A Day Not Wasted

I remember, in hazy detail, the moments when, as a child, I decided I hated school and couldn’t wait for it to be over.

I remember standing in the great open hallway of my elementary school after coming inside out of the rain. It was still pitch dark outside, so it must have been during the time of year when the sun takes it’s time to rise (is that summer or winter? I’ve never quite understood how daylight savings time works). I can imagine a squeak on the floor from the wet shoes of kids all around, and the low humming murmur of talk as people went toward their classrooms.

So much of this is based on a memory of a memory of a memory, that I likely blended several different moments together. But I remember talking to a teacher, and I remember her being much taller than me. It’s funny how you forget what the world looked like as a child, when everyone and everything is taller than you, when you’re slinking around just beneath everyone’s field of vision like a cat. You always look up: look up to talk to people, look up to ask to be picked up by your parents, look up to play video games or see the television. I remember a teacher telling me that school lasts for twelve years, from kindergarten to first grade all the way up to twelfth grade, and I would be eighteen when I graduated from high school.

I remember a feeling of hopelessness in the pit of my stomach. I had always felt uncomfortable coming to school. As a young child I was very close with my mother who raised me alone after I’d been through traumatic early childhood experiences of abuse, and I trusted her completely and felt upset when I was away from her. This isn’t unusual, any child misses his mother. But what bothered me so much about coming to school was that it was mandatory, that I was being forced to come here, and what’s worse, five out of every seven days, for all of my forseeable future. When you’re six years old, you don’t have a concept of what it will be like to be eighteen one day. Eighteen might as well be thirty-two. To be in the first grade and to be eleven years away from any hope of escape from something I never asked for was unbearable. It felt so unfair. Why did I have to come to school? Why did I have to wake up so early, why did I have to leave my mom and my home where I felt safe and where I was happy? I was a smart kid, what use did I have for coming to get an education, especially when so much of that education in the early days was stuff I’d already picked up on my own?

Anyone can relate to this feeling. People cope with it in different ways. I don’t remember when I learned that you have the option of dropping out of school at the age of sixteen, but I remember contemplating if I might one day do it. I also remember my teachers rhapsodizing about the importance of a high school diploma. “With a high school diploma, you can do anything in this world!” Funny, the lies we’re told, but I guess in 1996 it didn’t seem to be a lie to the people saying it, maybe at the time a high school diploma really could get you further than it can now. Now there are people with bachelor’s degree who work menial service jobs.

I always looked forward, from the very beginning, to the final ending of school. I had absolutely no desire to go to college, I wanted school, this thing that I never asked for which was foisted upon me without my consent, to be over. It seemed to me that I’d waited with the patience of a saint for it to finally finish, and as the end of high school finally approached, I felt that maybe I would soon feel some grand sense of release, the relief of the final day of the school year when summer break comes, except stretching on boundlessly for the rest of my life. A world of possibilites where I don’t have to be trapped, locked inside of a building for seven hours a day.

When we’re kids, we don’t really understand the concept of going to work. The monotonous routine of school is designed to emulate the monotonous routine of nine-to-five office job. As I said, people cope with it in different ways. Some people love the structure of a school day, and they take that structure into their adult life, thriving on the steady, unending repetition of Monday through Friday, nine-to-five, and the relief of weekends. There were of course times when I too appreciated the routine, even in it’s monotony, because of the sense of security that comes with a routine, and with knowing what to do without being told. Knowing which hallways to walk and which bathrooms to use and which classes it’s safe to break out a sheet of paper and draw on the back or read a book instead of doing your work.

As an adult, I sometimes long for the structure of a nine-to-five job, but the closest I’ve ever come was a few years ago when I worked for an Amazon seller, in their Quality Assurance department, and worked eight-to-four every Monday through Friday. At first, it felt safe, and I relished the weekends, but eventually it began to feel even more suffocating than school, because now there was no purpose the way their had been with school, I wasn’t going to work to earn my way towards something like a diploma, I was just going to earn a paycheck, which I would use to sustain myself until that paycheck ran out, and then live on the next one, and the next one, without end. I had my high school diploma but it had earned me nothing more than a spot being a cog in a machine which so closely emulated the one I’d been a part for twelve years in school, except now I was no longer a child, the object of everyone’s hopes, being praised for how bright and articulate I was, encouraged that I would some day be a great writer or musician or actor. Now I was just a guy sitting at a desk, listening to podcasts and sending emails to Amazon for eight hour blocks, pausing for an hour in the middle to reheat last night’s dinner and read a comic or play my PSP at lunch.

It was all just leading toward nothing.

And really, it hasn’t changed much.

I turned twenty-nine in May of this year, and now in November, six months later, I am still facing the same existential crisis that began a month or so before my birthday: what have I done with my life?

It’s a question that haunts my every waking moment, and a thought that creeps it’s way into every conversation I have. I’m very bad at keeping things hidden, it hurts me terribly to do it, and I have to talk about my feelings, whether I mean to do it or not, and over and over again I find myself confiding in people that I feel I’ve wasted my time up until this point, and on a deep level I feel that my youth is coming to an end. Of course, people older than thirty will say that thirty is still young, but teenagers and people in their twenties, myself included, see thirty as a milestone, a sign that you’re an adult now, that you have yourself figured out, you have your shit together, you know who you are and where you’re going and what you’re going to become.

