Tuesday, June 27, 2006

I got this E-Card on Red Stripe's website. I'm not a big advocate of alcohol consumption, but I love those Red Stripe beer ads on TV.

When I was a little kid, I tripped over a door frame and fell on a brick mouth-first. I curbstomped myself. My gums got infected and they needed to do a root canal; I was allergic to novocaine. The pain from that root canal started my own extreme tolerance for pain. My Dad held my hand, and I didn't cry, not even one tear. It hurt like hell; now I compare all pain to that experience. Every act of violence or hurt against me since then hurt from shifts in power. I couldn't care less about the pain: it's always been about the power.

Monday, June 26, 2006

I'm not up early, I'm up late

Sleep evades me again. It's too late to try a tranq. Orlando, Tracey, Patmos, and Tonya: I felt ok most of Saturday and all of today, but things turn in seconds sometimes; I haven't forgotten you. Sometimes this affliction can consume everything I try to put into my life. I'll read; that's a promise.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Roll With Ten

Usually, I take ten pills per night: three sets of antipsyhcotics, a big set of prozac, and another pill, the same one they use to treat parkinson's disease, to fight the side effects of the antipsychotics. I hate them all. I also have a prescription for tranquilizers to help me sleep. The pills wear me down. I want to stop, but I know that can never happen. Every day, I lose little bits of myself to the disease and to the treatments. Medication isn't the answer, but it's the only weapon I have.

I roll into the battlefields of midnight with ten bullets. I use them against the forces that block my slumber. Sleep is why I fight. I put holes in the shadow lancers, and use the sounds of the struggle to reckon with the choir. As the shadows drop, and the choir fades in and out of consciousness, I make my move to sleep. I don't remember my dreams; that's a victory. Sometimes I wake up screaming, but I never remember why.

Often, the terrors of my waking hours stalk me. My usual escape is sleep. Tonight, I need more bullets; I roll with twelve.

Saturday, June 17, 2006


The judges robbed Winky Wright again. He landed more jabs, landed more power punches, with better defense. That fight was not a draw. I know a draw when I see one. I'm beside myself.

I know this post is the first one in a while for my blog: this week was rough for me. The visions are back in a new form: lancers riding in shadows. Their throats are silent, but the hooves of their horses thunder. Maybe I'll feel better in the morning, assuming the lancers let me sleep.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Verses From a Long Time Ago

John Hancock or lack thereof
September 17, 2002
June 13, 2006

the 800th poem about how depressed and misunderstood I am.

I live inside a cage
Where sometimes I'm a jester
But mostly I'm a freak:
A part set off alone

Against the passing clatter
Of unattended giggles
Left cold and unexplained
When none of you quite trust me,

I open up myself.
I lay myself in words
Directly and with zeal;
I'm jealous of success.

Secured in my habit,
Still wretched in self-pity,
I open up again,
And all I find are bowels

I spread across the floor.
I tried to make more sense
Of truth in my position;
I'm unprepared as always.

You hear, but never listen,
And still refuse to read me.
It's easy to be blind,
To rule with lady justice.

Her cold and crooked scale,
That now ignores the past,
And then ignored the future
Weighs whispers against pain.

I've been in here before
With people once called "friends."
I just defend my honor.
Please tell me what is wrong!

I'm not allowed to face
The people that accuse me
Before an honest jury.
It's easier this way.

Assume my lack of sense.
Assume I will explode.
Assume my lurking fury
Will break my self-restraint.

I tried to write for you
Then tell you what I am,
But none of you would listen
Past "Shit" and "Bitch" and "Legion."

You don't want me inspired.
You don't want me at peace.
I'll stay inside this cage
And entertain forever:

No mate inside my bars,
A jester and a freak
No Act of Faith awaits me.
I'm pitied, cursed at, blamed.

If prison makes you safe
In truth made from your fiction,
I'll keep my pen well-fed,
And publish from the inside.

I'll keep the pretty verses
I write for your critique.
I wish for only candor
In everything you say.

