Friday, March 31, 2006

I Miei Occhi Sanguinarano

I'm not much of a visual artist, but this what I see in the mirror at my worst. It's a long way from the kid in the cub scout uniform, isn't it? Sometime, I'll stop looking for me in the mirror; it brings only more confusion and more pain.

Out of Control

Love is not something I find easily. Usually, I'm in an out-of-control haze when I'm around someone I think I love. Eventually, I found out that the road of love goes both ways, and that I've probably never walked it. What I call "Love" is probably more accurately described as an obsessive delusion. Secrets pass, people get close, but in the end, every result is a pitied friendship not even close to love. My answer is to write; it's a stupid answer. On the outside, it may seem romantic, but it's just as useless and as crazy as I am in all things. Sometimes I write in horribly mangled Italian, especially when I can't sleep.


Uno puoi vedere
questo terrore
in mio cuore chi
è troppo debole

per t’amore lungo
abbastanza adesso
piu puoi vedere
questa solitudine

in mio cuore
è una grande forte
visione dei tuoi
capelli lunghi rossi

il vento mi fara piangere
I miei occhi sanguinarano
per il suoi amore
che no ho

Thursday, March 30, 2006


I grapple with myself on my principles constantly. I'm not too afraid of being wrong to admit when I am. I try to stay one step ahead of Prester Bane's indignation. Every day, I try to look at one section of my beliefs and either reaffirm it or consider a change. For example, when I was in high school, I favored Palestine over Israel. I didn't think the Palestinians got justice after World War II, and disputed Israel's sole claim to the area. This got me in a lot of trouble, and in too many arguments to list. I was called a Nazi in open class, and worse behind my back, I'm sure. My position's base was the same base David Crockett used against Andrew Jackson on Indian removal: it's just not right to rob someone of his home to favor a relative or a countryman. I generally proposed a similar response to those who argued with me: "You can go to hell. I can go to Texas."

However, I think the Palestinians received a good offer over Hebron in 1997 with a satisfactory deal in the Oslo II agreement, and believed there should be an end to the contest. I was right about the offer, but wrong about the Palestinians' dedication at the bargaining table. Come 2000, and the offer given by Israel then, I was firmly in the belief that Palestine could settle without bloodshed. It's ok in my mind to take matters to arms at that stage. No one should be able to rob a neighbor of the right to fight over his domicile. However, war offers the victors much better terms, be they Palestinian or Israeli, but it guarantees massive penalties for defeat. I think Israel's offers were more than fair, and that the Palestinians' failure to win in the Intifada puts the situation in that category. Come September 11 and the crowds dancing in the streets throughout the Islamic world with few exceptions, jubilantly celebrating our loss, my opinion changed to stay. Islam can go to hell. I can go to Texas.

I read the Koran, and I thought I began to understand what Islam is all about: submission to divine powers and orders in exchange for riches, respect, and righteousness in this world and the next. That's not how I see my role in creation. I try to turn the other cheek without compromising my integrity. I see my religion as a way to salvation despite my many severe flaws. I want to believe there's some peace, quiet, and justice in being who I am, despite my particular difficulties mentally. I don't want war; I want peace and an agreement to leave each other alone in each of our individual pursuits of happiness and salvation. I don't hate Muslims, Catholics, Lutherans, or Calvinists. I don't agree with any of them. To me, Peter is the rock: his church is the cornerstone to our faith, but not the whole house. I am content to be a fleck in the mortar.

Now I face a similar personal dilemma to the one I faced in High School. Someone I once loved called me a bigot over my view of worldwide Islam, and indicated that was a big reason why I'm lonely: nobody wants to be around me or my opinions. So now I grapple with a world that hates me the same as it hated me in High School. Now I'm not called a Nazi; I'm called an American Imperialist. It seems that no matter what direction I turn, all I see are people's backs as they walk away. The only approaching figures are Prester Bane and his Many-Armed Knight. I struggle with God; I struggle with man; and I grapple with myself.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

I might be a nutcase, but I'm one hell of a writer

Is the best compliment I've received in years. I haven't gotten much positive feedback since I wrote "Grumbles for the Grave with Dante," and that was a long time ago.

Grumbles for the Grave with Dante

I cannot be so frigid,
Detached from what's around me
With deep and icy veins
Exposed to only me.

The fury is my heart.
The tempest is my voice.
No glacier is my passage;
There's magma on my way.

The fire burns inside me,
Relentless in its torment.
It scorches shut the wounds
Cut deep by liar's stares.

Don't tell me to relax;
Ten long breaths can't stop me.
I don't need any space
Or time to know the score.