But I am just as aimless now as I was ten years ago, just as confused and naive and afraid as I was when I was six, looking up hopelessly at a woman explaining to me that I was serving a twelve year sentence in public school. It seemed to me an injustice had been done toward me, that I’d been imprisoned for a crime when I’d done nothing wrong. Adults tell you, as a child, how important education is, but you don’t understand it or care at the time. Even kids who excel at school don’t really understand the necessity of it, and every school child has either heard the words come from a peers mouth or sometimes out of their own, “What’s the point of this? When am I going to use any of this in real life?”

It’s funny though. Because you use everything in real life. Every piece of information you’ve ever absorbed is woven into the fabric of the way you see the world.

I’ve always seen the world differently from people around me, and I know that that’s a pretty common thing to say nowadays. Everyone fancies themselves an outsider and an underdog and thinks that their perspective is so unique that no one else could possibly understand. It isn’t really true, it’s just that the people who do understand are far away, or you haven’t met them yet. And being a bright little boy in North Carolina in the nineties and early two-thousands, who would grow up to realize he was gay, he never truly felt a connection with Christianity, and never saw the world through the narrow, limited view of his family or the people around him, you can imagine how hard that must have felt.

Part of what scares me so much about “becoming an adult,” that is to say, turning thirty, is that I still view the world with the same childlike naive confusion that I felt back then. I’ve learned, of course, I’ve become wiser over time, I’ve had my life experiences, and layers upon layers of trauma, emotional distress, and more anxiety than any person ought to be forced to endure, even though I know there are people who endure much worse than myself. But part of what makes life hard for me is that I have an essentially fragile constitution. Emotionally, I can’t handle confrontation, change, or danger. I have a need to feel safe, stronger than most people’s need, and so I repeat certain rituals to make myself feel that I’m safe. For most of my life this has been playing video games (RPGs especially), while simultaneously watching television (usually sitcoms or other light-hearted comedy shows). It makes me feel safe to come home, eat, and play video games while listening to Youtube essays or episodes of funny shows. I don’t even laugh, usually, it’s just the light-heartedness that makes me feel safe.

My life… it’s been scary. There’s been a deep, abiding fear for as long as I can remember. My grandmother used to stay up late at night, drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes, and tell me and whoever else was assembled there at her apartment about the traumatic experiences of her life: how she was a long-haul trucker for decades, the people she met, how she met a young soldier on leave from the military riding home on a motorcycle to surprise his family for his own birthday, and how she later found him lying in a ditch, having collided with a truck that’s lights were broken and how she cradled him, dying, in her arms, and in his terrified and hallucinating state thought that it was his own mother holding him, and how she cooed him gently, telling him he was safe, that mama was here. She told us about her abusive, alcoholic husband, who held a knife to throat of his young daughter (my mother), and laughing sadistically, told her that he was going to take away the thing she loved the most, because it would hurt her, and how she held a shotgun toward him, waiting for the moment when he finally pushed his daughter away and she had a clean shut, and then pulled the trigger and blew him out the front door into the yard, and how she dropped the gun and chased him out, grabbing blankets and shirts and pillows on the way, to stuff the gaping, bleeding wound in his stomach and keep him from dying before the ambulance arrived.

My grandmother’s stories were frightening, sad, and left all of us who listened to them sitting in amazement. She made supernatural things seem possible, because she was such an effective and believable story teller that when she attributed something to God or to divine intervention, it was easy to believe she had to be right, because she was so good at telling the story. The most convincing one was about my own mother, who before her birth, apparently died while in the womb. She was told at the hospital that she’d lost the baby, and she refused to accept it, so she just left and went home. After a few days she got sick, and was taken back to the hospital where she was told the baby was beginning to poison her blood stream and had to be removed. She was still in shock, and at the same time she was in the hospital, so was her own grandmother, in a room across the courtyard from her own, so that she could see into the room where her family gathered around her grandmother’s bed, and when she saw them begin to cry and saw someone pick up the phone and heard the phone by her own bed ring, she knew it was her family calling to tell her that her grandmother had passed away. And it was around those moments that she felt the baby inside her kick, and she frantically called for a nurse, who frantically called for more nurses, and a flood of medical professionals and equipment was brought into the room and they began running tests on her, and my grandmother, distraught with grief and confusion, grabbed the sleeve of the doctor nearest her, and asked “What has happened to my baby?” And as though it were a line being delivered in a movie, he said to her, “I cannot offer you a medical explanation for what has happened, ma’am, but I can say this: the Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away.”

