clocks

I’m sorry
that I interrupt so very often
in conversation.
if anyone takes more than
two seconds
to think about their contribution
to the discourse, I feel compelled
to speak for them, thinking I can
read their minds
and guess what they
are going to say. I know
it’s wrong and rude
and everyone hates it
but I can’t seem
to stop myself from doing it.

it’s just that
sometimes the hardest thing
in the world for me
is to be fully present
with someone else
and wait. silence
feels like a scary void
in which anything could arise. nature
abhors a vacuum and sometimes
so do I. if I truly don’t know
what you’re going to say – and
though I’m pretty good at guessing, I still
am often wrong
to greater or lesser extents, not to mention
varying degrees of annoyance on the part
of my conversational partners –
you could say just about
anything. I can’t control it
or prepare for it and that uncertainty
makes me very anxious.

it’s because I’m overclocked,
running on fumes, super pumped –
or more often in a state of nervous hysteria –
all the cylinders in my brain
are trying to fire at once, I can’t slow down
can’t catch my breath
thoughts and feelings exploding
constantly in my mind like fireworks,
my nerves are thrumming
like a live wire, my tendons taut as
bridge cables. I’m tense, agitated
on my sixth or sixteenth
wind of this waking period
and I just want to go full speed
ahead, damn the torpedoes
running like something
is chasing me
until I can’t run anymore
and still I keep pushing
my body and mind way
past their limits because
I’m like a racehorse
put out to pasture, the monkey
on my back has driven me
past the point of utter exhaustion
so many times that
I forget there are other ways
to be.

when I’m calm, rested,
fresh from PT and acupuncture
(in a trance state)
or totally worn out,
about to fall asleep
on my feet, finally
not currently
dying inside,
I can inhabit silence
peacefully
and simply exist
in the present moment
without trying to fill
the friendly void with the endless sand
of my words, I can watch
as the hourglass runs out
without fear, knowing
in my very bones
that we can just
turn it over again.

Published by

R. Brookes McKenzie

what fresh hell is this

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