So slash me out, I'm gone.
I cannot turn as cold
To freeze just like the rest.
I'll sooner burn in hell,

And laugh along the way.
With Dante as my guide,
The eighth ring is between
My torment, and worse: yours.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

It Would Be Easy

My poetry could be like everyone else's. I can complain about politics using no facts, no evidence, and no burden of truth. Instead of my art striving for this garbage, I strive for appeal outside the typical poetry crowd. All they want is a way to feel better than everyone else because they read a few poems that are obsolete and deadpan before the ink is dry. I don't care how many teenagers and wannabe, 37 year old teenagers at heart want a different man in office, and a different woman on the supreme court. In ten years, all that self-serving, masturbatory political trash will be over, done with and unread. Sure, Dante put Popes in hell, but he did it with style. Most poets I meet these days don't even know terza rima, and can't write a proper sonnet if their art's life depended on it (and often it does). Does anyone write poems about Benjamin Disraeli anymore? His novels are probably more popular than any of the crap poets dumped on his doorstep. I could be part of the crowd, and sell a chapbook primarily concerned with how much print I can make off other people's suffering and sacrifices, but that would be selling out. Someone is going to have to not ride the G.W. Bush bashwagon to save all our work from irrelevancy in 2008. I don't care what side of the fence any poet decides to make his home; I wish we could all just move on from move on and realize that putting ourselves in a litte box with only one open side facing the east leaves us with nothing to write about at sunset.

Monday, March 27, 2006

The Difference

Right now, I hate my imagination. I use it too much as a substitute for genuine emotions, connections, friendships and love. Every time I pick up a pen, I wish for understanding in the results. Imagining connections, I do nothing but write more; it never seems to pan out into truthful human relations. As my desperation spirals out of control, I think the answer can be found at the bottom of a page through the efforts of an empty inkwell. No matter what I write, I find myself alone at the end. That's why my failed tries at relationships infuriate me; when I think I've found genuine understanding and love, I eventually find those emotions to exist entirely in my imagination. I write my feelings furiously, only to find those verses meaningless but to themselves: no matter how I write, my efforts bring me nothing. "Stitches" means nothing to anyone but me.

Without my writing, I feel I'm nothing. Like Rilke says, I must write or I do not exist. Without my poems, and increasingly this blog, I don't sense a reason to continue.

Tonight, my demons will haunt me. I'll lie and say it's ok, eventually. I'll write and I'll live a life in conditions I considered unacceptable in 1997. That's the difference between 1994 and 2006: the writing. In the black expanse of my thoughts and memories between the years live my verses. They are loose collections of depression, obsession, psychosis, and hope that never connect except in my imagination.

My imagination is enough to say that everything on this site is copyright 2006 by Thomas Jackson, so don't steal it.

Sunday, March 26, 2006


I hoped to get through my cousin's wedding without psychotic manifestation. That hope proved futile. A new shape for an old character erupted out of Void: the Many-Armed Knight accompanied me, unseen in full. I saw only his cloak and blades. The black silk and velvet garment with blue steel sword tips came out of every crack, every vent, and out of the eyes of the bridesmaids and groomsmen. I don't know why the hallucinations take the forms they do, but I'm always wishing for them to be less disturbing. Sometimes, I wish for a talking mirror or a rabbit wearing a vest in my troubles, but the images seem to always come back to darkness, violence, and terror.

Saturday, March 25, 2006


My cousin will marry into a good family; I met them last night. The best part about them is their unquestionable love for each other; it truly showed during the rehearsal dinner. They also showed great temperance: usually I judge someone's self-control by the amount of alchohol he drinks in an open-bar situation. This family passed with flying colors: I didn't see a single empty wineglass in their table section. I didn't even have to make an evaluation on how well they hold their liquor; the whole section didn't drink.

I hope I don't have to endure my psychosis at this wedding, like I did for my cousin Trace's. I had visual and auditory hallucinations during the whole ceremony, and intermittently through the reception. The doctors all say that stress is a trigger, but I don't believe that: the voices and visions come and go as they please. My stress increases as the frequency and intensity of my psychosis interferes with my life and puts time constraints on me. As my lucid time to accomplish tasks shrinks, everything becomes more complicated than it should be in my mind, and stokes the fires of my fits of depression and melancholy. I feel hopeless and helpless to their fury.

Every morning, I wake up to a world far different from the world before my slumber. My memories change in my dreams, and the disease rules me a little more than it did the night before. I can belie the pain of my condition to those who ask me; they don't want to hear my garbage any more than I want to live through it. Sometimes, I wish I could scream from the highest steeple that my life is hell, and I don't want to wake up to the different world I find certain in my future. That won't do any good, though. Everyone has a life to lead, and they don't need to know the conditions in my struggle, no matter how much I want them to understand me.


Every poem has a bit of home.
Texas lurks large in my verses:
A state I could go back to,
Revisit the stage of my youth
When comfort was cacti and freedom
To hear the coyotes howl at night.

