breath into my lungs and soul,
wind beneath the bright blue sky.
spirit stares into the sun,
burns its passion on my mind.
Through unseen tears I watch myself,
Speak lines drawn from a comic play.
From dark warm depths I tear my heart,
And place it, bleeding, on your tray.
ARTIST & MANIC
On searing crimson canvas moist,
The streams of black cut through the flesh.
A tender soul-song charms the night,
Its grief poured through the flautist's mesh.
The sane will read the rhymes and sigh,
Their world the poet longs to know.
The beauty of the art is born,
Within a dungeon, dark, alone.
Electric charge and fires flare,
A restless tension chokes the air.
I breathe it deep, I grind my teeth,
Rhythm pounding, thrill to seek.
Anger burning, heartbeat racing,
Crave the high with stress invading.
Dreams of power, lust, and heat.
I've gone too far, I can't retreat.
life and hope.
tide firmly pulling from below,
leviathan abducting its prey.
desperate hand reaches to a distant shore,
naive children laugh,
construct their fantasy mansions.
open hand disappears below the surf.
An echoed whisper calls:
"Move with the tide".
A limp will sinks into a surreal liquid fog.
Angry breakers quietly crash above.
Filtered streams of light rain down.
Lungs flood with a dull, familiar ache.
A heart gently rises and falls
As it is rocked in the waves.
Hands reach for soft sand from the bottom,
Lifting and releasing from curious fists.
A slow motion hour glass,
Warps of time moved and scattered,
Depositing in another reality.
Tropical fish in their choreographed dance,
Their bright colors fade to gray and black.
Don't expect an appreciation of splendor.
Slowly pulsating through cool channels,
Stopping at a coral barrier reef.
Eyes inspect the artwork of alien creatures.
Fingertips test the assumed sharpness.
Lips affectionately kiss the jagged edges,
Tenderly devouring the self-inflicted agony.
Pain has a new identity in this dimension,
Between the liquid onyx abyss,
And the distant sunny beach.
tests, glucose tolerance, germ cultures.
found nothing wrong", shrugs the doctor. "It must be a virus".
it keeps recurring", I reply.
it's related to your allergies", he adds.
try not to cry, thinking of the days of endless sleep,
aches, and numb emotions.
The psychiatrist asks me, "Any history of mental illness in the family?"
"No", I reply.
The ghost of my aunt must have been screaming,
Longing to tell me about the state mental hospital.
But I never knew her, and I was never told.
"There's alcoholism", I add.
"Maybe that's what you're fighting, and you're under a lot of stress",
She says as she so methodically takes notes.
At work I walk down a long foggy hallway.
A well-meaning friend stops me.
"You know, people think you're being snobbish lately,
You never say hi or stop to talk".
I have no explanation.
I hadn't even seen the people.
All I can see is my destination at the end of the long tunnel.
Shaking and crying all evening.
I just know I'm going to fall apart.
Sitting for hours at night,
With my head resting on the phone.
Maybe someone will call.
Through the phone line I feel
A delusional connection to reality.
Staring at the clock at 2:00 a.m.,
Waking at 5:00 a.m. wearing a jacket
That had been hanging by the door.
Had I gone outside during the night?
Energy soaring, thoughts racing,
Lights too bright, sounds too loud.
Trying desperately to act normal.
As the people in front of me
become a kaleidoscope.
I want to yell.
I want to throw things and smash things.
But I breathe deep, and I smile.
I have a break from work at lunch.
I sneak to my car and drive home.
Fists slamming on the counter,
Pulling hair, yelling in psychic pain.
I pour shots of Jack Daniels into a glass
And I can't drink it fast enough.
I crawl on the floor,
huddle, rock gently, and pray for help.
cinnamon breath mints, I return to work.
And again wear my public mask.
A shrill bell rings,
and I take a deep breath.
I step in front of my class of students,
For yet another performance.
A REASON FOR LIVING
When you look in my eyes
I can see your smiles
When we walk in the sand
Holding each other hand in hand
When we hold each other tight
At the end of each night
I know you are there
And I will always be there
You have given me a life
And a way to love myself
A way to take my dreams off that shelf
For that I will always love you!
