“Crash”

As well as holding down a (professional) job, I also ‘work’ as a poet. I wrote this poem 6 years ago, about the process of crashing: that sudden overwhelming drop into depression. It isn’t even a case of ‘the higher you are the further there is to fall’. It doesn’t seem to work like that, does it? A crash is always what it is, whatever ‘speed’ you might have been travelling at at the time.

CRASH.
The bird asked me:

How does the crash happen?

I replied:

It begins as a subtle,

idiotic skimming of feathers

about my head

but builds to a blind

thrashing of wings

pulping my whole

body

contorting even the

pose I hold, sitting.

The tree asked me:

How does the crash develop?

I replied:

The wind pulls me

this way and

that; grows from a

rustle to an angry

mob. It

envelops my head:

speech, nerves and

movement

slow

-ing

each to an infant

crawl when swaddled.

The rain asked me:

How dark does it become?

I replied:

My whole being

fights to preserve itself:

I feel the ambivalence of

wanting to live yet

being almost unable

to countenance

survival. I wish for

the whole world to

hold me; to swaddle

me in a bright blanket

made up of atoms

drawn from life itself.

The baby asked me:

How do you grow?

I replied:

In this state I barely

exist: pain wracks my

entire body, neck to

toes, head to

tips of cold fingers.

I go on only

because it’s dictated in

my genes. My DNA

tortures me, tying me

to life in these

episodes of

string-bound

cloud.

I asked myself:

Will you always go on?

I replied:

I’ll fight. What

else can I do?

There was no reply

this time.

©2009

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