This collection of poems is inspired by my white knuckle life with bipolar disorder. More specifically, they are poems celebrating, and drawing attention to, the beauty of the men, women and more gender indistinct people with mental health and addiction issues I have met along the way. They address themes of masculinity, communication, relationships, love and fatherhood in a vexed environment. I firmly believe that finding your own beauty is the key to living with a serious mental illness. These are also poems of staunch, unconditional support and respect and, I hope, inspiration, for those who are doing the black cube grind or enduring the harrowing truth of losing touch with reality. My wayward mental health means I have been to places and seen things that are wholly unique to me, and I try to reflect the truth of that uniqueness in every word I write.

 

Let’s Go Tiger

You.

Get up.

I said get up.

I said get the fuck up.

We’re running late,

For a date,

With the stars,

On dazzling Mars,

In the galaxy,

You and me,

Cinnamon and honey.

Yes, you and me.

Let’s go Tiger.

Dear Mikey

I don’t know man,

We’re all different men,

Know where you’ve been man,

It’s a different road friend,

And here we stand,

Friend.

We’ve done some things Mikey,

Stoned and broken sometimes,

Needles and bottles and black snow,

The world split like clashing stars,

The world became a question,

Not a planet,

Or a galaxy,

More like, a travesty

Then she,

Pulled,

Pulled,

Rolled,

Back,

Cracked,

Attacked,

Maniac,

Soothed,

Grooved,

Loved,

To here,

Now,

Now.

Another way to go, Mikey,

Is what we chose, Mikey,

Levelled homes, cold fires, street knives, empty plates,

Hunger is our dinner,

Jail cells won’t feed us,

Precious women kiss the pain, the symptom,

But it is the soul that is our essence,

Forget the soul, forget the meaning,

Be alive, and be dead,

Empty soul,

Floating thread,

The world becomes your head,

Shallow, mathematical,

The Undead.

Tell me Mikey,

When you need to Mikey,

Or what’s the point Mikey,

Of what we’ve done Mikey,

If we stand alone Mikey,

Offer no sun Mikey,

Offer no rainbow Mikey,

To our brothers Mikey,

When,

We,

Bleed,

Scream,

Under,

Weight,

Of,

The,

Machine,

Mikey.

You may live quietly,

Or exponentially,

With your fine beauty.

I’m simply saying Mikey,

You go well man,

You’re a strong man,

If you ever need me man,

I will always hear man.

Especially when you bleed Mikey.

Come Back Dad

Hey Dad,

I love you,

Where have you been?

So much has happened,

So much you’ve missed,

Three weeks is enormous,

It’s forever to me.

And that guitar you gave me,

I’ve learned three new songs,

I get this bipolar thing,

But it doesn’t change anything.

I still cry Dad,

Whenever you’re not here.

Come back Dad.

Michelle

It was raining,

Old butts were drowning,

I couldn’t smoke them,

Bones were broken,

She gave me 20,

I didn’t know her,

Just a little bit,

Soup kitchen friend,

Ate together,

Once and forever.

She was,

An ocean bather,

True drifter,

Byron hustler,

Like a siren,

True listener,

How did I find her,

Think she found me,

Just like,

A true friend,

Now she is one.

Two weeks later,

I saw her,

It was raining,

Old butts were drowning,

She couldn’t smoke them,

I gave her 20,

I know her,

She’s an old friend,

Soup kitchen,

Ocean bather,

Byron hustler,

True listener,

Drawn together,

Once and forever.

Intergalactic Baby

Hey there Baby,

Tell me Baby,

What you need Baby,

Cause I got you Baby,

Floating in my soul Baby,

Which means you are me Baby,

I am you Baby,

What you need to do Baby,

I’ll see it through Baby,

Soul entwined Baby

Like

A

Secret

Vine

We

Are

Entwined

In

The

Now

And

Forever

I

Endeavour

To

Take

You

To

Where

All

Will

Know

You

Before

You

Draw

Breath

See what I mean Baby,

So hard to explain Baby,

But I tried to say Baby,

You are not the same Baby,

As all others Baby,

You are the Comet Baby,

Galaxy Baby,

Intergalactic Baby,

You are not the same Baby,

You have tried Baby,

It does not work Baby,

It will never work Baby,

You will drown Baby,

You won’t breathe Baby,

Lose your soul Baby,

Lose your soul Baby,

Time to float Baby,

Levitate Baby,

Superpowers Baby,

Remember your powers Baby,

They are yours Baby,

Rest inside you Baby,

Can’t be stolen Baby,

Yours for the taking Baby,

Leave home Baby,

To go home Baby,

Wilderness Baby,

Forest Baby,

Wildest Baby,

Baby

Stay

Where

She

Is

Loved

And

Wild &

Loved

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