Author Archive


Posted: October 10, 2015 in "Unpoetry"

Port shall invest naught river bland

Toward sky skip walk weep never rib

Reek bellow collapse quiver mar quit

Steep bib wall neat stalk sick made

Rake bleak pale creek bill steel balk

Wick real ale more ill ip clap bid were


Posted: October 7, 2015 in "Unpoetry"

Such pine story veer ambush tarantula

Vigor trite call cue split quite crash

Push quality illusion quick cost squish

Brought beat brat mere bellow fear

Smash stick extinguish torture freak

Power freedom clash smite unclean

Mock thorns crucify smoothly one sit

Walk mighty leak leer swat whole mote

Steer wallow mellow swallow still lip

Must unto never jail near stoke bundle

Scratch neat stew squall sight aching

Mustard meter angel stash enter night

A Form of Chaos

Posted: October 6, 2015 in Poetry

Look around you,

Look in side you.

If you look long enough,

You will see chaos.
We are formed from chaos.

We are made of chaos.

But nevertheless, we are in a form.

Order, the enemy of chaos.
Human beings are a living paradox.

They are a form of chaos.


Posted: October 4, 2015 in "Unpoetry"

Stop story recommend invigorate

Inside broadcasts stoop lounging 

Ted spoof mealtime arrange talk

Rainbow tower hectic soloupse 

Tickle vague harangue deadly 

Neat quarter Elvis tooth decay 

Ocular sick bedtime hop wallow

Word round cookie backtrack 

Hallow furmaltime bird yellow

Be burp bellhop hunters hell that

Abstract Art and Awakening

Posted: October 3, 2015 in Essay

Whenever I have referred back to the time in my life when I stopped doing abstract art, I always have said, “after I first became medicated.” But I am now getting more of a glimpse of truth related to that time that helps me sort of put some other truths about myself, and about my experiences, together. I’m seeing my loss of creative life in different ways. I’m also seeing my continuance of written creativity in a different light as well.

Before I became conscious that I had a mental illness, that is, before I labeled myself, before I started feeling the full weight of what was for me a social and psychological stigma of what it means to have a mental illness, I painted with water colors, I experimented in abstract art in a very intense and consistent way. My art of choice was abstract expressionism, and for a while, I enjoyed action painting. I had a very limited amount, but, for me, a treasure trove, of huge, room sized pieces of roughly hand cut watercolor paper, that I had bought from an art supply store, on a great bargain (the only way I could afford it, by then). I had no idea what I was doing, no clue of the self therapy I was undergoing. I just knew it was absolutely, undoubtedly, right, for me, then and there.

When I did those action paintings, I was fully myself, raw, emotional, just pouring out on the page, everything that was inside of me, and, yet, to another person, perhaps, I was creating nothing. What I know now, is that creating nothing was, exactly, the point. I hadn’t realized what else I was doing. I was creating a world for myself in which suffering did not matter, truth was not punished, shame did not exist. It was my fantasy world, and yet, it was not any of these worlds. For as I escaped, I also became vulnerable. I felt my feelings in a way I had not felt them in a very long time, and I accepted them, for those few, lovely moments, at least.

It has taken me twenty years of trial and error, to discover, sadly, only intellectually, at this point, what I was doing, back then. What I had achieved, was nothing, compared to what it had done for me. In these big, messy creations, I had driven a cheap, rented vehicle into the sublime. Medicated or not, this was possible, but these acts were acts of desperation, acts of loneliness, acts of a thoroughly broken heart. When I stopped doing these acts of pure kindness for myself, forgiving myself, forgiving the world, even, dare I say, forgiving the God whom I blamed for all my agonizing troubles, I committed many selfish, blind acts, that were so much more desperate, because they took me out of the living world, God’s beautiful, hopeful, miraculous creation. Then, came the worst. I had become so miserable, and was so afraid of losing control, that I admitted myself to an institution. I was afraid of the intensity of my emotions, and all my dark thoughts, and I did not trust myself to carry on. The result was that I was put on an extremely strong combination of medications. It killed me, but not all of me. On the outside was a barely functioning corpse, a psychotropic, but also artistic, zombie.

Of course, they told me how brave I was, to reach out, to take this step, to ask for help. And, perhaps, in some pitiful way, I was brave. And I did gain stability, in the long run, but at what price? This experience served as an extension of my frail ego for shame, guilt and any other negativity I could apply to myself. From then on, I would be so self conscious, so judgmental towards my self, including my thoughts, feelings and urges, even in my art and writing, that I could barely paint, and it was very difficult to write much poetry. I believe now, that this is the true reason for my loss of creativity, not the medication. Twenty years later now, I have started to see an art therapist, who helped me come to a point of understanding about all this. It is wonderful to finally see what has been going on, and to start to finally let go of all the judgments, the condemnation, the shame and the guilt about my art. It is a new beginning for me. The dreadful feelings are all still there, but I can see a way out.

