Pieces (Songs for My Tribe)

Pieces, 5/26/2017, Deon Mumple
(for Pieces of Bipolar)

My life, my love, my heart and soul
Endure, carrying on somehow,
In spite of everything.
I’m fracturing.
Time takes a steep toll.
Each stolen treasure leaves me less whole,
And I started out already in Pieces.

I hold on, seizing hope, and praise
The beauty common to every day,
And notice it in you.
No, don’t!  It’s true.
I see your love, strength, brokenness, sadness,
I feel your spirit’s touch, through joys, through madness,
And I have the courage to carry on, in Pieces.

My brain only betrays sometimes,
Wait, don’t speak!  Oh, nevermind,
Those inner voices scream
Unfiltered streams.
Sometimes I’m too tired to control
What’s said. Oh well, that’s rock and roll-
Rock to stone me, break Pieces to Pieces

I want true love and solitude
Acceptance, even when I seem rude.
Unconditional’s
Not impossible,
Nor my expecting honesty-
Don’t you dare ever lie to me,
This wall protects me, all these shattered Pieces.

My heart’s hiding with me in here,
Behind the meds, the moods, my fear
Longing to be coaxed
Afraid of another hoax
My mind might be brilliant,
But don’t ask me to think when I can’t
Can’t trust, can’t love, can’t heal these crushed Pieces.

Don’t tell me that you understand.
Just love me and hold my hand,
Watching while I smile.
Or let go for a while,
When the rage takes me by surprise,
Or sadness of losses brings tears to my eyes.
I’ll come back when I can re-gather my shards and Pieces.

So I’m not everyone’s portrait
Of “normal.”  So what?  Look what you forfeit
When your love’s tied to strings
People aren’t puppets that sing,
My love’s more true than I am any day:
I push away, but then wish you’d stay.
Love could be glue to fix these broken Pieces.

Remember, I’m not writing these in any particular order, unless you tell me to.  But I’ve written this poem today, to celebrate a beautiful living soul, who blogs under the name Pieces of Bipolar.  I hope you like my tribute.  She is one of the first bloggers I encountered since I started blogging.  And, in my humble opinion, she’s brilliant and a great writer and poet, so I hope if you don’t know her, you’ll check out her writing.

We met as mutual friends of another blogger, whose tribute I wrote as the first in my celebration series, Songs for My Tribe.

I love her to Pieces. 🙂 My mum used to say that.  “I love you all to Pieces, and then I love all the Pieces.”

From Hyper-critical to I-Don’t-Give-A-Shit in 3 seconds

I don’t know if that’s the accelerator or the brake.  But I know that the right words, or preferably,  silence with the right actions, can motivate me to work my ass off.  And I know that the wrong words, because nobody ever just shuts the hell up, can put me into escape mode.  I’m already gone.  I’m already done helping with whatever concerned you.  The silent, unseen “fuck you” has already left my soul.  It doesn’t need to be said, in language, sign, sigh, or any other physical reaction.  I’d like to think it’s a private, psychic rocket ship, one that, most of the time, is far more efficient than any known technology.

Because of this, I think it’s an accelerator.  Sometimes I wish it weren’t psychic, I wish it were real.  It’s a rage rocket.  Instead of flames, it would release sonic energy.  “Impulse” power just goes, “Buhbye! Bye now!  Bub-bye! Buhbye!”   It ramps up through other rage-induced profane and/or snarky expressions, and if you really piss me off, full throttle goes “FUCK YOU!  FUCK YOU! FUCKYOU!!  FUCKYOU!!!FUCKYOU!!!FUCKYOU!!!FUCKYOU!!!

Say it.  Push my buttons.  And see what happens.  Except you presume you’ve done or said nothing wrong, and it’s me being batshit that causes me to be angry.  You’re not paying attention to yourself.  You’re not paying attention to me.  And when I told you what the issue was, you didn’t want to do anything about it, and my way of handling that rejection was to shut off that part of your part of my life.  You can still come back.  You don’t have to verbally apologize.  A non-verbal apology and promise will suffice.  But I don’t think you know how to not say it.

My problem  is I want to stay.  I want to come back.  I want you to come back.  I want my kids to know I genuinely care about them and I want them to return my care appropriately, but I can’t afford to buy that affection.  Thank God most of the time the kids have learned to read me, and know when I can laugh with them versus when what they say or do, or don’t do, will just piss me off .  I want my wife to know the same, but I can only offer so much, and there’s that trigger, more sensitive after almost 25 years of being married.  I’d think she’d know not to do or say those things in that way, and I’d think she’d know it’d be nice if she did something I liked once in a while.

