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Spadina Literary Review  —  edition 2 page 2

verse

image of blue hat and dark glasses


I've been there

by Joshua William James

phony joyful upbringings of early 90s, Jurassic Park, Batman and pretend nervous breakdowns on kitchen floors
I've been there
sunglasses, blue hats and happy photographs and beaches I don't remember
but I've been there
blood caked Aryan baby boy crying, reaching for paternal comfort and door door door of my memory, door in my face and in my memory still
and trauma rides on two-wheelers on sunny sidewalks punctuated by tears and tears and screams and scraped knees
and years pass
and I've been there
Catholic misleadings with sin guilt and confused confessions and mundane and wonk-eyed second grade teachers and first communion anxiety
and I've been there
tornado or twister misunderstandings in summer shirtlessness of skinny boy youth with fantasy and moment of clarity in night breeze perfection
I've been there
early romantic rejection in grade school rooms and recess recreation, broken fingers and fist fights of child-like stupid dumb aggressive adult attempts
with running, swing sets, sandpits, ignorant sweat and playground heats and stories and granted glory
and I've been there
home horror fears developed and growing like forgotten mould in shower corners in drywall and time flows
then schoolyard stolen fun and kiss anticipation and strange games and death already known and life, life, finding life or trying at least or faking it well enough
I've been there
then high school and stupid shows and drinking and freak outs, smoke outs, smoking pot and smoking pot and smoking pot and so much more pot to be smoked and glossy, red-eyed school days, playing and failing and not caring
and I've been there
sliding through years, high and almost alive, aimless and shining and cleaning up the mind
then desperate and still high and suicide already known and years, years old and bottle of pills but I don't have the will
and I've been there
so it goes, and it's like "love me, fuck me, punch me in the face so I can feel human for a minute or thirty or forever"
so then everything gets mixed and twisted and years from loveable but still shining and wicked and then glorious and then kill me
and I've been there
beautiful born and born beautiful so everything is sort of "hasn't everything been expressed yet?" and time wasting, time killing, and I'm still living or trying at least or faking it pretty well
and I've been there