend together
And 2)
Because I wasn't being a good partner
Aka I wasn't submitting to you
And following everything you wanted me to
You claimed I was hurting you
But when I called you out
For your blatant hypocrisy
You got even more mad

I was crying at work that day
I was crouched in the ally
Listening to you scream at me
Balling my eyes out in pain
Trying to maintain my ability to breathe
I didn't think to just hang up
Because I knew it was disrespectful
And I didn't want you to leave me

Later you told me that
You like when I cry when we fight
Because it proves to you that
I actually care
That is not ok
I can show you that I care
Without being in so much pain that
Tears stain my face and
I struggle to catch a breath

When we met
You taught me about autonomy
And that saved my life when it came to my depression
But then you used it against me
To avoid doing anything that didn't benefit you
As I bent over backwards to please you
And of course I didn't think it was an issue
When you would change your mind at the last minute
The plans I had looked forward to all day
Quickly fell apart
Autonomy freed me from my demons' grasp
So how could it not make sense?
You had the autonomy to choose what you wanted to do
But you were just being selfish
And didn't care about me
Or my feelings
And as soon as I stopped
Being the only one putting in any effort
You left me

You used to say that
Our love was stronger than anything
But that is an abusive tactic
Because if we were struggling, then
It must be my fault for not trying enough
For not loving you enough
And when I tried to put up boundaries
(Because sometimes I needed space too
Especially when you hurt me so deeply)
You decided to threaten that
Doing so would make you want to leave me
You often held me on that way
Threats
Manipulation
Fear

The way we chose to love polyamorously
Was pretty unhealthy
We didn't set boundaries
Until we did something that hurt us
And then we knew we needed to
But even then we really didn't
Because you didn't respect the ones I set
You told me that
I couldn't have any more partners
You didn't even want me to pursue
The new interest I had at the time
Thankfully, I didn't submit to you then
Because within a few days we broke up
And even though I was sad about it
I immediately felt relief
And regardless of all of this negativity
I truly hope you get help
And can find happiness in your life
And can stop hurting others
Just because you're in pain

You matter
So do I
But your opinion of me doesn't
Because I will love myself
Exactly for who I am
And no longer shame myself
For the things you didn't like
Because I am more
Than what you think of me
I am more
Than how you treated me
And even though I love you
I love myself more
And respect myself enough to let it go
And to let myself be happy
Without you in my life
This series is extremely important to me. It has drastically helped with closure over past unhealthy relationships. They were all unhealthy I'm largely different ways and I did not write these to take away my own fault in the breakups, but I wrote this to rid myself of the unnecessary guilt I have been carrying around because of things that these exes have said to me or the ways in which they treated me. This project is about self-love. Not about hatred or wishing ill will upon others, because I wish them nothing but happiness. This is for me.
Louis Brown Jun 2010
That freeway exit sign

Still leads to yesterday

Though it's better not to turn

Temptation has its way


There's our old house still there

I know that back bedroom

In love's finest moments

We helped the baby boom


A new name's on the mailbox

Love died one jobless year

That exit sign still points the way

But you can't get there from here
Copyright Louis Brown- From OLD MACON ROAD and Other Poems
I contemplate an exit
So sound and so swift
It causes no-one pain
A bloodless cauterisation
Evaporation
Only of words,
Fluttering, migrating
Like an anxious flock of birds
Messages composed but never sent
Comments that I angsted over,
Always truly meant.
I contemplate an exit
my flightpath
And my final destination.
I contemplate
fleeing
I'm a coward,
I'm a freak.
Feeling dark, and overwhelmed by unhelpful, exhausting dreams.
Marilyn Heavens Oct 2018
Twenty third June twenty sixteen
The biggest vote we’d ever seen
Results are in and Brexit win
and many say it’s such a sin
Those who voted not to leave
This news they just could not believe

Sore losers showed their  bitter anguish
soon from Europe we would vanish
Let’s vote again remainers say
'No vote again' says Theresa May

Our country voted in or out
and voted out without a doubt
The apple cart tipped on its head
Britain in Europe would soon be dead
Now Brexit was born the following morn.
This beautiful kingdom from Europe be torn

Remainers are mad while leavers are glad
Great Britain is out there is no doubt
So shut up remainers, accept what is done
We voted together and Brexit won
Evan Backward Mar 2012
If I stayed any longer,
Who knows?
I might have gone insane too.

He told me his name.
I never asked him why he was there,
Why everyone else avoided him.  

I regret it now
But now is not the time,
There is no time left.  

He said he could get out
Whenever he wanted.
He just had no reason to go.  
He told me if I would come with him,
Stay with him forever, we’d leave.  

Can you imagine that?
He even said he loved me.  
The weirdest part is, I think I loved him to.
I would keep trying to remember
Where this love was taking place,
In this asylum but, I always forgot.

All we had to do was walk out.  
Nobody touched us.  
When we were out, we ran, and ran, and ran.  
In the middle of the forest,
There was no way they could find us,
We still wanted to be safe.

We found a cave in which we could stay,
Until we had enough strength to explore.
There was plenty of apples and firewood around.  
That first night, I just ate, and ate, and ate.  

I noted the big willow tree
and boulder next to the exit.
Natural, and calm.
This was a place of my refuge,
Where I would be happy.

We set out to explore,
The cave must have been close to the surface,
There were cracks in the ceiling that lit our way.
The cave was filled with tunnel after tunnel.  
Sometimes the tunnel would split into five or six
And we would have to choose one.
Giving the false sense of direction
As we wandered, aimless.
  
