Thursday, May 16, 2013


For nearly a week now I have been essentially relieved of depression, but in October of 2011 I had a two-week reprieve that vanished as quickly as it came, so I am loathe to trust the experience.  I am unspeakably grateful for these few days but equally concerned about relapse, a concern that curiously might lead to relapse--if I let it.

My therapist says: Shrink the abyss.  Embrace the abyss.

Embrace the abyss?  The soul destroyer, the black hole, the unworld?  Embrace the continuing crucifixion of consciousness?  The horror of unself?

She's trying to convince me that I have power over depression, but in my experience I don't.  It pisses me off that she thinks I have or should have control.  That's like blaming the victim.  Depression is mind rape.  It comes from a place I don't understand and returns there when it leaves. 

This latest reprieve is a direct result of a change in medication.  So how can I control the abyss?  I don't prescribe for myself.  Yet I must do something to insure, further, support my healing--what do I do?  How should I act?  What do I say to myself?

In my last reprieve it was the thought of losing my wife that sent me down again.  That she wasn't going to leave me didn't matter, despite all assurances.  The thought was so devastating that my emotions leaped ahead and took control of my brain and pushed me back into the unspeakable horror of depression.  I was blindsided.  Where is the punch coming from now?  Or is there some way to defend myself?  Yet to think defensively is also to give depression power.

Best to accept this day and my improved mood for what they are: here and present.  Best to be and not evaluate, not dwell, not presume, neither indulge nor repress but breathe in and out and tell myself that euthymia can be sustained. 

I am so grateful for this relief, I cannot tell you.  Just to have a moment without fear, where my mind is at rest.  Just to go shopping and pick out a few foods I prefer, like anchovies for my salad and artichokes.  And to cook without the paranoia that I won't be able to cook.  To walk and not look behind me.  To have the condemnatory committee in my head shut up for once.  The silence is deafening. 

Curioser and curioser,

Grateful CE

2 Kilorats?

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Poem: To Rise

To Rise

Spine straight I gazed
at the cloud cover back-hued with light
and wished to be translated
in moment, in the twinkling of an eye--
Lord take me I said
as the calendulas threw praise
and bright blue lobelia exploded skyward
while poppies raised their jagged leaves,
bulbs heavy with sap
milky as semen
as the tufted grass extended its spiny crowns
to the mottled light--
Take me I said, take me,
I am an open-armed child
reaching past the apple tree past blooming,
whose green limbs strain
in transpiration of invisible incense
offered to the invisible.

Yes to rise to God’s pocket
where the loose change of saints
jangles in praise,
up to the white-gold light
above the many-fingered lupine leaves
and thick heather of a thousand blossoms
both clawing, crying for lost stars
behind the sheer undergarments of clouds
thinned to diaphones.

Dizzy from a cigarette
I thought I would rise
and nearly floated up,
past the demons’ chorus
in my intransigent head,
nearly I joined the praise
of yellow nasturtiums and pink sea thrift
for the dissipating light
wreathed in wisps of vapor,
the thin creamery of clouds.

I might have been free,
I would have been free
from a thousand eventualities sucking at my feet,
weighing me down with inconsequential
harvests of chronic indecision,
the gum of existence, but this poem
like a million poems
only echoes the imaginary chrysalis
from which we might be born
and ends with a whimpering bang.

Unexpected Light

Unexpected Light
Selected Poems and Love Poems 1998-2008 ON SALE NOW!