Just Ask Dante (A Manifesto)

Portal Into My Brain,
Though first a warning,
Which I beseech you to heed,
Are you sure you want to see,
Are you sure you a ready,
Are you sure of anything at all;

As I can tell you,

Abandon all hope ye that enter here…

As Dante warned…

“Before me things create were none, save things
Eternal, and eternal I endure.
All hope abandon ye who enter here.”

I am a lost little boy,
Blonde hair and blue eyes,
A terrified and frightened little boy,
Looking for the light though overcome by darkness,
A descending darkness that is blacker than a moonless night,
And in here,
This wasteland,
At once beautiful and repulsive,
There are no stars to guide you,
No stars to guide I,
Only despair,
A Peter Pan looking for my Tink,
That I may once again fly,
For my wings have been clipped,
And I am blinded and choking on the acrid stench of death and lost hope,
Synapses firing,
Faulty wiring,
My depression all consuming,
All consuming,
All consuming,
I wish to no longer be consumed.

As a boy,
I was greeted by a voice,
A tyrannical voice,
That told me I was destined for greatness,
And all these years I have suffered,
Toiled and tired,
For greatness has not touched me,
To you a sign of arrogance,
To me an acknowledgment,
Greatness has passed me by,
At every attempt,
At every step,
Greatness has punched me in the face,
Kicked me while I was down,
And repeated time and again;
You’re not good enough
You’re not strong enough,
You’re a failure,
You’re nothing,
Told to me so often that I’d begun to believe it,
Nervous breakdown the result,
Am I really nothing?

Boy grew into man,
Struggling to keep my way in this world,
Though unwilling and able to ascribe to the arcane,
Those principles that demand my specialization,
Rather than generalization,
Such specialization as to belittle this talent,
You must be a Doctor, A Lawyer, A Banker,
I must be a writer,
Doing only enough to survive,
Never thrive,
So that these words manifest,
As destiny had assured me they should,
Therein lay the rub,
The scourge of the mind,
The scourge of my mind,
I should have,
I could have,
I didn’t,
Thus the blame lay with me,

Inside this brain,
My brain,
This beautiful mind,
A war is being waged,
More powerful than the eternal struggle,
Of good and evil,
Darkness and light,
For inside this mind,
Bizarre creations,
Frivolous contradictions,
Leading to internal hallucinations,
Not just the voices in my head,
But the demons that persecute me,
The gargoyles who feast on hope,
Reminding me, they have concluded,
I am absurd, Greedy, Vengeful, Proud, Slovenly, Envious, Lusting and Glutinous ,
I have been weighed, you have been measured, and you have been found wanting,
Yes of course I am wanting,
Who doesn’t want,
Don’t you want,
My wants not obscene,
I desire love above all else,
LOVE above all else,
For I would lay down my life,
If it meant that I could know requited agape love,
Nothing material could satiate my desire,
As could a kiss from Muse,
From Lover,
And these are not delusions of grandeur,
I am desirous of love and nothing more,
Nothing else matters,
Can’t you see,

Of those things in my control,
I have honoured that tyrannical voice,
To the best of my ability,
I have written millions of words,
Tens of thousands of pages,
Though this darkness,
My Black Dog,
My fault wiring,
My messed up mind,
Tossed about,
Screwed up brain,
Makes it difficult for me,
To do anything,
To do anything,
I can do nothing,
Save these words,
Those that destiny intended,
And yet I toil and tear.

Man beaten,
This brain,
The portal you are now peering through,
Three separate and distinct parts,
Freud calls the Id, the Ego and the Superego,
I call them I and I and I,
And they are waging war with my sanity ,
The war not over,
I battle,
Both through force of mind,
And pharmaceutical care,
For years self medication in bottles and lines,
Scotch, Wine and Beer,
Cocaine, MDMA and more
Keeping the demons at bay,
Until they no longer were kept at bay,
Cerberus opened the gates of hell,
Casting upon me a fate worse than death,
This struggle.

