Hope, forced through gritted teeth and a smile

A divine concept, though recently characterized not by God,

But by over-budgeted Disney films

Clinging to hope, gripping, struggling.

Holding on for dear life, God-given life.

Hanging over the edge of anxiety.

The abyss stares back, longing for me.

Begging me to let go, to embrace its offer.

Maybe there isn’t anything to hope for.

Life, what even is it, and what’s its appeal?

Drudgery by day, suppressing emotions by night,

Broken up by rays of light in the form of smoke and friends.

But even then, it’s just a numbing agent.

Nature’s antidepressant to ignore the pain.

What are friends but distractions?

What are cigars but long-term self-destruction?

Oh, the Holy Self, how you crave to be worshipped.

How you fear being lost by anonymity.

Perhaps that’s why the abyss gives fright,

Not out of any Divine longing for Heaven,

But selfish fear of being forgotten.

“Save me!” The self cries desperately,

As the blackened abyss reaches forth

The self writhes so as not to be swallowed

The two do battle, in a whirlpool of emotion.

Stirring up things long buried in the heart.

Each wrestling to overtake the other.

But are they all that different?

Both are within us if we admit it.

Clinging onto the hope of hopelessness.


A peculiar phrase, one may question,

What hope is there in despair?

A whole multitude I may respond

What reason for disappointment if there is no hope?

Why advocate for progress is there is nothing to progress towards.

Despair is dark, lonely, depressing, and most importantly, easy.

If there is nothing to hope for, we are free,*

So they say, we are free to be hopeless.

Now we can numb ourselves without guilt

“Lose yourself in me,” beckons despair

Through the lips of a whore you don’t care about

For if there is nothing to find, all there is, is to lose.

So the self has been swallowed in the abyss,

And the abyss within swallowed by the one with-out

Ever increasing into infinitesimal nothingness.

After your fourth cigarette, you finally feel the buzz,

Numb to the numbing agent, a neurological irony.

Turn on Netflix to watch another show

This one is art, so the critics say,

Showing how great it is to be in the modern day,

Not enslaved to the archaic morality of dead white men

Another bottle down as the music pounds,

Hard to think with an earthquake on the brain

Time to hunt for another piece of meat to call a meal

The edge once hung on now disappeared,

Eroded away by the flood waters of whiskey river,

Emptying into the ever-growing chasm of hopelessness

Rudely awakened from the sunlight of late afternoon,

Bed unmade, left with a faint smell of its last temporary occupant

Yesterday’s coffee does wonders for a headache


In the back of the mind, perhaps the depths of the heart

An incessant scratching, scraping, slashing

Through the cobwebs of the soul, hope continues to cleave

When your guard is down, dreams slip in

Scraping away at the walls of smoke and booze

Slipping through cracks, re-occupying lost ground

For Hope does not only invade, but it occupies,

Not content to let lost territory remain barren

Fertilizing it with the waters of life

The high seems lower, the booze has less of a ring

The firework flash of numb replaced by the slow burn of hope

The cigarettes swapped out by the smell of censors

Ancient words stand in for songs of no substance,

Mosaics of holy men, for doctored bodies of pornographers

A world changed, new but old, free but chained

And hope regains its footing,

Always willing to lose the battle to win the war

The abyss filled, the self embraced

Swallowed, not by despair or fear,

But by the One who can usher hope forward

For hope is just an icon of the One who is Hope Itself

*In as much as we are free to choose, or perhaps we are enslaved by the inevitability of choice?

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