I'll give you what you want:
I'll walk off with myself,
Shut out and then shut up,
deliberate and graceful.

You all deserve that much,
And I will give it freely.
Avoid the Act Of Faith:
Don't burn me like the rest

Or pack me in cold towels.
Ice is for bruises,
Sedation for sleep,
Never are they Justice.

I choose the basest ending:
A grand goodbye with smiles.
Most of you feign friendship,
But bid me leave with silence.

Monday, June 12, 2006

True Beauty

I wrote "Heartstrings" and "Gravelman" about Robert Johnson. That's a different story for a different day. Today, I write about true beauty.

I write a lot about it; I don't think our society has a positive take on beauty. We have iron rules of shape and color that leave too many women feeling inadequate and repulsive. Personally, pin up girls like Britney Spears and Playboy bunnies look ordinary and predictable to me: of course, men are supposed to like perky blondes with trim bodies. Those men have common and ordinary opinions. When does individuality become important? What distingishes an individual as beautiful above all others? Beauty, to me, is not in looking the same as other women, but in looking different from the normal, the common, and the obvious.

Phantoms behind irises engage me most. Have you ever seen someone recognize you from across a crowded room? I watch eyes; those recognizing glances are some of the few things that don't change in my memories. That look, that depth is what inspires me. True beauty, to me, is the part of a woman that loves me back. I doubt I've ever seen true beauty. I imagine true beauty in my quiet moments, in my dreams and in my nightmares. The perception of love decieves me most. I write reams, boxes, and cantos to those deceptive perceptions. Pusruit of that deception, even if only for a short time, keeps me looking for, and keeps me believing in the underlying importance of individuals.

Friday, June 09, 2006


Barefoot on asphalt,
Another rainy night,
An empty cup, a fitting song,
I played for passers-by.

"It's midnight at the crossroads,
A six string by my side.
Come listen to the heartstrings
I play to ease my mind."

I wanted better songs.
I wanted better strings.
I begged and I received
A lesson from the master.

She came, and tapped my shoulder.
Three times she tapped. I stopped.
I gave her the guitar
And then, she gave to me

The heartstrings of the world
My fretboard strained to carry,
Put magic in my voice,
And fever in my fingers.

I couldn't keep it all
The tunes were way too much.
I played what I remembered
To more and more applause.

I got The fame and money
So fast, I thought it endless,
But one song's not enough
To keep applause forever.

And then I played for whisky.
My stage was three AM,
Where ugly women danced
For men with too much money.

In strip clubs and arenas
I saw the same blank faces;
Where once they came to listen
They come capture hope

With music of their youth,
But they won't find that here.
They'll only find their past
Reflecting on their future.

With a little less glamor
And a lot less cash,
They try to find the love
That music gave so freely.

They'll only find the harlot
Who taught me how to play.
I helped her raise the prices
and made the bounty less.

I'm now a little wiser.
I'd like to play for whisky;
It's cold, my jar is empty,
No money left for shine

I still play all the songs,
But no one likes the hits
They've heard a thousand times.
They all want something new.

I give them what they want:
A song they haven't heard,
The music of my youth
That sometimes pays for liquor

"It's midnight at the crossroads
A six string by my side
Come listen to the heartstrings
I play to ease my mind."

Thursday, June 08, 2006


scattered like gravel
emotions, words, esteem
meaningless alone
trod upon in whole
little bits of me
taken, broken, ignored
impossible to gather
or capture in my eye
with outstretched arms
i wait . . .
She’s never here
i’m standing at the crossroads
scattered in the gravel.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


Today was horrible, but I placated myself with distractions. Warhammer continues to be a good outlet for me. I glue. I paint. I play.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


I promise too much. I guess I'm gullible to dispensers of kind words. When people pretend to care just long enough to hear about my struggle, I assume too much of them. To start out with, it's all kind words and curiosity. I'm so eager to make new friends, that I lose sight of the realities of my situation: I'm not getting better, and nobody gives a shit.

