It Focuses the Mind

(for dVerse open link night)


The slip knot
swing rope
rubs my neck raw.

holds firm below
the jaw line,

my mind
from the underside

the vertebrae’s
final fling

with life.
Then the hemp’s
taut snap

me mellow
with everything.



is near to a hanging,
or came soon after

I survived
the long
sick plunge.

The rope broke
and I remembered
why hands

held me down
till the noose
pulled tight,

why the world
drew close
and breathed in my face

“You’re not worth
the time
It’ll take you to die.”


16 thoughts on “It Focuses the Mind

  1. Truly harsh is the exact word for it. But sometimes that is what it takes until many will wake up and realize the choices they are making aren’t great, to say the least. Wonderful piece!

  2. 11p.m. here, and you scared the crap outa me Matt. But in a good way. An honest write, and yes sometimes we do need the sharp pain of reality to turn us in the right direction. A courageous, great write!

  3. You bring the same surgeon’s precision and wordsmith’s eye and feel to this longer piece as to your cutting micropoetry. I’ve been to this place, I think, but could never have articulated it in this bone bare, meticulously dissected way–which is not to say that the writing is like something still and dead on the slab for autopsy–no, it’s all too alive and visually so. A very fine poem, Matt, dark and real.

  4. It is the courageous overcomes despair . . . it is no matter from where comes the courage.

    You’ve done well here, your poem, to get it out.

    Keep on being on.


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