The Other Side of the Noose

SelfPortraitDye

“Self Portrait” – © chriscondello 2013 – Conceptual Composition – Hamnett Way – Wilkinsburg, PA – Alley puddle… Mud… Food Coloring… And my reflection…

It’s 2 AM and sleep eludes me… Honestly… I don’t know how I ever sleep… I have gone 7 days without sleep or food… I’ve gone months without real rest… Shit… I’ve gone years without rest… The only difference now is the absence of opiates… I still can’t seem to shake the baggage…

Damn people… I’m really struggling…
Ups and downs like I’m constantly juggling…
The moment I stand I’m torn to the ground…
You chop me down without making a sound…

Five hundred and sixty five days clean…
Still not sure what they meant by serene…
I wish that I could unload these bags…
Even if it’s just my shitty used rags…

A hundred dollar camera… Decade old computer…
Tough to add value when you were just a junky user…
Resumes a joke… All my teeth are broke…
Writing this makes me want to cry and choke…

I need to find a place that I fit in…
A place where they will see past my grin…
A place where I can feel accepted…
Instead of feeling repeatedly rejected…

Until then… I’ll cover up with my hood…
Trying to find a medium that will be understood…
Took some time to look into school…
Met with roadblocks because I’m a felonious fool…

Someday I hope to find a way to make a dollar…
In industries dominated by brilliant fucking scholars…
Photography… Writing… Artistic behavior…
Doesn’t mean a thing unless your the lord our savior…

How can I compete against a CMU degree?..

I can’t…

I have to constantly remind myself I’ll be ok…
Suicide is not an option… I’d rather pray…
Pray to a god that doesn’t give a fuck about me…
Laughing at the broke guy writing about trees…

Empty wallet… Empty life… Another fucking joke…
Talking to plants… Perpetually broke…
What I lack in money… I make up in heart…
Praying for daylight… Another fresh start…

It doesn’t matter… I’ll just fuck it up…
Fill it up then spill the cup…
You make me painfully aware I have no value…
A sentiment that I was already aware…

I need to find my place on this earth…
A simple attempt to rationalize my birth…
I mean… You untied the noose around my neck…
I was happily dead during the Emergency check…

Why the fuck didn’t you leave me hang?..
Instead I’m here as a broken ass man…
I have the tracts to prove my stupid move…
Ten years spent in the heroin groove…

Try to get a job with that reference…

So tomorrow… I’ll take my cheap ass camera to work…
Till the earth with my broken pitch fork…
Dreaming… Believing my life will work out…
Believing there’s a reason I didn’t check out…

There has to be a place for me… I’m just not sure where to find it… Or… If it will find me…

Until then… I’ll keep on keeping on…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

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6 thoughts on “The Other Side of the Noose

  1. You know what I did recently, re the past that’s like a monkey on one’s back. Some deformity that one has to live with. A project I’m working on: the Past showed up. I stood up, metaphorically speaking, looked everybody in the eye with a so-what-about-my-past, actually speaking. My involvement with the project continues. If people want to carry on about things that I did almost 30 years ago, the problem will be theirs, because it just isn’t mine any longer.

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  2. Chris, I would’ve bought some of your prints except I’m rather penniless myself this month. Had outlays – had to buy new shoes, the old pair is worn through! Apologies. Petru.

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  3. oh chris, that’s so powerful…and the image is truly excellent…the only words of support i can find are to hang on in, the internet is opening things up and the gardens you make, the recovery you make for others as well as yourself is paying off…
    i wish you lived in britain, i could point you at projects like Framework and Shelter where your drugs experience and positive approach would get you considered for jobs reaching out to the homeless/ mentally ill through drug use and your gardening expertise would make the community gardens and rehab projects snap you up…
    hopefully america has equivalents? is it worth asking around the outreach and probation services to see if there are charity funded opportunities? i know america has no welfare budget for what’s needed..but anyone who met you and saw your garden and artwork and creative writing would get how you could help people trying to get out of drugs…
    but keep on being you – that is needed very much in this world!

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  4. Suzy Blue says:

    You have value, plenty of it. Don’t give up

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  5. Arlene says:

    So powerful, so honest, so raw, so painful and yet optimistic at the end. I love that, Chris! And so glad to see that optimism!! There has to be a reason … I agree.

    “There has to be a place for me…I’m just not sure where to find it…Or…If it will find me…
    Until then…I’ll keep on going on…”

    Yes!!!

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  6. Best of luck, Chris…and yes, hard times try the soul. All of us have a monkey of some kind on our backs. Focus through your camera and keep taking those wonderful photographs. Your inner beauty shows through.

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