It’s the same at work.  I want to work.  I want to work my ass off and make you a ton of money, but I need the favor returned here too.  Entry level wages and being ignored unless I’m being disciplined does not earn my respect NOR my extra hard work.  You pay me shit, expect my work to be shit.  And it would be if I had no pride in something I have to put my name on.  But my name is on what I do, so I want to do it right. You should want to do right by me in return.  After 10 years I’ve proven I’m worth it, and you should prove you want me to stay.

And it’s the same at church. You’d think with my training and volunteer experience, they’d maybe want me to work at the church, as more than a volunteer.  But no, I can volunteer or I can decide to do nothing.  So I’ve decided to do nothing and see if the doors open somewhere else.  Corporate America does not as a rule promote people who know what the fuck they’re doing from the inside.  They make them stay where they are and work them until they’re worn out.  Similarly, “modern day” “normal” churches do not recruit from within.   They find some superman who looks great on paper and has a more forceful presentation, and all the hidden agendas that go along with that kind of force.  Well fuck that.  If God wants to use me, He’ll set that up, and if not, well, here I remain and I think I have to be ok with that.

And it’s the same with God.  I want to have the best relationship with God, but I often fail.  Being the Creator He should know this and deal with me with a little patient and divine encouragement.  And you’d think my struggle with faith and doubt might be answered like it is with my earthly father- sometimes he’ll slip me a $10 or $20 for just being his son, which is really cool.  And lately, this whole relationship with God has actually improved.  I wonder if it’s because I quit trying to do anything.

People ask how you know when you’re in love, and they ask how to find a significant other/partner/spouse, and I think the answer is the same for some people.  If  you’re aggressive, you run after what you want and you take it whether it was offered willingly out of love, or whether it was just you being a pushy ass hole.  And you think you’re getting what you want, but really you’re just taking it.  I want to be given what I want, willingly and out of love.  And I want people to realize, without me having to tell them, that they’re selfish, grabby, pushy ass holes and they’ve been taking everything at my expense.  But I think you find love when you least expect it, and you wake up and realize you’re in love because you were falling long before you ever realized you had fallen.   I still haven’t figured out how to just get what I want at work, but with marriage it’s been a conscious decision, my choice.  Fuck, I still love her and she treats me like shit quite a bit of the time.  It’s because after I realized I loved her I decided I wanted to be in love and stay that way.

It’s naive and stupid and setting me up for heartbreak, people tell me.  And they say the same thing about believing in God.  But lately,

I quit trying to do anything, and God did some pretty cool things in answer to a pretty snarky prayer “request.”  Actually I was flippant and nearly in denial and He did answer, giving me something I really needed when it was needed.

So maybe this quitting doing anything would work for work, and for wife, and for family.  Except I like a clean house, a dog that’s been walked, a yard that’s been mowed.  I’m not sure which “anything” I need to quit and which I can keep doing, that’ll ultimately and miraculously result in me getting what I need from family and wife.

As it stands, I’ve got a dead cell phone because I didn’t demand we get more time/data yesterday when I thought I had a month left.  Kids don’t clean the house or walk the dog because they know I’ll reach a point of desperation where it’s too gross and needs to be done, or I know the dog is about to create a disaster if I don’t take care of him.  I’ve got nothing happening in other areas because I haven’t demanded that.  I don’t want to demand anything to get what I need.  I want to be treated with love and care and respect just because I’m worth it, but because I’m not demanding and pushy people take me for granted and treat me like shit.

So where’s the road sign from rage and depression and lack, bypassing forceful taking, and driving straight through to people just giving me what I need because I’m worth it?

If you know, let me know.  But right now I have to go buy a fucking phone card because mine is dead and Mrs M and the kids want to text me their list of demands.

A day without all this cloudy, grey, dam(n)p rain so I can mow at mum and dads would be great too, but that’s an appeal to a Higher Power,  Fuck it, if He wants clouds and rain, and rivers in my back yard, bring that shit on until He’s bored with that and moves on to sunshine and rainbows and unicorns and lollipops and neapolitan ice cream and remembering Buttercup, and other shit I might actually enjoy.  Same with the fucking job, and the family, and the church.   Maybe the rain has to fall and I have to be broke, and the job has to be shit and the house has to be filthy and my legs have to cramp until I can barely walk before I take the dog out, and the wife has to be off-putting and insulting and demanding, so I really appreciate when it’s finally sunny, and I finally win the Lottery AND the Publisher’s Clearinghouse, and I finally get a job I really enjoy, and my kids finally help clean the house, and finally make a habit of walking the dog and my wife greets me naked at the door and attacks me with all those soft, beautiful weapons.