It was, during these moments in the middle of the night, listening to my grandmother tell us her life stories, that I felt something mingled with the weariness of being a sleepy child who stayed up way too late: a consuming fear. The kind of primal fear that there’s something inside the closet and if you look up you’ll see it’s eyes staring back at you, that if your foot escapes the confines of your blanket a hand will reach up from beneath your bed and snatch you under. It was that same fear. I can’t really explain to you what it is, but it’s been with me my whole life. I don’t experience it all the time. But it’s the feeling that right now as you read or write or talk, there is someone standing just behind you, staring, their eyes boring into the back of your head, and that if you look just over your shoulder you can catch them. The feeling that there’s someone in the back seat of the car waiting to come up behind and strangle you, someone whose face will suddenly appear in the bathroom mirror when you close it. The feeling of the hairs on the back of your neck standing on end that have since the dawn of humanity signaled danger from predators.

You might have felt something of what I’m saying and looked behind yourself just now. I did while I was writing it. It’s a common feeling. But it hits me in very acute ways, sometimes. And it’s not an incredibly common occurrence, it’s not something I deal with on a daily basis, but that’s partially because I have learned to surround myself with things that make me feel safe, like video games, bright lights, and most of all, funny TV shows. Like I said, I don’t always laugh, but the light-heartedness makes me feel safe.

For the past few days I’ve been dealing with this fear I mentioned, because I’ve been binge watching or binge listening a Youtube channel called Found Flix, narrated by a guy who goes through the plot of movies and explains what happens, as well as elaborates on twist endings and theories about future movies. He speaks in a somewhat monotonous voice that becomes a little grating after a while because he’s always gently shouting to be heard by his microphone, but the videos are each about fifteen to twenty minutes and they’re addictive, so I occasionally will fall down a rabbit hole watching them. Whenever I do, I usually end up watching and listening to his videos until late into the night while I’m playing video games, and as I get sleepier, I begin to again feel that creeping dread, the sense that someone is just behind you. Walking outside to my car is terrible during times like this because my house is in the woods and there’s very little light, and the cats outside make disturbing shapes before I realize they’re cats.

And so, here I’ve been, the past few days, feeling a little vulnerable because of how often alone I am at home (I live with my brother who is always either at work or in his room with his door closed), and also feeling an encompassing void with how I’ve been spending my time off. I’ve had three days off this week, today being the third (though not consecutive), in which I’ve done more or less nothing on my off day.

When I do have a day off, it usually starts the same, I wake up, I probably jerk off, I get up and drink coffee and play video games and watch shows or Youtube videos for a while, because it’s what I do when I’m relaxing. Then a few hours have gone by and I remember that I need to do something productive with my day. For me, productivity is writing or going to the gym, and I always intend to do both, and often do neither. I almost always drive somewhere.

Driving is the thing that makes me happiest. I usually feel the excitement someone might feel about going to Disneyland when I know I have a long road trip ahead of me. I love getting my car cleaned out, getting a trash bag ready for all the food I’m going to eat along the way, and stopping at the gas station to get snacks and soda for my trip, then starting up a music playlist or an audiobook and starting my GPS to prepare for a drive that may take hours and hours. I feel an incredible sense of hope and potential when I’m on the highway, and when I’m inside my car I feel safe from the outside world, where I can control the temperature and the music and the entertainment, and I can pull over whenever I want or go to a rest stop or a restaurant whenever I want. I feel most in control of my life when I’m driving. My car is a safe and happy place for me, the place I feel most at home, probably more so even than in my bedroom, because my bedroom is at my family’s house, and being with my family is not something that makes me feel safe.

I have so much that I need to do.

My greatest regret in life is that I haven’t gone to college, and it’s not just because I need a degree, but because I want to have the experience of being in college, of being around other young people with fresh ideas who want to go out and live life, to find a friend group, to have a lot of sex, to try drugs and drink, to meet people who share something with me, to feel a sense of belonging I’ve never had, to have the ability to go to someone else’s dorm or apartment and just sit on their couch or lay in their bed. The commune, the safe brotherhood of other people, their friendship enfolding me. This is what I’ve pined after my whole life, and what I’ve never truly experienced, instead spending my days alone, on the couch or my bed or in a chair, playing video games and listening through headphones to music, to audiobooks, to podcasts, to Youtube essays, to TV shows.

My goals for today were to begin, yet again, the process for applying to college, which I’ve started many times but never finished, to go to the gym and do some kind of physical exercise to help me toward losing weight and overcoming both the type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea I struggle with, and to write in my blog, this one in fact. I’m writing this over on Blogger, rather than on my usual WordPress blog (although I’m likely going to cross-post is there), because even though I’ve been blogging since 2010, I often feel the need to reinvent and start over new. I’ve tried on several occassions to number my blog posts, so that I can say “I can’t believe I’ve actually reached number one-hundred!” or something, but there’s just no good way to do it, because my blog entries have been written at different times for different reasons with different potential readers in mind, although always they’ve been for me, and not really for anyone else.

I’m not influential enough to have my posts read by a wide array of people, but I like to imagine that one day I will be successful and people will care about what I have to say, and they’ll scour the back logs of things I wrote throughout my twenties to see what I had to say then. In the current 2019 climate of combing through someone’s back log to find incriminating evidence with which to label them problmatic and decide someone is “cancelled,” I’ve made some of my old posts private or deleted them altogether. I don’t think it’s wrong to keep your old thoughts up online, I think it shows growth. I don’t want to be judged in my thirties for something I thought in my twenties, but that’s the world we live in, and I’m hoping that pretty soon people will come around to the idea that everyone is problematic, everyone is always growing and evolving, and people shouldn’t be held responsible for an insensitive or bigoted thing they said, particularly without intent to offend, years and years ago.