Once you've heard the grim details, you do what everyone does: you avoid me. I understand how difficult it must be to know me well. I'm a nice guy most of the time, and it's hard to say to me exactly how you feel. Once you satisfy your curiosity about me, how many of you follow up with a phone call or an email? Emails trickle in on occasion, but those slow to a halt after a short time. Phone calls are rarities. My struggle changes for no man, and if you've heard it once, you've heard it a thousand times. Who wants to hear a mantra from Prester Bane's mouth? Who wants to read a poem that revisits the same trials over and over again? Most importantly, who would stand with me against the weight on my shoulders?

I'm an easy person to read, but I'm not an easy person to know in the flesh. It's got to feel terrible to tell me exactly how you feel. I can see it in your eyes. The relentless assault is too much for me to bear alone, and you're not a fool for wanting to stay away. When every day's torment is the same as the next's, the truth comes out in your eyes, and says one thing no one wants to admit:

"I'm not your friend; I just don't want to feel like an asshole."

Car Accident

I just found out that my eight-mile-away friend was in a car wreck; she's out of the hospital now, so I can't drive there myself. I might go visit her later if I can bum a ride off my parents or someone else. I wish her a speedy recovery.

Monday, June 05, 2006


Every damn day, they hound me. They turn around in seconds; no moment is safe. There's no crime or cosmic injustice behind them; they simply are. I can't explain them to you. They sing only for me. I try to capture them in words and verses, but their patterns remain puzzles to everyone else. From Legion to lycanthropy to teenage angst to psychiatric diagnosis, they remain the same. Your reactions changed, but your understanding hasn't. Some of the burn is out of the Auto Da Fe, but that's why we have suicide by cop. Authority must engage us at some point, most of the trouble is in deciding where. I'm bitter about my driver's license, but it's better than inhaling smoke to avoid the worst horrors of an Act Of Faith. Some days are better than others, but every night leaves me more confused: how much of them is in me? How much of me is gone? Those are two questions that don't deserve answers, but I know I change. Sometimes, all I can hear is the laughter of the people I've loved, stronger every day in my ear, but not in the air.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

No Wheels

As many of you know, Maryland restricted my driver's license to a five mile radius. I can't go see my friend eight miles away in Germantown, MD, but she stays in touch. More distressing to me are the friends that live closer than five miles, but don't talk to me now that I don't have a set of wheels. Prester Bane calls me a chauffeur. He's usually right.

I wanted to go see my Brother come back from Cancun, but it doesn't look like I'll be able to. Two months ago, I could've driven him from the airport to his house, but that can't happen now. This state is run by a bunch of power-tripping thugs.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Jose Luis Castillo Disgraces Himself

I'm sure you are all sick to death of my boxing-related posts, but I like them. I see parallels between my struggle in life and a boxer's struggle in the ring. As long as I behave how a fighter is supposed to behave, I'll be ok. There's no shame in getting knocked out by the better man; Everyone loses, except Rocky Marciano. The shame is in quitting on the stool. You are my corner; you're not there to help me quit, you're there to help me fight. Fight, I shall.

I'm watching boxing right now. It's a good featherweight fight. Both fighters made weight, and are there to fight. Castillo, on the other hand, is a disgrace to the sport of boxing. He signed to fight Diego Corrales at 135 lbs., the lightweight limit. The lazy ass showed up at the scale at 140 for a 135 lb. World title fight, and this is not the first time. Last October, he didn't make weight, either: Corrales' titles weren't up for grabs because of his opponent's weight, and he was knocked out in four rounds by the blatantly overweight Castillo. I want Castillo's license suspended; he cheated every boxing fan, not just his opponent.

I signed for one weight class, and got another. I'm not going to quit on my stool, but my overweight opponent has a clear advantage. Still, I'm not here to quit, I'm here to fight. It's not fair, but there are other schizophrenics out there with even more inequity. I must behave how a fighter is supposed to behave: I must fight, no matter how unfair my life is. There's no shame in losing to a monster like schizophrenia, unless I quit.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Three Today and An Unknown Tomorrow

My memories caught up with me. I can evade them for a few days, at best. However, they always find me. Every moment I spend in dread of a thought, a vision, or a phantom voice is spent digging through my memories. They always follow.