When I got scared,
He would assure me it would all be fine.
That must have been the worst lie,
Anyone has ever told me.

I finally worked up the courage
To ask him why he was in the asylum.  
He told me he could fool the mind.
Fool it into believing its body was in pain,
He said his looks could ****.

I scoffed.  

He stared at me,
Completely bewildered.  
I clearly thought him insane.  
He let that slide.  

He never kissed me fully, passionately.  
They were always short and sweet.  
He only brushed my face
When he wanted me to calm down,
Making jokes whenever
I was having second thoughts.
  
He was using me.  
I was a shield, nothing more.  
I would have to be disposed of.

Back to staring,
I realized that his back
Is not made of duck feathers.
My scoff doesn't slide.

I ran faster I’d ever run before.
All this flew through my mind
As I scrambled up from the cave floor for the third time.
The exit was just around the corner.
It just had to be.  

As I stumbled back
Onto the cold hard rock
The exit came into view.
I saw the light shimmering on the broken rock.
The shadow of a willow tree.
Ironically I was so happy I could cry.  
I’d hide in the trees
I’d never have to see this murderer again.  
Tripped for the fourth time.

I looked up,
Still sprawled out on the cave floor.  
There was a hole in the ceiling,
Sending shattered shafts of light to where I was lying.  
I watched the dust fall in lazy spirals.

I jumped off the floor.
Back to my peril,  
I heard his sluggish footsteps.
Turned around for one last look.
He stood in those shattered beams of light
Glaring at me.

Now on my feet, I stood
In the dark half of the spacious hall of rock
As if that would help my situation.  
If only I could fade into the shadows.  
I was trapped.
With no escape but the cave's tunnels behind me,
Or the death awaiting me.  

Just a few more steps back.  

He’s eyes snapped to my feet,
"You don’t want to do that.”
Back to my face.
His smile was only evident in his voice.
He was right.  
I didn’t want to die in that moment.  

The room’s light darkened
As if someone had put out the sun.
I knew it was coming.

I loved him.
He may not love me now.
He may never have.
But I don’t care.  
If I never loved him,
I may not be in this situation,
I might not be about to die.  
But I think just maybe,
It was worth it.  

Those smiles,
Stolen kisses and touches,
Just the sound of his voice.
Running in the middle of the forest
Away from the asylum.
It was all worth the pain I was about to feel.  

We stood staring at each other,
Waiting for the other to make the first move.  
The tension mounted.
Hatred started coming off him in waves,  
Hitting me over and over
Threatening to pull me under.  
I could feel his anger.

The air seemed to thicken,
Weighing down on me,
Forcing from me my last breath.
Draining me of what little strength
I had left to remain standing.

I began to gasp for air,
Unable to feel my lungs expand.
Feel the relief of oxygen in my blood.  
My eyes were locked in his
Begging to turn away,
To save my life.  

I was mesmerized.
Like prey waiting for the snake to strike  
I watched helplessly as his face,
Distorted with anger, began to twitch.  

I could see the words that would end this,
Begin to form on his lips.
Waiting to be released.
***** off his spit stained *****.  
After the agony of anticipation seemed to reach its peak.  
They dropped like acid into the open air.

I lost the fight against the pressure.
Finally crumbling under the strain,
I rested on my knees.
Holding my head in my hands
Preparing to resist the attack.

It hit me full force
Like a subway train at full speed.
I did all I could not to cry out,
To give in to this miserable existence,
To give him the satisfaction of my death.  

I broke out in a cold sweat
As my muscles continued to fight,
Melting with the strain.  
Adrenaline pumped through my veins
As the true attack began.  

The pain started at the tips of my fingers and toes.  
Slowly crawling, burning,
It continued to eat away at my flesh.  

Much to my dismay
I remained intact
But paralyzed by the pain
Unable to run away,
To escape it.

I was unaware of the storm of tears
Falling from my cheeks.  
Oblivious that he continued to circle closer,
Waiting for his moment to strike.  

The pain began to worsen,
Shifting from fire to lava,
Lava to lightning.  
It was unimaginable, indescribable.

Then I lost control.
This body– it was no longer mine.
It began to betray me.  
It shuddered, then shook spasmodically.  

Its back arched knowing what was to come next,
Preparing as the bubble of air was pushed slowly
Up its tongue, against its lips.
Its blood curdling,
Gut wrenching shriek
Lasted mere hundredths of a second.

He comes into view for a brief moment.
My eyes roll back into my head,
And I lose myself in the blackness.  
grace snoddy Feb 2018
i envy the cars that end up driving south.
the streetlights are tempting,
and blurred buildings tell me
“there’s other ways out”.
a handful of exit plans,
and empty destinations,
that i am reminded once again
in this world it is truly every man for themselves.
because if it were different
silence wouldn’t be my only company,
as i drive absentmindedly
hating every exit sign i see.

maybe the thought of having nowhere to go
is more humble
than the thought of having no one to give you a place to be.
rained-on parade Dec 2015
I.

I’ve swallowed too many I love you’s
to be afraid of coughing up blood.
They cut you on secret.
Who knew it was drinking gasoline
and sawdust and every little inflammable thing
and then sitting down cross-legged
in the heart of a howitzer; soft.

II.

You are a soft explosion.
You are streaks of a rebel orange
in a sky that is supposed to be blue.
You are steel rods in the curve of my spine,
holding me straight.

III.

