Joe C

There is only one thing that hurts: pain. I think we give pain more power by making it seem complex and mysterious, and while the causes of pain may indeed be complex and mysterious, pain itself is a very simple thing. There is nothing special about it, and it does not contain the narratives we project onto it.

Topics: pain, philosophy
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Sam Ripples

I wrote a poem called The Pain Song that I thought might be appropriate to post here:

You threw rose petals on our
And left the stems on
the cross,
uninscribed with a 
That is what we were — 
a nameless thing,

a crooked pairing of wonder and
a curious commune of being to being.
We chose to avoid the inevitable,
the steady growth of body
and it’s invariable decay into nothingness.
But sometimes being is too much on it’s own.

I sought no fire elsewhere,
only the comfort of worn pockets
that fit snug around my secrets.

These pockets belong to me,
and yet I always find them stuffed 
with the debris of those whose love
has torn me asunder.

We parted at the crossing.
I watched you walk out onto the dark earth
and wet your face with rain.
In your sadness,
there opened a door.
I did not follow you,
instead wading through the river,
slowly rising,
and ascending until the depth
disappeared beneath me.

Below, the river flows.
I sing its song.

The song tastes of blood — 
metallic and heart-racing,
prickles of hot metal inside
your tastebuds.
You sing it silently
and I carve your notes
into words, forge their punctuations
with the furnace lurking deep
in my chest, under the armor
of my breastbone.

I breathe the flame that
dragons dream of — 
words braided into the stitches of sentences,
sentences hugging the bounds of their paragraphs,
embroidered with periods and commas,
stops and pauses.
I weave the loom of story,
spin the yarn of priceless thread,

and wait for a story
to write me

And I sing the Pain Song for you, 
and the depths you fall into.

Here I am, rising slowly,
the water falling from my knees,
and yet I cannot take you with me,
if I am to reach my Truth with grace.
So I leave you behind,
the scars you gave me wearing down 
to pink threads across my skin.
Your knife sang the Pain Song
when it carved them into me.
I will sing it no more,
save this final time,
and continue on my journey.

As I fly,
I am engulfed by light — 
my old life
left goodbye.

I hear it’s tune, sometimes, 
in the warm heat of July nights.

When the wind is blowing
and the air smells of clementines,
my stomach fills with dread.
It’s melody sings softly to me,
seducing my senses,
and I want to cut the song out of me
with a long sharp knife.
But then I feel the warm glow of a gentle soul
and realize that without that tune,
I am not whole.

The last words of the Pain Song beckon:
Without pain,
you cannot grow.
No words will heal the pain
of a dead soul.”

I shake off
my demons
and grow new leaves.

Joe C

I love it, althought parts of it remain mysterious even after reading it a few times!

Sam Ripples

That poem has my whole heart in it, thanks for reading Joe! Pain and I have had a long and strange relationship--at times I've found myself completely numb and it helped me feel more alive, while other times it destroyed me. I find it to be a powerful idea in general.