The Cure for Nothing – A cranky new poem

It shouldn’t matter whether

your mirror is cracked

or whole

or a pile of coins peering up at you

from some dank, municipal gutter.

The face looking back

isn’t yours.

You earn nothing.

Good or bad,

you deserve less.

The only meaning in your vibrant

but astoundingly brief life

other than the roses you never gave

the trains you never took

and the amber liquor you left

sitting on the counter

quarter-finished,

is the meaning you make for yourself.

The expressions of your waitress,

your pastor,

the doctor who will one day

pronounce you dead,

they are dust,

and you’d do well

to let them float right through

the bulbous lump atop your neck.

If having a god suits you,

don’t.

When prayer, the grand placebo,

seems to soothe you,

it doesn’t.

Whatever soul stirs

in the grey soup around your bones,

it isn’t meant for this place,

these sewer-pocked streets,

these placid suburban shacks,

the hum of your television

as it begs for your inaction.

You don’t belong here.

You never did.

You’ve always known as much.

But hell, you pretend just the same.

Don’t kid yourself.

The worth of your accomplishments,

the hill you slogged to climb

in your shiny new shoes,

in your robes

which made you look royal,

is to be the highest grain of rice

in a field soon to be harvested.

How does it feel

to be a crop?

It should be a wonder

to be so free.

To walk whichever street you want

humming a tune only you can hear

sowing the garden of your mind

with carrots, or pumpkins

or bales of black cigars

or with love

or hate

or with whatever idea, scrawled on a wad

of paper,

rolls up with the wind

and hits your heel.

Those problems you have,

the debts, the wheels falling off,

the heart raked over the coals

of your last great error,

the faults placed in yourself

or with anyone but,

those aren’t real.

You and your soul,

and your broken mirror,

you don’t belong here.

You never did.

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Read more J Edward Neill here. 

Anti-Meme Fridays!

Welcome to my smartass new series, Anti-Meme Fridays.

In a sad, hollow effort to spread my loathing of motivational memes, every Friday I’ll be posting some new meme-hate. Forever.

I’ll post two memes every week. The first one, I’ll put up an actual meme I pulled from Facebook or Twitter, and I’ll deconstruct its logic in the most sarcastic way possible. For the second one, I’ll post something anti-motivational and/or funny. Because…really…that’s all a good meme should aspire to be.

Enjoy! Oh, and please be assured this is all in good fun. I’m doing this to combat the stress of writing extremely dark fiction all day long.

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Meme 1

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As an author, I have a lot of bookish friends on FB and Twitter. Meaning pretty much 75% of my feed at any given time is made up of memes about writing, reading, and overdosing on coffee. This one has a nice little picture of some guy staring into the woods…and then some completely bullshit line about gardens and libraries. Did Marcus never get cold and think, “Maybe I also need shelter?” Did Marcus sleep in the dirt, alone and unwashed, but happy because he had a copy of Stephen King’s It? Considering that every single person who ever posted a meme on the internet used an electronic device to do so, it feels like maybe we need to revise Marcus’s saying to, “If you have a garden, a library, a latte, and an iPhone, you have everything you need. Except shelter, companionship, a jacket, and a spear to keep coyotes away.”

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Meme 2

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Now that’s more like it.

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Join me in destroying motivational memes worldwide.

Or at least check out my stuff.

J Edward Neill

Author of:

WebImageFront DDP 1 101 Questions for Humanity