Thursday, June 25, 2009

Chewing Sticks, Losing The Masterpiece

So I notice with these next two poems that I got self conscious about how many poems I was writing. Chewing Sticks seems to imply that dogs are poets too. Hmmm.

Chewing Sticks

If I had pastimes
Like your dog did chewing sticks
Maybe I would not
Collect useless junk,
Would not have drank half to death,
Would not write so much

January 19, 2009 11:38 PM


I have had some experience with the emotional ups and downs of mental illness, how the ups in some smaller sizes can lead to creativity but in greater shapes lead to getting lost inside them. And the depression can literally kill you. I don't suffer the ups and downs as I once did, haven't for years, maybe even decades.

I have journals from my early twenties. I don't remember feeling depressed when I wrote them, but I read them now and they are the work of a depressed young man. That is an interesting thing. I do not remember feeling depressed, and I did not recognize depression when I read my own writing as a young man, but now I do. So I resisted the diagnosis then, but do not now. How odd. How completely powerful denial and defensiveness can be. What a remarkable experience of how you simply can't get through to the mentally ill with certain simple truths. If I am ill, then you may never have a chance to communicate with me in a fully open style because I will reorient your words and presence to fit my space and never receive you as you are. I know I am not the only one.

Losing The Masterpiece

I stare blank, far off,
Thinking I should get going
Then can't think quite why.

I remember the fever
I had over yesterday.

If a masterpiece
Came today I would not rise
To the occasion.

January 19, 2009 12:04 PM


As I write this, I am listening to the coverage of our loss of Michael Jackson. Sometimes there really are unique men on the planet, different inside, differently raised, and different in experiences outside too. If I am certain of anything, I am certain that Michael Jackson lived a different life. He was celebrated as the King Of Pop. He was isolated as only a king can be. It was once the prevailing opinion that divinity is close within kings, that perhaps they themselves are divine. I will not argue.


  1. You say in this post "How completely powerful denial and defensiveness can be". Not many people can be as honest as you sound like you are in this post. The poems are good too.

  2. Welcome Techno. I don't know how honest I am. It's like onions. It's also like there are no words for some of the emotion. But I was trained long ago, and then was a coleader of a therapy group, have studied lifelong, have been in treatment twice, once for alcoholism and once for codependency, have intense AA involvement for over twenty years now. As all that signifies, I am also old. Well, maybe not so old.

    I hope I have learned some things. But it's not out of the goodness of my heart...I have been busy saving my life all these years. In order to stay sober and maybe not die, I have to regularly bust denial and defensiveness and the source of them, which is self-centeredness. In my experience this is very difficult to do without a kind of radical reliance on powers that are not mine.

    As I have heard it said, "You can't fix a broken brain with a broken brain."

    Now some of my healing is sourced in sharing in this poetry stuff, in the creativity and soul stretching that takes place.

  3. :0)

    Masterpieces can be a dime a dozen....



The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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