For now it’s clouds and rain and cramps and abstinence and alcohol.  Bring it on.  I think I can still weather it a while.

It’s been a while since I thought of Buttercup.  I figure, if I just wait, and refuse to do shit, the rest of the clouds are sure to break soon.  (I know, but shut up and let me have my delusion!)

Fallen Angel

When words fail us, our tears fall like rain.
Should we feel anger mingled with our pain?
When there are no answers, and right feels wrong,
The tears are the silenced words to our love song
When I remember, they play all over again.
My fallen angel!

I’m not alone hearing a love song play
With no music and no words left to say
What we have left are wishes that won’t come true
And our grief, deeper than any shade of blue
And words we wished we could have said…
My fallen angel!

No one can answer the questions we ask
But guilt never resolved chords dissonance
What’s left when there are no more words?
And she’s not here if they could be heard?
I don’t know anything left to tell
My fallen angel.

What can I say that wasn’t said before?
When I said “I love you,” I loved her more
And the tears fall, singing my love once again,
For mixed up hearts and lives. My friends
Should know love’s much deeper than pastel.
Don’t fall, my angels!

05/21/2017, Deon Mumple

I wrote a poem before about my Ulla, when I found out she had left us.  And now I’ve written this one by request because too many people fall to depression, bipolar, and other mental health difficulties.  We lost Ulla, and then we lost Johnna who wrote sweetly about how Ulla touched her, and honestly I just don’t want to lose any more of my people.  More famously, and more recently, forgive me for taking it too personally, I lost my favorite male vocalist Chris Cornell.

Sorry for being selfish, but please, all the rest of you warriors, please just don’t leave me here without you.  Ulla said “You matter.”  We need each other. And I don’t want to write any more poems in memory.  I want to write poems of celebration.  Ulla was an encourager of others, and the wish I wished the most other than my prayers for her to be healed was that I could encourage her enough, be a good enough friend, to help her and make her want to stay and keep writing, and keep fighting.  And neither were granted.  I fear for myself, and I fear for all of you.

Here is a short, beautiful tribute written about Ulla by Pieces of Bipolar, quoted by Johnna:
Blahpolar had an immense effect on my life. I doubt she even realised how much. She walked beside me on my own journey even as she carried the weight of her own demons. She said two words that redefined my life – you matter. Two simple words that changed my life. And now, I am at a loss for words. Because she mattered to me, and to you and to us. Words escape me. All I have are tears…https://painkills2.wordpress.com/2016/09/07/thinking-of-you-blahpolar/

Songs for My Tribe

I think everyone I care about should have a song sung about them.  So I’m going to write a few.  The songs should be celebrations.  Why are you my people? Why do I care about you? What do I worry about?  What do I think you need to hear?

And not just that.

What makes me think you’re special?  What have I read that makes me celebrate and enjoy you?

I have a few people in mind, but don’t let me limit myself.

Feel free to volunteer yourself in the comments, and I will, I promise.  Be patient with me, it takes a while sometimes, and other times I just know what I want to say.

Feel free to volunteer someone who won’t volunteer, and I may write that one first.  That said, these may not be in order.  But I need to do it.

Because depression strikes me right in the soul, and I can’t bear to lose any more of my people, my “tribe,” without telling them I care, and one of the ways I have done that in the past is by writing a poem.  People who won’t volunteer may be more important to do first, because they won’t ask, they’ll think they’re forgotten or unimportant to me, or I’ll wait too long to get to them.

So please, if you know someone, even someone I don’t follow (yet), who needs to be celebrated, and who may feel depression’s waves, volunteer them and I will do this thing.

Because someone needs to say something, everyone should be celebrated and cared about, and EVERYONE…

Everyone should have a special song sung over them, about them, to them, while they are around to hear it.

Motivation, Emotional Drain, Science, and Music Therapy.

Motivation.