I love you’s are like death notes written in ash:
you’ll have to smoke your way to it.
Smoke cigarettes, journals, curtains,
and yourself to get that much ash in your lungs;
trying to blow smoke rings into your finger;
my ceiling knows more about my sadness than you do.

IV.

Saying an I love you once will have you
chanting “don’t leave me” on a rosary;
love will take your bones and leave you
lusting for somebody whose back
is the last thing you’ll see, and whose
skin you’ll think you left your keys in:
and now you’ve locked yourself out
of your own house, in a storm
whose sirens wail in your ears and remind
you, you’re hopeless and homeless.

V.

I love you’s leave no exit wounds,
no shell casings, and when the time comes
you’ll be telling them all how his bullet
ricochets in your ribs,
but emotion never made up for evidence
in the court of settlements for a broken heart.

VI.

Telling someone you love them is like cutting your jugular
and not expecting to bleed out.

VII.

I love you like the pages of a mad girl’s journal.

VIII.

The moon turns from an ally
to the haunting image of science and realisation:
you share the same sky, but no longer the same bed.
And astronomy keeps ******* you over
when you look up at the sky
and no longer understand constellations.

IX.

Love makes it more getting-back-at-you
than getting-back-together-with-you.

X.

Every time you taste blood,
you’ll know you kissed somebody
with teeth like needles
and they cut you everywhere; they
bit you, they bit you, they bit you
and you kept letting them.
22/12/2015
3:11AM
Maggie Emmett Jul 2015
PROLOGUE
               Hyde Park weekend of politics and pop,
Geldof’s gang of divas and mad hatters;
Sergeant Pepper only one heart beating,
resurrected by a once dead Beatle.
The ******, Queen and Irish juggernauts;
The Entertainer and dead bands
re-jigged for the sake of humanity.
   The almighty single named entities
all out for Africa and people power.
Olympics in the bag, a Waterloo
of celebrations in the street that night
Leaping and whooping in sheer delight
Nelson rocking in Trafalgar Square
The promised computer wonderlands
rising from the poisoned dead heart wasteland;
derelict, deserted, still festering.
The Brave Tomorrow in a world of hate.
The flame will be lit, magic rings aloft
and harmony will be our middle name.

On the seventh day of the seventh month,
Festival of the skilful Weaving girl;
the ‘war on terror’ just a tattered trope
drained and exhausted and put out of sight
in a dark corner of a darker shelf.
A power surge the first lie of the day.
Savagely woken from our pleasant dream
al Qa’ida opens up a new franchise
and a new frontier for terror to prowl.

               Howling sirens shatter morning’s progress
Hysterical screech of ambulances
and police cars trying to grip the road.
The oppressive drone of helicopters
gathering like the Furies in the sky;
Blair’s hubris is acknowledged by the gods.
Without warning the deadly game begins.

The Leviathan state machinery,
certain of its strength and authority,
with sheer balletic co-ordination,
steadies itself for a fine performance.
The new citizen army in ‘day glow’
take up their ‘Support Official’ roles,
like air raid wardens in the last big show;
feisty  yet firm, delivering every line
deep voiced and clearly to the whole theatre.
On cue, the Police fan out through Bloomsbury
clearing every emergency exit,
arresting and handcuffing surly streets,
locking down this ancient river city.
Fetching in fluorescent green costuming,
the old Bill nimbly Tangos and Foxtrots
the airways, Oscar, Charlie and Yankee
quickly reply with grid reference Echo;
Whiskey, Sierra, Quebec, November,
beam out from New Scotland Yard,
staccato, nearly lost in static space.
      
              LIVERPOOL STREET STATION
8.51 a.m. Circle Line

Shehezad Tanweer was born in England.
A migrant’s child of hope and better life,
dreaming of his future from his birth.
Only twenty two short years on this earth.
In a madrassah, Lahore, Pakistan,
he spent twelve weeks reading and rote learning
verses chosen from the sacred text.
Chanting the syllables, hour after hour,
swaying back and forth with the word rhythm,
like an underground train rocking the rails,
as it weaves its way beneath the world,
in turning tunnels in the dead of night.

Teve Talevski had a meeting
across the river, he knew he’d be late.
**** trains they do it to you every time.
But something odd happened while he waited
A taut-limbed young woman sashayed past him
in a forget-me-not blue dress of silk.
She rustled on the platform as she turned.
She turned to him and smiled, and he smiled back.
Stale tunnel air pushed along in the rush
of the train arriving in the station.
He found a seat and watched her from afar.
Opened his paper for distraction’s sake
Olympic win exciting like the smile.

Train heading southwest under Whitechapel.
Deafening blast, rushing sound blast, bright flash
of golden light, flying glass and debris
Twisted people thrown to ground, darkness;
the dreadful silent second in blackness.
The stench of human flesh and gunpowder,
burning rubber and fiery acrid smoke.
Screaming bone bare pain, blood-drenched tearing pain.
Pitiful weeping, begging for a god
to come, someone to come, and help them out.

Teve pushes off a dead weighted man.
He stands unsteady trying to balance.
Railway staff with torches, moving spotlights
**** and jolt, catching still life scenery,
lighting the exit in gloomy dimness.
They file down the track to Aldgate Station,
Teve passes the sardine can carriage
torn apart by a fierce hungry giant.
Through the dust, four lifeless bodies take shape
and disappear again in drifting smoke.
It’s only later, when safe above ground,
Teve looks around and starts to wonder
where his blue epiphany girl has gone.

