“In 1981 I happened to see Joe Strummer – he was the singer for the punk rock band The Clash – on the tube. I saw him sitting on the other side of the seat, but I thought he was too private – he might get too angry – but I was trying to be brave, I went up to him and asked him ‘may I take a picture of you.’ he smiled and said ‘yes’, and I clicked several shots.
Just before he got off the train he said to me, ‘You should take photos of whatever you want. That’s punk.’ ”
I got a letter from the government.
It said let there be night.
I went through your trash.
There was night, all right.
I consider how your light is spent.
I have butterflies a little bit.
I have some pills I take for it.
I’ve been up since four the day before.
Agony’s a cinch to sham.
Don’t worry about the environment.
Let it kill us if it can.
I give a tiny tinker’s damn.
I put the ox behind the cart.
Consume away my snow-blind heart.
Fastened to a service animal
it is waiting for the beep.
It is waiting for the right to change.
Hello, I know you’re there, pick up.
Some people think mental illness is a matter of mood, a matter of personality. They think depression is simply a form of being sad, that OCD is a form of being uptight. They think the soul is sick, not the body. It is, they believe, something that you have some choice over.
I know how wrong this is.
When I was a child, I didn’t understand. I would wake up in a new body and wouldn’t comprehend why things felt muted, dimmer. Or the opposite—I’d be supercharged, unfocused, like a radio at top volume flipping quickly from station to station…Eventually, though, I realized these inclinations, these compulsions, were as much a part of the body as its eye color or its voice. Yes, the feelings themselves were intangible, amorphous, but the cause of the feelings was a matter of chemistry, biology.
It is a hard cycle to conquer. The body is working against you. And because of this, you feel even more despair. Which only amplifies the imbalance. It takes uncommon strength to live with these things. But I have seen that strength over and over again.
Shit is real son.
I’m glad the portrait of Ben Franklin stayed the same on the new $100 bill. There’s something about his slight, tight frown, the paternal hint of disappointment in his eyes and those pursed, sealed lips that seem to say, “I don’t approve of what you’re doing, but I can’t stop you from rolling this banknote into a straw and ripping a fat rail of white lightning in the Buffalo Wild Wings handicapped bathroom stall, you goddamn beautiful disaster.”
Seriously amazing things happen to Student Readers. Not convinced? Some of our past Student Readers include Rilke, Rumi and Shakespeare. And those were just the guys who stood next to each other in line.
Guys. This is what I’m doing with my fancy background in marketing.
me too Simon
Everyone who terrifies you is sixty-five percent water.
And everyone you love is made of stardust, and I know sometimes
you cannot even breathe deeply, and
the night sky is no home, and
you have cried yourself to sleep enough times
that you are down to your last two percent, but
nothing is infinite,
not even loss.
You are made of the sea and the stars, and one day
you are going to find yourself again.