because while some truths lend themselves to equations, others are best described in verse

just another suicide poem

you don’t want to read this.
untethered and still in tangles, some words
should only ever be sung at song’s end.
for some hurts, there are no words.
here. put your finger just…
here. where it pulses.

feel the slow.
red-black, it giggles
as it drips from skin to
brick-l(e)aden sheets.
you don’t want (anyone)
to read this.

they’ll take away your shoelaces,
your plastic knives.
but then, what’s a razorblade
when all you need
is the will to stop
breathing?

for some pain,
there is no air.
i know these things,
the giddiness of a dripping
pulse. trust me, i’m
a doctor.

here. they’ll take away
your shoelaces
and you’ll walk barefoot,
without dignity.
but they won’t let you
leave. you’ll walk hobbled,

in small circles,
barefoot,
broken.
like poetry.
your story
on some stage far from here,

another bleeder.
here. as it gushes.
trust me, i’m
a poet. feel the slow,
the red-black breath
of forever

a single, beaten tomorrow
that will never
be yours again.
read barefoot,
untangled,
how it gushed

(in the end),
how they wouldn’t
let you leave.
broken, the whole world
will applaud, crying in the end (;)
you don’t want to read this.

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31 responses

  1. Ther is impressive depth to this and not a word is out of place.

    January 15, 2013 at 1:38 am

    • Hi Carl. What a coincidence as my first thoughts upon reading this was of you and how you have expressed similar thoughts in your poems. I was going to email you to visit this post but you are here already. Glad to see you and 10th connected.

      January 15, 2013 at 7:00 am

    • Thank you Carl, and Carl. We have been connected for some time. Certainly there is a depth to this issue that cannot be trivialized.

      January 16, 2013 at 5:13 pm

  2. Any poem with suicide in its title makes me want to read it (what does that say about me, I wonder), but this one is unsentimental, no overblown drama, simply full of dry wit, strong language, perfect wording.

    January 15, 2013 at 10:04 am

    • Thanks, Marina. I was hoping to strike those notes: not overly sentimental, but still provocative. Appreciate your comment.

      January 16, 2013 at 5:28 pm

  3. e

    Nice of you to give us an out if we didn’t really want to read it!
    Hard stuff, well done, poet…

    e

    January 15, 2013 at 10:26 am

    • Gracias, e. Poets have to say the hard words sometimes, ya know? Yes, you do. 🙂

      January 16, 2013 at 5:29 pm

  4. sagarah

    loved this so much. struck home really hard.
    ❤ renee

    January 15, 2013 at 11:19 am

    • thanks, girl.
      ❤ back atcha.

      January 16, 2013 at 5:33 pm

  5. Peter Greene

    I find the will to stop breathing a fleeting thing…

    January 15, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    • yes, funny how the breath keeps coming back. expiration is passive, you know.

      January 16, 2013 at 5:34 pm

  6. Mordant subject aside, there is a smirking and sad wit that jangles through out this – the red-black idea throughout this is vibrant and, at times, scary. This has an unexpected power -and bears repeated readings. Thanks doc, (does this look infected? – which is what I always ask drs.)

    January 15, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    • yep. (not to the infection, tho; i’ll not say without a closer look lol). yes. you have hit the nail on the proverbial head. i wanted this to precisely jangle. thanks, Mosk!

      January 16, 2013 at 5:36 pm

  7. What a treat to read this. Superbly written. I’m also green with envy on the formatting.

    January 15, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    • thanks, Misky. the formatting was tricky on WordPress, I’ll grant you. 🙂

      January 16, 2013 at 5:38 pm

  8. dang….hard emotions in this one…worked a few suicides in my day…its hard stuff…and when all you need is the will to stop breathing….there will be made a way to do it if you are commited….intense imagery joanna….(i deleted ma’am and put your name, just for you…smiles)

    January 15, 2013 at 5:23 pm

  9. Just had a friend who passed this way. Touched me, no I didn’t want to read it so much I was hooked to it. Thanks for sharing.

    January 15, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    • so sorry to hear that. must’ve been incredibly hard to read through. my thoughts go out to you, and to others near and dear to your friend.

