Emperor of All Maladies

(Again from ye olde blogge at 19)

And I wear this disease like a crown

I embrace my rot and whisper,

cruel gods, take these guts

string them amongst the stars

I’m the stuff of supernovas, after all.

To the abyss I’ll return.

What to do, when the body turns against you?

I’m sleepless tonight, like always

and my mind is a thousand nails

clawing at my brain…

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Too Early Dawned

Great burl on the tree, render my plea
up to the honey of heaven beyond seas
of poison, plains of despair, in the air
is a promise, calm before storm, born
into providence in a bed of rosy thorns
lays the stillborn hope, too early dawned.

Forsaken

Oh my God, I need you, I am wounded as a filet of mincemeat,

ground down on the wheel into bone meal, my soul shards, oh God,

please grant me mercy and serenity, for I am bleeding, open wounded!

Oh God, why the pain, why the hellfire, why the razors to flesh only to feel

like a live wire? What is your plan for me if I am but a vessel of agony? Please,

shine your light upon my wretched soul, for I am lost, razed by violence, and

I am a refugee of thorns, cast out into the wilderness of madness, into bedfellows

of the cursed, beds of blessed not welcome to my wicked ways. My mind is a sinner

on virtue of insane asylums, I nearly drove over the median into oncoming traffic –

I would have taken innocent lives just to end my suffering, it is so much to endure,

I was minutes away from taking a blade to my veins this morning, all because I stood

in the line of fire to protect the innocent and now I have whiplash for being martyred.

 

There is not much good in this world, and it is dying day by day, from synagogue to pipe bomb.

 

There is not much left of my garden, and I am a connoisseur of wine stains, from the dregs, where foul odors of tannins and fungus blossom.

 

At least in decay, I would hibernate, but no, I must endure.

 

There is not much fair in this world, and I would beget a monster if I ever had one.

 

Better to be barren. Better to be a slave with a coat hanger shoved into my womb, prying the unborn fetus of my sorrows out my cunt in rivers of wretchedness.

 

I am the midwife of nightmares, and God, my God, why hast thou forsaken your only daughter?

Bloom

Beauty doesn’t equal happiness. Back when I was 120 pounds and classically “beautiful,” before my diagnosis, I was tormented inside and in agony almost every day, from suicide to anxiety to depression to mania to constant night terrors of being tortured in Hell. I made a pact with myself in high school to kill myself at 25. Fast forward to 19, and I am diagnosed with bipolar, OCD, and anxiety. I go on medication and go through a serious depression from the manic crash. Then I struggle with flat affect most of sophomore year. The weight piles on even though I exercise every day. 150. 170. 200. In the end, by Winter 2018, I had gained over 100 pounds due to medication and depressive episodes. I peaked at 235. Scary in a family that has diabetes, heart disease, and high cholesterol. I was in a deep depression, but I committed to hope. The weight started coming off as I started hiking and eating low carb and cooking at home. 15 pounds lost. 20 pounds lost. Now, 35 pounds lost.

The catch? I would take the weight gain any day, even 100 pounds, to be happy. Medication makes me stable, able to do the things I love, able to be creative and be a prolific writer that finished a novel a year and writes boatloads of short stories and poetry, able to get straight As in one of the top programs for communication in the country, able to finally, almost 26, say I am literally the happiest I have ever been. I make humongous strides each and every year with my stability and high functioning success. I constantly push myself to improve, whether it’s doing academic research, publishing my first professional short story, cooking a new recipe, or learning something new. The weight, at the end of the day, is secondary. I’d rather be fat and happy then skinny and constantly trying to drown myself.

