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A Dim Light in a Dark Place

January 8, 2015

My SHU term is over, but I’m still in Ad-Seg waiting for transfer. I’m also fighting the weapons charge in court. My psychologist is referring me to a mental health hospital intermediate ward where I’ll stay 4-6 months or until they feel I’m ready to leave. Life is pretty screwed up right now. I’m iheadn a dark place. Now that I’ve gotten over this to some extent, I’m ready to share with you the fact that the last couple of weeks I’v been combatting heavily with the idea of suicide. I think of death quite a bit even in better times, but lately I have been thinking of it in terms of suicide. Sometimes my suicidal thoughts are just that —thoughts— other times they are more serious. I’ve figured out at least two ways to do it in my current cell: using the grate in the window or the gap between the light in the ceiling to anchor a sheet rope. As far as I got was ripping 3 strips of sheet, then I sat on my toilet in the dark for about an hour and just cried.

It’s hard to live with my own shortcomings. The losses I’ve taken, the evil I’ve done. I also live with the losses I’ve caused others. I took a man’s life by folly, an accident that derived of my folly, my lack of concern, my unawareness. I affected families and communities in a negative way. I took from others and gave away what I had left. Any light inside of me has gone dim, but I should say I’m lucky to have any light left, that it is not snuffed to pitch darkness. One of my best friends, she wrote that I seemed lost in a world not meant for me, and, probably, she knew me better than I knew myself at that time. Lost in a world not meant for me… Could I ever be meant for the world? From inside of here my chances are further hindered. Many have preconceived notions about me now.

I’ve read what some think should be done about prison overcrowding…execute us all! Sometimes I think maybe I should be executed. Sometimes I feel I’d RATHER be dead than live another day in this place, than move to another place like it, than lose my artwork along the way, than see another beaten and stabbed, than play games with these C.O.’s, than know I’ve lost all control, have relinquished all control of my life, to feel they want my mind, my soul. I have spent the last couple of weeks trying not to hand it over. Like Tupac said: “You’ve got to find a way to survive cus they win when your soul dies. (Tupac was a great poet who died too young at 25.)

Now here I am. I think I’ve won this one. It’s Saturday morning about 12:00 AM. Friday night is “music/poetry night” on our tier. I don’t always participate. Last 3 weeks or so, I’ve been quiet, but tonight I shared a poem and I sang/rapped it instead of just reading. It was a poem/song I wrote called “Don’t Hate Me,” and it’s about bullying in school. I read about a lot children and young adults committing suicide around 2011 and 2012. Everyone else was rapping about other stuff, so I explained that I wrote a lot of poems and this one’s a little different.

Don’t Hate Me

Don’t hate me cus you can’t fade me
Don’t hate me cus you can’t change me
Don’t hate me cus I’m not you

Little kid dies getting bullied at school
Can’t take the pressure supplied by these fools
I went to bed crying when I heard the news
15 years young when it all came to an end
Feeling all alone in the world without a friend
so much negative energy surrounding us again

She’s broken hearted but her parents aren’t paying attention
Haven’t noticed she’s 3 months pregnant
pressing the buttons of self destruction
It’s the countdown to extinction

Don’t hate me cus you can’t fade me
Don’t hate me cus’ you can’t change me
Don’t hate me cus I’m not you

Don’t hate me that’s what I say
If you don’t like me just get out of my way
Before I lay me down to sleep I pray
and I’m hoping He listens
In a broken world we’re living
It’s not hard to tell what we’re missing
I write this poetry: It’s my dream and vision
in the end I won’t be forgotten but forgiven
as I open up my soul
and these poems flow through the incision

Don’t hate me cus you can’t fade me
Don’t hate me cus’ you can’t change me
Don’t hate me cus I’m not you

When I finished, the tier was completely silent. I guessed they didn’t like it, but that was only slightly disheartening. Someone gave a little cheer, but it seemed sycophantic.. more silence… then someone said: “Well, that was like a warm bowl of Campbell’s soup, huh?” Then someone else said: “Hey, that was good.” Then: “That’s right! You did that, crazy Sean!” Someone, another poet, said: “Was that a cover?” “No, that’s a crazy Sean original.” “Watch out, Sean, Ghost gone steal yo shit.” I said, “Oh, I like to share.” I contemplated for a split second going into how artists borrow, share, steal, and then nixed the notion. I said: “I just hope I can spark something in someone somewhere.” I got more positive feedback such as, “I like that one you sung, you got concepts. Keep drinking dat water cus you did dat tonight.” I thanked them and said good night.

And now, I’m smiling again as I think about it. I’m glad I was around to read that poem. I’m glad I was around to be a dim light in a dark place.

Footnote: I think this poem of mine is beautiful with the refrain sung and the verses spoken passionately. I hope I can record it one day. I’d like to hear your thoughts about these things. Thanks to all my readers.


From → BLOG

  1. Sean: this is a good example of “holding on” to your art or your writing and allowing it to create a spot of light in the darkness. Keep talking, keep writing…
    And the reason they were all silent like that after you read your poem? Because things of the heart like that make people think and sometimes it makes them look at their own pain and problems. They may find it hard to express what it brought up for them or even try and act like you shouldn’t be so deep.
    But you should.

    Don’t go away, Sean.


  2. David permalink

    Your a soldier Sean that finds light in the dark, keep writing and sharing, let your light shine through the darkness.


  3. Thank you. The subject of the song/poem is dear to my heart — about teenagers committing suicide. I read about a pregnant girl who hanged herself with a belt — really heartbreaking. I hope to be a writer who can have fun, who can be serious, who can shed light on the plight, depression, darkness of humanity. You’ll hear from me again.


  4. A soldier of life, right? Fuck, dude. I’m trying. Thanks for reading and commenting.


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