I wrote this in 2003 about Damon who I was seeing again.
Your strange ways confuse me One moment you hold me in your arms The next moment you want someone else in your arms Do you want to break our amorous ties? Was the love you professed another one of your lies?
I wrote this in March of 2020 as I was reflecting on my suicide attempt in December of 2016. I don’t remember writing this poem but that could be because it was a crazy time for me since I was an essential worker during COVID.
Appearances were kept well for 15 years the husband, the salaried job, the 3 off springs I pretended like everything was fine And yet there were ominous signs I never felt like my authentic self and always felt false I tried on this so called suburban bliss and mediocre routines but knew it just wasn’t me So I ended up in profound misery And one day I wanted to forever sleep To forget my mediocre reality I took 15 numb feeling pills one for every pseudo happy year I wanted to slip into a forever dream to never wake up to my false stability
I love you but I hate you I miss you but you’re a jerk I desire you but your love is awful I want you here with me but you make me suffer I want to kiss you but you steal my calm I keep you in my heart but with you I lose my mind
The debut collection of poems Visceral from Melia Cogan is appropriately named since it will make you feel a multitude of intense emotions internally. As a person that feels intense emotions, I loved this book. The book is divided into 3 sections titled Love, Rage, and Death. Reading this book felt like going through a roller coaster of emotions-from sexy to anger to sadness. Personally, for me, this is a good thing. I resonate with poetry that makes me feel my emotions. I picked my favorite poem from each section. This was hard since all the poetry in this collection is amazing.
The first section Love captures the magical feeling of what it’s like to be in love, make love, and be loved. Her poems in this section makes even the most jaded of us feel like there is a world where love is possible. The first poem “Daemon-Lover” leaves you breathless with the raw emotion and sensuality felt throughout the poem. The second stanza is fire as it states, “With a spirit strong as seventy/As his throbbing passion sears me/ With its ‘blind encompassing throbbing power ”(Cogan, 22-25) It makes you feel like you are witnessing passion on display. You might have to take a cold shower after reading this poem. The other poems in this section not only capture the passion of being in love but also the complexity of other feelings that come with it.
The next section of the book is Rage, and you feel the anger and rage within this section.
My favorite poem in this section is Women’s Inheritance which captures the essence of what’s like being a woman in the 21st century. It addresses the misogyny that our modern patriarchal society continues to administer to women. The poem also conveys the disappointment that women feel after being used and discarded nonchalantly by men. The sixth stanza captures this feeling as it states, “Finally, you who I love with my whole self / Could not display this mythical manly bravery/ To tell me the truth/ Why not?” (Cogan, 30-33). The other poems in this section captures the anger felt with different experiences in life ranging from expectations in relationships to abandonment issues. Cogan expresses a raw truth about anger that most people are afraid to express and that is a kind of bravery you don’t see often.
The last section is Death and I’ll just say that you should have a box of tissues by your side because it will probably make you cry. In this section, Cogan is versatile in exploring the theme of death. In this section, my favorite poem is Remember Me for the Birthdays which is how the poet wants to be remembered by her loved ones. The eleventh stanza conveys this as it states, “Remember how I filled you with the urge/to push forward and explore/To engage life, expanding in all good directions” (Cogan, 37-40). Cogan is skillful at portraying grief in a conscientious manner that’s both thoughtful and respectful.
Melia Cogan brings a raw vulnerability and talent to her debut collection. I highly recommend this poetry collection if you are looking for a versatile collection that explores the depth of the human experience. I’m excited to read and review her next poetry book, Love Pangs. Below are the links for both Visceral and Love Pangs.
It’s been a year since I received my life changing diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder and so much in my life has changed because of it. I started therapy sometime around late June and I had to do a 3-hour mental health assessment in two separate sessions where my therapists asked me questions about past trauma and past patterns of behavior. It was a really, rough week emotionally for me because of that and other personal stuff going on in my life. I sat down across from my therapist as she explained how Borderline Personality Disorder diagnosis ended up on my concept map.
My reaction was one of numbness and shock. And then I made the mistake of going to the internet and looking it up and well BPD gets a bad rap for good reason. After reading all the bad things about BPD, I thought “I knew I had issues and was kind of messed up, but I didn’t expect to be this fucked up, this broken”. It doesn’t help that a couple of things that stand out on the internet about BPD are “BPD is the most painful mental disorder “Or “BPD people are manipulative” or “Some people with BPD are incapable of love”. It didn’t help that at the time I was diagnosed, I was also having a mental breakdown and my relationship at the time was on the rocks. When I told my friends and family about my diagnosis, most of them were supportive and encouraging but some were in denial and didn’t fully accept it. I was told “I couldn’t have BPD because I’m not so awful” or that “it’s not a big deal”. A couple of weeks after my diagnosis, I was broken up with. While I don’t want to go into the details about the events that led up to the demise of that relationship; I will say that the last day I saw my ex, there were a couple of things he said to me that really impacted me and made me really look at my life. I won’t say what they were, but it was useful for the next part of my journey. The breakup validated my worst fears about myself, “I’m unlovable”, I’m hard to love”, “I’m always going to be too emotionally unstable to be in a relationship” “I don’t deserve love” “I always fuck up everything good in my life” “I’m too fucked up and broken to be loved” etc., etc. Y’all have read the poetry and stories about how I don’t handle breakups well-ever. So, I’m lying-in bed crying and thinking all these things and don’t want to get up. I was on vacation when this happened so I could’ve stayed in bed all day and it would have been fine. However, something told me to keep going and getting up. The rest of the month of July is a blur to me at this point. I did document through video and journaling what I did so I know what I did, however there are parts of that month I don’t remember living.
I know I kept up with my therapy appointments and worked every day and wrote. Something I had to do for therapy was keep a daily diary card monitoring my emotions and any situations that brought out strong emotions in me. The main emotions I felt the months of July, August, and September were anger, sadness, and despair so filling out my diary card was a task but also necessary for me to get better at coping with life.
Something my current therapist said in group therapy was how grief makes one take a stock of life and how you’re living it. After the breakup, while yes, I felt this immense grief over that situation, I also felt grief and anger over other traumatic events in my life I hadn’t healed from. It was like I had this closet full of unprocessed trauma that was about to burst open at any time and in July, the door busted wide open and out came well, almost everything I kept inside of me well hidden. Shame, guilt, anger, fury, despair, sadness over past trauma were feelings I became well acquainted with for those first three months. I felt stuck at times in this emotional fog but somehow kept going. I continually asked myself what the purpose of all my hard work was and at first it was so that I don’t ever “split” on my kids like I had on other people in my past. I also had to learn a new language with my BPD diagnosis. I know that sounds weird but with all the new vocabulary words thrown at me, it’s what it felt like. In June and July, I learned real quick what dissociation, masking, and splitting was because that’s basically what I did those months. I also learned the term hypersexuality which I’ve addressed in some of my posts and poetry in this blog. Reflecting on everything that I’ve learned I can understand how my behavior can seem scary and unsafe to some people. I’ve finally had a deep understanding of how much of my erratic and impulsive behavior has greatly impacted my life.
I wrote this in 2006 when me and my husband were in this monotonous routine of kids, work, and school. I felt lonely in our relationship and it was hard for me to express it to him.
It’s frustrating Living like this Without desire or passion The only thing that’s left for us Is to leave from here This everlasting ocean of loneliness In which we are drowning And separately swim to the shore of happiness Where we both belong