Before and After (Poem Revision Fail)

I wrote the rough draft of a poem during a difficult spot of chemotherapy.  In November, I tried to make it an actual, decent poem.  I failed the ideas that went into the creation of the piece both times.

In the "final version", the source material is reduced in such a way that it manifests as nonsense.  What are death's "staccato, blue words"?  Are clichés twisted into pain?  My favorite line of the draft (sadly) doesn't have a place in the finished piece.

If I didn't stick so close to the source material, this could've ended up fairly okay.  But, I did and it isn't.  *Shrugs*

TW:  Self-harm, Suicidal Ideation


My pen is like a needle, the point so fine, I want to jab it until it breaches me
ink the muted blue of my veins sprawled, a hooker primed for work.
I'm sad, so I hide behind metaphors—rain, oceans, darkness—cliché.
The first I can grab and its worn-out, my grandma's unraveled bra.
I'm sorry, so I stay silent. I don't want to hurt this way. Twist, and see new pain.
Each day my brain walks the mountain and plummets. This is not a slide.
I do it, anyway. Other people practice self-harm. I am the master.
This is my circus. Tigers are rabid, giving teeth-tear spots, flashing stripes.
Backwards fashionistas. I hate myself, so I want to die. I'm afraid of death.
I want things better... life better. Stitching blue words. My skin unmarred.


Writing a Depressed Poem

My pen is like a needle. It breaches
ink veins sprawled and primed for work.
Rain, oceans, darkness—cliché.
Twist... and see new pain.

My brain practices self-harm.
Mental tigers leave teeth-tear spots.
Afraid of death's staccato, blue words.
My unmarred skin beside ruined pages.

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