                 KINGS CROSS STATION
8.56 a.m. Piccadilly Line

Many named Lyndsey Germaine, Jamaican,
living with his wife and child in Aylesbury,
laying low, never visited the Mosque.   
                Buckinghamshire bomber known as Jamal,
clean shaven, wearing normal western clothes,
annoyed his neighbours with loud music.
Samantha-wife converted and renamed,
Sherafiyah and took to wearing black.
Devout in that jet black shalmar kameez.
Loving father cradled close his daughter
Caressed her cheek and held her tiny hand
He wondered what the future held for her.

Station of the lost and homeless people,
where you can buy anything at a price.
A place where a face can be lost forever;
where the future’s as real as faded dreams.
Below the mainline trains, deep underground
Piccadilly lines cross the River Thames
Cram-packed, shoulder to shoulder and standing,
the train heading southward for Russell Square,
barely pulls away from Kings Cross Station,
when Arash Kazerouni hears the bang,
‘Almighty bang’ before everything stopped.
Twenty six hearts stopped beating that moment.
But glass flew apart in a shattering wave,
followed by a  huge whoosh of smoky soot.
Panic raced down the line with ice fingers
touching and tagging the living with fear.
Spine chiller blanching faces white with shock.

Gracia Hormigos, a housekeeper,
thought, I am being electrocuted.
Her body was shaking, it seemed her mind
was in free fall, no safety cord to pull,
just disconnected, so she looked around,
saw the man next to her had no right leg,
a shattered shard of bone and gouts of  blood,
Where was the rest of his leg and his foot ?

Level headed ones with serious voices
spoke over the screaming and the sobbing;
Titanic lifeboat voices giving orders;
Iceberg cool voices of reassurance;
We’re stoical British bulldog voices
that organize the mayhem and chaos
into meaty chunks of jobs to be done.
Clear air required - break the windows now;
Lines could be live - so we stay where we are;
Help will be here shortly - try to stay calm.

John, Mark and Emma introduce themselves
They never usually speak underground,
averting your gaze, tube train etiquette.
Disaster has its opportunities;
Try the new mobile, take a photograph;
Ring your Mum and Dad, ****** battery’s flat;
My network’s down; my phone light’s still working
Useful to see the way, step carefully.

   Fiona asks, ‘Am I dreaming all this?’
A shrieking man answers her, “I’m dying!”
Hammered glass finally breaks, fresher air;
too late for the man in the front carriage.
London Transport staff in yellow jackets
start an orderly evacuation
The mobile phones held up to light the way.
Only nineteen minutes in a lifetime.
  
EDGEWARE ROAD STATION
9.17 a.m. Circle Line

               Mohammed Sadique Khan, the oldest one.
Perhaps the leader, at least a mentor.
Yorkshire man born, married with a daughter
Gently spoken man, endlessly patient,
worked in the Hamara, Lodge Lane, Leeds,
Council-funded, multi-faith youth Centre;
and the local Primary school, in Beeston.
No-one could believe this of  Mr Khan;
well educated, caring and very kind
Where did he hide his secret other life  ?

Wise enough to wait for the second train.
Two for the price of one, a real bargain.
Westbound second carriage is blown away,
a commuter blasted from the platform,
hurled under the wheels of the east bound train.
Moon Crater holes, the walls pitted and pocked;
a sparse dark-side landscape with black, black air.
The ripped and shredded metal bursts free
like a surprising party popper;
Steel curlicues corkscrew through wood and glass.
Mass is made atomic in the closed space.
Roasting meat and Auschwitzed cremation stench
saturates the already murky air.              
Our human kindling feeds the greedy fire;
Heads alight like medieval torches;
Fiery liquid skin drops from the faceless;
Punk afro hair is cauterised and singed.  
Heat intensity, like a wayward iron,
scorches clothes, fuses fibres together.
Seven people escape this inferno;
many die in later days, badly burned,
and everyone there will live a scarred life.

               TAVISTOCK ROAD
9.47 a.m. Number 30 Bus  

Hasib Hussain migrant son, English born
barely an adult, loved by his mother;
reported him missing later that night.
Police typed his description in the file
and matched his clothes to fragments from the scene.
A hapless victim or vicious bomber ?
Child of the ‘Ummah’ waging deadly war.
Seventy two black eyed virgins waiting
in jihadist paradise just for you.

Red double-decker bus, number thirty,
going from Hackney Wick to Marble Arch;
stuck in traffic, diversions everywhere.
Driver pulls up next to a tree lined square;
the Parking Inspector, Ade Soji,
tells the driver he’s in Tavistock Road,
British Museum nearby and the Square.
A place of peace and quiet reflection;
the sad history of war is remembered;
symbols to make us never forget death;
Cherry Tree from Hiroshima, Japan;
Holocaust Memorial for Jewish dead;
sturdy statue of  Mahatma Gandhi.
Peaceful resistance that drove the Lion out.
Freedom for India but death for him.

Sudden sonic boom, bus roof tears apart,
seats erupt with volcanic force upward,
hot larva of blood and tissue rains down.
Bloodied road becomes a charnel-house scene;
disembodied limbs among the wreckage,
headless corpses; sinews, muscles and bone.
Buildings spattered and smeared with human paint
Impressionist daubs, blood red like the bus.

Jasmine Gardiner, running late for work;
all trains were cancelled from Euston Station;  
she headed for the square, to catch the bus.
It drove straight past her standing at the stop;
before she could curse aloud - Kaboom !
Instinctively she ran, ran for her life.
Umbrella shield from the shower of gore.