So, I’m hoping this post will be entry number one in a new chapter. My old blog isn’t going anywhere, but I’m toying with the idea of trying things out over on Blogger and starting a “new” blog, which is something I’ve actually done in the past and ultimately gone back over to WordPress, but I’m going to try it again just to give myself a bit of a reason to keep writing. With a fresh slate I can keep coming back here and journaling, which is essentially all that my blog has truly been all this time.

I often feel that the past decade of my life has consisted of so much wasted time and potential. It’s a harsh thing to say because it implies I wish I hadn’t have met the people I’ve met in the past ten years, and there are people who I love today who I wouldn’t want to disappear, but still, if I could go back and do it all again, I might do things very differently. The first thing I’d do is find any way, no matter how difficult, to get far away from my family and stay far away, something which I still haven’t managed to accomplish today. But college would have helped me find friends, find a support group, find a way out. I wish I’d gone to college when I had the chance to do it without so much fuss, and without needing to juggle a full-time job along with it to survive.

A friend of mine from high school is now an English professor at a local community college who promised she would help me to get applied, and now all I have to do is just do it. I wanted to start the process today, along with putting in applications for a new job as I’m beginning to feel uncomfortable where in my current job, but I didn’t get any of that done. I did, however, write this, meandering as it may be, and that is something. My friend, the English professor, says that she knows I’m a good writer, that she can tell I’m talented. I know this too, but it’s hard sometimes because of an issue which I’ll talk about at length another time, the fact that I have difficulty finding my own voice, in every avenue of life. I assimilate the styles of my friends and influences and emulate them, and I don’t know if there is a truly unique voice within me, unless of course I’m wrong about what the concept of originality really is, and every unique person has always been reinterpreting the world around them and reflecting their influences through their own prism, which of course I know is true, but it’s still difficult because I don’t know who I am yet. I don’t know my own voice as an artist. I appreciate my innate ability to emulate the writing style or musical style of other people, but I also have the fear that someone else will see right through me: this passage reads just like Anne Rice, this song sounds just like Tori Amos, that kind of thing. And the reason I’ve been writing tonight in an ornate, circuitous style is actually because I’ve been reading Anne Rice, and there’s a particular quote that really struck me today, from Interview With The Vampire, that I feel really captures how I feel about the way other people affect me, as a writer, as a musician, and as a person:

“I didn’t know I thought these things. I spoke them now as my thoughts. And they were my most profound feelings taking a shape they could never have taken had I not spoken them, had I not thought them out this way in conversation with another. I mean that my mind could only pull itself together, formulate thought of the muddle of longing and pain, when it was touched by another mind; fertilized by it, deeply excited by that other mind and driven to form conclusions.”

The narrator, and my favorite character in Anne Rice’s chronicles, Louis, also in the next paragraph refers to “the great feminine longing of my mind being awakened again to be satisfied.” I feel that way too. I have my own thoughts, my own style, my own music, but it waits to be touched and fertilized by someone else, that’s the starting point, and then I’m off. But I don’t have the starting point. It’s funny, because as I hope I’ll write about at length, I have a real reverence for the male aspect of life, for the male form and the male mind and the mind being, and I wish so dearly that there were a movement like feminism for men, that was about the empowerment and appreciation of men without the toxicity and chauvinism that tends to ordinarily imply, a wholesome place where men could appreciate and respect and love themselves and one another as men, and to organize around the issues that face men which need societal addressing (i.e. male victims of abuse, circumcision, the favoring of the American court system toward mothers even when they are unfit parents, etc.). And here I have what Anne Rice, who herself has said she doesn’t really identify strongly with any gender or see people with any gender, might describe as a feminine mind, a feminine longing to be fertilized by another. Tori Amos fertilized my musical mind, Anne Rice fertilized my writing mind. And I hope there are more and more who will fill me ideas that I can transform to create my own stories, my own music, my own voice made up of others, as all voices really are. A chorus of voices in one person.

We’re all made up of the experiences of our lives: the squeaking shoes on the floor of the school as the kids march in from the rain, my grandmother recounting her harrowing life stories through the smoke of a cigarette, the days and nights sitting in quiet, sedate calm with a video game controller in my hands, looking in the eyes of the first boy I fell in love with on my fifteenth birthday, the moment another, different, young man first pressed his lips against mine two years later, the shiver up my spine and weakness in the small of my back as I was kissed and finally, finally, felt safe. The aching hours spent in regret that I’ve done so little with all this time that I’ve been given.

