Sick Bed Poems, Part 4

I am too sick today for poetry. Poetry is the luxury of those not sitting right on the very ledge of a dark void.

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Sick Bed Poem, Part 3

All poems posted on Facebook first.

 

Who Cares

It

is

challenging

to

continually

post

poems

on

facebook

and

other

places

on-line

and

to

have

no

one

like

them

even

though

i

know

the

poems

are

good.

The

advantage

of

being

a

sick

poet

is

that

for

a

brief

period

of

time

you

get

to

not

care

what

anyone

else

thinks.

In

a

healthier

state,

i

would

care

more

about

my

poetry

not

being

liked

but

when

in

a

sick

bed,

who

cares.

I’m

doing

this

for

myself.

What

the

hell

else

is

there

to

do?

Sick Bed Poems, Part 1.

All poems written and posted on Facebook while sick in bed over the past week.

“Fuck”

After being

Up for

An hour

Or so,

Taking care

Of a

Few Sunday

House chores,

After being

Sick in

Bed all

Day I

Sat back

Down on

My bed

And said

“Fuck” out

Loud to

No one.

Health

I want you

Back so bad

That I’m willing

To lay here

In bed for

Days on end

To have you

Back with me.

Failed Experiment

I’m a failed

Experiment.

I was raised

To be upper

Class.

Wealthy beyond all

Measure.

My childhood and

Young adult life

Filled with Private

Schools, Symphonies, Tutors,

Museums, Country Clubs,

Five Star Hotels,

Finest of Dining,

Exclusive Summer Camps,

Brand New Cars,

Clothes Shopping at

Nieman Marcus and

Nordstrom.

But for whatever

Reason it did

Not feel right

And I dropped

Out.

Now I’m an

Older man living

A lower middle

Class life and

Sometimes I wonder

What I would

Have been like

If I were

Rich.

Sickness Favors The Poet In A Person

The thing

About poetry

Is that

It is

Impossible to

Write it

When you

Have much

To do.

Poetry comes

On its

Own time,

And if

You force

It, it

Is crap.

Poetry requires

Empty space

Within which

To arise.

A busy

World like

This world

Is a

World with

Absent poets.

This is

Why being

Sick in

Bed for

Days on

End can

Favor the

Poet in

A person.

Small Pleasures

It happened once when I was 6 or 7.

Today it happened again.

I was watching a fly,

Resting on a window

With the afternoon sun warming its belly.

I could swear I saw it smiling.

Sick Bed

The past two or

Three days I’ve been

Stuck in a sick bed.

Days ravaged by

Exhaustion and nights

Tormented by a stabbing

And swollen sore throat.

Writing poetry on Facebook

For a few others to read,

It’s a remarkable thing.

Who would have ever

Thought that a sick man

Could still be creative in

The world even while

Stuck in a sick bed.

A Thought From A Psychotherapist Sick In Bed.

If you knew

The stories

I’ve heard.

Again and again.

The vast majority

Of people are

Absolutely crazy and

Completely emotionally unhinged.

Centers of a

Made up universe

That only exists

In their self

Centered and deluded

Heads. And for

The most part

These are the

Ones who don’t

Or won’t or

“Don’t need” therapy.

Just a thought

From a psychotherapist

Sick in bed.

MTV Overdose

It doesn’t happen

Anymore.

But when young it did

A lot.

I would overdose on

MTV.

Often at 1 or 2am.

When this happened

I really

Believed I was

A rock star.

Sometimes the effects lasted

Days.

Courage and Likes

It takes courage to write

Poems no one likes.

But Note To Self:

If people liked your poems

You would not be the kind of

Poet you are.

Not Giving A Shit

If

Sickness

Has

Taught

Me

One

Thing

It’s

That

I

Need

To

Improve

At

Not

Giving

A

Shit.

My Wife Likes My Poetry

Almost every

Poem I

Write I

Read to

Her.

She always

Seems to

Like most

Of what

I write,

Which is

Good since

I’m always

Unsure.

Collecting Lemons

All the

Lemons had

Fallen to

The ground.

Some decomposing,

Some not.

I felt

Bad, the

Lemons took

So much

Time to

Grow Into

What they

Became. So

I got

A green

Plastic grocery

Bag, got

Down on

Hands and

Knees and

Began picking

Them up.

“Lemons are

A good

Source of

Vitamin C,”

I told

Myself with

Mud on

My hands.

Vitamin C,

Always good

For a

Sick man.

 

(Part 2 coming tomorrow.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Internet Writer, Part One.

Why the hell am I doing this? Again.

After ten years of writing on the internet, it is not making much sense to me anymore. Why do I do it? What is all this for? Why am I giving away my literary labors for free all the time and selling myself short, again and again? These are questions that come to mind.

