Gift

The door closes softly— I closed it
It’s an odd lock, was it two turns or three?
I pull the handle, I have to be sure
She’s taking the elevator down— I’ll sleep alone

Out on the balcony, I wait to watch her walk out of sight
She waves and even from this far away I know she doesn’t want to leave
but part of me has been waiting for a lonely night
I need to do this alone
It’s been sitting, waiting for me
I’m not sure any of this is necessary
but I wrote the ending
I have to play it out

I pull the headphones up under my shirt, insert the jack
and my thumb slides around the circle
All the way to the letter T
because you see,
I smoked my first while listening
and there’s poetry in life
Sometimes it has to be made
Other times it’s a free-flowing river

The wheel of the lighter flicks the flame alive
It sounds like thunder
but not terror, no it’s like the thunder in a stadium
WE ARE ALL CHEERING FOR IT
Okay, fine, inside of me is a feeling,
It feels bigger than it is

This is important
(except it’s not)
This is vital
(except it’s not)
I fucking need this
(except I know I don’t)

and then the first taste was stale
The thing was crumbled and wrinkled
and it tasted like dirt, sun-dried pale dirt
That was a gift
Because if it was pleasant, it would have been harder
Sometimes everything falls into place

when I flicked that thing, the final flick,
Few things have ever been that satisfying
While still feeling…
Anti-climatic

Maybe you should try

Maybe you should try.

That might not be the exact words but it’s the meaning that matters and it’s not about what someone told me or that someone convinced me because no one did. It was me. It’s just easier to say “she helped” or to personify the bad thing. Taking credit isn’t easy and maybe it’s a sign of a good person, I’m not sure. What I am sure of is I’m glad I had enough respect for her then and enough will to try, to challenge myself. Because that’s what it was in the beginning. It was New Year’s Eve and I had only one beer left in the fridge. I told myself that’s it. Let’s just see how long you can go without it because yes a big part of me was convinced that I needed it to fall asleep, to cope with life, to be okay with breathing.

It was perfect timing, really.

I had decided I wanted to compose a collection of poems and put it on Amazon but I hated the idea of just sticking a handful of them together and calling it a collection. I still hate that idea. What makes them belong together? So as I was searching for a topic or a concept for a series of poems, I found myself facing myself and all these ideas I had about myself. Like I needed alcohol to subdue the pain and anger and loneliness I held onto, that I always held onto. I always stuffed everything down and then the alcohol helped drown it and store it deep below.

Quickly, the poems flowed out of me. I didn’t even know what it was until well into it. I had stopped drinking and began to notice things about myself, physically and mentally. I don’t want to go into much detail because the poems handle it all pretty well I think. I will say that alcohol does minimize testosterone in the body and then without alcohol your body is free to make more. It was strange—stranger than puberty was for me to be perfectly honest. But the biggest thing was the clarity, like I could breathe and see and listen for the first time. Yes, it was difficult but it all fed into the things I was writing at the time. When I read through that first collection, MY ENVELOPING REFLECTION, some of those I can vividly remember writing and others read like they were penned by another person. The second poem in the collection is incredibly scary for me to read because it is so true and representative of how I was for so many years.

It wasn’t all about the alcohol or substance abuse, perhaps the bigger theme throughout is the idea of manhood. I’ve heard so many people talk about this and especially growing up everyone is always so focused on being a man. And saying “once you’re a man” or competing to be the bigger man. I never understood any of it. I think it really became apparent to me right around entering my twenties that it’s all bullshit because everyone has their own definition. Once I stumbled on that idea I stunned myself because then I had to come up with my own definition. Trouble is, I never felt like a man in that odd sorta spiritual sense, for the lack of a better word, that people seem to subscribe to. Like just because you’re strong and have thick muscles doesn’t mean a damn thing to me. Or like the macho nonsense, yeah I’ve had the shit kicked out of me by bigger stronger “men” but that never seemed like being a man to me. Oh you can beat on someone smaller than you? That’s great.

I’m still not sure if I consider myself a man because it’s a very strange thing. It’s like calling myself a good person. I don’t know if I’m qualified to say that about me. Honestly, I rather not be called a man if all these assholes we keep hearing about are considered men. Too often it’s about pressure and I don’t want to put pressure on anyone. And who likes being forced into anything?

I’m incredibly proud of MER and its “sequel” ARMORLESS AND AFRAID because it’s not about what I’ve done, it’s not about the mistakes it’s about life. I’m alive. I’m probably the healthiest I’ve ever been. The most complete I’ve ever been. It’s been five years since I released MER and that’s incredible. If you bought it, you’re incredible. I truly hope that the people that read it got something from it but honestly, that’s not the point. I got a lot from it. More than I ever thought possible.

I’m proud of myself.