Struggling, even on a day when I feel I’ve accomplished next to nothing, to believe that the life I’ve been wishing for, the day when the loneliness will finally end and the world will open up like the highway on a long drive, when I will feel the warmth and safety of smiling and laughing friends beside me, and the warmth of lovers in my bed at night, will finally fill my life with the meaning and the purpose and the hope that I’ve been longing for since those first days of sexual awakening when I was thirteen and thought surely it would be years and years and years before I ever felt the satisfaction of someone who loved me. I thought that by thirty I might have begun to understand, but I am confused by life’s questions now as I was then, and afraid, afraid of being alone as well as being without purpose.

This is my small attempt to find meaning in a day that doesn’t go wasted.

It Isn’t Raining

It Isn’t Raining

She’s there at the bottom of the lake
The mother I never had
Waiting for me to join her
Waiting for me to hold her
Like she could have held me back then

He’s hiding in the cavern
The father I dreamt of loving
Waiting for me to kiss him
Waiting for me to lay in his lap
To keep me warm the way he never did

When I needed so much
I faced the wall and said not a thing
Cause what could I say
What good does it do to beg fate
For things it never gave you

It isn’t raining, but I wish it were
I’m not crying but I wish I was
The human capacity for suffering
Is really something, isn’t it?
How many days you can wake up and do nothing
And keep on getting up again tomorrow
When there’s nothing to do but jerk off and read
When there’s nothing to feel but a hot biting need
When the sugar in your blood has grown too sweet
So you can’t even feel both your feet
And the way your body gives up just served to remind me
In the end everyone leaves me behind

I said I’d be nothing like you
But a prescription and a street drug are points of view
And my feet won’t stay awake
So the handsome European man gives me more pills to take

It’s not raining but I could use it
Time isn’t real until you lose it
I wish I were anyone else but this
And it’s here that I lie
And it’s here that I’ll die
I wish I could be a rain cloud in the sky

Michael’s Song

Michael

In the morning we skated in the parking lot

We soaped up our shoes and went sliding on rails

Making our movies and making up stories

I’m cleaning your room and I’m biting your nails

.

Reading your books and watching your movies

We would eat cookie dough right from the can

Running my fingers across the hair on your legs

We are falling asleep touching hands

.

Your dad, my mother

We’ll be a family and you’ll be my brother

You do not love me the way that I love you

But I am your friend and you are my lover

.

You left your watch behind the day that we met

I kept it under my pillow for weeks

I wrote your name down and said it out loud

And tasted the sound on my lips and my teeth

.

It was my birthday, we were riding in the back seat

You gave me your knee and I rested my head

I was so excited to see you again that I

Left the door open and ran to your bed

.

That first night I was sleepless

Laying my head on your chest

You were so peaceful and I was so lonesome

Holding your hand between your legs while you slept

.

Your sister, my brother

We’ll be a family and love one another

You do not love me the way that I love you

But I am your friend and you are my lover

.

Here we are, there are jets and they’re warm

Here we are taking a shower together

Here we are finding your dad’s hidden porn

Here we are touching ourselves together

Here we are fighting you pushed me onto the bed

Here we are shouting again

Here I am crying with you at the door and it’s locked

Here I am losing my friend

.

I changed my name at school

People believe you’re my brother

You do not love me the way that I love you

But I am your friend and you are my friend and

You are my friend and you are my friend and

.

Still I remember the days we spent in our world

I remember when I was alive

Walking the sidewalks with you I am happy

And I’ve not been happy since 2005

No one can break us the boys that we were

The way that your skin smells all over my face

The way you were crying and wrapped in a towel

The way that you trusted me when we embraced

I got you suspended but I was just mad

You shouldn’t love her, I’ve been here all this time

You called me and asked “what of us now?” I don’t know

But I would still love you if you were not mine

.

My friend, my brother

We’ll be a family and love one another

You do not love me but I’ll always love you

I was your friend and you were my lover

Some Poems I Wrote This Year

So a lot of the poetry I’ve posted this year has been called untitled with a number afterward. That’s because I constantly write down scraps of poetry or short poems and don’t give them titles because they’re intended to be kind of sewn together into lyrics for songs later. Some of these stand on their own, some of them are kind of waiting to be paired up with others. I used to just separate all of these poetry fragments with a little asterisk, but when I cleaned out my notes on my phone and transferred all my old poetry fragments to my computer, rather than using asterisks I tried using numbers. I kind of liked the way that worked because it gave everyone of those poems a designation of some kind to reference later, and so when I started a new poetry notepad on my phone, I just continued using a number system, although I restarted from one. So everything you’ve seen posted this year with numbers in the title is the number that I gave it in my notes. I recognize this is all way too complicated, but organizing things is kind of like, my hobby.

That being said, I’m going to post some of the best stuff I feel I’ve written this year. Some of these will be repeats from earlier posts, although the majority of these (especially from 33 onward) are new and haven’t been seen before. I was really doing this just as a way to have these all collected here at the end of the year, but to tell the truth I discovered I’m actually REALLY proud of some of the things I’ve written, and I think that I’m really growing and that one day my lyrics will reflect this. Anyway, if you’ve enjoyed my poetry before, I hope you enjoy these. Happy new year and all that, everyone.

