Transcendentalist laying in a hammock
He looks out over the ocean burgundy
Says “I don’t think this is where the plane left me.”
He forgets that he took a left at the last road
Puts on some roller skates and gets stuck in the sand
Thinks back to where this all began
Says “I remember now it all started when I bought that hat.”
And he goes from there saying silly stuff like that
Goes up to the sandbar to get himself a drink
Remembers sandbars are dry and leaves before he gets too weak
Takes a gallon long drink from the ocean and winds up loopy
As if he wasn’t before, but now he can leave be
He looks behind himself and back to the hammock
Says “Hey wait why did I drink that damn it.”
I mean it’s not like it’s that easy
But with burgundy seas and salt-crazed crazies
It begs the question if it’s that easy
Add it to the list
Write it in words lost on wind
Another entry of this fear
The lines, they tie me down, they keep me here
With every breath and moment I live
I know I have so much to give
If I could only I could awaken
I read a story on BBC news about a new study by a group of Swedes who found that “writers had a higher risk of anxiety and bipolar disorders, schizophrenia, unipolar depression, and substance abuse.” Apparently, we writers are as much as twice as likely to kill ourselves as compared to non-writers. Dancers and photographers, according to the study, have a higher rate of bipolar disorder as well.
It’s the latest in the long line of studies that tell us things we already knew, but it is interesting. The BBC article calls into question the treatment of such disorders if they could also be viewed as a gift. Some of the most famous writers of history were depressed and several committed suicide, but before they did they wrote things that have made themselves immortal. I think the suicidal Earnest Hemingway is probably the most famous example, but it seems like nearly every name we know for authors are quirky in the least.
Another study article linked on the side from two years ago reports that creativity and the brain patterns associated with it are close to a schizophrenic brain. Apparently, it takes being insane (or at least the brain patterns of a madman) to create art. Another one on there says that poets in particular are 20 times more likely to experience mental illness. Twenty times!
I’m twice as likely to kill myself as a non-novelist and as a poet I am 20 times more likely to end up in a psych ward! Nifty.
I found a dollar in my wallet yesterday while digging for train fare with some writing on it and stopped cold when I read it. The one-dollar bill seemed to have been made into a memorial for a friend.
RIP, Joseph Chappell
On the top in black ink it reads “RIP Joseph Allen Chappell Nov 4, 1999”
On the bottom in another pen of blue ink it reads “You will always be my friend” and along the left and right (in the same blue ink) “We miss you” and “We love you”
On the back the first date is obscured (The last digit in the birth date could be a messy or worn 9 or simply intended as a 4) but I think it reads “June 13, 1989 – Nov 4, 1999”. If it’s a 4 it doesn’t paint any less grim of a picture. This single dollar bill tribute was put together by at least two people given the handwriting and the pen colors. It looks like one person wrote in blue ink and the other wrote in black ink because the blue and black ink are very different handwriting.
I did some google searches to see if I could find any information on this unfortunate young man who passed away either at 14 or 10, but nothing turned up. The name turned up in a few places but it wasn’t him. I’m not sure on the whole story, but I can piece together the story of this dollar. Two friends took a dollar bill, wrote their tribute on it and spent the bill. 13 years later after changing hands who-knows-how-many-times it ended up with me. Perhaps they sent out multiple dollar-tributes into the market, but I can’t say that for sure.
I’ll probably go ahead and spend this dollar and continue the chain. I have also done what I think is best by putting it here for the entire whole of the internet to be able to see it.