The last time I spoke to my art therapist, we talked a little bit about my written works, published in my book, one straight ahead poem, and, in general, the poems that I call Unpoetry. According to my art therapist, there was one particular straight ahead poem that I wrote, called “Balance”, that had a little bit of what I have learned to be called, “wise mind” mentality. Although I was having a difficult time, I was also able to recognize the life choices and habits that helped me to keep myself stable, at least to a certain degree. Routine and rest were two elements that I remember were mentioned.

The discussion about the Unpoetry was mostly centered around the struggle to break through into the abstract with words, the certain compromising level of attachment, and especially my obsession with meaning, even while trying to escape from it. One of my wise friends would call it my conflicted presence in a paradox. Many wise people I’ve talked to have mentioned my habit of over analyzing everything I do, and over thinking everything. That, too, is a sort of paradox. None of these habits get me anywhere, at least anywhere helpful. My art therapist mentioned that my goal of attaining the abstract in the written word may not even be attainable, as the written word in itself seems to have meaning as a central characteristic. My past thoughts about my Unpoetry did not concern the abstract element of it, although I did see a relationship to many types of visual art that have a perception of randomness and a presentation of collage as a characteristic. My thought was about absurdity. I think the classification of absurdity is correct, but I also think I have always had a hard time accepting that, because of my attachment to meaning. My existentialist attempt to create meaning out of nothing is in a war with my personal intuition that meaning is not attainable. In the past, I could accept this, at least while my personal life was in complete chaos. After experiencing what I perceived as order in my life, even if an illusion, I have been intoxicated by that illusion, and I am addicted to it. Like any type of addict, I constantly want the high of my object of intoxication, which is possibly the illusion of order. But, I wonder, have I always sensed the truth that there is no order, even if I could not accept it?

Perhaps, this is one of the essential predicaments of human beings. We want order. If we can’t find it, then we want to create it. And even if we can’t create it, we don’t accept it, to the limits of infinity. We are trapped in this illusion to the end of our days. It is a tragic situation. And the only solution is the acceptance of our situation, which leads to a “oneness” with the chaos of, what a scientific friend of mine calls, the “multiverse.” Perhaps, the only predictable characteristic of the multiverse is that it is unpredictable. That is the paradox that most of us are taught to deny. We are taught an illusion. We are taught to be addicts. And the excuse is that there must be goodness, somewhere. There must be meaning, in something. There must be a supreme being, that created it all. We are caught in that paradox.


Posted: October 2, 2015 in "Unpoetry"

Mark swat maim walk loft

Lain rock rail limb toss ankle

Alter ring lilt well maneuver

Read vein malt meat mole 

Swank slot scoff sink clink

Try great goose treat break

Realize rote ambulate soccer

Steal soft shivers wallowing

Teeth stock saint spot click

The Silence and Suffering of God: Part 2

Posted: September 30, 2015 in Essay

“Jesus said to him, ‘If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.’ Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, ‘Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!'” Mark 9:23, 24 (NKJV)

I have a true desire to have a healing, loving relationship with God, myself and others. I want to believe that is possible.  Right now, I think I am in the worst struggle with my mental illness that I have ever experienced, and that is with the cooperation of doctors, therapists and medication. I believe that even though there appears to me to be a great disconnect, although God seems to be silent, I still believe he is guiding me and healing me. That may sound like a contradiction, and maybe it is, but I’m okay with that.

Paul Tillich closes his book called The Courage to Be with these words: “The courage to be is rooted in the God who appears when God has disappeared in the anxiety of doubt.” I don’t know if, when the doctors get my medication right, if my faith will improve. I don’t know if, after years of therapy, if my faith will improve. It could be, that I am just a skeptic, a doubter, and my continual suffering will be a plague of anxiety due to a seemingly silent God who seems to act from far away, even despite his own yearning for a better relationship with me.

I do believe that when I suffer, God suffers, because God is infinitely loving and compassionate. Although I struggle with my faith, although God seems silent so often, I think he watches over everyone, because he loves all of us. Like a heavenly gardener, he is always waiting for opportunities to tend to his creation, to give it what it needs to flourish, to thrive, and to be healthy and beautiful. I am a flower, and I need good soil, plenty of water, clean air and maybe some occasional fertilizer. I know God is doing these things for me, even while I can’t seem to bring myself to talk to him, to read the bible, or to do the things that the church instructs us all to do.

Maybe in some small way I do believe in God. Maybe there is hope for me, even as God has opened certain doors for me, and, after a while, I have slammed them shut. I do believe that there have been plenty more doors that have opened over the years, even if many of my friends and family do not understand or appreciate that. I have gone in directions of which many Christians would not approve, but I need to believe that those choices are equally as valid. I am on a tiny raft in a raging sea, but I have tied many ropes to many other tiny rafts, which are tied to larger and larger water crafts. Like mine, none of these crafts are perfect, but in the end, we will all get there, together.


