Song of Myself (inspired by Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself)

Section I

I am much too forward with my words

I interrupt people while they talk 

With completely unrelated pieces 

Of random information.

 

My life isn’t hard, 

But I’m still depressed. 

And I see people with much harder lives,

But they’re doing 

Just fine.

 

I am really bad at expressing myself

Properly.

I can talk about my feelings

In ways that are a little 

Inappropriate.

 

For example, if I talk to a cute boy

I act crazy and scare him away 

But talking to a boy I don’t find 

Attractive, I lead him on. 

 

Section II

I love romcoms

Especially ones with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan 

But my favorite is While You Were Sleeping

Which has neither Tom Hanks nor Meg Ryan

So it’s ironic that it’s my favorite. 

 

My fantasies are romantic comedies

And I love to read a book 

That makes me smile

On days that smell like rain

With a cup of hot cocoa and a bowl 

Of homemade popcorn. 

 

Those are the days I see myself

10, 20, 30, 50 years in the future 

Sitting in a rocking chair 

Hot chocolate in one hand

My husband's hand on my knee.

 

Or chasing my future children around 

All of us still in pajamas 

Reliving the parts of life that made me happy.

 

Those are the days I choose the person

I want to spend the rest of my life with in that exact second

And spend hours

Imagining our life together 

Happier than I have ever been

Not just because someone loves me 

But because I love them too

And nothing will ever come between us. 

 

Section III

I build fantasy kingdoms in my mind

Each one of them bigger and more elaborate

Than the last.

They get larger the longer

The days go on.

 

Sometimes they are happy and bright 

But mostly they are dark

And gloomy

Life Maleficent’s castle would be.

 

They hold my monsters,

My demons,

The creatures that make me cry out at night,

 

“Why are you doing this to me?

I thought we had an agreement:

I will build you palaces and you

Leave 

Me

ALONE!

But instead you choose

To haunt my dreams

By night

And my anxieties

By day.

 

I am so sick and tired so 

please

just

go 

away.

Please.”

 

They build their kingdom stronger

And force other nations

To come to them.

 

The monsters and demons

Aren’t the only ones living 

In my head.

 

There are happy castles

Full of princes

Waiting to save their

Damsel in distress,

 

And princesses finding their own way

Out of their tower

Because they don’t need a guy

To be free

But if they meet a handsome prince 

Along the way

It wouldn’t be the worst 

Thing that’s ever happened. 

 

The weddings are brilliant

With all the kingdoms 

In attendance

When even the lowliest of peasants

Says their vows

And promises their love

To each other.

 

Section IV

My life revolves around love.

I have studied love.

I know what chemicals

Set off what reaction

In someone’s brain.

 

I know that oxytocin 

Is released

Through physical 

Contact and

Can even be released 

Through petting a dog.

 

I know how to read people

To tell when they are

Nervous or excited or sad.

 

People have become an open book,

But sometimes I want

The mystery of not knowing

What other people feel

 

Because I don’t even know

What I feel.

 

Gosh, I hope people can't read me

Because I’m a wreck.

I hate that I can’t say

What I feel.

 

Section V

The monsters in their castle

Are writing my book now.

As they write, the words 

Are in my head.

 

The words trigger feelings

And I can’t control them 

Not anymore.

 

Section VI

Anxiety, she has been there 

Since I was seven years old.

She’s made me miss a lot

Of second grade,

Third grade,

Fourth grade.

 

Then she disappeared 

For a while.

She came back and made me

Miss some of

Ninth grade,

Tenth grade, 

Eleventh grade.

 

Not because of physical absence

But mental absence.

 

She is always watching,

Waiting,

Until I am most vulnerable.

Until math class.

 

The one class I miss the most

Because of panic attacks.

Because she is there.

Because she knows I don’t understand.

Not without the lesson.

 

So she makes sure

Can’t

Listen

To the lesson.

 

Section VII

Depression moved in

When I was 13 years old.

How fitting for the number.

 

When he’s home, I’m more

Than sad,

I’m mad,

I’m infuriated,

I’m…

I’m…

I’m ready 

For him to 

Move out.

 

But he’s like a needy child,

You don’t pay them attention, 

They throw a fit. 

You do what they want

They control you forever.

 

There is no way out.

 

Section VIII

I have never been the best 

At anything.

I try so hard

And I'm just

Average.

 

But I can write songs 

Like Paul McCartney 

And I can sing with

The same fire 

As Alicia Keys and Idina Menzel.

 

Even still, I am me.

There is no one else I could be.

And my castles and demons

Are getting older, larger 

And the demons are

Starting to fall.

 

So maybe, I can start to 

Wage war against 

The kingdoms of darkness

Sooner 

Rather than

Later.

This poem is about: 
Me
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 

Comments

Annette M Velasquez

At the beginning of your poem you wrote that you were really bad at expressing yourself properly... I say not at all, maybe verbally, but in writing you are eloquent, creative, articulate, imaginative and a true poet... This poem is amazing- it has so many levels... Emotions, images, narration, an honest outpouring. You have deep self- knowledge and a way with words, and this is a gift- cherish it, never lose it. Even many adults are in denial as to their problems and cannot express themselves freely... I have been writing for 35 years and have read many memorable poems, but yours is now one of them... I have published widely and know that many artists struggle with anxiety and depression- I have PTSD myself. Don't let that hinder you, let writing be a route to healing, I recommend that you Google the writer Sandra Marinelli And Julia Cameron I think you'd like their books... When this pandemic mess is over with, think about joining a writing workshop, go to a open mic- you have talent pursue it!

Need to talk?

If you ever need help or support, we trust CrisisTextline.org for people dealing with depression. Text HOME to 741741