Dark World

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By Joshua Blake

Today, I want to share a poem I wrote. Maybe it can help those who feel lost – maybe someone somewhere will connect with this.

I’m Your Prisoner:

This madness is driving me crazy
Makes everything seem so hazy.
Break my skull with a hammer,
My voice cracks a silent stammer.

I must get out of this nightmare
Always see your sickening glare.
Take my wrist, break it, twist.
Hit me with your evil fist.

Now my soul lay on the ground.
Tethered by shackles and bound.
I hear a bell from far above.
Could it be you, my love?

A Long Lost Memory Part Two: The Cycle Begins

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By Joshua Blake

Above reads the first entry of a journey that started nearly two years ago. Even though this tale started years earlier, this book holds my life story – not the one I project – the one in my head. Let’s walk down this road together, because its pages are wearing thin.

Reading this again feels all too familiar and foreign all at once. Who wrote this? They seemed lost – like I am – but sure of what they need: understanding. Hey! That’s what I need. What don’t I understand? Maybe it’s my importance to others. Maybe it’s the fact that I can’t control my future, no matter how hard I try. Maybe I’m just unsure of my intentions.

Not too long after my first entry I wrote of my urge to not sleep for around a week. “It’s almost as if I’m waiting for something to happen and I don’t want to miss it.” I wondered then what I was waiting for. I think I found the answer, Recently, I’ve had the urge to sleep all day – a way to escape my own agony. But it proves to be my greatest adversary. I resort to clutching a pillow at times of mental unrest, as if I’m being consoled by something, when I have nothing.

“Shit! What’s gonna happen when you’re 30 or 40? Will you be in more pain? I already have days where I feel twice my age. My body feels broken down enough. What about a job? Will you even be a journalist – are you even ready for life? I’m so unorganized, how could I be?” Then I wonder about relationships. Where are those going? Well, nowhere. I don’t even try to establish one. If I wasn’t so fucking scared of what people thought, I might have one. Unfortunately, I just look at that as another thing to deal with. “You have school – that’s like your job – and you’re always sad. Who’d wanna be with me?”

My mother would contest. “Nobody gives a shit that you’re disabled, nobody,” she tells me, sounding like a broken record. I think back to the moment when I told her I’d walk at the age of five – I was three at the time. She didn’t believe me. “Don’t be upset if it doesn’t happen,” she said. To which I naturally disregarded, and held her statement in contempt. Not too long after I turned five, I walked on my own without my walker – this is before my surgery, mind you. I did something that was impossible, or should have been. Where the hell did my ambition go?

The only person who cares about me being disabled is myself. If you’re an alcoholic, or a junkie, you go to AA or rehab. If you don’t like your nose, get plastic surgery. If you wanna be in shape, work out. There’s no 12-step program for this shit. Nobody went, “Hey, let’s help people who struggle with Cerebral Palsy. They can do this, that, and the other thing, and they’ll be cured. CP free!” It doesn’t work that way, does it? Nope, instead it’s this life-long disease of torture and self-doubt, fueled by anger and sadness. That is until you get to the realization that you can’t change it.

That three year old kid who wanted to walk when he was five? He did that. “I’m finally normal,” he thought with joy. He changed his life, but not his fate. He didn’t know that people would look at him as different growing up. “I can walk like you, too,” he thought. That was, until he realized it looked different – it looked weird to him as well. Now he’s older. He enjoys playing music, and going to college. He’s a cool kid with attitude, and dresses in jackets, jeans – countless rings and wristbands of his favorite artists – he wants to mask his insecurities.

He says to himself “Hey, maybe if I wear all of this stuff, my disability will vanish.” When someone says that he has a lot of bracelets on, or that they like his rings, he gets excited. “Yes, it worked!” It even fools him, until he sees a reflection. It even fools him, until he sees people analyze how he moves. It even fools him, until he knows what he has: me. I’m the voice in the back of his head who makes him scream and cower in fear. I won’t stop until he realizes that he can fool me just as easily. Until he finds the courage to stand up, like that three year old boy did many years ago, he’ll never rid himself of me.

The saddest thing is that my mind’s split in two, and I don’t know what side I’m on. I don’t understand myself, and that’s a scary thought.

‘World On Fire’ Proves Rock Has No Boundary

World On Fire

By Joshua Blake

With the help of Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators, Slash may have produced the best work of his career, setting up a bright future for the legendary guitarist’s next adventure,

World On Fire – Slash’s third solo album in four years – debuted on September 16th, just four days after Slash’s North American Let Rock Rule Tour with Aerosmith ended. This 17 track album has the power to influence many. World On Fire is in your face, and it doesn’t stop – something that rock fans will bask in for months to come.

The title track “World On Fire” is gritty, fast-paced, and captivating. “Well they say that we are tragic and they say we’re born to lose. You’re the misfit, I’m the sinner, you’re the heathen, I’m the fool.” Front man Myles Kennedy sends a clear message: “Take me anyway you choose.”

