The Constant Theme

16804015_1306880626043681_1258487991490495007_o

By Joshua Blake

Life’s weird. Lately I’ve been reminiscing on mine by looking back on all of the notebooks and journals I’ve written in. Like any song you listen to, a story unfolds and a narrative appears. I believe the same to be true about life.

So, what about mine?

I started by going back to where it all began for me: writing poetry in an old notebook from when I was in high-school. I was 16 or 17 at the time, and I initially thought that this poetry thing wouldn’t last long. Two-hundred-to-four-hundred poems and a decade later, here I am.

I’ve kept all of the 7-10 books I’ve written in as a way to remind myself of where I once was, and in some ways, where I still am today. If I could condense everything I’ve written down for the chorus in a song, it’d have to be something uplifting, with a touch of doubt. Maybe something like “I always knew I’d be able to get by, but it wouldn’t happen until I passed through time.”

The current journal I’m writing in has been through a longer lifespan than any other I’ve had – about four-and-a-half years. But the last poem I’ve written in my current book from January 31, 2019, really sets the tone of what my writing is all about: Fear of my past and of my future.

“I don’t know where to look,

Or where I should go.

But I’m always pulling you in tow,

Like an arrow fired from a bow.”

[Excerpt from “Now What?”]

The very first poem I wrote called “False Assumptions,” lives somewhere, but the page I wrote it on in my original book of poems has been lost to time. I put it in a word document years ago on an old laptop, but the point is that title is, to this day, something I think of whenever my anxiety or depression flares.

However bad a situation seems, it never turns out how I think it does in my head.

Moving forward, I’m going to break down the last decade of my writings, in an attempt to see how far I’ve come, what I’ve learned, and what I can learn further on my journey through life.

The Formative Years: 2010-2012

My beginning poems centered around love. What it meant to love, how I would ever be loved, and if I would ever allow myself to be loved. But then something changed.

Despair and agony flooded my mind, and I wrestled with these emotions until I wrote about them on March 12, 2011.

“Reoccurring events running through my mind.

I feel as if I’ve traveled back through time.

Who can I trust either than myself?

I don’t want to be stuck by myself.

Fear now runs through my veins.

There’s nothing I can do to stop these pains.

Reoccurring thoughts are coming back.

Reoccurring thoughts make me see black.”

[Excerpt from “Reoccurring Emotions”]


“I regretfully give in to your gesture,

And all I see is that familiar texture.

Are you here to tell me otherwise?

What answers are hiding behind your deceiving eyes?

Can you guide me to my salvation,

Or will you send me to my damnation?

You are the only one I truthfully hate,

Hence your ability to control my fate!”

[Excerpt from “The Eternal Story” October 10, 2012, 2:14 a.m.]

This was the catalyst for my transition into journal-ing about my woes as well. I continued to write dozens upon dozens of poems throughout that year, while also expanding on these thoughts more and more in depth.

 

January 19, 2012, 12:50 a.m.

“Whenever I have any sort of downtime, it plays as my enemy. I believe I am – and always have been – wondering about my future. Where I will be, who will be in my life (if anyone) and when will I get what I’ve always wanted.

I’ve lost my identity. I don’t know who I am anymore. Mental illness? Insanity or helplessness?”

The Broken Times: Dec. 2012-Nov. 2014

Possibly the darkest times I’ve ever been through emotionally and mentally, and it all came to a head in early December of 2013. After years of believing Love was a road I’d never travel down, I knew I was at a breaking point.

December 7, 3:07 a.m.

“I am in a very dark place yet again. I’m not enjoying this cell – it’s killing me – and I’ve put myself in, while throwing away the key.”

Ironically, my only salvation during this period of my life came from writing music with my grandmother – a force like no other, with a voice that could carry for thousands of miles.

The first song we ever wrote happened in June of 2014

“Seeking Serenity”

“I’m stuck in this free fall

Patiently waiting until I stall

It’s getting lonely up here

My only friend is fear.

Serenity, serenity

My greatest enemy.”

October of 2014 was another low point, however…

On the 11th, I wrote “Far From Never.”