Here comes the rain.  Again.  Annie Lennox and her instrumentation both sound like rain falling.  Today the rain came again with thunder and lightning, scared the dog, made me worry about power surges, and sapped my motivation.  I have to force myself, because things don’t get done on their own.

Mrs M is doing laundry, brainstorming about meal plans for next week, and she’ll go shopping later.  I took out the trash, in the rain.  I’m still a bit damp.  I set up the dishwasher and turned it on, and just put away the clean dishes I washed this morning.  There are always dirty dishes, no matter how hard I look for the last one.  Three or four show up right after the water is out of the sink.  I have a list of things to do today, and it’s because I want them done.

Motivation.
I want to break out my instrument and practice; it’s been a while since I’ve done that.  But that would be recreation and therapy, not “work.”  Mrs M reminds me that clothes don’t fold or hang themselves, while I’m mustering the energy to face the rest of the dishes.  Why that tone of voice drains me, I do not know.

I want to clean, sweep and mop the floor with bleach.  I want to do some work for work that I didn’t feel motivated to do at work.  I brought the thing home with me to possibly do stuff.

I also want to do nothing, curl up with the dog and take a nap.

But he needs to go for a walk soon.

This is why I like music playing loudly when I have stuff to do:  because the other noises de-motivate me while, they think, “encouraging” me.  By guilt.  I want to listen to something that’s not  the other noises, to shut out the other voices, but I don’t know what it is.  I know it isn’t running water or rain or “words of encouragement.”  I don’t want to think about this past week.  Failure and depression, added to depression.

My daughter was watching Bill Nye “save the world” today and he talked about science, medicine, homeopathy, and bullshit.  He talked about sound therapy, and the girl he sent to get a treatment said honestly she went in an unbeliever, endured treatment a skeptic, and left not feeling any better.  But what if it’s about your faith, which he would call “the placebo effect?”  What if it’s not the right sound, so she didn’t feel any better?

I’m going to see if some good music motivates me.  Fuck you and your lack of faith, Mr. Nye.  You’re not going to save the fucking world with science.  You can’t even save yourself, let alone help me.  Although, if you’re free, I have vacuuming that needs to be done.  I’ve got stuff to do, and I’m going to try to stay focused and motivated and shut out all the discouraging, draining noises.

We’ll see if it’s a victory.  We’ll see if I find the  right sound.

I’ll let you know.

What music motivates you?

A Song for Chris

I want to cry, don’t want to cry,
Fuck you, death, Why don’t YOU just die
I’m tired of grief, and time, the thief
I want to kill death, watch it die.

I sit trained like a dog, to wait
For food, my own death, festering hate
Afraid to walk outside the gate
A rabid temple, a sacred fate.

I’d scream to find a higher truth,
Louder than love.  We’re caged, in pain,
We waste away so much of youth,
In saddest days we can’t explain.

The garden’s sounds frighten my soul
Loud and confusing, silent toll,
No sleep, justice is misaligned-
I find a dream, and miss the goal.

I want to cry; I wanted more
Than cloudy feelings, sad and sore.
If life were ever not unfair
In this life we’d settle the score

But we just die, and there we lie
Until we crumble, rot or fry
It’s not the way I would decide
What I want: I want to cry,

I want all my lost treasures back
So many people I’ve lost track,
Nearly forgot my broken heart-
I want it healed, and not attacked,

Black days to go the fuck away,
Starve death until it’s dead and lean,
and Rage Against the Death Machine.
Don’t want to cry.  I want to cry.

R.I.P. Chris Cornell, 07/20/1964-05/17/2017

Sad Song Day

I heard this morning, although NOT on the TV News, for fuck’s sake, that the absolute best male vocalist I have ever had the pleasure of hearing sing has “died suddenly.” “Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell has died after a sold-out Detroit concert on Wednesday, May 17, at age 52.”  With the news media being so much about awful shit happening in the world, why did I not know about this until 11AM.  To soften the blow, I suppose.

He had a history.  I’ve read that when he was a teenager, he suffered from some depression and wrote this song about it:

His voice has been silenced now, and he was only 51. But damn it, he was awesome. The cause of death has yet to be released.  The police are investigating his death as a possible suicide.

Image result for sign letters F uck.

When I was 14 I was “deeply troubled.”  I never got counseling for it, but I did talk to one of my school teachers about it a little.  What I was, was depressed, deeper than I’d ever felt ever before.  I wanted to die.  I wrote my suicide note.