1 – Home (for Jacob)

And I want to go home but you’re not there
And without you it’s just a house
And I want to get in bed but it makes me remember
The person I’m sleeping without
And if I squint real hard in the morning light
Before I remember that I’m alone
I can think that you’re still here beside me
And suddenly this house has become a home

And even if you only love me a little
A little is enough for me
And I don’t care if I’m wrong and you break my heart
I just need you to come home to me

And I’m making mix CDs for you
And I listen to them by myself
Cause I’d rather share them with no one at all
Than to show them to someone else
And the dogs look around like they still don’t get
That you’re not coming home for a while
But if you told me tomorrow that you were ready
I’d sell everything and drive three-hundred miles

And even if you only love me a little
A little is enough for me
And I don’t care if I’m wrong and you break my heart
I just need you to come home to me

When I lay in bed I pretend you’re there
And I cry because you’re not
And I don’t answer when other friends call
Because I’d rather you be missed than you be forgot
And even if you only love me a little
I’d give you anything you want
And I’m not even dead but I feel like a ghost
Cause I’m living in this house you haunt

And even if you only love me a little
A little is enough for me
And I don’t care if you break my heart
Because it’s broken already
Come home

5 – Delirium

Oh Delirium you taught me how to love desire
And you took me in the dark and you gave me a little fire
I held it close against my chest and walked into the rain
I learned that I can be happy and still in constant pain

Delirium you taught me how to love despair
And when I look inside and I can’t see myself I see you there
And when my voice is broken and you begin to sing
I think that it’s possible that I can say anything

Oh Delirium walking with me in the morning
They can’t hear what you’re painting but I see it all
And I was in my room wrapped in chains when you found me
And you whispered “Aren’t you sick of being tied to the wall?”

I don’t understand a word you’re saying
But I know exactly what you mean
And I thought I had to be quiet until you showed me
That I have the power to scream

And the water was warm as I sank to the bottom
Singing your songs for the hundredth time
And when I reached the floor I dug my nails in till they were bleeding
And I had no lipstick, I had no shoes
But the horses came for me anyway
And my muddy clothes were dripping
And the grey sky looked down
And I crawled from the river
Said I crawled from the river

When I was lonely I rested in you
When I knew I was unknowable I believed that you were too
And if the echoes of you bleeding could reach me through the years
I knew that there was merit in my tears
I knew that I could love my deepest fears

And being human is so dirty but I’m happy just to try
I believe the effort’s worth it when I’m sad enough to die
And I don’t fear the devil anymore because of you
You taught me how to love myself like God refused to do

Oh Delirium you taught me Destruction is alright
You gave me a lantern to keep me warm at night
You barked at the cats and they scattered to the wind
You growled when they tried to let those preachers in
You taught me to love what I thought would make me die
You taught me to look their god right in the eye
And I don’t fear the devil anymore because of you
You taught me how to love myself like God refused to do

7

At night I say goodbye and get into my car
Drive home and unlock the door
Go into my room and close it behind me
Sink to the floor in exhaustion
I pull of my clothes while I lay on my side
Until I’m naked and the air is cool against my skin
Chills run down me and something leaves my heart
And comes up through my eyes and out my mouth
There are such depths within me that I cannot express
It hurts to know that one can see this dark place
If only someone knew me I could feel safe
And always my call at night goes unanswered
Laying on the floor until I’m done thinking
Rocking back and forth
It isn’t time for school
I’ve wasted so much of my life
In this quiet chamber where sadness is an echo
And the sea beneath me is warm


*apparently I messed up the numbering for these next three, so just go with it

8

My love flashes so bright that it blinds before it fades
My love is a deep well that drains so fast
And leave my dry and thirsty
My love is cruel because it does not hold to me
My love is fickle and callous, flitting in the wind
And my heart is always broken and infatuated
These cruel opposing hands make me so dizzy

7

Possess me, possess me
I’ve denied it for so long
Come isnide and stay within my body
Give my bones a ringing song
Lie within these corridors
My echoed halls that scream your name
Raise my voice inside of yours
Break apart this fragile frame

8

I’m dying and it feels so wonderful
It feels so wonderful to die
I’m coming and the heat is intense
Between these many bodies gathered
And all there is is this
His and his and his and his and his and his and his
Sweet delirious fucking
Hair and teeth and skin
Tighten these grilling fingers around my throat
And let me die like this

9

I’ll look after you
I’ll take care of you
Will you look after me
When I am there with you

10

He comes to me quietly
My old friend who understands
He hears what I forgot I said
Lonely and quiet
Sad and at peace
I do not have to say a thing
He already knows
These chills are a blanket
His fingers are warm
Hold me close I cannot hear them
He wraps his arms around me
He takes me home

14

I stopped growing when I was fourteen
I was raised by a television screen
I skipped the bus and stayed at home
Grinding my body into a black hole

15

And you can blame me if it helps you feel better
We all get scared sometimes
And I know you smile when they ask how you’re feeling
It’s okay to tell those lies
When you come to me alone in the dark
I’ll be your silent friend
You’ve been alone for so long
You’re trying to be strong
You just want this pain to end
We both have wounds we cannot tend