It’s not all roses though. I still struggle with mania and depression. Sometimes, suicide creeps up every few months. Sometimes, the intrusive thoughts and obsessions make my mind run rat races. I can be paralyzed by social anxiety or paranoid or break down from trauma I remembered and have a panic attack where I can’t breathe in a grocery store. In the hospital, they gave me this great piece of advice that is my mantra: “One day at a time.” I have suffered more mental anguish than most people will ever have to deal with in their lives. I am one of the most severe cases of bipolar a lot of my doctors have seen, from the psychosis to the hallucinations that sometimes creep up. When unstable, I struggle with delusions. And the weight is still something I have to watch, a lot. It takes concerted effort to lose weight, and I am 19 pounds away from my ultimate goal. I have to always be on top of things, working ahead so when my brain haywires I have room for cushions upon impact, going to teach 75 students that rely on me when I am psychotic or wildly suicidal or hallucinating. I have had violent hallucinations on business calls before at the tender age of 23, mistaken fiction for reality when my mania and psychosis acts up, but still I find faith in the gods (and God!) and spirits and ancestors instead of blaming divinity for my mental hell.

It never gets perfect, but it gets better. I just want everyone t know that is reading this and struggling, there is light at the end of the tunnel. It improves dramatically year by year, month by month, with ups and downs as life’s boat rocks you.

I wanted to die by 25. I would have killed myself by now if I hadn’t received therapy and meds. But now I have something I have rarely had before: hope.

I may not be as beautiful as I once was, but inside, I am blooming.

Always put your mental health first. Forget the haters.

Bloom.

Aftershock

And the aftershock of grief sends you reeling into
patterns of world destruction, you have a razor
carving red canyons into your skin and chopping lines
of coke that you snort until your nose bleeds, I see
you and feel you and become your junkie manic rage
through symbiosis of the soul, and your parasitic
connections makes me feel the scorch marks on my
nasal membranes and a high like diving off Icarus’
cliff, there you are your snake black smoke hair
writhing and strangling me in your embrace, you
turn the faucets on weeping and roaring, your trench
marks of cuts and lacerations and bruises joining us
in the Unholy Passion of the Devil’s self-harm, you
sink into alizarin waters as your juices soak up
all the light, and it is swirling onyx and rubies
as you become a sea serpent biting its own tail,
Jesus Christ, it hurts, you drowning yourself but
your lungs don’t need oxygen and so you turn the
bathroom into an ocean of acid void, sizzling
pantomimes of what was once flesh, now bone, and
with your scythe in hand, the sulfur having eaten
your flesh, you reap and carve out drunken universes,
whole galaxies fall to your blade, you laugh maniacally,
still riding the drugs and endorphin buzz, exerting
your death grip manhood to assert dominance over
the innocents, this is the Plague of Egypts overcoming
burgeoning civilizations, yet you spare the Milky Way
because lo and behold, your Horcrux Girl lives there,
and then you are punching my guts and butchering my
lungs, be careful my darling, be careful what it takes,
from what it seems so far all the good ones seem to
break.

Immaculate Heart of the Bleeding Briar

Hosanna, I whisper through bloody lips, I got pummeled
by the riptide of my sorrow again, sweet Rabboni, and
you are far away in some Heavenly Throne, down on earth,
it is cold, and midnight comes to Galilee, with the moon
like a sickle for separating the faithful from the chaff.
Can you hear me, sweet Yeshua? Up there in your starry
abode. I bathed in lavender and myrrh, and Joseph’s coat
of dreams carried my prayers in technicolor up to your
tender hands and rose garden of desires, what obedience
to the ways and means of nature, to hang suspended on a
crossroads between Heaven and Hell, I know well, Satan
calls me whore, but sweet Christ, I would leave all the
ravishings and depravity just to receive your mark on my
scarred brow, I have many bruises and burns these days,
being the forgotten disciple means they paint me wanton
and demonize your Magdalene, Watchtower of God, Zophael,
Watchman of El, I was always a spy, anyways, of swiftest
wing, and they got our story wrong, oh Who is Like God?

No one but You, Immaculate Heart of the Bleeding Rose.