“I’m going back to that time and place/ The one that gave my heart such disgrace…If I’m beat enough, maybe I’ll listen/ And your gentle face will start to glisten…I need this now more than ever/ Even if love is far from never.”

On the 18th, I wrote “Everything.”

“Everything feels so broken/ My heart beats, even though it’s frozen…Everything is crashing down/ My head hears awful sound…Everything hurts when I think of you/ My eyes cry at things past due.”

On the 27th, I wrote “Tunnel Vision.”

“Tunnel vision stuck on her/ My thoughts never could deter…Life seems so out of sight/ When will things start to go right?”

The Current Era: Nov. 2015 –

The difference a year makes is extraordinarily underappreciated. In October of 2014, I was a mess. In October of 2015, I met my now fiancee and we’ve been engaged since 2018.

Still, that doesn’t mean my past doesn’t come back to haunt me every now and again.

Four years after I wrote “Everything,” I wrote “Stuck In Between,” on Oct. 18, 2018. Looking at it now, it feels like a successor of sorts.

“Stuck in between something I can’t explain/ Like something in the middle of pleasure and pain…Stuck in between something that I can’t name/ It doesn’t feel real, like I’m playing some kind of game…Feel as though I’m forever maimed/ As if I’ll always live with this pain.”

 

“Inside Out/Outside In” Sep. 27, 2019

“It’s like I’m cold, but on the inside/ Like pins and needles all over my mind…It’s like I’m hot, but on the outside/ Like I can’t outrun what’s been left behind…Shaking inside out and outside in/ I’m not even sure where to begin.”

“Now What?” Jan. 31, 2019

“I don’t know where to look/ Or where I should go…But I’m always pulling you in tow/ Like an arrow fired from a bow.”

“Sleep-talking” Jan. 21, 2020

“Sleep-talking but you’re silent/ Oh you’re so violent/ Starring right through me/ Not letting me be…Sleep-talking but you’re silent/ No longer one of your clients/ I’m lookin’ right past you/ As my memory forever haunts you.”

Going Forward?

As a way to end this little trip back through time, I wanted to end on a entry I wrote nearly a decade ago and a lyric from a song I wrote nearly six years ago.

Oct. 8, 2011

“After I fill the last page of this book, I wonder if I shall have the wisdom on how to move forward – both emotionally and physically…There’s still some holes to be filled, and I’m trying to find the shovel to fill them.”

2014

“Know Me Now.”

“So afraid of where I’ll be/ Cryin’ for you to set me free…Heart beat is out of tune/ Racin’ straight towards my doom. Keep repeating the same old story/ Hoping to find my fame and glory…Will you find me soon someday/ So my mind can break away.

I remember when we met/ You came to me with a bet…Do you really know me now/ If so, show me how.”

 

 

 

My Lucky Charm

By Joshua Blake
​Slow as molasses, stuck in the mud

Fall face first, make a big thud. 

Earth’s slippin’ through my fingers.

I can’t get a grip as I stumble and as I slip, 

Kissin’ the ground with my chapped lips. 

Try again with all my might.

I ain’t givin’ in, I’ll go all night. 

Earth’s slidin’ beneath my feet.

I can’t stand as I stagger and as I leap. 

Fallin’ down while I start to weep.

Give it one last shot before I rot. 

Try and roll over with all I’ve got. 

Earth’s spreadin’ around my arms

I’ll crawl this time, it’s my lucky charm. 

Screamin’ out loud as a firearm. 

I Have No Idea What To Name This

1485810346440

By Joshua Blake

Something about this photograph is hypnotic to me. Therapeutic. Distracting.

I have no idea what to name this.

Something about where I was sitting made for – what I thought to be – the perfect shot.

I have no idea what to name this.

Something about the very words you’re reading make no sense to me.

I have no idea what to name this.

Is this what I’m supposed to feel like when I’m lost in a sea of toxic thoughts? Thoughts that never seem to leave my mind no matter the happiness I experience on any given day? Is it my own insanity?

Sure I have good days – great ones even – but they’re only temporary – like most things.

I know I’ll be okay, I know I will. It’s like I’m staring at a transparent mirror, seeing everything that’s meant to be on the other side, and all I’ve to do is walk on through.

So then, why don’t I?

