As a humble humming scrunched up loser
inwardly focused and blind to the outside world
as a hermit crab apple flake seafood salad
I crawled under a rock and never came out
covert and safe pressed against the earth
rotten leaves and decaying trees held me
obscure and true to myself.
And yet the noises still found me
the pounding pavement resonance
rumbling through my stone skull
my rock and rubble strewn shale pile shaking
with the bass notes of heartbeat jumping feet
mosh and muddle and moss-addled rambling
saturated by a tide of metallic sound.

To escape still further, to hide still deeper
I ceased using my ears, I no longer heeded
the intrusion and the confusion of music,
I cursed musicians major and minor
and dug and crept and lurked further down
making silent abode in my rental rat nest
no note of triumph or world’s end whimper
could disturb my holy dirt, my sacred pit,
no word was spoken and no relic nor token
could inspire me to listen to those old sorrows,
no harmony nor melody could move me to rise
no rhythm to impose on my movement,
years slipped past without a note, a thought
or shared moment, my life became a blank score
no voice could disturb me
no words could unearth me
my heart slowed and at last
I believed my thoughts could be still.

And yet there was no peace! Despite the blessed calm
the quiescence could not comfort me
nor would darkness abide me,
the silence would not be golden until I forgot my sight
until I closed my eyes and blanked out the brightness
until my head exploded in stars and spots and fire,
even as the light yet pursued me
and flashes of day confused me
with circling twirling fragments
scattered like dust and clinging to us
debris from the slow death of our solar parent.
I no longer opened my eyes, I shrouded my sight
with my own hands and then, as I got better
with my thoughts and my haggard hopes
I sheltered my gaze a little more each day
until mornings became indistinguishable
from an eternal clouded twilight.

And all was happy in my blind burrow deep
no words could deceive or strike fear into me.
And yet there was no rest, despite the dark
swaddling me in a blanket black and warm
no darkness could contain me in safety
no blank canvas plain stretching out before me,
close my heart and perish the thought,
and my brain popped and sizzled
like a reheated plastic box food
the impulses and the nerve endings tingled
firing with bad wiring and itching all over
with the tremendous effort of remaining sober
every tickle and every twitch rippled
across my skin and throughout my being
a torturous exploration of my psychic expanse
twiddling my thumbs in the old stone tombs
scratching my thoughts down to the bone.
I no longer opened my heart, I closed my soul
and the awful stimuli, the bane of my head
my ears and my eyes, my own words
turned back upon me as a belated curse
and yet I was, at last, safe.

I rolled over and the stone held me close,
I sank into decay and decomposition warmed me,
I wallowed in seclusion and mellowed in solitude
I buried myself in my now-empty mind
and in this palace of blackness, this hall of nothing
I lurked and lolled and limped about
content in the compression of deep depression
hollow hillsides and blank-eyed caves
echoes unheard and unseen sunrise
I became less of who I was and more of what I knew,
I became a worm, sightless and deaf
heartless and without purpose,
no grief could reach me with tendrils cold
no relief from the burrowing in frozen rock
no truth could awake me from slow hibernation
no hope could raise me from complete dejection
no words could reach me in the depths of degradation
no touch could release me from this secret labor.

Squirming churning mud puddles on the termite highway
unable to perceive a path back through the mind
only deeper to dig and further to slide
only loneliness and another thought to digest
eating my own head
feeding myself
and turned always within
nothing but darkness and touchless binding
not a sound not a sight not a thing on my mind,
clay closing around and holding me close
my home, my hole,
my hollow hidden self.

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