Monday, August 24, 2009


But I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell
I know, right now you can't tell
But stay a while and maybe then you'll see
A different side of me
I'm not crazy, I'm just a little impaired
I know, right now you don't care
But soon enough you're gonna think of me
And how I used to be
      --Matchbox 20, Unwell

She watched the hands of the clock move.

Your heart is like pillows
that I divide
and sleep under lavender covers
where I never dreamed
of you
because you were my sleep
and I knew I could never be born
or die
because the stardust was you
and the emptiness you filled
was the universe
of me

Time passed since she turned off the television. All six hundred digital channels. And the book mark fell from the book when she set it down. But she didn't pick it up. She couldn't remember the name of the main character. Or why she chose the two books beneath.

The slickness of her thumb wetted trails on the cell phone. The time on the little digital screen didn't match the clock on the wall. The cell phone ran fast.

Not fast enough.

But I'm a child of the night
and always have been
and there's no afternoon reverie
for me
the night sky is black with the wings of ravens
and I can't talk to you
because you fed me to them
but I stitched their wings myself
and set them to flight
and as much as they eat
it only gives birth
to more soiled pieces
of me

She opened the phone.

Dialed because she would not save the number in her contacts.

But she did not press send. Her heart beat, and she breathed like falling down stairs.

No matter how much she wanted to cry, the tears only laughed and pulled away.

Why can't I just ask you?
Why can't I just tell you?
But I can't tell anyone, can I?
I tried to talk the ravens down
but I can't pet them into doves
they just bite my hands
and my fingers become spider webs
sticking to the thorns
so I can't shake them away

She tried to dial again.

But stopped and tossed the phone.

She jumped back into the six hundred digital channels and pretended she didn't know the phone was still on. Waiting.

Six hundred.





JR's Thumbprints said...

Everyone has those "alone" moments where nothing is as it should be, nothing is "well".

Catherine Vibert said...

I feel her struggle! I loved how you used poetry to get into her mind, to illuminate the anguish.

Linda S. Socha said...

Wow. This me...incredible. You are a talented man .The depth of this is startling and I love it.

Well done my friend

Sarah Hina said...

Is there any distraction that cures the disease of obsessive thoughts? Or do they eventually wrap around in their own perpetual the snake consuming its tail.

This is remarkable. The thoughts as Particularly the first one, but all of them, really. With the humdrum reality interspersed, and chalking the outline of what's been lost, and what still remains.

Inspired, Jason.

Aniket Thakkar said...

Sadly, I could relate to most part of it. But it was a dark phase in life which has passed.

And where can I start to praise this. The song is one of my absolute fav. since my best friend had urged me to listen to this about a year back.

And I loved how you structered the whole piece. So many things in one piece and yet nothing seemed out of place. Wouldn't change a thing in a thousand lifetimes.

Sarah is on a superb streak and am sure she'd felt challanged (in a good way) after reading this. This is a masterpiece.

Fight it out you'll be a treat to us readers. It always is. :D

Karen said...

Jason, this is a fascinating look into the character's "unwell" mind. Great pairing of song, poetry, and prose. Chilling, really.

Anonymous said...

JR, very true. There is some comfort in that, I suppose.

Catvibe, I liked using poetry here. Her thoughts are larger and grander in emotion than plain words.

Linda, thank you! I'm glad there are others who also feel the urge to poke around those depths.

Sarah, the serpent eating its tail...what an apt description. It does feel unending, yet strangely precious. And I'm glad the experimental nature of this blend of approaches seemed to work!

Aniket, gotta give a shout out to Matchbox 20 and Rob Thomas! What a talent. On multiple levels. I'm glad you've clawed your way up from these unwell depths. And thank you for the humbling words. :)

Karen, chilling is a great compliment. Thank you! :)

Shadow said...

back and forth, can, can't, will, won't... felt it in these words perfectly...

the walking man said...

I loved what you did here Jason. The return to her thoughts from the narrative is an excellent concept. Truly a fascinating find this morning.

Jean said...

Struggle, and struggle some more... night after night when the day is done. Lonely, empty, painful hours.
Not putting the number in her contacts list is a good sign, though.
She is smarter than she feels right now.

Kareen said...

I fear I use the word amazing too much to describe what I read from you. However, I will dare to use it once again.

This piece expresses with much accuracy the mood of my many deep and despairing episodes.

Not much more to say that hasn't already been said. The pictures you painted in my head were as clear as watching it on the screen. Perfect construction.

One of my favorite songs, as well.

Mona said...

An excellent interspersing and intermingling of thought with reality. I can relate specially since my most intense thoughts spill in verse form.

Loved the first song ( Unwell) it is poignant in its entreaties!

Anonymous said...

Shadow, so true. Putting down roots in the impossibly vast and hopeless middle.

Walking Man, thank you! If I have no other legacy, I'd like to be known for whittling down the barrier between words and experience.

Jean, smart, yes. Or maybe painted into a corner. Reason always feels empty in the face of emotion.

Kareen, I'm all the more humbled that you are reluctant to pull out certain words in your comments. Thank you for telling me. Truly.

Mona, isn't poetry wonderful like that? Poetry ,like no other written form, is so much more than words. It's closer to raw experience.

misterri said...

Hm, funny, I think of this as my unofficial theme song. Perhaps not so much now as a couple of years ago but yes, still.

Snatches of what you wrote here evoked some vivid memories; you write emotions well.

SzélsőFa said...

neatly articulated depression level too high - freakingly well captured...too bad I can so relate to that :(((

Anonymous said...

Misterri, I'm glad that the theme is from the past. Thank you for the compliment. :)

Szelsofa, well captured is a great compliment. Thank you for telling me that it rang true.