Counting doesn't help. I don't think any sentiment will reverse my fortunes in struggle. From moment to moment, I might seem ok, but I'm not. Eight years ago, the verses flowed off the tip of my pen, and every last one was beautiful, strong, and important. For a time, I thought I could beat this. Signs pointed to yes; not everything was bad then. I had effective medication, a circle of friends, and a supportive family. I firmly believed the notion that deep inside, in the breath of my smallest voice, lived redemption. Nothing could be further from the truth.
My poetry had three distinct phases, the burning era, the lion era, and the post-leonine awareness. My first poems featured fire in a realm of almost pure fantasy. I lived for days in the Void, observing and recording the behavior and customs of my Void's visitors and inhabitants. The terror came from these visitors; I didn't want to be discarded in the fashion most people discard people like me: promises, proverbs, and snake oil. Clearly if nothing improves once given the customary line of dismissive drivel and pointless, clueless pep talks, the blame rests squarely on the crazy person to most of you. That was the burning era; vitriol, violence, and intelligence make fabulous company when no one else will speak.
The lion era fell on the heels of a revelation: the fundamental truths in my poems were bits of me that no one wants to hear. People could appreciate the more familiar imagery of lions, wildebeest, and water buffalo, but remain more aloof. I assumed for many years that the violent vitriol of my character was the part most despised. I was wrong. I delved deeper into the Void, and thought I found the distasteful sections of myself. Your world and my world would see eye-to-eye from time-to-time, and it is the memories of those years that help me know that change is possible, no matter how unlikely.
That unlikelihood sparked my post-leonine awareness. I'm not a Lion anymore: I can't run and my claws are lacking. I learned the secret of my solitude from a once very dear friend of mine: this whole thing, every word of every struggle, is pointless. The parts I want to share, all of them, are but worthless sources of sentimentality. My withered pen so accustomed to writing beautiful nothings, accomplished two very solid conclusions. Firstly, no one wants a ticket to the Void, even if only to visit. Also, anyone foolish enough to choose the inside of my gilded palace of sonnets to be with me would never stay. All things come to pass; some can feign surprise, but not me. The same voices of my past and future are always right: this is pointless, and no amount of beauty can make this strong.
Steel or Bone?