On the lower deck, two Aussies squeezed in;
Catherine Klestov was standing in the aisle,
floored by the bomb, suffered cuts and bruises
She limped to Islington two days later.
Louise Barry was reading the paper,
she was ‘****-scared’ by the explosion;
she crawled out of the remnants of the bus,
broken and burned, she lay flat on the road,
the world of sound had gone, ear drums had burst;
she lay there drowsy, quiet, looking up
and amazingly the sky was still there.

Sam Ly, Vietnamese Australian,
One of the boat people once welcomed here.
A refugee, held in his mother’s arms,
she died of cancer, before he was three.
Hi Ly struggled to raise his son alone;
a tough life, inner city high rise flats.
Education the smart migrant’s revenge,
Monash Uni and an IT degree.
Lucky Sam, perfect job of a lifetime;
in London, with his one love, Mandy Ha,
Life going great until that fateful day;
on the seventh day of the seventh month,
Festival of the skilful Weaving girl.

Three other Aussies on that ****** bus;
no serious physical injuries,
Sam’s luck ran out, in choosing where to sit.
His neck was broken, could not breath alone;
his head smashed and crushed, fractured bones and burns
Wrapped in a cocoon of coma safe
This broken figure lying on white sheets
in an English Intensive Care Unit
did not seem like Hi Ly’s beloved son;
but he sat by Sam’s bed in disbelief,
seven days and seven nights of struggle,
until the final hour, when it was done.

In the pit of our stomach we all knew,
but we kept on deep breathing and hoping
this nauseous reality would pass.
The weary inevitability
of horrific disasters such as these.
Strangely familiar like an old newsreel
Black and white, it happened long ago.
But its happening now right before our eyes
satellite pictures beam and bounce the globe.
Twelve thousand miles we watch the story
Plot unfolds rapidly, chapters emerge
We know the places names of this narrative.
  
It is all subterranean, hidden
from the curious, voyeuristic gaze,
Until the icon bus, we are hopeful
This public spectacle is above ground
We can see the force that mangled the bus,
fury that tore people apart limb by limb
Now we can imagine a bomb below,
far below, people trapped, fiery hell;
fighting to breathe each breath in tunnelled tombs.

Herded from the blast they are strangely calm,
obedient, shuffling this way and that.
Blood-streaked, sooty and dishevelled they come.
Out from the choking darkness far below
Dazzled by the brightness of the morning
of a day they feared might be their last.
They have breathed deeply of Kurtz’s horror.
Sights and sounds unimaginable before
will haunt their waking hours for many years;
a lifetime of nightmares in the making.
They trudge like weary soldiers from the Somme
already see the world with older eyes.

On the surface, they find a world where life
simply goes on as before, unmindful.
Cyclist couriers still defy road laws,
sprint racing again in Le Tour de France;
beer-gutted, real men are loading lorries;
lunch time sandwiches are made as usual,
sold and eaten at desks and in the street.
Roadside cafes sell lots of hot sweet tea.
The Umbrella stand soon does brisk business.
Sign writers' hands, still steady, paint the sign.
The summer blooms are watered in the park.
A ***** stretches on the bench and wakes up,
he folds and stows his newspaper blankets;
mouth dry,  he sips water at the fountain.
A lady scoops up her black poodle’s ****.
A young couple argues over nothing.
Betting shops are full of people losing
money and dreaming of a trifecta.
Martin’s still smoking despite the patches.
There’s a rush on Brandy in nearby pubs
Retired gardener dead heads his flowers
and picks a lettuce for the evening meal

Fifty six minutes from start to finish.
Perfectly orchestrated performance.
Rush hour co-ordination excellent.
Maximum devastation was ensured.
Cruel, merciless killing so coldly done.
Fine detail in the maiming and damage.

A REVIEW

Well activated practical response.
Rehearsals really paid off on the day.
Brilliant touch with bus transport for victims;
Space blankets well deployed for shock effect;
Dramatic improv by Paramedics;
Nurses, medicos and casualty staff
showed great technical E.R. Skills - Bravo !
Plenty of pizzazz and dash as always
from the nifty, London Ambo drivers;
Old fashioned know-how from the Fire fighters
in hosing down the fireworks underground.
Dangerous rescues were undertaken,
accomplished with buckets of common sense.
And what can one say about those Bobbies,
jolly good show, the lips unquivering
and universally stiff, no mean feat
in this Premiere season tear-jerker.
Nail-bitingly brittle, but a smash-hit
Poignant misery and stoic suffering,
fortitude, forbearance and lots of grit
Altogether was quite tickety boo.



NOTES ON THE POEM

Liverpool Street Station

A Circle Line train from Moorgate with six carriages and a capacity of 1272 passengers [ 192 seated; 1080 standing]. 7 dead on the first day.

Southbound, destination Aldgate. Explosion occurs midway between Liverpool Street and Aldgate.

Shehezad Tanweer was reported to have ‘never been political’ by a friend who played cricket with him 10 days before the bombing

Teve Talevski is a real person and I have elaborated a little on reports in the press. He runs a coffee shop in North London.

At the time of writing the fate of the blue dress lady is not known

Kings Cross Station

A Piccadilly Line train with six carriages and a capacity of 1238 passengers [272 seated; 966 standing]. 21 dead on first day.