The Bone Zone

There’s a haunting in the graveyard, where bats flock to higher ground when the dam flows over and coffins float to the surface.  I can smell the rot on my tongue and see the decaying rose petals adrift in this land spill of toxic waste and wonderlands.  I take a coffin, kick out the corpse, and row with a femur to your mausoleum as I navigate delta waters to the hell mouth.  Your edifice, Crypt Keeper, is tainted with ivy and is the only thing left above surface in this lake of the dead, a stone angel spreading her acid rain-washed wings to the glory of some decrepit heaven.  There is a black mist fine and pungent, fresh from the kill and bloated with pussy gases.  The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out.  The ones that crawl out are fat and stout, and they are feasting on the engorged limbs that have detached from their bodies, and there is a rat king, triple tails entwined, nibbling the corpse of some lawyer dressed up in his Sunday best, only it’s his Sunday worst, because he is filthy with the diseases of waste and ruin, slandered by Father Time, and honey, death is hell on the body.  Your loved ones will lose their teeth, grow out their hair, yellow their nails, mummify or dissolve, but when the waters come to take us home, we all end up in the sea.  That’s the truth of these matters – we are mostly water, and to liquid and stardust we return.  So I’m rowing my coffin through the remnants of your Grim Reaper’s harvest, all to find you, sweet cadaver.  Death smells like old garbage and sulfur and roadkill.  But sometimes, he smells like roses.  The crypt is tall and Roman styled, with the gloriana angel dolorosa, tears in grime on her eyes, and I tie my coffin to the angel with a bit of floating cloth, and scale the mausoleum.  Inside is an ossuary – the bone zone.  Huh, punny, that.  Inside you lay resplendent amidst bejeweled saint skeletons and artifacts of another time – holy relics, a pinky from St. Catherine, a liver from St. Pancras, oh, don’t forget that lock of hair from St. Teresa, my favorite.

Bones are sharp, they can cut, but words are just as much like razors, and I’m praying for a beastly tongue, an empty gun.  Death looks like someone you love, don’t you know?  He can mask himself in darkness and equally in light, in the wolves and crows and snakes, but now he is redeemer, savior, my unholy temple.  I climb inside his coffin and we entwine, and the black stretches out like a womb, and the silence of the deep is all-knowing.  Death, omniscient.  Death, omnipotent.  Death, omnipresent.

There is not much difference between Death and God, and many of us worship false idols, but the truth is, is that endings are painful, and the dearly departed haunt us.  But what to be haunted by Death himself?  Thorns and broken glass to puncture your fingers and feet, stanzas of poetry and prose that are like caged madrigal nightingales in your brain, and you crack your head open on a cliff to see the blood diamonds he planted inside you.

I am one with Death, we are Death and the Maiden, and as he raises his scythe, I know my tithe is the dearest thing to me: the lie of separation.

That I am anything more than Death.

For to write is to make love to the self, after all, and morbid curiosities become terminal in time.

So I kiss myself, and kill myself, and my corpse joins a million other lost girls.

Lost girls that dreamed they were part of some great narrative, when really, this is the world of ghosts, and it is only in dreams we are alive.

Tom Frost

 

Operator, can you thread electricity to find
my old sweetheart, weaving numbers to Martha,
who I left by a sunny seaside and sand castles
whose towers were not firm enough for princesses,
for clay and shells crumble, and the tide washes
away youth, leaving us bent and aching, there was
no tomorrow, we packed away our sorrows and saved
them for a rainy day, when the moon would sail
high above the decades, stitching together the
night of our lives, those were the days of roses,
poetry and prose, and Martha all I had was you
and all you had was me, there was no tomorrow,
we packed away our sorrows and we saved them for
a rainy day, well darling, the midnight storm
has come, and the twilight years are at my door,
but you are the madrigal of my youth, immortal
despite the tissue paper kisses on your skin,
Martha, I love you can’t you see? Those were the
days of roses, poetry and prose, all I had was
you and all you had was me, there was no tommorow,
we packed away our sorrows and we saved them
for a rainy day, and I remember quiet evenings
trembling close to you…

Cabin Fever

Everything is crumbling, the swallow’s nest is frozen over,
the trees are bare and moss eats the corpses of old lovers.
Winter berries red as blood are the only fruit in wickedness,
this place is cursed, my heart is ice, and winter is far too
long.