Shadows of My Mind

 skittish shadows, flirting

with the smoke filled

shadows of my mind

and still my mind burns

like cheap whisky

coursing down my throat



while the beckoning, cavernous

maw of blackness approaches

just another hungry mouth

that needs to feed

at the trough

of my existence
© 2018 michael d emmerich
© 2018 mikesnexus.com

Black Mist

rollin’ and a tumblin’ it draws nigh

no warning bell tolls

this boiling tempestuous darkness

a mist of uncertainty

splashed with crimson



wrapping you in its threadbare

torn black shroud

black as the coal driven snow

no protection afforded

from the shards of blackness

…..

releasing, enveloping

or entombing?

© 2018 michael d emmerich

Review – Born to Run

‘You can change a life in three minutes with the right song’, says Bruce, or dive into his autobiography and be changed by his raw punchy, iconic life story as he unflinchingly  tries to figure himself him out, by asking the deepest questions.

borntorun

Born to Run is his autobiography, that was released on September 27, 2016. The title is named after Springsteen’s iconic 1975 album and song “Born to Run”. He worked on his autobiography, alone for seven years, before seeking out a publisher. I need to state my conflict of interest upfront – I am a HUGE Springsteen fan 🙂

This book at times comes across as a soulful soliloquy, of a guy sitting quietly at the bar, sipping a bourbon talking to himself, trying to figure out the journey of his life. There is so much to tell, and so much that he cannot fully explain; and in is own self effacing way, he doesn’t claim to get it or entirely understand his journey. His epic live shows, which regularly run for three to four hours, are part of his legacy and his triumph. Why does he do them? You will have to read the book to unravel that mystery.

I absolutely love this book, it took me a long time to finish it, just because I wanted to savour every page and story, and reflect on his music that he was writing at that point in his journey. I keep going back to read flagged sections, and replay the music of that period of his life. For the die hard Springsteen fans (and I’m sure all readers), who know and love his music, the book will be an emotional roller coaster, bringing one to tears and then laughter. More than once, I needed to put the book down, and just reflect on the raw truth been told in his story.

Their are parts of his life story to which I (and others) can relate to, and gain strength from; his working class roots, mental illness and addiction problems of family members, bouts of walking in darkness, bending over backwards to avoid conflict (stemming from his childhood) and the strong burning social consciousness that drives him onward. His work ethic and ability to keep pushing on, whilst critically examining himself is both admirable and inspiring.

bruce

 

 

 

 

All I do know is as we age the weight of our unsorted baggage becomes heavier …. much heavier. With each passing year, the price of our refusal to do that sorting rises higher and higher. Maybe I’d cut myself loose one too many times, depended on my unfailing magic act once too often, drifted that little bit too far from the smoke and mirrors holding me together. Or … I had just got old … old enough to know better. Whatever the reason, I’d found myself, once again, stranded in the middle of … “nowhere” but this time the euphoria and delusions that kept me  oiled and running had ground to a halt.

Bruce Springsteen – Born to Run

Like his lyrics, the book is written from the heart which he wears so close to his sleeve, raw, exposed and open to for all to see, and openly bleed out lyrics, that resonate with so many. This particular paragraph above so resonates with me, when I first read it and even more so at my present place in my life.

If you have ever listened to or read the lyrics of most Springsteen songs (except maybe Waitin’ on a Sunny Day, and maybe a few more), you would know that Bruce Springsteen is a really deep and insightful writer. You just have to listen to his three raw acoustic albums, to fully comprehend his blue collar roots and journey since those early New Jersey days, and how uncomfortably he wears the mantle of The Boss, as it weighs him down. Head over and read: The Bard of New Jersey for an introspective review of his three acoustic albums.

the boss

Springsteen has lots of questions about what fuels him – emotional neediness, obsessive-compulsive hubris, the fact that he just comes alive onstage. “There, strangely enough, exposed in front of thousands, I’ve always felt perfectly safe, just to let it all go. That’s why at our shows you can’t get rid of me.”

Let us give thanks, that we just can’t get rid of him either!

His honesty about his mental health is helpful to anyone who has suffered from depression or supported a loved one suffering from this illness. Any fan of Springsteen will not be put off by his admitting he has suffered, and as others have pointed out, he has shown that he has achieved so much more than the average artist over the past forty years. Well into his sixties, and he still regularly pushes out rollicking rock concerts to thousands of adoring fans.

the boss in repose

“Writing about yourself is a funny business…But in a project like this, the writer has made one promise, to show the reader his mind. In these pages, I’ve tried to do this.” Bruce Springsteen, from the pages of Born to Run

And in my humble opinion you have more than succeed Bruce, and to the reader; revel in it and enjoy.

Don’t Stop

 keep moving

every minute of every day

pushing onward

refrain from looking back

evading that twisted claw of grief

as it tries to shred the memories

of yesterday

© 2018 michael d emmerich

Absence Divides

clouds roll over the horizon

blanketing my mind

this dark gray heavy mass unfurled

creating an epitaph of confusion



despite all the love and protection

that enveloped us

absence drove a wedge

splitting your heart in twain



that twisted spear of absence

oh how I wish I could turn back

and lose myself in you

again ….



found my world in you

lost myself with you

now I am lost, alone

having lost my world

© 2018 michael d emmerich

Cogito Ergo Sum – in 3 parts

I wrote this poem in Nov 2016 as 3 separate poems, but they are meant to be read as one. Here it is re-edited and posted in its entirety. The poem emerges from the cocoon of my reading and musings of TS Elliot, Dante, Descartes and some Arthur Conan Doyle.

 

1.

when you down who lifts you up

when you are lost who finds you

when you fall, is it from grace

if so, whose grace



who is lost with you

who binds the wounds

whom do you discover, when you are down

yourself or another



what awaits over the horizon

what lies beneath the wounds

what lifts you up

come on rise up



we rise by lifting others up

we discover ourselves when lost

we need not be alone

come on, stand together



every breath is a doorway

to heaven or hell

so just breath

and rise up



2.

as you await at

breaths doorway

just breathe

and see what awaits

as you pause to exhale



by not breathing

we are forced to choose

heaven or hell

but let not fear inspire

either mortality or immortality



let Virgil be your guide

through the mythical dark wood

of spiritual values

that at times

perverts' human intellect



the pilgrims journey

demands questions be answered

within the dark forest

on a crooked path

the meaningful can become meaningless

as we journey on a quest

into the unlit darkness



3.

we are on a journey

on a quest

into the darkened heart

of life, doubts and dreams

that search for proof of life



strength in life, rests on doubt

accept that which you know to be true

are dream states virtual reality

is life one constant dream

what is real?



let knowledge be your secure foundation

not the imagination thereof

but the doubt thereof

let doubt be your proof of life

doubt creates sanity



life is stronger than anything the mind can invent

what is real are our thoughts

doubt your senses

doubt your existence

rise up and claim your reality

think,

therefore, you live
© 2018 michael d emmerich