Impeccable lyricism and musicality show in every song. None of this would be possible without bassist Todd Kerns, who provides strong backing vocals and immense bass lines, while drummer Brent Fitz keeps the pace steady. Myles Kennedy’s breath-taking vocals add depth, and Slash’s unmatched guitar work is the final ingredient.

Part of what makes World On Fire so thrilling is its ability to leave you hanging, wanting more – you become connected – as if you know what’s being said. At the same time, listeners may feel like they’re discovering something new altogether.

That’s because they are. Everything feels generic and unified. From the soothing sounds of “Battleground,” a seven minute masterpiece, to the epic instrumental “Safari Inn,” be prepared for greatness at every cornerstone. This album is one for the misunderstood, a voice to the voiceless, a fountain of youth for the desperate.

Too Busy Getting Lost

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The fountain’s nice, isn’t it? I’m sitting on a bench at Stony Brook University, and it’s a pretty good view. Although I feel lost right now.

Not lost in the sense of “Where am I?” but rather, “Who am I?” I talked about that a little bit in my last post – about how I felt lost within myself. Funny concept, huh?

So, where did we leave off? Oh, right, the whole I like myself, but I really don’t, scenario. After the NYC convention. I felt better after talking with my friend Ray about my problems. He told me that people see how I struggle. “But they respect you more because of it.” Anything about people not liking me because of my disability is in my head.

I hate that word so much. “Disability.” It just sounds evil. I want to rid it of my vocabulary, but I can’t. I’m fighting myself at the moment – I have my whole life really. One side of me says “Hey, look, things will work out,” while the other side says “But what if…?”

And it’s never a “Hey, what if it works out?” It’s always the “What if this happens? Well, then nothing will go right! My life will be in shambles.” I don’t have these thoughts because I’m a worried twenty year old. I’m a worried twenty year old because I have these thoughts – I’m a worried person because I have these thoughts. I’ve had them since I was a kid.

But I’m too busy getting lost. “Fuck it. I don’t need anyone.” All I have is myself – in my mind anyway – and I’m not dealing with any of it.

A Long Lost Memory

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Today, I’m posting a story that I should have put up back in April (has it been that long?). It’s about my high-school experience. I might make this into a three part series of posts, because there’s a lot of info for me to sift through.

 

Instead of talking about being a part of a couple of sports teams, and that I had a lot of friends in high-school, I’m gonna talk about my self-consciousness – I hate it.

I haven’t gotten past it since I was eight or nine years old – just a few years after I had surgery to walk without a walker – I realized that I was still different physically. I can’t stand that, and it takes a lot for me to realize that people do care for me. I always have a voice in the back of my head saying “What do these people really think?”

I’m self-deception and self-loathing at its very best. It all started when I was 14 – or so I claim – I have no idea. I had a crush on a girl, and my friends found out that she didn’t like me when they overheard her say that during lunch one day. My childhood friend Steve called me on the phone that day to tell me. That was a fun day.

But I was 14. What did I know about anything? Especially love, or whatever people call it? I hated girls for the next two years. I started to hate myself as well. “Why would she want to be with me anyway? I’m not normal,” I would think. I thought every girl was stuck-up and the anger I had fueled my passion for writing poetry. I’ve been writing since I was 16, and when I was 17, my outlook changed.

I fell, and I fell hard for a girl I had a deep connection with. It’s hard writing this right now, because I’m still worried about my future endeavors. It was my senior year, and I became very connected to this girl – Caroline was her name. I remember when I wrote her a poem titled “You,” when I was in the hospital for my blood clot– a month or so before our prom. I never gave her that poem. I still don’t know why, and I’m sorry. Ultimately, she was leaving for school in Chicago – I wasn’t. That summer was magical misery to me. She never felt the same way as I did towards her, and when she left I went through an emotional breakdown.

I think I still am. I feel lost within myself. I come off as confident and determined, and I am. But, I’ve been a different person for a while. I frighten myself. I hate walking past people. “Say something, I dare you!” I think at times, that way I can defend my pride. I’ve been like this since high-school, and even well before.

I recently went to a media convention in New York City, and one night, different college newspapers went to an event where they all brainstormed ideas on certain topics. There’s an internet sensation of sorts called note card confessions. It’s where people confess something on an index card, and they either put it up on YouTube, or it could just be a picture of the confession on Google.

The speaker of the event had each newspaper think of a secret they could tell. But everyone had one person read their groups confession off of their phones – unnamed. I thought that was shallow. At least own up to it – dumb asses – who cares? It really doesn’t matter.

“What secret do I have?” I thought. After a while, I got it. I walked up to the mic and introduced myself. I said that I have Cerebral Palsy, and every night I go to bed with the hope of waking up normal – that I could walk like everyone else.

I’m different – I get that. I love being the way I am just as much as I despise it.