Forty-Five Minutes

Forty-Five Minutes
JCD KERWIN

One, two, three a.m. and I’m staring, blinking, glaring at the ceiling like I’ve got a grudge against the shadows. Tossing and turning makes the stitch in my side itch. I have to lie straight to keep myself from screaming but I can’t dream think the right way without shoving pillows over my face.

Must refuse to move
until
the pain stops and
my heartbeats
d
r
o
p.

[Maybe if
I crush these tabs,
they’ll last a little longer,
be a little stronger;
make me
a little better at
not being me.]

The guy behind the desk says I’m supposed to believe in myself. I sink farther into the couch and wonder why upholstery’s always more plush in small rooms even though you’re never in the mood to sit still.

(I tell him I like the paintings of the Ming Dynasty Treasure Ships. They came with the office, he says. None of them ever know where the pictures come from.)

It all goes back
to my childhood:
where my family
went did wrong.

Separate yourself.
Cut yourself off
from everything
that hurts you.

He says.

Easier said
than done.

I say.

And the other guy throws pills at me, changing his mind with each visit. He can’t decide what makes
me messed up
inside.

Neither can I.

[Which is why I
line up orange bottles
in Chess lines,
like they’re pawns and I
am running from
the pugilist glove
that will crush me if
I don’t keep ahead of
the other me’s
next move.]

I am unimpressed with the depression of my facial expression. It gets quite old. But I don’t know how to climb out from puddles I rained out all alone.

He tells me plenty of people have sat where I sat, feeling hopeless, but they dug out, just like I will. I ask when that will be…

Right now I’m spelunking in the dark.

(October 2015)

Numb

Comfortably Numb by JohnKyo (DeviantArt)

Numb
JCD Kerwin

It’s 9 pm in July.
I hang my arm
out the car window
so I can feel
the cold so I
can feel something
other than me—
the humanity
of me.

I keep it there
until it numbs;
the feeling spreads
deep into my heart.
I smile;
thankful for
an emotion other than
depression.

I’m sick of
never-ending
existentialism.
I wish I could
wake up and become
a robot just like them.
At least then I wouldn’t
feel pain anymore;
I’d just feel nothing
at all.

(July 2015)

Three Bucks Out of Luck

Three Bucks Out of Luck
JCD Kerwin

I met God the other day,
on a Tuesday afternoon.
He was smoking French cigarettes
and drinking black coffee.
“What this meeting all about?”
I asked and sipped my own
liquefied Arabica beans.
“You’re right; you’re all damn fucked,
just like you thought you were.”
And then he laughed and put a pair of Oakleys
over two different colored eyes.
I watched him raise a pigeon from the dead
as he passed on down the sidewalk.
Once roadkill of taxis that didn’t give a damn,
now it bobbed and waddled in the muck
of our humanity.
“We’re all just fucked anyway.”
I played with the spoon on my saucer
and watched coffee droplets turn into constellations.
The Milky Way is only a figment of our imaginations—
Andromeda is one of a thousand daytrips we can take
anytime we’d like.
I tip the mug and watch the coffee pour.
I leave without paying because I know it doesn’t matter.
Three bucks and a dime aren’t worth a damn
when we’re all just fucked anyway.

June 2015

Under the Armour

Under the Armour
JCD Kerwin

It’s funny that
to forge ahead
you must discard
the bloodied, broken armour
you’ve been wearing ‘round for years.

(Some sanguine stains are yours;
some family’s;
and some pure stranger’s.)

In the end,
you walk alone
with brittle bones
and scars upon your feet.
But you know,
the briar patch
you crawled through
all your life
is miles behind.
Nothing but grassy knolls
for your wounded toes
ahead.

And it echoes in your head:
“With every step and
every breath: hold on.”
Hold on, hold on, hold on.
With every drip
of sweat and tear;
blood that poured from all those years:
hold on,
walk on,
through valleys beyond
the Dark cast out
from your shattered, burned insides.

(May 2015)

B-Side the Fire

Er, it was a dark day. O_O…

Also, ten billion points to whoever can guess where I got the title of the poem from! I’ll give you a hint, my favorite band is U2. :O

B-Side the Fire
J.C.D. Kerwin

I set the same song on reply.
I glue the button down
with blood and spit and tears
to make the track rerun because
right now (since how long, I can’t recall)
it’s been the only thing keeping me from
falling into vomit I am puking from my heart.
There are no words, just
the same acoustic refrain
as if it sends me far away
from whatever this
is supposed to be.
(“Reality,” they tell me.)

At least in my head,
I can’t get hurt and
I don’t wear a frown
quite as hard
as the PF Flyers
I’ve worn holes in.
I keep running but
I don’t know which way
to chase a daydream.
It’s like trying to catch the moon
at dawn.
I’m told we’re all
a little crazy,
a little sad,
a little weird and a little mad
sometimes.
But all I really am is desperate.
I just want to crack
these goddamn headphones in half
and climb inside the music notes
to find the Neverland I dream about
every time I close my eyes;
to see the faces that aren’t real
to everyone else but me.

I’d like to suck a couple drops
of caffeine nicotine and see
if an imaginary friend will come
skipping out to talk with me.
Perhaps he’ll reflect computer screens
and we’ll recite binary while
people think I’m drunk, but won’t
it be fun when I’m finally gone and free?
Oh how I wish this cord
led to a 4-D world instead of a little red
music box player that made me wonder
of perfectly imperfect impossibilities.

(January 2015)