Today I got a package from Amazon containing Matthew Dickman’s poetry collections All-American Poem and Mayakovsky’s Revolver. I’m currently tearing through the first one but I decided to take a breather to write a poem about being manic. Here’s your promised excerpt:
the salt of blood pasting itself
to the inside of my lips, oh,
I want to hear something crack,
something like thunder in my veins,
I have bipolar disorder (don’t ask me which type because it’s changed before and I just don’t know anymore) and I’m pretty dang medicated, but I often reach a point where I feel so good I convince myself that I no longer need medication. Of course, after about a week of not taking my prescription, my entire life falls apart. The lesson is never learned.
But I feel like bipolar disorder is often placed in this “happy vs. sad” or “manic vs. depressive” thing, placing “happy” or “manic” as “good” and “sad” or “depressive” as “bad.” Well, sometimes/most of the time, the manic side of bipolar disorder is just as bad as the depressive side. Sometimes it’s worse because I literally think I’m invincible, which is obviously not true. So I wrote about that. It’s called New Mania.
Now, back to the genius of Matthew Dickman.
Tuesdays are always chaotic. I fell asleep last night with my lights on, woke up at 4 am, thought it was 4 pm, had a total freak out moment because I had shit to do today that I thought I’d slept through, finally looked out the window, saw that it was dark out, and the went back to sleep for another five hours. Good day.
Full disclosure for the readers out there, now that we’re four days in: I’m an angst-filled college student who moonlights as a self-deprecating poet who also happens to be afflicted with the whole unrequited love thing. Not with the boy I’ve written about twice this month, but with a boy who I thought liked me, but doesn’t. He hurt me, a lot, but I’m in this place where I’m just happy to have the privilege of being around him, which is a bad place to be, I know, but it’s where I’m at with myself so fuck your judgment. He makes my heart do the flutter thing. He’s also a poet (he’s the friend I sent a copy of Back Row Baptist to) and he sent me a poem today that was about a girl who recently broke up with him and it was a quality poem, right, but it hurt to read it. It hurt because he was hurting and it also hurt because I want him to care about me that way. Anyways, I’m telling you this because I wrote a poem today because of this hurt feeling inside of me. It’s shit and I will never ever show anyone the entire thing, but here’s my obligatory excerpt for your reading pleasure:
It’s the one
where you hold my hand,
and it’s only my hand
that you’re holding –
the one where
I called it something dumb like This Alternate Universe or something.
Away from that mess, Tuesdays are my poetry workshop class days. My professor, Mary, is easily one of the best teachers I’ve ever had. She keeps saying my work is “publishable,” which is hype. In fact, she glanced over Back Row Baptist and said that. Hype.
Here we are. I’m going to bed early tonight, swear on my grave. Tonight’s poem is about the same boy from Power Cord. I’m like emotionally stunted or something, because I keep writing about him all of a sudden, even though the things that happened between us happened months ago and we’re really good friends now. For some reason that I don’t feel like exploring, it took me until right now to be able to write about it. This one is called Awake and here’s a segment:
and he sat at a picnic table under the stars
with a fifth of Maker’s in his fist
and I drank my club soda beside him
Sunday. I’m back on campus now, but my non-believing ass spent its morning in the back row of a tiny Presbyterian church listening to my grandmother preach. This really interesting Jewish man named Jared plays their piano each Sunday, so I wrote a poem while he was practicing before the sermon. It’s called Back Row Baptist. Here’s a section that I find interesting:
This is a holy space:
someone’s God is feeding His will into it
like He is letting a rope down
into a pit of starving villagers
I sent this poem to a friend because I’m not entirely sure of the ending, so I am hoping that he has something constructive to say about it. It gets pretty dark. I’m generally very cynical of religion and its propaganda, which is reflected in this piece.
It’s upon us and this year, I’m really going to do it. A poem a day for thirty days. Yeah, bitch. Each day, I’m going to share my favorite line/section of the poem, talk about it a bit, and then tell you about my day.
Today I’m in Midlothian, Virginia, chilling at my grandmother’s house because I’m a tired college student who didn’t want to socialize for a weekend. We checked out the VMFA, which was nice. I saw some pretty jewels. If you ever want to win my heart, buy me a million dollar brooch that looks like a jellyfish. I’ll never ever wear it, but you’ll have won me over for sure.
Today’s poem was about a friend of mine, a boy, who I really find very fascinating. He doesn’t feel the same way, but it’s okay. It’s called Power Cord. Enjoy this sick segment:
“This is your mind
running an extension from your mother’s breast
to whichever bed you’ll be waking up in tomorrow,”
and I’ll see you tomorrow!