Start a War

I get up and start a war in my own head
every morning
reach for coffee
avoid talking
form my doubts
and look for hope instead

I go out and present as most of fine
except on bad days
which I crash through
either fearless or
terrified
to realize I’ve no control
of my own mind

I listen to songs that remind me
of things that get me down
of thing that pick me up
read compulsively
watch baseball
stare into space at
frozen moments in my memory
Sadness trapped forever
in places to
never return to
the feel of rapt anticipation
that makes the hair on the back of your
neck stand up
perfect, honest nights when the world felt right
caught in a midsummer rainstorm
in the gazebo in a park
the smell of the ocean
when you get off the plane
bridges burned or jumped off
hearts I broke [too many]
Bad decisions [even more]
warm wind through oak and
maple and birch trees
on a humid night, mid-July
screaming along with the band so many times
beers after classes on Friday, 3 PM
events of October 1986
the summer of 1997
the summer of 2005
pictures taken in buildings
since torn down
or made into something else
the way things used to look
the way things used to be
tracking the creep
of advertising
foraging in
old newspapers
anything
at all

to know more and believe I could know me better

On my good days I fight the world to
a draw
on the best ones,
too terrified of mania
to ever be truly happy
on the worst ones I
fuck up everything
that I touch
whether I want
to or not
and the dance goes on
and the songs keep coming
and the coffee pours
and I do what
I do to get by
and I get up and start another war.

 

 

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Prelude to a Prelude to a Prelude to a Prelude

It is a constant need of mine, as well as a constant requirement of my continued existence, that I continue to disassemble and then reassemble and disassemble again and repeat the parts of me in the recesses of my mind that made me who I am and led me to where I am today.
I like where I am today. There is little more to say about that.
Then there’s The Illness. It comes and goes and comes and goes again and it changes forms sometimes and lurks places, unseen until too late, haunting those same recesses of my mind because it knows damn well I can’t be so many places at once.

Bipolar is just a word today. I take just enough but not too much medication. It wants to happen to me sometimes; wants to pull me hard by the edge of my sweater in the park on an early autumn day in one direction, be it skyward or navel-gazing, be it brave, bold, shy, or afraid. I feel it, but I am not beholden to it like I was once, an idiot trudging down the long hard road to despair or more accurately self-immolation despite my self, and knowing the difference the whole way through the journey.

Today more of my energy goes towards moderating the more toxic combination of ADHD and occasionally severe and almost always there, somewhere, anxiety that form together into something that makes me both unable to hear what people are trying to say to me and at the same time unable to communicate the fact that I am trying to hear them. It is misdiagnosed as disinterest or distractedness or disregard. I understand why this happens. Mostly I keep working on that today, when I work on a million things at once, while at the same time working on knowing when to work on nothing.

 

 

 

 

retrograde

O
an
arrow
in tune, stare
down the horizon
aim true be joyful be
brazen be brave, an arrow.
dare you have a child, it becomes
more than solely your history, once
you have a child, you are given mystery.
once a child is no child, forces work upon
history, once a child is not a child, they hunt
down their own mysteries.
I am now a believer, and
I am a receiver, working
on my transmissions
working through
the conditions.

^–

When the atmosphere was right, 850 WHDH from Boston came in clear and true, “The Voice of Sports.” The Bruins, the Celtics, the Red Sox. Most nights in the summertime you could get a ballgame or two from somewhere. Local teams who played at townsite wore Boston colours. It was always something to look forward to, listening to a ballgame at the end of the day, before eventually being yelled off to bed. Sometimes you got a signal from as far away as Cincinnati late on a clear hot summer night. That was another world altogether, Cincinnati. It didn’t even seem real. Boston was palpable, and attested to, even if you’d never been you knew it wasn’t that far. People you knew had roots or relatives in Boston; Mary’s father had been there a thousand times. They said it was where the best went, because there was more money there. Boston was a lifetime away from the valley, but Cincinnati? Joe around the corner said he’d been there but he was full of shit about everything. The place might as well have been myth, except for the Reds played there and had some good young players and were in the newspapers. The Queen City. The Queen had a lot of things named after her. The ballfield was named after a jubilee of hers, whatever that was. Nobody ever called it what it was, whatever it was. What is it? It’s A Jubilee. What’s that? A jubilee. Might have missed that day in school.
It was always something to look forward to, and in the summer the signal came in clear and true and would for a week or sometimes weeks, lulling you into a false sense of security, letting you think it was there for good now. Then one night you’d go to the radio in the kitchen and try to tune in a ballgame after a shit day and there would be nothing. Too much weather in the way, too much electricity in the air, the ocean. Just cracks and buzzes that almost, hopefully, might have sounded like Curt Gowdy or later Ken Coleman’s voice coming in, picking up in the bottom of the second, finally, there for a moment, and you’d wait it out, fiddle with the dial some more, try to do something else, find nothing to do, wait, until in the end, you resigned yourself to a signal-less night. And you’d give up. Give it up with the radio and go to bed. Boston wasn’t out there tonight. You went off to bed, unsated, but The Voice of Sports would be back, and Boston would be back. They had started to call this year’s team “The Impossible Dream.” There were rumours Montréal was to get a team. People were already talking about who they might cheer for, and division of loyalties.