There was self loathing, from personal, physical defects, there was bullying, there was teen angst, there was worry and hopelessness about the future, there was a lot of self-doubt, there were people I thought were my friends who had hurt me, there was the same shit I suppose everyone lives with.  I decided not to act at the time.  I think I burned the suicide note, but I should have kept it.  I don’t remember what it said.

Some people are ass holes.  Shit, a LOT of people are ass holes.  Some life circumstances are shit.  And when the universe fucker decides to fuck with someone, they’re fucked.  Because whatever shit can come at you, comes in from all directions and I don’t care if you’re a nearly sinless holy-rolling, Christ-Following SAINT, you will NOT endure with the patience of Job.  I never asked for the tests, and when they came, I failed.  And when they come, I still fail.  I mean, we can read what we’re supposed to do, and we can brag like Peter did, but when it happens, it sucks.  Work, that merely sucked before, just like everyone else’s jobs, is raised to nearly impossible levels of expectation.  Friends and/or family abandon you, or die.  Strangers, acquaintances, friends, and family do shitty, selfish things at your expense.  Your shit starts to fall apart faster than you can fix or replace it.  Time becomes an impossible archvillain conspiring against you.  Your own body rebels from the stress, and you’re in real pain, and doctors claim that shit is all in your head.  And your back is misaligned and hurts when you don’t move and hurts more when you do, and makes your body hurt all over and not want to move and you still force yourself because whatever it is still has to be done, and no one else is going to do it, and the bills still have to be paid, so you go to work with your walking pneumonia and deal with it.  And what’s worse, frequently, family shows they’re selfish ass holes, taking you and everything you do for granted and only expecting and demanding more.  Oh wait.  Is that just me?  Somehow I doubt it.  Because storms come into everyone’s lives.

Depression sucks.  FUCK YOU DEPRESSION!! I’m not feeling anything else but depressed, but I think depression desperately likes to be felt, because nobody really WANTS to feel it.  So it gloms onto some poor schmuck and feels like animate, living darkness and emptiness, hopelessness, soul-deep self-hatred and waste and rejection, sucking at the soul.  But what’s worse, is suicide.

Suicide sucks.  FUCK YOU SUICIDE!

I think that’s why I decided not to kill myself.  I thought about it, and sticking around to stick it to the universe fucker whenever I get my chances at revenge seems like more fun than surrendering to death.  Even small acts of vengeance are better than letting that black-hearted shithead win.

Damn it, Chris.

He had a wife and a family.  And now they don’t have him.  That’d be another reason I haven’t killed myself.  For as much as I feel taken for granted, I know that it’s rewarding in the long run to be strong, steady, present, loving, and helpful.  I may scar my family emotionally, but they’ll be shallower cuts than just up and leaving suddenly and without adequate explanation.  Not that I’m not scarring them, not that I’m all that strong or whatever.  I suck, but I’m all the dad they’ve got.  I’m not leaving on purpose.

I don’t want to know the cause of death, but I’m sure as soon as those ghouls in the news room get the report, we’ll have to hear all that shit a million times in one morning.  And it probably was suicide, but I think that’s a lousy way to deal with a midlife crisis.  After the news dries up and moves to something more wet, then we’ll have the fucking bio-pic glamourizing both the rock star lifestyle and the death, to “help the audience understand his choice.”  Well, fuck that.  On the plus or minus side, depending on how hard I grieve, I get to hear his music on the radio for a while, just like they did to Prince, and Michael Jackson and Elvis.

Even if it was an “accident,” or something not brought on by Mr. Cornell, it still sucks.  It just sucks worse if it was suicide.  Death by drugs and/or alcohol is the same as suicide to me, so there you have my perspective for what it’s worth.

We common people don’t get treated like that on the news.

Honestly, I feel a kind of aware-of-the-air-molecules soul pain from the loss of Chris Cornell.  He wasn’t family; I didn’t know him personally.  I’m not your typical fanboy and I don’t plan to follow.  But this sucks.

Your voice was strong and beautiful and hopeful for humanity, and angry at the universe fucker, and now we have to carry on without your voice sounding the battle cry.  You told us what to tell that old lying bastard who wanted us to hurt ourselves and hurt others including our own families, and kill ourselves, and now you’re gone.

At least I still hear the echo:

So here’s the message to the universe fucker:

FUCK YOU!!!

I WON’T DO WHAT YOU TELL ME!!

Say it again, this time, LOUDER!!

I miss you already, Chris.