This wasn't written today. But I found it today.
so this poem is called
the american youth
the american youth is angry
he's turned inside out and he can't say a word, the back of his eyes stare at you with mute clenched-teeth hating rage because he doesn't have the equipment to tell you that whether what you're saying is right or wrong it hurts and he's not allowed
to tell you what he really feels
it goes against everything mother you culture school and all the other influences that run together into one voice in his head tell him cooly and calmly
"you are not allowed to say this"
you are not allowed to say that you hate your parents not really
you are not allowed to stand up and shout
you are not allowed to hit anyone no matter how much you feel like it
you are not allowed to cry
you are not allowed to cry
you are not allowed to show them this poem
you are not ever allowed to show them where you cut yourself
you are not allowed to tell more than one person how foolish you sometimes feel
and you can't tell them about that, either
they jump on your failures and hold each of them as hot little stilettoes to your face
why did you miss that class
why did they fire you
why did you stay in your room today
why can't you tell us what's wrong ?
Because if I tell you what's wrong, the american youth thinks, you will not care.
You will use it against me.
You are not my allies.
You are not my friends.
You are my parents, and you are merciless improvers.
You are contracters stomping into my heart and throwing everything out that I care about becuase it doesn't match the color scheme you have in mind.
You are not people I want helping me.
You act like you know much better than I do and you don't bother telling me about changes in plans
You are storms that move on winds I can't predict, and all I can do when lightning flashes right on my doorstep is to get in the stormcellar and think "shit, make it go away."
This is a lot of what the american youth is thinking
He thinks angry raw cut-up jagged thoughts like this
He thinks vermillion thousands of harsh screaming thoughts
He won't speak them though
That isn't how he'll be heard
The further away the listener is, the more he can tell them
The american youth's best friends are a pair of Britons eight hours away
He can tell them anything - even though he's lied a few times to them.
The american youth can be quite open with his amigos from the east coast
He can tell his friends across town most of the unimportant things, and a few important ones - only a few, though, spread through the clump of friends
Within his own house (which is painful to think - it's the house he lives in by someone else's grace and that grates quite a lot), though, he trusts maybe his brother - the one only two years younger, not the other one(who is young enough to be a total idiot, probably retarded).
The two that are older than him are strangers bearing the title "parent."
He hardly ever trusts them these days.
He wonders if this is what adopted or foster kids feel like - this profound disconnect from the people raising them.
Hell, these days he feels a profound disconnection from pretty much everyone.
He read, a while back, that that's what psychotics must feel like - they can look at a crowd with total coldness, not regarding that as a mass of human beings, just as a moving mass.
He's not psychotic. If he was, he'd have done something by now, be in prison or on meds.
He has a friend who's on antipsychotics for unspecified reasons - between those and the antidepressants, his hands shake badly, and he cuts himself during his cooking classes.
The american youth wonders if he'd get the same pills, if they'd do the same thing to him.
The american youth wonders, in a recursive sort of way, if he's depressed.
He was in therapy before. He couldn't, and can't, see that it helped. Not that he was particularly nice to the therapist, though he tried to cooperate. So he's probably not depressed. Even though once in a while he cuts himself (on the back - usually after arguments that make him think those jagged thoughts) and he keeps feeling a big cold emptiness all over - no. Those are ... something else. Cop-outs. He's not depressed, he's a failure - mental illness is an excuse, and he's far too proud for that one - especially since at this point, if he confessed to depression, he'd feel like he had (consciously or not) manufactured it, and that's a dirty thought indeed.
He doesn't need pills.
He needs steely will like he hears and imagines about.
He just needs to change himself.
It feels like moving a fucking mountain, though!
He dreams(not very often) and daydreams (very often) about how the world is going to undergo a profound shift to his betterment. He will wake up and BE SOMEONE ELSE. He's detached enough to note the escapist games he plays (white wolf things, morrowind, various tiny things) are getting stale and that they're patently obvious avoidance behaviors in the first place.
Sitting by Freud's side, he notes that the patient cannot confront the life he's living, hence he sublimates into videogames and role-playing games - those last being especially ironic since instead of attempting to enact positive situations, he enacts fantasies.
Situations where he actually matters.
He can't think of a time outside of those games where he feels like that.
He was letting the games absorb him, a while ago.
When he got fired, that ended - sort of. The other game players - it seemed - banded against him.
Sitting with Freud again the american youth notes how the subject (still him) deliberately but only half consciously blinds himself to the good things in his life - the people who, even if he's far away, love him very much, the fact that he still does live with his parents and that's a warm place food and rent are no cost to him - well, those are good things, aren't they ?
But he still has those avoidance reactions. He stays in his room a lot. He seems to need much more sleep these days, he always feels tired. The emptiness he doesn't always feel, but that's probably because he's always trying to do something and half of the things he does shove it away for a while. Half of why he wants a job, he realizes, is so that he can have an unthinking routine again.
Job. Home. Eat, play. Sleep. Job. Home. And so on until weekends, where he'll see how long he can stretch 48 hours into, spend money on idle things, and dread the looming Monday. Right now it sounds pretty good. He knows on some plane that he'll feel empty again once he gets there - if he gets there - but it's still greener grass. And that's what the games are for anyhow - once he has a job it'll feel legitimate to escape, he'll have something he can point to and say "I worked, now leave me alone."
He wants to be a big rebel, sometimes. Go tag and do throw-ups and bombings - words he learned from "Bomb The Suburbs," a book he sympathizes with but is too spineless to really follow the advice of even though he's met the author, knows what a great guy he is. Saw him at the same conference as Julia Butterfly Hill, both very charming and inspirational and then on Monday he went back to his job and just felt more empty than before because honestly he couldn't change anything and he felt, honestly felt the gears of corporate america crushing his soul for a while.
That's what happens to most things, he reflects. They just pass. I don't particularly even take part in events, I watch them - and they pass. I pat myself on the back for escaping things. I've let things slide that would have benefitted me in ways I can't even measure now. And they do affect me even when they pass- they're gone, and that's an effect that can't be argued with. Look at me, look at me, I want to shout, I have a rich internal life, I am the one you want.
I can't bring myself to literally shout in public. I have the dual shame-attention thing that I think many people have - I think I'd love to be in the spotlight, but times - rare times - that I am the center of attention, I lose it and I don't say what I thought I'd say - barely even say what I think - and generally make an ass of myself. It doesn't work out.
Is that related to why I freeze up and go into staring-balefully mode when my father gets angry at me ?
His thoughts are being sort of narrated and sort of observed. He's been slipping back and forth between first person and third. Arrogance - he doesn't think that anything that came before can be rewritten, there is no such thing as a second draft where he would clean it up and decide through experimentation whether it's "I" or "the american youth" - probably the youth, it's catchy and it's the name of the piece which has turned out to be a long prose poem or an extremely sloppy essay.
He doesn't even know what he's going to do with it.
His current plan is to send it to someone else like it is, then start working on a second draft.
He will apologize to them because he knows the first draft is angsty and total shite.
But there's at least one worthwhile sentance in there, maybe in the first part where he was writing angry - maybe in the "you are not allowed" part - and he'll try and tease that out.
So his plan for tomorrow is to leave ungodly early in the morning, park somewhere, think, then go and write, then go to the library - reading, writing - post office to mail a package - maybe go to the JC and print out a few things first - stay out as long as he can get away with, and see how much he can force himself to write.
After this, he's feeling positively - perversely - optimistic.
There are still things in there I need to say and think about. But not all of them.