The Bright Despair
Sean Arnold

suicide may be compared to the desperate gesture by a dreamer to break his
nightmare.  He who by an effort escapes from an evil sleep, kills: he kills his dream,
he kills himself as dreamer.”

C. Vallejo


if I slit my veins butterflies will emerge
I will ride the scar
long as an AMTRAK to the salt
a glowing metal slug to the pacific.
if I slit my wrists butterflies will emerge
I will tear the flesh
cold steel churn,
the butterknife of propellers
cut summer air
like a Cessna taking off
a bullet ramping into the night.


the colors dayglo in the night
spell out like a lite-brite the brite despair.

 in Atman voice
keep going
those big rivers before you
you’re just water after all.

ping-ponging in my skulls walls
twenty story warehouse, vacant.

my head hurts
thats all.
I used to trade fear with depression and thought I knew its name.
it was dirtysexy and of course attractive. 
I got a contact high,
it seemed to have outlived me.
I thought I knew its name and the meaning of the word and the damn fool
impression I could learn things from it.
fear, it seemed like a quaint club,
like crumpled up insides of a prescription drug lined carefully on the tip of a desk.
I used to grip at teenage-angst for its savage shock value kneeling at its alter
praying it would teach me fear,
that it would touch me in the night like a wet dream or a dirty uncle.
I used to in my imagination, count welts with those engaged in the same damn
but words,
either you know them or you don’t.
I used to frequently mouth the word ‘fear’
now, I know it.

pawning things that aren’t mine
borrowing plenty time
getting lost lost lost lost lost.
getting the briteness getting the brightness forgot.
we promised ourselves b/c we were then extraordinary
never will we feel doomed on our way down
never will we feel honored in our ascent.
DO its:
my hidden friends and I,
we still pirouette with the 6-headed hounds
in my downtime,
your love is no good
you are a bad blues song
a phony savior stapled to a rotten piece of wood
our dual credit is expired
and I can’t cash these checks nowhere.
suicide was just something to do.
but the moon doesn’t care
the moon is just an image
the moon is just an image
our fading silhouettes strapped to it like a bomb that refuses to blow.
my lesser angels snipped the fuse,
you, without you I will go.
pirouetting with the hounds
keeping the butterflies at bay
numbering our yet eager bones.

I looked in the mirror today not because I am vain but to make sure I was still
Last night at 4:01,
the bone lady almost got me
(her wants to vampire my marrow)
(her wants my liver always emptied of liquor)
her wants me hollow hollow hollow
but she ain’t gone get it.
 I drank wine I stole from schnucks,
the moon was a symbol,
counting railroad ties
and days to infinite
lost count zigging
like a fiddle crab
down the tracks forgetting I don’t know what
forgetting getting forgot
fiddling white whisper music
in the outline of the bright despair.
if I slit my veins
butterflies might emerge
but I would never know this now
I would not know this then
forgetting the briteness
and getting the briteness forgot.