Am I afraid to fail? To succeed? Maybe I’m just bored. Maybe it’s cacophony.

Perhaps it’s nothing like the times before. Perhaps it’s Satan knocking at my door.

I attempt to sleep. But then I’ll just stare; blankly into the quiet and ghostly air.

If there’s such thing as regression, then what’s the opposite of depression?

Maybe I need a reboot to find a new session.

Maybe then I’ll finally learn my lesson.

There’s no point to this confession.

Parasite In My Head

parasite

By Joshua Blake

Parasite In My Head:

Parasite in my head, hidin’ off in my bed,

Makin’ me think that it’s better bein’ dead.

Gotta probe it out, gotta scream and I’ve gotta shout.

Go on and get the fuck out!

Parasite in my brain, running like a freight train.

Tellin’ me how to think, how to feel.

Gotta probe it out, but it conceals.

Gotta probe it out so I can heal.

Get out so I know what’s real!

It’s that time again.

Where I laugh and start to pretend.

I’m fine. Why you askin’?

All I see is a bunch of lights flashin’.

Parasite in my veins, slidin’ up and slidin’ down.

Makin’ me feel like it’s seconds til I dorwn.

Parasite in my legs, movin’ back and movin’ forth.

Makin’ me question my own self-worth.

Gotta get back to the fort, gotta run and I’ve got a gun – no, I’m not done!

This fight’s only begun.

It’s that time again.

Where I laugh and where I cry.

I’m fine. Why you askin’?

Can’t you see me singin’ and dancin’?

Summer’s End

13516541_1082549098476836_7396819201972402762_n

By Joshua Blake

I’ve been apprehensive writing on my musings of the girl pictured with me above. She stayed with me for 10 painfully, beautiful days. We were at the beach that day. That was my favorite day with her – admiring the sunset, taking photos, and listening to her read through my journals…

She told me that it gave her a sense of trust, and that’s exactly why I wanted her to read them. A fear of unknown doubt about love plagued those journals, and it felt so nice to feel so free with Anette by my side. I’ve never experienced that feeling before. It’s hard for the both of us to know that we have to wait to see each other again. However, I knew that our connection was strong online, and it became even stronger in person.

For those who may not know – in case I’ve somehow attracted the not-so-often new reader – Anette is from Norway. I reside in New York. When I went to the airport with my parents to pick her up, she ran to me once she saw me, sub-sequentially knocking me over – it was a great moment. She was tall – taller than I expected – and witnessing her beauty in person only fueled my adoration of her.

The 10 days following showed how close we are and how natural we felt with one another. We’re equally goofy, silly, adventurous, and spontaneous all at once. Some may say we’re very touchy-feel-y,  but public signs of affection don’t bother us at all. I’d prefer to say overwhelming love. Besides, it’s not like she can just text or call me saying she’s coming over or wants to go out.

That’s what made coupon offerings for discounts or in-store credit unfortunately sad to pass on. Maybe we’d use this if we were in the same place consistently. Although, I did take her to Victoria’s Secret and buy her a bra she really loved, but that’s not what really mattered. Just being in each others presence -holding hands as we walked, and the occasional kiss – is what made every moment so special.

 

13516520_1080310232034056_7533022643463095731_n

This was the day we went to the mall and then ate dinner at The Cheesecake Factory – our first date. She looked so pretty in her blue dress with a patch-like, eye-catching design. It’s just a shame that United Airlines lost her luggage on her way back home. Turns out they’re one of the worst – if not the worst – airliner in America (domestically and internationally). United’s entire Twitter and Facebook pages are complaints from former customers. I say former because anyone who’s used them once switches airlines – or they should. But, I digress.

We’re back to video-calling until she can return. She’s aiming for Easter and then the entire Summer with me next year.We know what this is now more than ever – but I think we’ve always known how special our relationship was. It’s been suggested through research that long-distance couples are emotionally happier and more connected to their partner than domestic partnerships. It’s easier to take things for granted when they are readily available. That doesn’t mean that this isn’t difficult for myself, Anette, or any others in long-distance relationships. They’re drastically beautiful and heart-breaking all at once.