Southbound, destination Russell Square. Explosion occurs mi
This poem is part of a longer poem called Seasons of Terror. This poem was performed at the University of Adelaide, Bonython Hall as a community event. The poem was read by local poets, broadcasters, personalities and politicians from the South Australia Parliament and a Federal MP & Senator. The State Premier was represented by the Hon. Michael Atkinson, who spoke about the role of the Emergency services in our society. The Chiefs of Police, Fire and Ambulence; all religious and community organisations' senior reprasentatives; the First Secretary of the British High Commission and the general public were present. It was recorded by Radio Adelaide and broadcast live as well as coverage from Channel 7 TV News. The Queen,Tony Blair, Australian Governor General and many other public dignitaries sent messages of support for the work being read. A string quartet and a solo flautist also played at this event.
Big Virge Oct 2014
Ya know .....  
  
I have one now ... !!!  
but ... hear the sounds  
of people complaining  
in different towns  
  
A woman one day  
had this to say .....  
  
"This ***** keeps saying  
all types of things  
on my Facebook Page  
as if my thoughts  
shouldn't get airplay !!!!!"  
  
Well to me ... Her Lines  
meant Facebook ... Shine ... !!!  
  
Why ... ???  

Well ... because her views  
play a different tune  
to them and those  
who drop ... THAT PROSE ...  
which ... CLEARLY ... shows ...  
what's up ... Their Nose ... !!!!!!  
  
Something .... BROWN .... !!!!!!!!!!  
  
What's with these clowns ... ?!?!?!  
  
Folks ....  
It just goes to show ...  
that ... ******* go ...  
with ... BIG EGOS ... !  
  
Could it be ... Crack ... ?!?  
that's got her on ...  
"Facebook Attacks !!!" ...  
  
Well ......  
Here's ... My Pitch ...  
to you ... Facebook ***** ... !!!  
  
Unhook yourselves ...  
from where I dwell ...  
but ... Don't Dismiss ... !!!  
These here ... Lyrics ... !!!  
  
When you see ... My Posts ...  
Please ... just do this ...  
Adopt ... That Pose ...  
and yes ... Double Click ...  
where you see ... " QUIT " ...  
and make ... Your ... EXIT ... !!!!!!  
  
A ... Nice ... Quick Fix ...  
for your obvious ... " Glitch " ...  
to act ... " Foolishly " ...  
before you ... " THINK " ... ?!?  
  
which is a ... Habit ...  
You ... NEED TO ...  
  
... " MANAGE !!! " ...  
  
Is this ... what you ... REALLY ?  
Have one ... for ... ???!???  
  
to wage ... Cyberspace War  
with ... Lyrical Swords ...  
that aren't ... Sharp Enough ...  
to cut through ... The Stuff ...  
that Clearly gets you ...  
... in a ... " Huff " ... !!!!!!  
  
So you ...  
  
" Huff and Puff " ...  
  
All ... Facebook Tough ... !!!  
  
But ....  
That's NOT ... Tough ... !!!!!!!  
  
All it proves ...  
is that ... Your Moves ...  
are ... Shady, Hazy ...  
Thought waves ... CRAZY ... !!!  
thinking that ... befits a ... " Baby " ... !!!  
  
Facebook hype ...  
has got these types ...  
acting like ...  
  
" They've Lost their Minds ... !!!!! "  
  
Girls and ... Guys ... ?!?  
Women and ... Men ... ?!?  
  
Hiding behind ...  
Facebook pretense ...  
Their Facebook Friends ...  
and posts contrived ...  
to prove how wise ...  
and ... EVER SO ... Nice ...  
these people are .....  
who have ... " NO LIVES " ... !!!  
  
2000 friends .... !!!!!  
on ... Facebook ... Yes .......  
Very ... Popular ...  
like a piece of ... "****" ... !!!  
  
that likes being ... licked  
by ... Any Old Chick  
or being ... " Sticked ! " ...  
by .... " THOSE ! " ....  
  
"Naaaarrrsssttty *****" ... !!!  
  
Is this what you ...  
REALLY .....
have one for ... ?!?!?  
  
"Really man ...  
don't you ever use it ...  
to try to uplift ...  
and share something ...  
that helps our kids ... !?!  
  
" Oh right, You DO !!!!! "  
  
You ... "FaceTime" ... yours ...  
now they're ... abroad ...  
because they ... RAN ...  
away from ... YOU ... !!! "  
  
"Oh your fam and friends  
in far away ends ...  
that's how you stay  
in touch with them !"  
  
"Okay that's cool  
but tell the truth ..."  
  
"It's once a year  
that they call you  
to bend your ear  
about THEIR issues !!!"  
  
Now ....  
Calm down your mood  
and don't be rude  
it's just ... MY VIEW ...  
on Facebook crews ...  
  
Who ... think they're cool ...  
  
Posting this ... and ...  
Posting that ...  
  
Until someone ...  
points out some ... FACTS ...  
or ..... Even worse ...  
Points out the ... FLAWS ...  
in post they've made ...  
that have ... No Cause ...  
  
than to get people ...  
to message you ...  
  
and say,  
  
"Hey dude, your post was cool !!!"  
  
" Vacuous CRAP ! "  
that just ... attracts ...  
the flies who ... Lie ...  
in ... " Venus Traps "  
  
Hoping to escape  
when they've .......  
Long since made ...  
  
A page of ... " Farce " ...  
to build a ... " Facade " ...  
  
that proves their thoughts ...  
  
come out their ........... ???? ............  
  
.... " Perverted Minds " ....  
  
