Quickwords Vol. 1 – Darlings

Author’s note: Quickwords, among other things, has served as documentation of my mental health and character. In the time since I wrote these poems, I have grown and my understanding of myself and the world has changed, and I have no doubt that I will continue to do so well after the volumes that exist at the time of your reading. If you’re starting here, I welcome you to this milestone in a very long journey of mine. I hope it may help you understand your own.

-Aaron Veasna Mackenzie, Aug 19, 2020, 8:35 am

Welcome to Quickwords. They won’t be quick, but they’re here.

Quickwords will be a frequently updated collection of poems that my isolated mind produces in some peculiar attempt to process the halting existence that looms before it. Let it be known that today, April 2nd, is the beginning of this journey. April 2nd. The day after the day when this would’ve felt like a joke. Now everything does.

Anyway, here’s the thing.

A leafless tree in the foreground overlooks a pink and golden sunset. Clouds soar over buildings.

Vol. 1 – Darlings

| When it’s good to kill |

I have an addiction
An addiction to the diction that I pretend is a trophy
But more than a trophy
I distract you with prose and hope in ambitious pain that you will abandon the observation of the void beneath it
I distract you with my greatest attempt at sophisticated writing and hope like a daring darling of a liar’s omission that you won’t see that I can construct words but not stories
I distract you, fist clenching, in words gripping — I’m gripping — your mind, hoping that you will not see
I distract you, raising arms, in sentences for which I continue to make claims of splendor
I distract you, chin raised, nerves steeled, and beg you not to look anywhere other than the words
I distract you as a chill runs down my spine, for I am incapable of creating story
I distract you, hands trembling, breath held, because I fear my weakness
I distract you, reader, and resolutely pull the trigger

It’s good to kill my darlings
It’s good to kill the things borne of my mind, the things I pretend are beautiful but aren’t yet
It’s good to kill the darling of my ego
To kill the darling that is confidence of permanence
To put a bullet through the parts of my brain that hold me back
To put a bullet through the parts of my brain that give me guilt for failure
For me to to kill the darling that was a weaker mind
And live again, live stronger, with the vigor of rebirth

| March 12th |

It was a bridge upon which we had three months of bliss ahead
It was a bridge upon which we walked with whimsy and rue
It was a bridge whose end we neared slowly
With joy in our gaits
With resistance to the constant haste of life
With smiles tapering when we looked not at each other
But at the dirt road that hovered in the beyond distantly near

There was a bridge we walked in arms
There was a bridge we walked in company new and wonderful
There was a bridge we walked with company that changed like tides
Now those that I was to walk with to the end of this bridge that we have known forever
Those that I followed behind by the cycle of a star-bound rock
They float
We float
We now float in the void

When the bridge returns I will still have ground to trek
But they will have none
They will be gone
They will be in the fog that hazes what I cannot discern to be sunrise or sunset ahead
There will have been no threshold for them to cross
No grandiose conclusion to the journey in which their lives have been built
I will not see them walk that stage with gowns and caps and lei and diplomas and smiles and tears and vigor of life
There will be no vibrant reminder of what we walk for
I will not see my friends, my darlings, the people who live close in my widening heart
I will not see them cross that bridge

They will cross through the void and reappear in the foggy, dirty road ahead
And I will walk with the few of us left
We will be dismal, more broken to stare at the road
May the phantom footsteps of a darling make me better appreciate the ground I have yet to walk

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