Thank you for giving me
A REASON TO LIVE
Pacing in the Dark
"It's your watch get up on deck"
Up I go I receive my empty rifle
And start my watch back and fourth
My duty is to guard our ship in the
Pitch darkness of a moonless nite
My mind begins to race I know he's there
Faster and faster I go looking into blackness
The deck I pace not knowing his face I pace
What was that? Will I die tonite?
Faster and harder I walk every muscle so tight
My heart is pounding ready to explode
Suddenly he is there in my face
He is gone but I can't scream I try and try
But only a whimper comes out
There I lay my bed all a mess my heart racing
I am covered in sweat and my legs are aching
From all my nocturnal pacing
by John Haeckel
surreal Hobo by Jason
The hobo looked up from the
sleep that hobos sleep and saw
me waving a George Washington
buck at him, teasing his
poverty and the shakes the hobos
get after waking from their sleeps.
he smiled with rotten teeth that looked
like he'd been eating baked beans
since Bostonians first discovered
bacon and brown sugar and beans
went together quite nicely.
he reached to his crotch through
his left dusty pocket and
scratched a good, long time.
he mumbled something and stung me
with his drunktalk.
"i've got a g-g-good time in my hand, sir."
he said, and he
pulled a green rolex and a condom
out of his pocket where his hand had been
and his crotch still was.
"f-f-for that georgie bill, I'll give you
fifteen minutes and a blow,"
"No thank you, sir," i said.
I had something better in mind.
"Do you dance, sir?
I like to polka.
Can you polkadance, sir?" i said.
"well. . .well. . ."
just like that he said well twice,
trying to remember the moves.
he was willing to make it
up for a ten buck,
"I do believe I remember," he said
and he stood and I moved my feet
to a rhythm that wasn't there.
I jiggled. he jigged.
he became tired and had
to retire back to his cement
He looked at his green timepiece
with squinty eyes and said,
"fifteen minutes and a good time was the deal."
he was all business. as much
business as a hobo could be.
"There was no deal," I said
and gave him the George.
10-06-1992 @ 01:56
most people don't think of
depression as making a snowangel in the
till the angel is six feet
and the mud takes a
written by Jason
11-02-1992 @ 20:07
sitting in this room
all lit with yellow, faux
light, I can't feel me.
written by Jason
08-17-1998 @ 12:08
today, I wanted to
kill myself. it was
3am and it felt right
to think of it.
too many to count
were in my
in my left was cool
and pregnant with water.
I sipped at the
cup's corner's edge and thought
my family and my friends,
the credit cards I
had tapped out yesterday,
the book I hadn't finished reading.
i threw the pills
across the room,
sat back and drank the
living because of obligations
and the obligated,
it feels more right
than at 3am.
written by Jason
09-12-1993 @ 04:19
the flowing river
do you see
the real you
glimpses of what you think
what you fear
a little one
you need is comfort
find none to be given
to be a part of the others
in a fuzzy meadow
were the buttercup
tomorrow you fear
may live with the thistle
have none to hold you
the stillness of the flowing river
hard and it's easy
growing, flowering, wilting
continue many circles
the dandelions attempt to change
the thistles show their blooms
the unchanging river
who you were
who you will be.
There's a darkness
A thin layer of
black silk water
covering sharp deep
that snaps and crackles
piercing my heart.
Burning me until
I can see the reality
of the coldness
and meanness that is me.
I have an old soul,
it's worn and it's weary,
beware of its anger
it's too much to see.
Don't wade in that
if the ice breaks,
I will consume you
and you too will
see, the reality that is me.
Tread wary it's
it is black in my
Moonlight hits the
surface but reflects back to the sky.
Don't take a count
of the souls I have taken.
and spit out like broken tree limbs.
White, black and
in the white flame
of my souls necropolis
Oh God! How I try,
but the fire consumes me,
controlled by the
bullets of white, pink and rose.
But it's there deep
within me, this deadly destruction,
this bleak mystical
tragedy that shakes at my hand.
No sleep for me
now, I just don't deserve it.
The peace then for
me comes only at death.
The cause then I
for all that I have
been and all I can't be.
Living a lie of
and sweet gentle
While the ice on
lies unstable beneath.
Anne Kasday 1998
A Self Portrait