You or I, would think that if a person puts an immense amount of work into something and gets little back, after say five or six years, that it would be time to quit and move on to something else. If a person is still at it after ten years and still getting very little back, you or I, might think this person is nuts.

This person is me.

Writing on the internet is like a drug addiction in reverse.

It is an addiction, but where drug addicts take drugs to forget themselves, internet writers write things on the internet because they want to make something out of themselves. The drug addict seeks to obliterate their ego and the internet writer seeks to make known and solidify their ego. The drug addict can’t stop doing drugs because they are addicted to the momentary feeling of no-ego, whereas the internet writer can’t stop posting their writings on the internet because they are addicted to the momentary feeling of ego-gratification.

 

Both the internet writer and the drug addict struggle to stop. Both the drug addict and the internet writer are ultimately destroyed by their addiction, if they don’t get clean.

I have tried to quit writing on the internet numerous times. For seven years, I dutifully kept a literary blog by the name of Absurdistry. I wrote strange, mostly fictional stories on this blog, weekly, and had a religious following of two people (both of whom died during the course of my maintaining the blog). Absurdistry is filled with postings with titles such as: The End Of Absurdistry, My Final Post, No More, Calling It Quits. But, after a week or so of writing in the non-internet world, my ego would start to feel like a nobody, and I would end up writing and posting another story on my blog.

I guess I craved readers. This was my high (and still is).

For the past few years I have been writing and posting on Medium (a site specifically for internet writers) and my newer blog, The Fantastic Life Of Nobody In Particular. I spend hours a day, several days a week, stuck at my desk, writing and editing these stories and essays, to feed my ego’s craving to be somebody on-line. I always end up feeling like I am getting little in return. Even after ten years of giving this hard labor away for free.

Why do I do it? What the hell is the point of internet writing? Couldn’t I be doing so many better, more fulfilling things with my time like sitting in the sun? I tell myself that it does not matter that I get little back from what I write and post on the internet because one day I will collect a lot of my writings and publish them in a real, paper and ink, book of my own. I am just using the immediate gratification that the internet gives writers as a way to get my writing done. Eventually all of this will lead towards legitimate publication.

I have been telling myself this for ten years. Still, nothing has happened.

But isn’t the content and quality of what I write effected by having this kind of motivation? Wouldn’t I be writing more literary and in depth things if I was not trying to shape my writing to fit demands of readers on the internet? Don’t internet writers have to dumb stuff down to make their writing more ingestible to readers on the internet? Don’t internet writers end up writing for readers with attention deficit disorder? Doesn’t this compromise the quality of the work somehow?

I think so.

I have probably done great damage to the literary quality of my writing, by writing on the internet over the years. And for what? It is not like many people read what I write. The internet is not a good fit for a writer like myself. I made a mistake by thinking that somehow the internet could perpetuate and grow my literary career. The internet demands crap to fill its gluttonous bestial belly with, and, well, I have contributed to its dietary demands.

The internet is not a place for a writer who wants to make art.

You see, writing on the internet takes the art out of writing. Readers on the internet do not want art. They want quick, simplified, cold, hard, facts. They want fast food stories. This may be the future of writing and reading since my wife, who was once a prolific reader, can no longer hold a book in her hands for longer than twenty minutes without having to check her phone.

I hate that as a writer, I am contributing to things moving in this direction, by writing for the internet. I hate what I have let the internet do to my writing. But I can’t seem to stop.

 

A writer like myself can be destroyed by this addictive need for immediate gratification. Perhaps I have already been destroyed by it, but I keep posting my writing on the internet because I no longer care about my literary health, I just need my next like.

I tell myself that quality will stand the test of time. Even though what I write on the internet is now obscured by everything else, there will come a time in a hundred years or so when some eccentric professor or rebellious, alienated, intelligent kid will discover my writings on the internet. Absurdistry and The Fantastic Life Of Nobody In Particular, in the future, will become the equivalent to what, say, Franz Kafka’s The Trial or Celine’s Journey To The End Of Night is now.

I like this idea. It is this idea that keeps me writing on the internet, as deluded as this idea may be.

But I think I have written enough on the internet. I think it is time for me to hunker down and work at the non-immediate gratification labor of composing a novel in the solitude of my garage. Day after day, I need to work at finishing these novels, which have been collecting dust on my hard drive.

This is what an internet addiction can do to a writer. It causes the writer to neglect the work that brings them more long term satisfaction in their writing lives.

I am sure there will be withdraw symptoms.

My ego will want that hit of immediate gratification that comes from knowing someone is reading my words shortly after I have posted them on-line. But I must abstain. I must get sober and focus on the hard and isolated literary work that is required for writing any kind of lasting, quality, literary work. After all, there are only so many writing hours remaining in my lifetime.

So this is it.