That’s something I never thought I would feel. I always felt like I was destined to not see past 25. Next month I’ll be 31. Next year I’m getting married. I’m marrying the girl that said “Maybe you should try to go without the alcohol.” When she said that it was something I had never considered like thinking about the sky being bright yellow instead of blue. And those words climbed into my head and every so often they wouldn’t leave. I think it was early December she said it and by the time New Year’s came around, I was ready. Not because she had any power over me, it was because I loved her (still do!) and I respected her. I didn’t know at the time that by taking that comment seriously I was saving our relationship and building it stronger because if I had kept with the alcohol we wouldn’t have stayed together.

If you are reading this and know someone that is struggling with some sort of addiction, the advice I would give you is to be genuine. Don’t say “you should quit” because that’s the worst. It only ever made me want to do it more. I LOVED SMOKING. I put that past tense only because I don’t smoke anymore. Everyone is always saying it’s bad for you. We all know. That’s not enough. The money isn’t enough either. I think the best way to get around all that bullshit is to talk to that person about what they want from life. Even if it’s a crazy dream, get that info and see if there’s a way to do it. Chances are there is a way. Chances are it’s easier than that person might think. In my case it was publishing a book, I haven’t quenched that itch exactly yet but I sorta did. I’m not sure if that is helpful at all but that’s sorta what happened with me. Focusing on MER gave me something to do when I felt bad about the withdrawals and whatnot. I poured myself into that, rather than pouring things into myself.

You don’t overcome, you swap. Think of it more like batteries than flaws. Gotta swap these batteries out for working ones.

Flicker

This is self destruction
I’ve leaned on this for most of my life
Does it really bring better thoughts to the front?
Oh but it is hypocrisy
I am shoving strife
Down the paper barrel
Within silenced halted breaths
On the other end it shoves its own down upon me
So flick it
Flick it away

Why are you reaching for another?

The quieted breathing is what calms
I just give credit where credit is not due
And I can feel, yes I can feel the damage caused
The damage I’ve self inflicted
This is a flaw
Yes this is a flaw
And a representation of the person I used to be
But can I really say that?
Cuz I’m writing this with a burning stick between my fingers
My chest says be stronger, resist
But behind it comes a larger wave of anxiety
Welcome to the undertow
I feel like I am dying here
Right now
There’s a voice of reason rising
And I know it’s right
I’m just not sure
It’s easier to say I’m not capable and move along
But look around, the voice of reason says softly
Yes you’re right, again that idea of giving credit comes to mind
And now I’m writing this while wondering:
What is it I’m trying to say?

The answer is simple but strangely scary:
Fight for life

Cosmos

As luck would have it,
There was a perfect tiny tool
Dirt and filth will always find its way to us
I’m there for you as much as I can be
Like how you’re there for me as much as you can

Mother Nature is often times an enemy
but today she’s a friend
This twig acts as a tool to clean your name
I know you understand that I wish I could do more
If I could I’d love to wipe away all the dirt
because you are not what they say
No WE are not what they say we are
but we both know the stains on your name run deep
They are inside of the hearts and minds of our kin

This is the closest I can ever be to you
and yes it hurts but it’s not our fault
I’ll never blame you
I wish it could have been different
but sitting here like this… it’s strange
I thought I knew what relief was
and I’m comfortable enough now to admit I was wrong

The way I am feeling today is slighty scary
Is this what acceptance feels like?
Is this what it feels like to know myself?
I felt you yesterday, you knocked and I didn’t answer
Today I realized it was you
Today I listened
To both myself and you

I sit here reflecting on a soaked morning that is winding down
and the comparisions are clear
In spite of the gray sky outside
Mother Nature is drowning the blades of grass
and I remember doing something similar
but today I’ve done something different
I’ve found something new that feels unlike anything else
Read my mind and you’ll find words like peace and renewal

Again I say to you: Thank you
I’m glad you are my blood
I’m proud to call you my Uncle
and I think I’ve found what I felt I was meant to find through you

My Enveloping Reflection is five years old and FREE!

To celebrate FIVE WHOLE years since the release of my first poetry collection, both collections are free today, tomorrow and Monday(September 1st, 2nd, and 3rd). In all territories, so wherever you are the books are free!

If you already have them, tell a friend! and also thank you very much for reading.

visit: amazon.com/author/edwardkane to find me on Amazon!

Outside of the US?

UK

Australia book 1

Australia book 2

Germany

 

The books are available for all, I only listed a few here. If you need help in any territory please let me know.

This is only the beginning of a sort of celebration I have planned for the next couple weeks. Including a few poems that none have ever read, that I was saving for a third collection but I changed and didn’t feel the need like I did with these two.

Thank you for reading.

