The hospital

The latest issue of The New Yorker magazine has a Personal History article called “The Hospital: Finding a Way Back from Suicide.”  It’s an insider’s view of being suicidal and consequently spending time in a psychiatric hospital.  As someone who’s also lived that story, it was interesting to read someone else’s perspective.

I wrote a collection of poems based on being bipolar which included some pieces that took place in the hospital while on Suicide Watch.  But now I’m thinking about maybe writing a short memoir or article of sorts about my own experiences.

Putting those types of things “out there” for others to read is scary.  I have tremendous respect for the man who wrote the article in The New Yorker.  Wow.  So vulnerable and brave.  I feel vulnerable and afraid just writing this tiny blog post.

The next dispensation

we all cross boundaries
to the next dispensation of our lives
the season is over
it needs to fall away
we need to stop shoring it up
we catch up to ourselves through trauma
we break apart on impact
where are you in the seasons of life?
look for joys elsewhere
and in new ways
allow the old house to be burned
build on the foundation of your new house

Writing Under Deadline

I put together this quick little collage and decided it reflected how it feels to be writing under deadline with an editor breathing down your neck.  Trying to find a muse in the midst of outside pressure.  Keeping from getting too scattered.  Trying not to lose the flow.  It’s a challenging experience.

Facing the Unknown


rest in simplicity
a quiet sense of self
an invisible heat
and turning back
to the ground of reality

the place of vulnerability
is a doorway
for our best gifts
a great hidden dynamic of life
a relationship
with the great unknown elements
moving toward a new world
a new work
a central foundation

the details of life
speak to us
in their own voices
we must apprentice ourselves
giving ourselves over
to learning
to a change of identity
to indescribable beauty

the winter of listening
a faculty of seasonality
the conversational nature of life
its growth depends on rain
on sun
changing leaves
courage and

a normal part
of human existence
a core human confidence
what is the conversation?
disrupt the present narrative
not knowing what to say
you don’t know how
to play the game
don’t let others
smother your humility

naming things
is a tool
of belonging

life is the long farewell
a presence that holds our losses

a well-felt sadness
can be as generous toward others
as a well-felt joy

our fiercest cycles of life
a gift to others

life as an enemy force
you may not achieve everything
feeling as if you don’t belong
cycles of humiliation
falling apart
what if it’s all about nothing?

start close in
the elements inside us
are unique to us
multilayered contexts
held together
in conversation
with a larger landscape
beautiful and deep
calling up
through an open door

just into darkness
into a day of
these forces and tides
will never come again
pretend or ignore
or look it in the face
make sense
of the complexity of life

we don’t have to be
an image of perfection
where you are
our particularities of life
stop telling stories
of the same visions
form an image
inside yourself
you’re following
the elemental reality
of existence
the disciplines
of an everyday

to be human is to be visible
you are not an accident amid accidents
ask the question
turn away from previous conversations
take the first step
the step you don’t want to take
commit to a new unknown

grow into the story you’ve been told since you were a child
something is ready to spark in you
a robust vulnerability
a new pattern
hold these in the ways that only humans can
what shape awaits
in the tree of you?

real creativity
takes place
in the grit of life
a wordless
creates spaciousness
around the unknown

the depths

bent under the weight
of looking back
at a lifetime’s grief
one day
you gaze
into the depths
and see the sky
reflected above
you rise
straighten yourself
look toward new horizons
with fresh eyes
into the life and future
that was yours all along
no longer weighted down
by ill will
or lost loves
shaking off misery
allowing yourself
to dream
and live again

walking in blessedness

walking in blessedness
as a dedicated spirit
in the morning light
the heart was full
what horizon is looming there
for this devilish version of self
seeking a new tomorrow
sinning quietly
living in new ways
set free from regret
seen for the first time