My heart is loosely stitched
with frayed, crimson-soaked threads
binding my existence to abnormal beats.
I am lost and imprisoned in an iron-forged cage
of despair, mercilessly hammered
on this unforgiving anvil we call life.
Even from childhood, I would see shadows
where others saw light; and I grew up
nursing on the dark teat of depression.
I sang sad songs, embracing my melancholia
with insanity’s unrelenting grip.
The laughter and merriment of others
cut through me like poisoned shards of glass,
and I withdrew further and further into the
cold, foggy corners that framed my world.
But I was not alone.
As a young man, I found my grotesque reflection
resonating in the erstwhile lies of ‘les poètes maudits’;
Rimbaud, Verlaine, Baudelaire, and Mallarmé!
Like a chorus of fallen angels, they sung to me
the blackened verses of lost love, alcohol abuse,
insanity, crime, and violence!
Their acid-laced stanzas felt warm and inviting.
Their words fit me like burial shroud
clinging to my defeat.
In them, I lost my refuge, my compassion,
my raison d’être! Because of them, I stepped closer
to the plunging abyss of despair…