I do not like myself
I do not have the guts
I cannot do it
I am a weak man
it takes no strength to say that
It takes strength to let go
and it takes time to grow strong
My time is not yet
3 July 1989
It’s a miserable wee poem this. In fact looking ahead there’re a few miserable wee poems coming up so I apologise in advance. As I’ve said before I’ve never seriously considered suicide but I have wallowed in not-being-here fantasies. In many respects I didn’t have a lot to complain about in 1989 but I could’ve been happier with my lot. Most of my life I’ve been trying to attain something. I like having goals. And being with F. was something I wanted. But after you’re attained then you have to maintain. And that’s not something I’d much experience with. I’d just turned thirty but few things in my life had lasted more than a few years before I’d moved on. Now I’d arrived if you like and this was it. This was going to be it for years and years and then we die.
Turning ones face to the wall is regarded as a last gesture of acquiescence indicating that one’s about to give up the ghost. It comes from Isaiah 38:2. Isaiah’s sent to King Hezekiah to tell him to put his affairs in order because he’s going to die at which point the king turns his face to the wall but not to give up. Instead he prays to God to remember all the good he’s done in his life at which point Isaiah gets sent back with a message telling him he’s been granted fifteen more years. It’s an odd expression, facing the wall, because no matter where you are in a room you’re facing one wall or another. The title of the poem refers to multiple walls so I’m thinking more about ‘walled in’ than ‘turning to face the wall’—i.e. no escape.
The first thing I noticed about this poem was no punctuation. Odd. Not like me. Wonder why I did that.