But those days and nights never were.
I was beaten and chided there;
The distant days of my early youth
Bore pain and sadness as my fruit.
The same bitter flesh and stale juice
Pass judgment then as they do now.

Friday, March 24, 2006

A New Form for the Last Day of Eleven Years

I hallucinated a new form for my psychosis for this, the last day of the first dozen years. The hallucination starts as I involuntarily focus in on a point in space directly in front of me; flames lick up the walls of my tunnel-vision as a choir sings louder and louder in a higher and higher pitch. For now, the hallucination disperses itself before the flames meet at the focus point.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The Scabbard Man

I smell him nearby. There's no peace, and no relent. Every time I look for quiet or calmness, I find only the choir singing my emotions into high notes that leave me with nothing but a blanket of sounds that I can't even pray through now and tomorrow. Every day I live more and more alone, it seems. No matter what I write, or how loud I make myself, I feel scarcely understood by your masses. I don't know why it bothers me; I've always known the fate I can't seem to escape: I won't find peace here with the rest of you. I'm too different to understand, and too much the same to stand out, except in my loud mediocrity. The only thing that seems left to determine is when my solitude finally gets around to granting the long peace I crave. I don't want to wake up tomorrow morning, but I think I probably will. For a few years, I've seen death as the only way I'll get peace, but Hell scares me, so I won't hasten my own demise on the chance I'll be there forever, burning like the rest and still close to their screams, and mine.


I thought I would be dead
While diving for the pearl
But if this is my hell
I know that I'd deserve it

The beaches are aflame
And reek of noxious fire
Like feces, gasoline
That's stirred and burned by nature

Adjusting to environs
So different from my island
Is not so very hard
I've dreamt this place before

A place away from love
A place with no redemption
With backwards glances sent
That promise me rejection

I push myself above my feet
And look at my surroundings
The beaches never end
But stink so blind can hate them

I take it quite for granted
That I am in my hell
It's all that I imagined:
Peerless, loveless, lost

A massive form appears
Across the west horizon
It runs in my direction
There is no place to hide

I see a scabbard belt
That's on a Scabbard man
Who lives on burning beaches
That burn from burning seas

With nothing left but hatred
I strike out at his visage
He eats my heart, and leaves
With no release for me

I lash now, discontented
At all my feeble efforts
To strike against his form
That looms on my horizon

Like love that's calling death
And death who calls him "love"
Inside my epidermis
I see his angered ichor

With everything abandoned
Save hope to end his life
He tells me I've distorted
All love, and lovers' time

And in his eyes I see me
I'm staring at myself
This ugly skin that binds me
And makes me somewhat whole

The sword that pierced his heart
Ignored a thousand years
For wanting and for waiting
To kill what I call "fears"

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Twelve in Texas

On March 25th, it will be twelve years of madness. I don't remember the feeling of sanity and control the rest of you mostly take for granted. I wish I could be the bearer of good news, but I've seen my doctor recently, and he reiterated my situation to me: There's nothing anyone can do to help me. I can't be on more antipsychotics (I'm probably on too much as it is), and there's no other medication they can give me. I could go with Haldol or Thorazine, but I won't let them put those monsters in me. My recovery began with a medication called Prolixin, a less harmful drug than Thorazine or Haldol. For everyone around me, it was great. I finally shut the hell up, and stopped repeating myself (I have a nasty habit of saying the same thing repeatedly, it's cost me much in life). I didn't complain about my problems, and no one could tell I was crazy. However, the doctors and those who could bear to watch me knew something was wrong; not only did I stop complaining and reapeating myself, I stopped talking altogether. The whole time I was on prolixin was a psychotic blur, and it gave me tardive dyskinesia in my jaw. Tardive dyskinesia in the extreme is often called "the Thorazine shuffle" because in its advanced stages, all the walking you'll do will be a slow, measured shuffle across the hospital's floor. If you've ever been in a hospital, and saw a person chewing his lips and tongue like a camel, and shuffling down the corridor, you've probably seen the Thorazine shuffle. In Canada, where they keep records about it, 8% of hospital beds are taken by schizophrenics; that's more than any other illness.

So where does Texas come into this? I'll be in my favorite state on the 25th, attending a cousin's wedding. I'll try to give an update from there; it should be interesting: March 25th is a special day for me, and often is the time of my worst moments.

I'm going to try to update this blog more frequently. It's recently come to my attention that more people than Patmos actually read this thing, so I won't feel like I'm talking to one friend and a brick wall. If anyone who reads my blog wants to email me or send me an IM, go ahead and do so. I'm not writing this thing just to pad my superego, I'm also looking to share my struggles with friends, acquaintances, and anyone who'll listen.