I understand why you avoid me. I know why you don't call, and why you shuffle off messenger as soon as I come on. Knowing me is like knowing an asbestos blanket lined with lead. I can extinguish fires, but I lay heavy, and suffocate anyone stupid enough to get too close. This is the way I've always been.

Gaming helps, but it can't be everything to me. At some point, I want a life away from the pewter, plastic, paint, and odd-shaped dice. The trouble seems to me to be that life away from the games shop doesn't want me around. I can struggle with words to say things other ways, but in the end, I'm right, aren't I?

I'm sending out poems to literary magazines and other outlets. It seems like the thing to do: they will know me by my writing, and not by my voice. It should work out just greatly, just as long as they don't hear me speak.

I try to live happily, but they always find me. There's no where for me to hide: I have no refuge from myself in here. When I'm around people, things get better for me; as much as I feel better, I see the rest of you feeling frustrated, exhausted, tired, and short of breath. It's obvious.

Every night, I stare down a lethal dose. It's close now, and I feel the tug. Why do I stay? I stay because I promised a whole bunch of people, most of whom avoid me now, and my mom that I wouldn't go until time takes me. I keep my word.

Before I end this post, and take my medication, let me ask you a question: if you had two minutes to spare, a bottle of Jack Daniels, and a phone right in front of you, would you drink the whiskey or talk to me? It's ok to drink; if I were sane and had those options, I'd probably take the whiskey and be on my way, too.


I love gaming. D&D, Warhammer, Warmachine, and a few others are my favorites. Most of my friends from gaming break the usual rules for knowing me. My gaming friends can hear my voice and not avoid me. I don't know if it's the competitive atmosphere, a prowess for the game, or just the kind of people that congregate at the friendly local gaming store (Other Realms). For reasons I don't understand, I fit in fairly well there. I like to get up there every day I can drive; it's within five miles of my house. Lately, those days have been few and far between. I want to go there tomorrow or Saturday, so I'll be eager for a good day. Gaming helps keep my sanity.


My problems with weddings persist. On Saturday, my brother got married; I was his best man. We weren't five minutes into the ceremony before I saw the Many Armed Knight outside a church window. His robes crept into the sanctuary through the seams of the glass windows, the eyes of the Pastor, and out of my tuxedo's cuffs. I'm sure I flexed my left hand as I often do during a hallucination. My choir drowned out the ceremony, but oddly enough not the singers in the church, and sang only a single high note. I couldn't hear the preacher clearly, and much of the audience was covered in the long, black robes of the Many Armed Knight. Needless to say, it would be a disaster of a wedding if I showed obvious signs of distress, so I bottled everything up, and tried to keep up my end of my brother's matrimonies. The rings were tied together, and I had a hard time picking apart the knots; I kept missing the strings that I tried to grab. The ringbearer was a little kid, so I couldn't let him see my eyes: I didn't want to frighten him. The last thing an eight year old needs to see is the eyes of a madman; they rarely understand mine.

I'm too strange for most of you to understand. You might protest, citing my ability to write of my experiences, but how many of you that read, listen, and how many of you that listen, read? There are two types of people in my life: those who read me, and feel sympathy for reasons they don't understand completely, and those that have only listened to me, who avoid me for very good reasons. Mixing the two never works out quite right. If you don't believe me, just think of the last time you heard my voice. If your answer is never, you probably think I'm ok. If you've heard me within the past month, odds are that you probably avoid me on purpose. Don't think that I don't notice. There are a few exceptions, but most of them spend vastly more time reading me than talking with me.

It seems I revisit the same hallucinations every time I'm in or near a wedding. I burn over it; I'm not sure if it's the happiness evident in the bride and groom's eyes, the desperation of my own situation, or my psychosis tearing open a period of profound silence. Regardless of causation, I don't think I'm cut out for normal social interaction, especially weddings.