I am getting clean.

I will not be posting any more of my writings on the internet until I have a novel done.

I am going to find a way to disable internet access on my computer so that after a week or so the pain of not having my quick fix will not force me to take another hit. There will be nowhere for me to turn but to continue to labor away in the thankless, isolated, non-immediate-ego-gratification, hard work world of no longer being an internet writer.

So long for now, internet readers.

The End (for now).

 

 

 

The Wall of Lonely and Unstable and Strange Men

I recently finished a project called The Wall of Lonely and Unstable and Strange Men. It is a wall drawing that I used black ink pens to draw, over the course of the past year. The idea came from a group of mentally challenged men who walk past my house, several days a week, on their outings. They are some of the less fortunate members of society, the one’s who have dropped out of the game. I thought I would pay tribute to them in some small way. It was a pain in the ass. The first few days were fun but after that I kept thinking, “What the hell have I gotten myself into?” Now that it is finally finished, I thought I would share it with you. Enjoy and thank you for your support.

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The Agoraphobic Bike Riding Challenge

I am glad that is over. It was horrible. I made it home safe. Just breathe. Just relax. You are safe.

An agoraphobics favorite place to be is home. Anywhere else feels unsafe. But because of this, I have been spending too much time at home. Recently I bought a new bike. I thought it would be a good way for me to get out of the house and exercise in the mornings. Everything had been going well so far, but I had not ventured on my bike more than a few miles from my home. Instead, I have been riding my bike up and down, back and forth, on the same streets close to my house.

Today I have the day off. I have not been riding my bike much the past several days, due to the grief I have been feeling with regards to the lives that were lost in the Oakland warehouse fire. After I finished my morning cup of coffee and reading I gave myself a challenge. I have been hearing about various bike paths close to my home that lead to all kinds of beautiful places. There is one bike path that leads to a small lake, which is in the next town over from my home. About six miles away. I gave myself a challenge, why not ride my bike to the lake? It would be fun. Good exercise and a nice way to try and clear my mind.

I put on my North Face fleece jacket, warm yellow beanie to cover my ears and thinning hair, gloves and headed out into the great outdoors. No problem, I told myself as I got on my bicycle and headed down the street.

It was nice to be back on my bike riding on a pleasant winters day! I rode over all the dried leaves on the street and took pride in the fact that I was on a bike and not stuck in a car like everyone else.

Everything was going fine until I realized that I had exited the town that I lived in and entered a new place. The streets and homes were all foreign to me (an agoraphobic likes to stick to familiar places) and even though I was only in the next town over, I suddenly felt like I was on another planet.

Then the thoughts started to happen. Those goddamn thoughts. Who would know where to find me if something happened? How would I be able to direct someone to my location since I do not know where I am? My chest began to tighten and horrible images of something bad happening to me filled my head. I turned down a quiet suburban street with American flags, Christmas decor and camper vans in front yards hoping that the quiet which fills suburban streets would also quiet my mind. Nope. I was struggling to get air into my tight chest and suddenly all the alarms inside of me were going off. I quickly u-turned my bike and began the very long (two mile) journey back home.

Once I was pointed in the direction of my home and back on the bike path that would take me home, I contemplated getting off my bike and just walking. Go easy. You can always knock on some stranger’s door if you need help. My chest was squeezed and my thoughts were terrifying me. What if something happened at any second? I could barely breathe. I was on the verge of freaking out. Stay strong, I told myself, just keep riding. Cyclists raced past me. I cursed them under my breath as I battled this war inside that kept me moving along at a snail’s pace.  Fuck this bicycle challenge, I kept thinking to myself. If I make it home safe I will never do this again.

Once I saw the sign that read: WELCOME BACK TO YOUR TOWN YOU CHICKEN SHIT AGORAPHOBIC TROUBLED MAN, I felt a slight feeling of relief. But not enough to loosen up my chest and put a hault to the frightening thoughts and shallow breathing. Just got to make it home, just got to make it home, I kept telling myself as I was riding along. And then I saw my house in the distance. I was so happy to see it that I waved at it and yelled, I’m here, I’m here! It was as if I was thinking that my house would come and pick me up. Just keep going, I told myself but my mind threw back the thought, Something terrible could still happen.

Once I gratefully arrived back at my house (about fifty-five minutes after leaving), I noticed that the gardener was there. He was blowing leaves from my front yard and I had never felt so relieved to see him. It was so nice to see him that my chest began to loosen up. I was home. He turned the blower off and said, Good for you, you went on a bike ride! So good for you! I pretended to agree with him, parked my bike in the front of the house and then entered my home like someone rushing to the toilet. Once inside I threw off my beanie, took off my North Face fleece, threw my gloves on the floor and collapsed into my reading chair. I swore out loud that I would never take that challenge ever again.