So, what’s our next course of action? Finishing up our education and during that time, discussing options with Anette on how she can get here. It also helps that our families are supportive of our relationship. This isn’t faked, or believed to be something it’s not – it’s what it always was – a loving, heartfelt connection with someone who loves me as much as I love them.

And with that I bid adieu. I’ll see you soon, Anette.

 

Everything:

 

Everything smells like you, even though it doesn’t.

I was scared even if it seemed like I wasn’t.

I’ll see you again,

I’ll see you again.

Everything sounds like you, even with no words.

I found your soul despite the huge herds.

I’ll see you again,

I’ll see you again.

Everything looks like you, even without your body.

I kiss and hold the air like some kind of oddity.

You’ll see me again,

You’ll see me again.

13516403_1081920528539693_4292656651884990904_n

 

Only In My Dreams

image

By Joshua Blake

Lasting Impression:

I finally saw the look in your eyes.
Don’t run baby, don’t be shy.
I saw the tear fall down your fragile face,
When we lovingly embraced, our hearts palpitated and raced.

I kissed you softly on the cheek,
Proceeded to hug you despite the lackluster greet.
We’ve kissed once in a dream before,
Not this time around, as our touch was to adore.

I held you close as I whimpered and cried.
Feeling no longer lost, nor alive.
I felt something else, something stronger.
But, we can’t take the pain any longer.
It’s what we deserve for being sickenly somber.

Past Memories

image

By Joshua Blake

Past Memories:

Past memeories haunt me everyday.
Past memories will never go away.
Bottle them up til the end of time, and I still wonder why you were never mine.

It doesn’t matter anymore?
You weren’t there when Death knocked on your door.
He told me of my sins, and I realized my life was about to begin.

You think I’m sane after all of this time?
You think I can fix my head inside of a little rhyme?
Go on ahead and step right into my shoes.
I dare you to bet on who Fate shall choose.

Destiny

image

By Joshua Blake

Destiny:

My mind is quite asinine, broken even, and benign.
If the goal in life is to survive,
How come we never make it out alive?

Leave me alone, go away!
Why must my thoughts consistently sway?
I have a voice, I have a voice!
Where’s this so called friend named rejoice?

All I ask for is a little relief,
Even if it’s momentarily brisk and brief.
What was that about changing the world?
My soul feels devishly evil and curled.

Thinking Of You

image

By Joshua Blake

Thinking Of You:

The thought of you is runnin’ through my veins.
Give me a sign and quit playin’ these damn games.
I want you here right in front of my eyes.
Please help my break my boundless ties.

It seems I’ll have to wait just a little bit longer.
Love, can you heal my soul and make it even stronger?
If so, tell me now – tell me please!
Tell me as I pray on my shattered knees.

I wanna hold your hand for as long as I can.
Maybe then, I’ll finally become what’s called a man.
Just hold me close for as long as you wish.
Love, please don’t hit me with your kindred fist.

Not One Of Them

image

By Joshua Blake

Not One Of Them:

I’m a junkie without the addiction.
Lookin’ forward to my own conviction.
That’s right, I said it, I’ll say it again. I know that you heard me, don’t play pretend.

I know that you see me, cause you keep on starin’.
I know that that you feel me, and I’ve been plannin’.
Plannin’ for you to know just who I am.
Plannin’ for you to know that I’m not one of them.

Can you handle what I’ve got to say?
I’m feelin’ this way every day.
Life’s all fun and games until your mind’s in constant disdain.
Can you handle it, can you handle it? I don’t think so, but you don’t have my brain.

So let’s see where this journey takes us to.
Don’t think that I forgot about you.
I know that you see me, cause you keep on starin’.
Come on let’s have this dance if you’re up for gamblin’.

Can you handle what I’ve got to say?
I’m feelin’ this way every day.
Life’s all fun and games until your mind’s in constant disdain.
Can you handle it, can you handle it? I don’t think so, but you don’t have my brain.

So whatcha want with my time?
Walk with me on this endless line.
I haven’t made it to the end just yet.
You can be my friend even though we just met.
You really wanna bet?

I know that you see me, cause you keep on starin’.
I know that that you feel me, and I’ve been plannin’.
Plannin’ for you to know just who I am.
Plannin’ for you to know that I’m not one of them.