Sit down at
Feel the ecstasy slip from my
The one in my brain I mean
And watch my two friends drink soda
And reminisce about the day.
Earlier R and I had been
Sitting on bleachers talking
About starting a band.
I remember it seemed like
This great revelation:
I can start a band!
I can make music!
It felt like a nightmare
To go from that bliss of
Thinking about music
And watching my mind explode
From the drugs
To a world of
Realizing I’m actively
Suppressing certain thoughts
And they’re about to blow up my mind.
I think I was 18 when it happened,
When I was sitting in this taco bell with my friends
And I watched this thing float up
Through my heart
Thing of all of the negative, paranoid
The crazy worries like,
Do I have a brain tumor?
Can I feel it growing inside of my head?
Did spice give me brain damage?
I watched them scream forth,
No longer a place to hide…
The link was clicked and it was buffering…
And I went home in the spring weather
The warm spring weather and I watched
Russell go his separate way and I felt my
Feet walking back to Xavier
And I thought to myself
My life is ruined.
Now this was a very innocent
Thought for you see
My mind was an extremely delicate
Place at this time.
I’m not sure what it is about youth but it
Tricks us into thinking that our story
Is the end of it and it is only through
Pain that the grooves of our life become
Deeper, richer and…
I felt my feet pulling me back to Xavier and
I awoke to this feeling like
My thoughts were vapid…too vapid
Like I’d destroyed my mind,
And this happens to everyone after drug use
But I took it very personally for some reason,
I completely panicked.
I paced my dorm room feeling
This wretched emptiness in my mind
Like the drugs had destroyed it,
Like some THING was breaking me apart and-
I stood at my dorm room window and felt
This scepter of pain pierce my forehead and
I screamed an unknown scream
A scream that only exists on the sketchiest, new-agey-est
A scream that the internet replies with “Kundalini Syndrome”
In response but in actuality
It was an even deeper scream
One forged during all of those quiet walks home
The little spices of my consciousness that had been quietly
Blooming throughout childhood.
So I screamed an unknown scream and my head
Ached like crazy.
So drugs destroyed my mind and simultaneously
Gave me horrible migraines.
I remember drinking a chai and going to Rosa Josie’s
Lecture in the art building and feeling my forehead
Breaking open and boy
Acting out “The Tempest” while your consciousness is
Disintegrating does not work.
Because a normal person would have gone to the doctor,
Or a shrink.
But I took it all very personally,
It was all twisted up in my social anxiety and my sorrow…
And I remember H,
I remember having no brain to speak of and bobbing in
Elevators with her and seeing her large brown eyes
Stare at me and hearing her exclaim,
Are you okay?
And me replying,
Yeah, I’m fine.
And going to sleep with her this one night,
And having an extremely vivid dream of my soul being lifted off of the ground and
Seeing two right-side up crosses
Burn into my eyelids and hearing
A sound like Satan laughing.
That dream didn’t feel like a dream,
It felt like real life and
While that awful Satanic laughing sound resounded through
The bedroom this grey fog filled my vision and I
Awoke back in my bed, but it felt like
The life reset-button had more or
Less been pressed because
God had actually just made a mistake,
Whoops let’s pretend it was just a dream…
Fortunately it was Spring,
During this time so
There was beauty to everything…
And I had some beautiful visions of limitless love
As if love is the landscape of life…
You know, it’s all around us…
I stared at a spring flower and saw it light up so clearly
The nectar of this rich, fulfilling, pure
That life is actually made out of.
I walked around the Seattle University campus feeling this way,
For like thirty minutes…
I wasn’t on any drugs, it was a pure
Mystical experience and I have yet to re-experience
That kind of everywhere-love…
Just for the sake of re-grounding this poetry
All of this happened during the spring of my freshman year.
I went back to my hometown and read some stupid books called
“The Power of Now” and “Be Here Now”
Totally stupid books, yet life-changing…
And that summer was the most beautiful of my life.
I walked through the forest near my home
And listened to an audiobook by Tara Brach
About encapsulating mental problems in acceptance and I
Walked along feeling every limb sparkle with
And that same night I fell into a sorrow
Realizing that nothing seemed to last
There was no wisdom to speak of
I had no idea what the fuck was
When I remember that summer it is like a sheen of white light
That for whatever reason is more golden and magical than
Anything else in my mind…
I remember sitting there my Sophomore year of college,
After this magical summer,
And I started making music and
My friend and I lived together in a dorm room,
I had two pet rats and I took one of them
To the hospital in Fremont because it had a tumor.
I’m amazed where my body carried me that year since I had no brain
To speak of.
I remember talking to my roommate while he sat on his bed and I wanted
To connect so badly,
But I just felt the tension between us
Tighten all year long and…
I watched him become happy for a little while,
He dated a girl who
Did study abroad in Mexico right as
I went to a ten-day Vipassana meditation retreat and
Felt that there was this interesting thing about
The way objects are placed in space,
They almost tickle your brain stem
When they move past you.
And at I looked at the stars and saw black patches in my
Vision and worried that my vision was going.
That one retreat gave me a strange resilience
When you sit still for 100 hours over the course of a week
I think it will sound arrogant but I don’t mean for it to
Everyone should do it
It’s harder than hiking the Grand Canyon
And I’ve hiked that thing…
That silly canyon…
It automatically sounds bad
So fast-forward to Henry
I remember you
When we would
Grab drinks after class.
There was a feeling to you
That intoxicated my sense of
It felt like spiritual teachings
Could reside in people instead of
Only existing in institutions…
You told me that you love angst…
And when you visited last summer,
I found that you had moved onto other things…
Your child was yet unborn
And your girlfriend was in Germany
And you told me that you loved it even though
It was still in the womb.
It is strange how
A person can create something that outlasts them in those
Who happen to have open hearts at the time.
I still emulate the you from several years ago,
And I love the you who exists now
Although he’s moved onto
And he can’t contain his whole life philosophy
In a drunken conversation anymore.
This whole poem started out as an autobiography but
I don’t want for it to become that.
Now that the past has taken place I can give
All of my problems space and the
Contradictory nature of what I was
Going through is clearer to me.
I’ve also been to three of those ten day meditation retreats.
Life is starting to resemble a road full of
Blackened pits and green mountains,
And treasures along the side.
Although the lows are very low,
The highs are so high that it is just worth it.
And my creative impulses are my
Greatest ally in my efforts to
Untangle the three-dimensional problems
That will never stop haunting me.