Wednesday, March 01, 2000

David Woodard

Removing The Mask

From the dawn of memory
I desired, no, needed it
a dream dangling on the sunset of every tomorrow
an eternal moment away

allowing perversion of the goal
in an attempt to attain something similar
I become all things to all people
hiding my soul behind masks
alone in the crowd
craving acceptance yet fearing rejection
a popular personality fraud

eyes back on the prize
guard drops letting others see
earning reward of rejection
run oh run away
back into the cave
project positive image again
damage control with festering wounds

gather courage, try again
success? only its shadow
the illusion is shattered
the heart bleeds once more

forget the ruse
I'm tired of the game
of playing the many parts
free my soul to fly
acceptance starts with me

the rejection comes in large doses
probably always will
but acceptance is finally achieved
if only, I find, from me

no longer living in a mold set
by strangers, family and friends
love ME or hate ME, but know ME
only then can I hope to win

I gaze at last into the eyes
of total and true acceptance
finally free of the fight
the face staring back smiles brightly
a mirror's reflection of ME


Throughout the garden of life
there's beauty at every turn but
even the loveliest rose
carries inconsiderate thorns
to make her bleed who would love it
an imperfection it can not avoid
but when handled with care
and caution caressed
the greatest joy can be gained
from what others would have avoided

Rude Awakening

What the hell is that burning
that set my nose on fire
what's going on
back to sleep
it must be a dream
all just a bad dream

did a far off voice
just say "hit him again with ammonia"
there's the burning again
eyes pop open
blur of images rushing about
grabbing holding pushing pulling
when did I sit half-way up
who put those needles in my arms

senses flooded by the distinctive smell
of every emergency room
a stench that can overpower anything
even ammonia

by the sounds that surge through my head
of nurses and doctors and paramedics
"at least he's reactive"
"he's breathing again"
"do you know where you are?"
who me
yeah - I'm in hell

Hands forcing my head back
and a tube down my throat
I can't take this - PLEASE
I'll gag! - I'll puke!- I'll die!
Please damn it - LISTEN TO ME!
why won't they listen
why can't they see

the straps are pulled tight
racking me to the four corners of existence
we've come so far since the middle ages
ancient torture mixed with high tech
beep, beep, beep, goes the heart monitor
pry bar pulls apart the jaws breaking a tooth
struggle fight
that goddamn thing's NOT going in my mouth
"OK - stick it down his nose"
that's OK
doesn't bother me
this bruising struggle could have been avoided
if you would just have listened in the first place
why doesn't anyone listen
why can't anyone hear

"what did you take?"
everything sounds fuzzy
far away again
I don't know
I can't remember
who mumbled that
fall back asleep

David Woodard: My friends know me as Tigger. I'm a 28 year old (I'll turn 29 on March 18) photographer and digital artist from Texas who just happens to also have a mental disorder known as manic depression. The clinical term for my illness is Bipolar I; Rapid Cycling. I have been fortunate to find a partner who loves me despite the hardships of living with my mood swings and their consequences. I have been married to my wife, Jan, for 10 years. The driving forces in my life are my faith, family, art, and writing. I have described my writing as a voyeuristic voyage into the disordered mind and emotions of a manic depressive. It is my hope that those reading my work either feel hope in the understanding that they are not alone or receive a better understanding of what it feels like to struggle with a mental illness.

Elizabeth Harper David Woodard Frans Lelieveld Age Melissa McHenry

No comments: