While I was in the psychiatric hospital,
I saw a woman try to kill herself with a Gideon’s Bible:-
So desperate was she to end it all that she tried to give herself “a paper-cut” deep enough to slash her own wrists in a bazaar death by the Gospels or Kings 18:28.
Another tried to hang herself with a shower-curtain,
not realizing that the hospital had “suicide-proofed” the bathroom by suspending the railing from magnets so that the application of her body weight made her end up in a clatter on the floor.
I attempted suicide twice, simply by doing nothing.
As a diabetic all I had to do was take my insulin and stop eating.
As my glucose level dropped, I slowly, slowly drifted away;
The fact that I am here, as you can see, proves that I am a complete failure when it comes to self-harm.
The first time I was talked out of it after the discovery of my farewell note,
and the second I was discovered semiconscious and plied with jellybeans and orange juice.
It is easy to condemn the act of suicide as the ultimate form of betrayal:-
A coward’s way out that leaves behind the devastated, detritus of the victim’s life –
Parents, children, colleagues and friends;
That it is selfish, in retrospect, may very well be true,
but “betrayal” implies “choice” – an act of measure and reason;
“Cowardice” implies “alternatives”, and the ability to grasp them:-
The suicide is capable of none.
It is hard to explain the psychological torture that sculpts the impulse to take one’s own life;
It is like being injected with pure and concentrated, emotional, pain,
That makes you want to pluck out your heart and deaden your brain.
On September 11th, the world watched as New Yorkers’ fell to their deaths rather then face the furnace of the flaming aircraft fuel in the World Trade Centre.
The visceral fear of heat and fire which makes us instinctively recoil our hand from a hot stove or boiling water made these people opt for flight over cremation.
The New York poet, Taylor Mali, having witnessed these events, lost his own wife to suicide when she jumped to her own end some time later;
Reflecting on this, he wrote, “that depression too is a type of fire”, and indeed it is –
An all consuming, emotional fire, bereft of logic and consequence that one simply wants to STOP.
It is true that the suicide does not think of their loved ones and the consequences of their actions.
The suicide does not think at all.
A poem that explains the drive towards suicide, free from the misconceptions of pop-psychology.