You’re trying to tell me what you’re thinking
Saying words that don’t make sense
You say you’d rather cry than be quiet
That sadness is better than indifference
But you can cry for me if it helps you feel better
We all get scared sometimes
And you can gather your thoughts and put them in a letter
Writing words that never rhyme
But no one reads those lines

And it’s okay to be angry cause the world deserves it
And I’m shouting with you and I don’t care if it’s worth ti
When we finally reach the top of this rock we climb
We may not get an answer but at least we tried
And if you promise not to lie to me I’ll promise you
That I’m hurting when you’re hurting and I’m angry too
I may not know the reason but I know this much
It’s that I love you and I know
It’s so hard to live without touch

16 (For Kesha)

And you dance while you’re dying
Every day you’re trying
But the other side of the rainbow doesn’t come today
Just dance while you’re dying
They’re hearing but they’re not listening
No can hear you crying
Over the sound your singing

18

And these nights are rubbing me raw
My skin is itching for touch
And I’m asking and no one answers
I just want to feel so much
I’m thirst, I’m hunger
Contact is my deepest need
I’m breathless and hardened
I want to make a garden
But I have no seed

20

And I’ll learn to live with it if I have to
Because I have no other choice
But it’s such a shame to live like this
Singing to strangers in someone else’s voice

23

We’re playing God and God isn’t playing fair
(I’m coming in to burn you all)
My skin begins itching soon, try to contain the fire
(No weight can hold me back)
Tell them to run while they can
(I will live forever and the sun will die before my fire is quenched)
Don’t breathe, just run
(Feed me with life
Until I am everything)

24

Running through the veins of love
Come on let the sunshine in
It’s finally gonna happen
You can’t even guess at how it feels
And when you hear them singing
You know they’re only trying
To say something that can’t be said

Come out of the catacombs baby
Everyone’s been waiting
And in the middle of the circle stands
The fruit you eat daily
The water you drink
The heat that keeps your heart beating
Freedom will not wait for you to catch her

25

A whisper is inside me
Begging to slip out
I’m afraid to say it
These sweet words hiding in my mouth
Where your tongue slipped in

26

I only know how to be alone
But I’m hoping that you’ll teach me
How do I ask you
To make a new heart for me
Replace the old one that was taken
And we’re meant to touch
I’ll be Jonathan, you be David

27

And my wicked little heart is trembling in your hands
You climbed into my chest and found it beating
And if you want to keep me all you have to do is ask
Will you love me even with my constant needing

32

On this autumn hill
The kingdom of an ancient time
When the birds spoke in verse
When the people of the forest listened
Comes to me at sunrirse

The horses can still smell
The air we’ve gotten used to
Our noses were full of cotton
Flares on a coole vening breeze
Asking me to hear secrets I’ve been keeping

Blue, blue
Soft nocturne like a lullaby
I’m asking the ghosts if they can spare a mother for me
I need to be held against her breasts
I hold an empty cup in my hands

The empty king wears a birds head
He looks down on a cold chasm
I have come to ask compassion
Come with my twisted knots of glesh
Tangled nerves that thirst for something fresh
And pools of blood beneath my skin
Where my heart was beaten

I cross this angry bridge
While you look on silently
With nothing behind me
And a cup of blood in my hands

33

We’re swimming in the clouds
We’re floating in the fog
We’re dancing through the grass
We’re coming
We don’t believe those lies
We bring your secrets with us

34

I tried to learn to love you
But the chances were so slim
I split myself in pieces
Hoping one of them could be him

I put my mask on to go to sleep
But I can’t tell a lie while I’m dreaming
So I taper my mouth shut
I can’t tell you the secret I’m keeping

I’m sifting through the trash
To find the music I was reading
I’m walking on razorblades
And wondering why I’m bleeding

I’m chasing you beneath the moon
I’m standing far behind myself
I’m walking on razors
And I don’t know why I’m bleeding

35

The soldiers stop by and kiss the pin-up boy
On their way to work
On their way to the field
On their way to eat
And especially
On their way to sleep

36

I’ve been having nightmares
Worms beneath the ocean
Ancient and forgotten things
In a submarine inside the belly of the beast
A mouth with many teeth
The clamp and strangle

I saw so many faces
Turning into masks
Their loves one changing right before their eyes
I saw beast that stood beside my bed
No eyes and scales across it’s awful head
I screamed like a siren
Calling for a dog to save me

38

Twin without a twin
Brother without a brother
Here I am again
In love without a lover

39

I want to feel safe
Not lost in an ocean of kisses without love
I want to be warm
Not shielded from a cold wind of loneliness
Blowing down the hill
I want to be loved
As much as I love the world around me
And the hope of changing
I’m tired of feeling vertigo in my cracked heart

And I’m giving up on trying to find
Someone whose scent I cannot track
I’m just trying my best to lose
This heavy weight that bears down on my chest
And I’ll still feel those tears when
I crawl in bed and think of him
I wish the world weren’t so cruel
But wishes are just prayers that go unanswered

42

These lullabies are so familiar
But the footprints are still mine
It could be early in the morning
Standing in the sea when we haven’t slept
The sea is full of jewels
And I think I’ll fall into the sky
I wish you were with me
In the still glass
In the quiet morning sea
Everything sleeps eventually