You're bound to see  
****** imagery ...  
I think ... You'll find ...  
on their ... Timelines ... !!!  
  
It is what it is ....  
This Facebook thing ...  
  
Built to consume ...  
Peoples' thinking ...  
and built to ensure ...  
Egos get .... Poured ............................  
  
ALL OVER THE PLACE ... !!!  
  
It's a ****** disgrace ...  
don't you people ...  
feel ... " Ashamed ?!? "  
  
Such forums should be ...  
used for more ...  
than ... waging war ...  
or trying to impress ...  
these ... " Cyber ****** " ... !?!  
  
This question I guess ... ???  
is for ... " Face-Hooked " ... hoards  
  
Is this what you ...  
REALLY ... have one ... for ?
Social Freaking Media ... !?!
Jewel M C Oct 2014
I hardly remember
a ******* thing
about that day
before gazing into his eyes
once again, for the first time

rushing toward the exit
running from the baggage claim;
it was all a blur,
as walked through those doors
all I remember was the vastness
of the first sight,
stepping into the bright, unfamiliar place
& nothing else, but him

I scanned the crowd
the strange faces waiting
for loved ones
emotion thick enough to touch
in the air,
but just to my right
in the front
with his body pressed up against the metal bar,
I saw him

it was the first time I saw his face
not through a photo or webcam
in a time that was so long it ached
I think I lost my breath
did I leave my things behind when I ran?
I don't remember,
I just ran to him

it was too surreal
I can't remember a moment between
seeing his face, & kissing his lips
nor what kind of kiss it was
or how long it lasted
I just couldn't fathom it
I was really there
it was really him
& it didn't matter where we were
it was all a wonderland
to me, I was holding his hand again
everything was bright & new
it was magic, pure magic
Joshua Haines Apr 2015
Green, stringbean bodies.
  Neon skin, the color of
a lime being crushed
  underneath a heel.

Tell me about earth,
  I could hear the voice
in my head. Like a
  radio being crumbled
up into a ball and
  thrown into my
train of thought.

Earth?

Yes, Earth. Tell us about it.

Us?

There are forty-million listening.

Oh. Well, Earth. Earth. Earthy-Earth.
  Earth is full of humans, like me.
People. Humans are people.
  And people are hell.
In No Exit, there are these--

We've read No Exit.

You've read No Exit?

We've read everything humanity
has published, in a matter of
  m o m e n t s.
You aren't as developed as you
seem to think you are.

What was the best thing you read?

We were partial to
Last Exit to Brooklyn.
Now, back to our question:
tell us about Earth.

If you've already read everything,
why do you need to ask,
let alone ask me?

You are the most
insignificant person
on this planet.
We are interested
in your thoughts.

I'm insignificant?

Yes.

Oh. I see.
Earth... Well, people...
People are beautiful.
The Earth is beautiful.
What makes us gorgeous
is our growth and our
desire to progress.
What makes us dazzling
is our belief that
a collective happiness and
an individual happiness
is both attainable
and sustainable.
Now, **** me
and annihilate
my planet, already.
That's why you're here,
right?

No. We're here to
harvest your women
and to colonize
everyone else.
You just persuaded us
to breed with your women.

But, that's ****.
And colonizing?
That's slavery.

We've read everything
your planet has ever written.
**** and slavery has been
encouraged on your planet
since your brief breath of
e x i s t e n c e.
Jaimee Michelle Oct 2013
So much for so called family
So much for so called friends
I'm sick of driving on this road that won't ever end
At the next exit, I'm gonna close my eyes and let my hair fly around the bend
This place is so gray, so old
With not one story that hasn't been told
Hushed whispers
But clear enough to hear snickers
Idk who made any of you, judge and jury
But, you don't know me, you don't know **** so I'm out in a hurry
I can't take anymore fingers pointed at me
With words filled with hate at a person I used to be
Hypocrites, everyone of you
And I'd like to remind you, that glass house is pretty see through
I wear my heart on my sleeve full of good intentions
Your heart is filthy, not even worth a mention
If your hearts and minds were ever clear
It would've been easy to see the face with fallen tear after fallen tear
Why would I ever want this life?
Tell me? Am I so bored that I just do things outta bitterness and strife?
In your soul you truly believe HE did all he could to fix our relationship?
And I just refused it?
Cause you all know that's why I distanced myself from the "family" right?
Please don't act idiotic and shake your head, point fingers and start a fight
I've had enough!
Heavy breathing, beat read face, and silent tears show I'm not that tough
But, I can no longer allow these strangers in my life to bring me down
I'm done forcing myself to come around
I leave broken every single time
If I keep letting you break me
Ill lose the ability to spit a rhyme
There will be nothing left of me
And there's just to much that I am to let waste on people who will never see
I opened my eyes, this exit has taken far from the old, dirt road I was stuck on
I look up, the stars fill the sky, the clouds are gone
The heaviness in my heart has been lifted
The powers finally shifted
I no longer feel banished and alone
I'm finally on my way home
My taillights fade into the night
And that'll be the last you ever see of me as I speed up and drive outta sight
After about 20 some years of misery and fighting to belong, in just that puzzle piece that doesn't fit bc my edges are smooth, not jagged like their's. I couldn't be happier to leave these judgmental ******* staring into the dust.. In other terms, kissing my *** goodbye! Family or not, my heart never deserved the beating its been taking. And not for lack of trying to fix it either. Washed my hand clean, what's done cannot be undone and I'm finally just done! Sorry needed to vent..
What4221 May 2018
1.
Start an act.  Leave a line, steal the show, exit left. Enter right.  Dance in the center of the cobwebbed stage where only shadows dance with you.  I can still see the music, though.  It glows softly, crinkled at the edges, watching from the withered balcony.

