The poems & stories in this collection is a representation of the hovering stain of the year 2020. A year filled with disease, greed, hate, depression, moments of unity that only feel empty being overseen by a world of dictators. The sadness, the lies, the deprived. That is the New Disease Streets Collection.
A Song Stolen by the Wind
i crack a knuckle and flex my neck
in hopes, a synapse may snap
a vision of wisdom about something
mundane, that i can sing atop a mountain
down to a people in pain
i feel a melody without words to sing
not that verbiage would mean anything
of value or worth to those that hurt,
ones that life has drug through dirt
i open a chorus, the wind sings back
a brazen, vigorous, purposeful attack
rocks roll under feet, i’m encircled
by my own song; drowned-out in defeat
my knees scuffed
i can’t get up
down this mountain
broken nails digging
for a single stable root
gulps and guttural grunts
i try to get up
mine own whirlwind of syllables
threatens my footing
of who I am
of who I could be
this unending struggle
may I once
i think i’ve tapped into my insecurities (again). I have pretty severe stage fright and social anxiety. This usually leads to long internal bouts with MDD, which may come as a surprise to some, but it’s all too true. I’ve sung countless times on stage, hearing my warbling voice try to maintain authority in the speakers; and fail. I’ve looked down to physically see my legs shaking through my pants, so I would sit down on an amp, but the nervous energy just moves elsewhere. I’ve played the wrong-est notes, at the wrong-est times, out of sheer panic, throughout many years on a church stage. Yet, the hundreds of times I’ve been on stage, it never goes away. The more I focus on it, the worse it gets. However, if I don’t pay attention, it also gets out of hand. And, not just ‘the stage’, either. I get over-stimulated when there are many moving parts (read: the general public), my mind starts to race and I can’t keep up with everything around me. I don’t need to keep up with things, but someone please tell my mind that. There are more than a dozen times that I’ve blacked-out from my brain running away without my permission – panic attacks. Most of the time, I am unaware that it’s happening, until I’m waking up to “WTF? and where am I? how many people saw? …I want to go home.”
Doc and I have been working on it for quite a few years, now. Meds are great, but at 43 years old, habits are hard, more so are mindsets. I support the Big 3: Exercise, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy & meds (if necessary). I know medication gets a bad wrap, but as a person who’s tried many substances, don’t knock it until you’ve fully tried it (good fixes usually aren’t quick). There’s no reason to get beat up (mentally) while fighting something you can’t win. It’s unfortunate, but no one will see the badges of your fight with your depression. People just won’t see it, especially if you’re strong. Set that fight down and lean on someone else for help. As it’s Mental Awareness Month (I’m a little late), I figure I’ll just put this out there. Of course, my issues are not your issues and we are all in a different place. But, if you feel alone, your brain’s lying to you. You are wrong.
I’ve watched my son, now 15, deal with the same thing; numerous panic attacks to the point of blacking out. Now that we know what’s happening, it can be somewhat managed. I’m only getting personal to tell somebody that not all things are environmental or circumstantial. If it is, change it. But apparently, sometimes, we are just biology gone awry, and we are vessels containing that mental wackiness. It’s not your fault. I thought I could fight it on my own, fix my own problem; I tried until my mid-30s. It was a waste of time to be arrogant.
Final Thought: This is not a sob story or looking for pity; please don’t do that. So many times poetry comes from a context-less place, that the reader must figure some interpretation out on their own. I’ve read my share of poetry and am always amused (mostly, enlightened) to hear the author’s version of their writ, so here’s mine.
My name is Trinity Bourque (aka Church Rowe). I’ve been part of a few bands in the past currently in The Wanderer’s Drift. I am a 43-year-old, father of two, husband to one, from South Central, Louisiana (deep cajun country). I’m attempting to build a farm that produces organic vegetables; while holding down a part-time remodeling job. I’ve played/written music since I was about 12 years old. Since then my expressions have overflowed onto paper and computer keyboards. I enjoy playing music, listening to music, poetry, writing, typing, reading, camping (mostly primitive backpacking), and more recently, gardening and farming.
I say I don’t, but I remember that night.
There were eleven lights in the ceiling and five trains went past the window. You told me to
be silent. Not one word or your violence would speak a thousand. It turns out you wrote a
novel all over my skin was a map of the places you had been uninvited. Watercolour bruises I
could not dilute with bleach. I cried to the police reliving that moment once again. The
examination was filled with swabs and humiliation as a male doctor went near my wounds. I
feared men for a long time after, I would even flinch at my brother’s touch. I’d often see red
and lash out, like a bull I would charge at whoever told me “I would be okay.” I can’t even
look in the mirror without seeing shame! I scrub my skin until it bleeds and please don’t
patronise me with so-called kindness! I’m damaged, disgusting, drowning in pain, I can’t
bear to wake up and feel this again, I –
realised I still have breath in my lungs. When I shut my eyes, I feel at peace. I’ve learnt that
quiet thoughts speak volumes. That love doesn’t shout, it whispers. That hands are to hold
and not to make fists with. That for a moment I was hollow, a woman who would wallow in
self-pity until I remembered who I am – A lioness with courage. So, to ‘he who must not be
named’ watch me as I push out my chest and fear the roar that comes from its depths.
Featured image from Unsplash.com from Neonbrand
Faye Alexandra Rose is a UK based writer studying English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Worcester. Her work has been published in several online magazines such as; Mookychick, The Drabble and the online project Poetry & Covid. She is also a Poetry Editor for small leaf press – a magazine dedicated to giving a voice to undiscovered writers. She can be found on Twitter: @FayeAlexandraR1, or via her website: fayealexandrarose.wordpress.com