Wednesday, October 27, 2010

In Numb

I feel so disconnected lately
I try to have a focused thought
and all I get is dial tone
when most of the time it's like hearing
six conversations bleeding through
but none of them make much sense
all overlapping and unfinished
and above it all a nasal monotone intones:

"You are now operating in survival mode."

So I move through the day
the same as the one before
doing all the 'have to's
so it seems just like living
only without really touching anything
and the voice continues:

"You are now operating in survival mode."

Then I'm angry at that voice
I want to defy her
so I shake myself with music,
laughter, conversation, books
I sing really loudly
when a feeling does come through
because I find they've become too big for me to hold
I shake myself to try to snap me out of it
but I'm still out of it
so I do what I can to comfort me
but in the background:

"You are operating in survival mode."

So I move again to the music,
the laughing, the talking, the words
I see how these things bring
each a tiny reprieve
and as the voice goes on and on
I live between breaths


  1. Oh it is so true... Operating in Survival mode! I never could put a name to it, but you have!

    Great poem, and some funny things to keep you up. I will try the singing loudly part, though, I am afraid that I will have shoes thrown at me!


  2. Excellent imagery. Living between breaths...the small reprieve. You're getting at some difficult concepts and drawing the reader to a resolution along with your own, which is often difficult.

    Very consistent and well constructed poem, and thanks for your comments on my own work at Verse Escape.

  3. Wysteria- The words "survival mode" are in an
    Alanis Morissette song. I guess I've been pondering them for a while. Try the singing loudly! I have found it the best way to literally expel a too-big emotion from my body. I only live with my daughter so if she throws shoes, I will send her to her room ;)

    hedgewitch- Thanks so much! I wrote this in the morning and posted it on my lunch break. I usually wrestle with things for months before I like them. I guess there are all sorts of ways to write, even in one person.

    Thank you both for visiting!

  4. Good on you for having faith and posting without giving your internal editor a chance to kick in! It's a bit scary sometimes though, no?

    Good expression, I felt you feeling it.

  5. Yep, it is scary! I'm doing my best to get out of the habit of editing in my head. But some poems need months of work, others come out ready to share.

    Thank you so much!