Exit left, exit left, exit left.

2.
When you first sang to me you were beautiful- you glowed and believed and I thought this could be your dream.  Fancy dress, fancy shoes, fancy car driving away.  I sat in the dust and the despair and thought maybe you won't forget me.

Come home, come home, come home.

3.
I found you years later, on a stage of neon surrounded by green and greed and unfortunate souls.  Your fancy dress, gone.  Your fancy shoes, gone.  Your dream, gone.  Your smile was shattered glass and your lips were red as blood and you were dangerous, standing in the dark, cigarette in between your fingers, smoke trailing from your lips.  It floated into the sky and then was lost below the stars.  

Fly away, fly away, fly away.

4.
You pressed a cigarette into my hand, watched me choke on the smoke, and then dragged me away.  You showed me the theatre, crumbled glory and faded beauty- I saw you in the cracked paint on the walls, in the shattered windows by the alley.  I see you more now than ever before, I think.  A shattered mirror that somehow I know will never reflect me.  You are beautiful.

You are always beautiful.

5.
Dance with the dust motes in the trembling sunlight, leave your head spinning in the clouds.  Exit left, enter right, take center stage.  You wear a gown of crimson red, and your eyes glow in the light.  The music starts up again, the old ***** wheezing to life.  I would learn anything for you.  Graceful steps around rotted floorboards, too thin, too fragile, impossibly strong.

Enter right, enter right, enter right.
ConnectHook Sep 2017
White folks: pack your bags and go.
Our nut-brown world is quite offended.
Make your shame-faced exit NOW,
and leave your mansions unattended.
Wait—before you pass the doors,
it's time to settle ethnic scores.

No more ragtime Minstrel show.
Our Moorish science took it down.
Black lives matter. White, less so—
now move your pale face out of town . . .
but first, shell out for racial shame
Caucasian losers of the game.

Cultural pride is ours alone:
kings and Egyptian queens we were.
The glories of our race, well-known
bedazzle in a darkened blur
(clear to Africa's descendants—
puzzling to you white dependents).

Blackness lent your world its light,
taught the Dutch to tend those flowers.
Scandinavia grew bright
under our beneficent powers.
Negroes gave your blondes their beauty;
helped those Norsemen shake their *****.

The Seven Wonders of the world:
we built them all. No vain conjecture
dims our banner, black, unfurled,
above eternal architecture.
Arts and knowledge gained from us
are what we threaten to discuss.

We invented math and science
which you robbed from Timbuktu.
Swarthy wisdom's brave defiance
caused Old Europe to renew.
All our treasure that you plundered
testifies: your days are numbered.

Classics of our Greeks you stole:
Philosophy was never yours.
Shame upon your racist soul;
for Bach and Mozart both were Moors.
Misappropriated treasures
call for ruthless hard-line measures.

Latino fate falls next—but, where ?
Jews, Turks, and Arabs: are you. . . white ?
Orientals everywhere:
choose your side and join the fight.
Blackness rising! Late the hour;
heed your call to fight the power.

Crackers need to check your race—
stop rooting for that ****** clown.
Rednecks all up in our face;
racist throwbacks got us down.
But as your statues bite the dust
your light goes dark (you know it must).

So move on out, oppressor, thief.
Long have you held our nation back.
In some white galaxy seek relief—
but here the light itself is black.
Stars are racist. So is the sun.
Now let God's great black will be done.
Truth is stranger than:
http://tinyurl.com/yc9va3pl

Candace Owens understands . . .
David Betten Oct 2016
CORTÉS
            Trailblazing pioneers, God’s harbingers:
            The shining daylight of the Renaissance
            Now swiftly dissipates the blindfold gloom
            Of this benighted, dark, and iron age.
            And as this dawn of culture greets the globe,
            Our own Castile, of all the hosts of Europe,
            Emerges as its greatest modern power.
            If we receive the bounty of these lands,
            So must we bear our duty to convert,
            And shall redeem these hell-bound debutantes.
            Coincidence?- That as the graceless Moors
            Were drubbed and shunted from our Christian sands,
            And in the very year our spiring cross
            Eclipsed that toenail paring of a moon-
            That new horizons opened in the west?
            Do you not feel, my fresh adventurers,
            That you are precious to the Lord, and chosen?
            Strike sail!                                                          E­xit.
              
ALVARADO                  You heard the captain. Up and at ‘em.
            You porters, lash the tents to tame these winds.
            The horsemen will untwine the provender.             Exit Garrido.

SANDOVAL
            The women must find tinder, turf, and fuel.
            The sun is down. We race against the dusk.           Exit María.

ESCUDERO
            These heavy, gathering clouds have opened up,
            And threaten to bestow unwanted gifts.

DÍAZ
            It is the cyclone season out at sea.

SANDOVAL
            Such scuddy weather bodes a sudden turn.

ALVARADO
            Let’s hustle then to fumble up a camp,
            And save our “oo-” and “ahh”ing for the dawn.
                                                           ­                           Exit all but Olmedo.
OLMEDO
            Thus shall the ardent lights of Europe come,
            And pour upon these newfound neophytes.
            But will they be enlightening Catholic lamps,
            Or a consuming fire to destroy them?                     *Exit.
From my play in verse, http://thefloralwar.com

— The End —