I don’t want to go to sleep on my own
It would be so warm to lie in you
It would be so good to let me go
So much fear that I’ll always have broken feet
I hope I’m still worth walking

How can so many voices call
In such a small place
I’m so afraid
And I’m trying so hard to be strong
Hold me
I’m so tired from standing

43

The sky is an ocean
And I want to fall high and into it
Where they swim in oxygen
They laugh
And I’m sinking into the air
And it smells like the cold
The snow is in my veins
I’m freezing, I’m a crystal
(Don’t break!)
(Don’t move!)
(Just drink!)
Drink the air
The fish can fly

44

I remember a childhood that isn’t mine
A winter without Elvis in my room
A grandmother that was not mine
There was no smoke in the walls there
My mother was a housewife
My brothers were my friends
My father was a good man
I was not alone when I learned to love
I kept secrets that did not break me
My family called and asked me to come home
They were all so worried
I felt sorry for the boy whose mom had kicked him out
We let him stay with us for a little while
My mother couldn’t imagine that
I wished I could help him
So we took off all our clothes and lit a candle
I said goodbye to my brothers while they slept
He kissed me
I hugged my father
He held me
I whispered to my sleeping mother
I kissed him deep
I promised I”d take her with me wherever I go
He took me in and the green sky swallowed my heart

I was a crying baby then
Taken into the arms of a woman who was not mine
One day he’ll find me and throw his arms around me
And I’ll see my brothers again
And my father will be so proud
My mother will forgive me for running away
She’s proud of both her sons
She still loves us all
She’ll tell me I’m so brave

My friend will take my hand and lead me to bed
Give me a kiss and tell me I saved him
It will be worth it
My car is cold right now
But my bed is warm
He’s patting the space beside him
Come on, Jesse
I believe in you
Come home
The Bed is warm
Find me, follow my candle
Keep driving

 

46

Put you on the drugs then we take them back from you
Now you can’t live without it, now you need it
Now you want the water cause you’re
Thirsty, needing, now your eyes are bleeding
Take a little all you get is what we say you need
So we push this
Take this back from you
But you’re not covered cause you have no clothes
So we’ll take a piece of your brain
Until you pay us back
Wish you’d just break my legs
Instead of cracking each bone to collect

48

I have so little of the joy you weave
My life has been a march of pain
But I still hope I can see the beauty
The blood beneath the vein

49

And what joy, and what pain
To know I found the one and he didn’t love me

50

The sky is a reflection of the sea
My reflection is an imitation of me
Where my eyes end and the world begins
A fog so thick that no one can see in
And I’m reaching into that fearful expanse
Hoping you’ll see and break

52

The orchestra players are not just instruments
Not just breath and tone
I see your eyes and the music within
Body, blood and bone

I know my lover’s staggered breath
I know his gentle moan
The music in his gentleness
The softness in the stone

And I know when he plays for me
His secrets I have known
I hear him talking in his sleep

54

I’ll wake up and wander through the house
Very quiet and the dogs are still asleep
If I open up your bedroom door
Will you let me slide beneath the sheets

57

No one dies alone
The lights in the sky are sleeping

62

Hey there Lucifer
I heard you were the one to talk to
I can’t stop thinking about the hearts beneath the floor
I can’t stop seeing the faces of the victims
And I’ve not lost sleep but I’ve lost waking

Hey Lucifer I know you’ve seen it all
I keep saying I’m not the worst
But I really don’t believe it
I tried to ask your father but he never called me back
I tried to ask his son but he really never spoke
And I wonder if ghosts are even real
But if any god is real I hope it’s you
If I open up, will you have compassion?
Scoop out the thing that makes me black
Leave some hope where it was

I’m trying my best to stare down the fire
But it won’t stop melting my resolve
Would you take my hand and lead me through?

Hey Lucifer I’m afraid
And I want to throw it all up
It hasn’t left me yet
Please god get it out

Hey Lucifer I’m ready
I’m ready to lay it down
Help me to forgive myself
Because it’s eating me alive
And I can’t keep secrets
When I have so much to give

Hey Lucifer do you think
I can wrap my soul around the one I love
When I die
And will I have to lose myself again just to live
I’m calling back the music
I’m trying to command
But I am not a witch
And I don’t have the power

Teach me how to love
Before I start to hate
A part of me wants to destroy everything
But help me to live him and show him compassion
Help me when the world won’t
Help me when God doesn’t answer
People only come to you when no one else picks up
I’m sorry that the world has heaped it’s shit on you

Hey Lucifer
I love you
Hold my hand and lead me out
And cleanse my blood
With sunlight

69

Our sorrow is still enough
And better than a lonely morning
With my wet feet in the grass by themselves
And hoping you’ll come home across the ocean
Though it breaks my heart
It’s worth holding

 

70

I don’t want a wedding ring
I’m not looking for forever
I just want tonight to be better than this morning
And maybe three years is enough
I hope you thought it’s worth it
Love dropped by and spent the night
And left me in the morning