Posted: September 30, 2015 in "Unpoetry"

Believe sight through front album

Sing foul struck stop ill ain’t stick

Weep therefore rewind faculties ancient

Shallow remember inhibited shank

Smart sift swallow bullshit alleviate

Surrender sale more weep veer sank

Wolf hungry lonely follow build bible

Real roll rap sweet argue results cure

Impatience wash circumference all

The Silence and Suffering of God: Part 1

Posted: September 27, 2015 in Essay

There have been many times in my life, usually when I was either very emotional, or I had a great need, and I prayed about it, but God seemed to be silent. Looking back, I wonder, could I have done anything to help myself, in those situations? I think when I was young, it was leaving a bad situation. I usually felt pretty helpless to do anything about it, and sometimes, it was leaving one bad situation and entering into another.

As I got older, when you would think I would become more confident, my sense of helplessness continued. I spent many times praying to God to help me when I thought I needed him to intervene, but he never did, in those times. Eventually, I did leave that bad situation, but my feelings of helplessness continued, accompanied by something else, mental illness. At that time, I sought help for a while,  then simply abandoned God, even though, looking back, I know that he continued to watch over me. It was a twisted, downward spiral, deep into madness. I just about destroyed my life, risking it in dramatic ways. God continued to come to my rescue, even despite my rebellion. Finally, I gave up, deciding I just wanted to completely escape from life as I knew it, and, after attempting to end my life, I decided to seek dramatic help from professionals. I thought I got better, and so did they, but the old fears and feelings of helplessness returned. And I would try the professional help again, then go off on my own, then do it all over again.

Then something dramatic, but very different, happened. I met a very caring, sweet woman, who would soon become my wife. My relationship with her was a long stillness, in a raging storm. Things got better, at least on the outside, and I went through the motions of religion, but deep down, the raging storm continued. The fear and sense of helplessness would bob it’s head up in my secret thoughts and feelings, but we fooled ourselves into thinking our lives were under control. What I believe we wouldn’t admit, was that it was really us trying to be in control. We both practiced religion, she earnestly prayed, just like I had in the past, and we both would occasionally see some light peeking out from the dark clouds, and we knew it was God, taking care of us, but I also knew, it was not due to any faith on my part. And although she may have kept us somewhat afloat with her broken, old time religion, and, yes, her simple faith, and perhaps it also was helped through the loving prayers of our supportive families and friends, I knew, I was still severely damaged goods. I was rotting on the inside, though I appeared to have it somewhat together. My faults were looked at as idiosyncrasies, just part of being human, even by those who knew, as just part of having a mental illness. But I knew my well was dry.

So, then it happened. I entered crisis mode. But things had changed in twenty years, with professional help. I learned many new coping skills, ways to reach out, and ways to take care of myself. I even told myself that I was getting closer to God again, despite the many suggestions of my friends, who tried to lovingly point out, that I was not moving any closer to God. In fact, they said, I may be moving away from him. And although I passionately denied it, even to myself, deep in my heart, I knew that I was not moving closer to God. I told myself and others that I knew God, that I loved God. I told them that I had been so hurt by the members of the church, so judged, so betrayed. Someone suggested that it was just my mental illness giving me that understanding, that it wasn’t as bad as it seemed. I brushed aside well meaning suggestions of the seemingly tired, ineffectual rituals of prayer, reading my bible, and attending church. In my heart, there was still a wall, hiding my eyes from seeing God, although God could, of course see me clearly, he knew the pain I was feeling, from not being in a truly healing relationship with him, and in compassion, I know he wept.

Bipolar Life

Posted: September 26, 2015 in Poetry

A lot of time my mind is so clear,

So awake, so aware,

But also, so overwhelmed,

Even with what seems like paranoia.

My thoughts move so fast,

That I can’t keep up with them.

I’ll be so tired, and I’ll lay down,

But I can’t turn my mind off.

It is like a speeding train,

Trying to go around a sharp curve.

The strain of it all, sometimes,

Causes me to wonder if I can stand it,

If, like that speeding train,

I will run off the tracks.

I try to control, to be practical,

To distract myself, take meds,

But I can’t always do that.

Sometimes I am caught in an atmosphere

Where I feel the need to escape,

But I don’t really want to,

I want to participate in life, feel it,

Be there, interact with whatever

Or whomever is around.

Maybe I need more discipline.

Maybe I need to be more careful.

But I don’t always want to hide.

Sometimes I don’t want to be rational.

We all occasionally do stupid things.

And sometimes, I regret it.

Sometimes my wife has to reel me in,

Get me back to reality.

I am grateful for doctors, counselors,

Family and friends.

It does help to have support.

I just have to take it one moment at a time,

Doing the best I can.

That’s all I can expect of myself.