One moment on top of the world,
Truly Peter Pan,
I am Peter Pan,
I am love,
Flying about without a care,
Save these words,
The next,
Dante pushing me deeper into Hell,
Virgil laughing as my greatness unattained,
Is the cross that I must bear,
And it is too much,
It is too much,
Friends, Family and Lovers I assure you,
At times it is TOO MUCH,
This past week counted,
As one of the most difficult in all my years,
So the fragmented I’s fall deeper into madness,
Deeper into hell,
A hell that only a brain like this could create,
Replete with memories of those I have harmed,
The road to hell paved with good intention,
For by nature,
I am that Peter Pan,
I wish the world to be filled with Pixie Dust,
Rather than weapons of mass destruction,
But of course we are cowards,
Preparing for a war that will never come.

Realizing there is no Pixie Dust,
I am further cast,
Past circle three,
Closer to seven,
Where Dante’s laughter,
Is like pricks of a needle,
Not filled with Heroin,
Though certainly a smack,
Each prick,
One step closer to an assured oblivion,
An oblivion that awaits not only I,
But all those who enter,
Into the darkness.

Man refusing to break,
So the forces come harder,
Stronger and faster,
Trying to rip away from me what is left,
Of this sane mind,
This mind that has seen too much,
That it cannot reveal,
It dare not reveal,
I dare not,
For those truths threaten the very fabric,
Of the institutions that we hold dear,
Afraid as I am of Leviathan,
For I broke the social contract,
And my punishment,
Are these hallucinations,
The voices,
Of which there are several,
Those of the light,
Hemingway, Pound, Joyce, and more,
Those of the dark,
Dante, Virgil and Faustus,
Those of the light,
Begging of me my masterpiece,
Those of the dark,
Daring me to submit to their will,
Daring me,
To end it all,
A struggle for my life indeed,
As I persist,
Framed by this struggle for my mind,
I made no deal with the Devil at the crossroads for this talent,
I did not ask for the skills to which I am appraised,
For which I am applauded,
Accolades graciously provided and accepted daily,
So why the torture,
Why the suffering,

Deeper and deeper,
Further and further away from that careless boy,
The innocent little child that so longs to be me,
Careless with my sanity,
Into a darkness that prevails,
Though love is the answer,
There is only so much that I can bear,
I cannot bear to live this life,
Abandoned as I have always been,
By love,
Family and friends,
Lovers three,
I and I and I,
In the quicksand of a line thin,
That I cross daily.

Manic expressions of love,
Of ignorance,
Of temperance,
Of virtue and vice,
Repeated time and again,
Sixty minutes of every hour,
Twenty-four hours of every day,
All the days of the month,
Into the oblivion of a year,
Can this really be so?

The battle,
For the now,
Seemingly won,
By demonic insurrection,
I can assure you all,
The war is far from over,
For I am Warrior Poet,
And this darkness,
This Black Dog,
These fragments of I,
Those threaten to maim and torture me,
Will be cast from me,
So long as I continue to write,
For these words,
Is my salvation…

My REVOLUTION is begun.

Just ask Dante!

For I Will…




1 Comment

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One response to “Just Ask Dante (A Manifesto)

  1. Wil

    whew! This is an emotional masterpiece painting the epitomy of bipolar disorder. I can relate to so much of it….the voice telling me I would achieve greatness (but now I realize, it meant only by the world’s standards which will never satisfy like that of the spirit which I believe is the love you so desire); the seeming war inside our heads, though, not good vs. evil, but health vs. sickness in my case; not being able to do anything at times but write, because writing is sometimes my spare key to sanity.

    I understand the Freudian theory you seem to gravitate towards, however, I lean towards a more general philosophy of spirituality versus the human condition. I am made up of two entities – a spiritual being and a human being (I suppose this could be comparable to your good vs. evil view, if I am understanding it correctly.)

    And the self-medication…I completely did that! Been sober for 8 years now, however, so at least I have a better chance at surviving. I recently read that 60% of people with bipolar have chemical addiction/abuse issues so we’re definitely not unique in that respect.

    “Why the suffering?” you ask. I ask myself this so many times, as I suspect those with cancer or spinal cord injuries or any of the other thousands of medical diagnoses and illnesses and limitations do. Fucking sucks!

    But, what I really like most of all, is that you end this post with a resolve to keep fighting; with a rally cry to never give up. I really love that!

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