Thought Vomit #1


"Slow Unraveling" mixed media on newsprint


When the hypomania sets in-

You can talk a blue streak,

For miles and miles you go,

A thousand and one thoughts 

Around the faded February sun.

Holding onto one stream of consciousness

Long enough for another to bubble up

And take its place,

And then the old thought is nothing more

Than a fading dot in the rearview,

Left stranded forever unless you 

Made it a point to write it down,

Like in the old Coffee Shop days

Before you had no idea that anything 

Was wrong or different about you -

Depression prone,


But manic depression wasn't yet

In your vocabulary save for

The "Are You Experienced?" 

 deep cut -

And even then that was just a

Turn of phrase,

Not yet an illness you 

Were aware of.



In those days these flights 

Of fancy were just bursts 

Of simple inspiration,

Or so you thought -

You would buy a notebook

On a Friday afternoon,

And by Sunday evening

It'd be full of these 

Poetic sketches 

And you'd think

Nothing of it.

Ecstatic at your

Developing voice,

Popping a squat

In some boarded up

Store front doorway,

Or else a corner table

In your favorite cafe,

a window seat 

Looking out on on 

Center Street,

Headphones tight to

Shut everything save 

For the passing skateboarders

And kids walking off

To hidden shadows to

Fuck and/or get high,

Your music cranked 

As loud as you could

Stand it-

All the better to focus

These thoughts and direct

Them outward instead

Of inward -

Somehow even then you

Were somewhat aware

Of the dangers of allowing

Yourself to spend too much

Time in your own head,

Yet another sign you missed

Early on in your

Mental health adolescence,

All of it being so fucking

Clear now but slipping by

So easily then-

All you knew was these

Racing thoughts

and the need to write 

Quickly so as to head 

them off at the pass,

the only way you could

hope to capture them

Before they were gone.


How many times 

In recent years have

You mourned the sudden

Passing of these overwhelmingly

Productive periods,

Half convinced they were

Gone for good this time?

As quickly as they came,

So, too, could they go-

Classic hypomanic behavior,

The flow of thought and static

Energy can only stretch so far

before the shell which contains them

Begins to crack from the pressure -

Then there's nowhere to go

But down down d o w n -

Then you find yourself 

in the very bottom of 

That well where depression


Where the air hangs 


Dank as basements in

abandoned houses,

Acrid with dust,

Death and decay,

The only light

(If there even is any)

Is from somewhere so

high above you can't 

Even begin to hope

of reaching it,

And even then it

all depends on the 

position of the moon 

That night 

(With depression it's always night time)-

Most of the time you 

Only know darkness,

Stuck in the stale muck

Down here all alone,

Now cut off entirely

And for who knows

How long?

The depression always

seems to stay so much

longer than the other -

Whether manic or something

Approaching normalcy,

Each depression longer

Than the last,

No sense of beginning

Or ending,

After a few hours 

It seems like it's always

been this way -

And no matter how many

Times you go through it

And come out again,

You convince yourself

That you'll be here,

Stuck down in the darkness

So thick you couldn't cut 

It with a scalpel-

Convince yourself that you'll

Never write another word,

Riff or simply enjoy

Sitting in a cafe window


Punk cassettes ringing

In your ears,

And surrounded

By the ones who will

Change your life so many

Times over,

Or so much as 

taking an evening stroll

around the block again.

It is this kind of thinking -

That you'll be stuck in this 

Damp blackness foreverf

That paves the way for every


Every relapse,

Every breakdown,

Every rash decision 

That destroys a thousand 

Lives forever -

Not just the bipolar depressive's 


but the lives of every

Single soul rooting

for them even if 

They are too far down

The proverbial well

To hear it -

Every person who 

Loves the person they truly are-

Not the one the depression

tries so hard to convince them 

Is the only true self.

The bipolar depressed 

Person doesn't slip

because they want to die,

They slip because,

more than anything,

They just want it 

All to stop.

You've been there

enough times to know

The difference by now,

and yet you keep

Coming back.

"I think we are destined to do 

this forever, you and I. "


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