Looking down on myself from up on high it’s not hard to wonder if there’s a trope for this me who’s walking out the door, stepping down off the curb, crossing the street, and pulling his baseball cap over his eyes. There are hemlocks and weeds dividing the curb I’m walking on from various households, a labyrinth of shrubbery, garbage and broken down cars you might see in a horror story where kids have to escape a haunted manor, but never can because the manor isn’t playing by it’s own already labyrinthian rules. I suppose my life could be set in one of those three-dimensional models of a sustainable property the kids are making out of popsicle sticks and tissue paper in Tech-Ed classes these days. I arrive at work and use my key to open the outer doors leading to hallways I’ll follow to the classroom where my work materials are, but not before taking my routine detour to the bathroom to breathe and switch personas, taking off my aviator sunglasses and beanie and putting on my horn-rimmed readers, filling my pockets with pens and dry erase markers, then grabbing my water bottle I’ll carry like a Rosary for what is starting to look like a kind of vocation in exorcism. How could this happen? I used to be that really depressed, oddly mystical, formerly hospitalized guy with mental health issues who was really good at art, writing, guitar, and singing, and who many thought would end up on MTV for his highly original and folky, goat-like voice, my ex-wife and many others had to allow me my space in my study hours a day where I could imagine myself as one of god’s favorite angels and practice falling from heaven until I was ready to give him the news I was sort of leaving for more mortal pastures. “Spiritual karate,” my therapist likes to call it when I allow myself to be traumatized more deeply, so I can more effectively turn a negative I can’t change head on, into a kind of entering into a confidence that’s more richly self-empowering. Except all the abuse-turning and breaking lines of cruelty all day can become quite dizzying and exhausting, so first thing I often do when I get home is just sit and wait for the room inside my wounded inner child’s house to stop spinning, so, like I tell my best friend, when I’m home I just love to sit and fart and snack, and that feels absolutely necessary. Here at work, I try to help kids help themselves. At home, the black hole-like exorcist in me sits and waits for his feelings to finish having their say before trying to make something as ambitious as dinner, and now must write poems before the spinning of the day, each morning, to effectively protect himself from being thrown through fountain after fountain of cascading black and white memories of his own complex trauma, by his demon-like rage that’s so small in the vast scope of all things it’s like a tack in a bulletin board. I guess, on the one hand my life feels like a war fought between opposite aspects of self that are always in the process of working out their stuff, all for the sake of a peaceful glass of Crystal Light and an anesthetizing slice of pizza, while on the other hand it feels like it’s a painting that’s been long forgotten, made by a fractured child, a painting that is now collecting dust in a closet alongside multitudes of others that will eventually be forgotten and tossed alongside old clothes. But more than these, thankfully, it feels like there is a child-like voice of joy and wisdom around me, reminding me not to blame myself, that I don’t suck, and that if I wish to locate a new found sense of purpose and continue evolving as a poet with escape routes of perspective, I need not strap myself to a new routine, and that in fact I need not change anything, but must keep reminding my inner child through writing poems that if I want to continue to rise higher and higher as I fly above mine and other’s suffering, I’ll always need to first, do the feely grown up thing and land on a part of it.