      January 16, 2013 at 5:39 pm

  10. It reads like something written by someone who is possibly suffering from a life long illness or a disease of great pain for a long time, lingering and dragging out. The topic of suicide and the word causes immediate reaction and presumptions, but reading the poem, it does seem to hint at greater depth, it doesn’t seem to be the kind of suicide that simply decided or concluded upon from minor issue, but one that rose out of difficult to express suffering. This is a difficult topic and difficult to read because my personal strong thoughts and feelings regarding this, it thus might have influenced the way I have read this as well.

    January 15, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    • Raven, this is a difficult and very personal subject; I expect it conjured a lot of mixed thoughts and emotions as it was read, even as it did in the writing. I have seen suicide, and depression, from many different angles, and it is sometimes a great insight, more often a burden. Thanks for reading and for sharing your thoughts.

      January 16, 2013 at 5:42 pm

  11. BTW – just saw in the tags that this “spoken word” where? on soundcloud? do tell. i would like to hear how you heard this- mosk the nosey

    January 15, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    • Mosk notthe nosey, i am glad somebody pays attention to the tags! actually, what happened was i went to an open mic hosted by a friend of mine (a mostly spoken word crowd) and was struck and somehow a little taken aback by how many people shared pieces about suicide. it almost seemed to ….trivialize it, in a way. that was the main motivation for this piece, and its title. thanks for asking!!

      January 16, 2013 at 5:45 pm

      • Thanks – your explanation helps me understand (and appreciate) this even more. You am a major talent!

        January 17, 2013 at 2:08 pm

  12. Joanna, I feel this deep within and this poem moved me more than I can express . A great and brilliant write!

    January 15, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    • thank you, ayala. i feel this is somewhat darker than a lot of what i read from you. i appreciate you stopping by & sharing your thoughts. you are too sweet!

      January 16, 2013 at 5:46 pm

  13. Very powerfully and vividly done. This was also my topic but from a different angle. Thank you for sharing this.

    January 16, 2013 at 8:44 am

    • i am definitely eager to read yours, andrea. thanks for stopping by!

      January 16, 2013 at 5:47 pm

  14. …quite impressive Poet… and love the way you formatted your sentiments… smiles….

    January 17, 2013 at 2:10 am

    • thanks so much, Kelvin. 🙂

      January 17, 2013 at 9:32 am

  15. Last night_ I thought I was having surgery today and I did do everything it took to be in the surgical theater, today… once there I was positioned and coddled and prepped to take the mask and breathe in the breaths I was asked to take, while I lay splayed out on that table in the cool room surrounded by masked and gowned medical~practitioners, who I had just met. As familiar as old friends I felt the trust and the knowledge and control. It was like standing at the bar of the world… and ‘being’_just about to let go… when suddenly // my eyes opened… I was going down a corridor looking to the side. I saw my surgeon half steering me and I said to him “we didn’t do the surgery; Did we?” He nodded and said, ” It wasn’t my day.” I thought it was a dream… then I saw a clock face; it was two and a half hours after we had begun… enough said. This poem ; Your poem, Joanna_ Is brilliant. It caught me and wakened me enough to not wait _to respond… Everything about it is so edifying _ Of what you are determined to find. A right and righteous way to observe_ In Truth and Hope_ The Human Condition. As for me: I was already caught in the wind of feeling about this day. Close to something ‘dangerous and daring and brilliant and beautiful. Un-able… Dis-abled… Desperate for normal terms and knowing. I am changed until I am fixed. I was rescued again from the precipice. I will be determined to locate the meaning. in my throat still the intubation tube feeling and the heady swell of anesthesia afterglow. I am not right, but your poem and the way it was formatted and the meaning burrowed into my gut and I felt your compassion; but I would read many times before I can determine Why? It is a brilliant unearthing of real depth and heart… Soul diving metaphors and archetypal determinism. Question? What is this _ I have written? I hope you will see the seed of my wanting // to tell you_You have raised the bar. In truth: I have had an easy version of a very hard day. Best take!! It was not a total fail. It was only a detour with an outcome yet to be determined. So it is me Ulric at 1:06 am west coast time. Doctor in the morning nite.

    January 17, 2013 at 5:14 am

    • Ulric, I really am speechless reading your experience and the disorientation… and you’re already up and reading & writing. Thank you so much for stopping by here to share your thoughts on this piece. It means so much.

      January 17, 2013 at 9:31 am

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