Review – A Perfect Circle’s EAT THE ELEPHANT

The Thirteenth Step is probably one of my favorite albums of all time. I could take or leave the rest of A Perfect Circle’s discography, I haven’t listened to their third album since around the time it came out. Thirteenth is incredible and strange and haunting and beautiful and ultimately mysterious. There’s no way that new APC music would stand up. Can’t say I ever really wanted more.
My initial reaction to the first new APC tunes they released were: “Yes that is a song.” 100% sarcastic and indifferent to it. I knew I wanted something more but I wasn’t sure what that was. I decided to find out what I wanted, or rather what it was I loved about Thirteenth.
I did so without revisiting the album, not at first. I wanted to see if I could find out what it was from memory. What I discovered was I liked how it seemed to transport me, take me away. There is something otherworldly about Thirteenth and that is infinitely attractive to me. The weird odd mysterious nature of it engulfs me. Something that none of the other albums do.
Including the recently released, EAT THE ELEPHANT. I appreciate the title and abhor the cover.
As I stated above, the few songs I listened to ahead of the album’s release did not inspire any sort of confidence but hearing those songs in context of the album make them a lot better. It’s not a bad album. I’ve been listening to it a lot more than I thought I would. The first couple listens were difficult because the first four songs are one block, they feel like they belong together and then there’s an abrupt jarring album killing change with the fifth song. Which worsens with the following track. The album is ten times better with those two removed from the playlist.
So my advice is to just delete “So Long and Thanks for All the Fish” (track 5) and “TalkTalk” (track 6) that way the album keeps a more tighter sound. And a much more satisfying runtime of about 48 minutes.
Overall, it’s a chill album on its own merits and I don’t have anything negative to say about it besides the bit about the cover. I’ve enjoyed thinking about it in regards to Thirteenth but I’m not sure I’ll be listening to it fifteen years from now like Thirteenth.
I wonder what my life will look like in fifteen years…

Review – Tokyo Ghost

Back in 2006-2008, I was heavy into weekly comics. I was making decent money and not doing an abundance of drugs, nor was I faced with any real responsibilities. So it wasn’t anything to drop more than $60 a week on comics. Around this time, Marvel was doing the ‘Dark Reign’ banner books, one of which was a new Punisher series written by Rick Remender. I remember seeing the name and thinking “that’s a cool name”, upon opening the book I was instantly hooked. I loved every second of that run, yes even the Franken-Castle bits. That was actually my favorite. It was only recently I became aware of the hate for that story. Before Rick completed his run, I was pulled away from comics—that’s a story for another time. The point is, I never forgot his name and a handful of years ago I came across a couple of his Image books, notably Black Science which is a benchmark for comics. It is incredible. I dare you to not get hooked.
I finally got around to reading Tokyo Ghost last month and I savored it. Soaked in the art across the 8×12 large hardcover that is absolutely perfect. This is a big story. Very stylish and cinematic. The first couple issues are dripping with this humor that I wasn’t expecting but quickly the real emotional hooks of the relationship between Debbie Decay and Led Dent stuck themselves into me.
It’s a story about dependency, whether that is on technology or other people or power or anything else. It’s all present here. I really related to a lot of it. Rick does a great job of putting in things in his stories that are relatable but I think this is the one that hit me the hardest.
The art by Sean Gordon Murphy and Matt Hollingsworth is nothing short of incredible. It pulls you in and doesn’t let go. There are car chases and sword fights and everything anyone could ever want. It’s really something to behold. You just have to look at the covers to get a glimpse of the style that is all over this book.
I have been paying attention to Hollingsworth for some time now and it’s really impressive the depth of his skillset. I’m not an artist, I don’t pretend to know what he actually does, it’s apparent that there’s a lot that goes into his coloring. Just comparing this book to Seven to Eternity (another fine Rick Remender product) really displays a lot. He is able to lift these books to heights I’m not sure they’d achieve without him.
So I’d like to thank Frank Castle for putting me onto Rick Remender and I’d like to thank Rick for putting me onto some of the greatest artists working in comics today. If we’re in a golden age of television then it’s a fucking platinum age of comics.
Read Tokyo Ghost, it’s not just flash and noise, sure it has that but there’s also a point. Sharing art is the meaning of life. Tokyo Ghost starts with a needle drop, what more could you ask for?

How about getting it for 50% off at comiXology?
Here’s the first half collected (issues 1-5) for $3.99.
The complete deluxe set for 59% off!
Or individual issues for $.99 each.

SALE ENDS TODAY, JULY 2nd. The sale includes all of Rick Remender’s books for Image. Black Science is a universe hopping thrill ride! Seven to Eternity is a brilliant take on the alternate world fantasy adventure. It’s almost guaranteed to not go where you expect. But I actually recommend buying Seven to Eternity in physical means because the art is otherworldly. Jerome Opeña is a master and this is his finest work to date. Every issue is stunning and more stunning than the last.
I literally can’t say enough good things about this.

Disclaimer: I am not an affiliate nor do I receive any cut of anything you spend on these fine books. I just really fucking love them and want other people to read them!