April 26, 2019

Kim Bridgford

BLUE WHALE SONNETS

The Blue Whale suicide game is believed to be a social media group, which is encouraging people to kill themselves. There are hundreds of thousands of posts relating to the sick trend on Instagram. It’s thought a group administrator assigns daily tasks to members, which they have to complete over 50 days. The horrific tasks include self-harming, watching horror movies and waking up at unusual hours, but these gradually get more extreme. On the 50th day, the controlling manipulators behind the game reportedly instruct the youngsters to commit suicide.
—The Sun

Creator

I thought that this would be a good idea.
I thought that I’d have purpose and control.
I thought that I would be a death Messiah.
I’d put them in my game. They’d have a role
Much higher than in their daily life.
Love does that to you, as does lack of sleep,
As does obedience to a false belief.
The blue whale is a chance to finally escape
The confines of this life. I want them courteous;
I want them kind, reserved, and oddly shy.
I want the ones that are superfluous.
I want the ones that aren’t afraid to die.
They are, in the end, the lovers I’ve created.
They are, in the end, the check and what’s checkmated.

 

 

Girl #1

I thought that this would be a good idea.
At school, they don’t even know that I exist,
Or, if they do, I am an art pariah
Whose stallion pencil-steps out of the mist.
I’m tired of these people who can’t see.
They do not know my courage or desire.
I have a lover who loves anime,
Who puts me through the tests, like wings of fire.
I know the warnings, know about gaslighting.
Still, no one makes me feel that I have power
The way he does. I’m outside my parents fighting.
I wake to watch the movie at dawn’s hour.
One day I’ll chicken walk the building’s top.
One thing about this game is you can’t stop.

 

 

Creator

I thought that I’d have purpose and control.
I thought I’d be the God of my own game.
I didn’t care if I would go to jail,
For there more women languished for my name.
In life outside, I had no actual friends:
It was easier online. On the Internet,
I’d catch the girls, and work them to my ends.
They deserved to die for being so obedient.
They deserved whatever I thought up to do.
I wanted the defiant ones, the queens,
The ones who, in the end, would not say no
To a challenge: the nerds, the isolated ones.
In the end, they lie down like a startled lamb.
I am, I am, I am, I am, I am.

 

 

Girl #2

I thought that I would be a Death Messiah.
And so I practiced on my arms, my sweaters
A wool tent, hidden from those who don’t know a
Thing about what they think they see. My letters
To him are my masterpiece. The margins
Decorated with calligraphy
And inside all the anime virgins
Is a blue whale: like a hidden story.
Those of us who are writers like a puzzle,
The symbolism of what is found
For layered eyes, like a mirror sonnet or ghazal.
Once you’re in that world, it’s not an end.
No, nor is it like a rabbit hole. A whale,
Like Moby-Dick, means you’ll prevail.

 

 

Creator

I’d put them in my game. They’d have a role
To serve the tasks I set for them. They want
To feel that they are princesses, the style
Like a dramatic movie. They’d star in it:
Both victorious and isolated.
They don’t know that I am preparing
Not to welcome them into what’s been righted,
But undo them like curious mice, by scaring
Their gentleness into what is sad and raw.
I take their truth, and mangle it. My girls,
You don’t deserve to live. I never saw
The gamers: just their bravado, dares.
This blue whale game is predator/prey.
They lose when they give themselves at fifty.

 

 

Girl #3

Much higher than in my daily life,
I fly. I watch the gruesome video.
I post the clues of blue whale gaming: the thief
Of what is ordinary, the nothing-to-do
In this life. Mostly I count my calories,
Reach for my phone, and follow who is hot.
Sometimes, I ache from the banalities.
There’s nothing else. I must impose the rite
Of wearing “double zero”: discipline.
Each day, the world is more the one I’ve made.
I tell myself it is not made by him: a line
Between what is expected and what’s code
For what is better. It’s irrelevant.
In that way, he is much more than a parent.

 

 

Creator

Love does that to you, as does lack of sleep.
I’ve read about it. You break your victims down:
Stockholm Syndrome, the company you keep.
Gradually, the world is just the soul you own:
On both sides of the screen. They’re mine then.
They are dutiful, good students all.
Sometimes, the drawings are both myth and legend.
Sometimes, sincerity is tooth and nail.
I change the rules when they are comfortable.
I act cold to confessions, secret acts.
This terrorizing of the predictable
Mixes up their minds and all the facts.
I want them jealous, broken, and alone.
I want their only life to be the phone.

 

 

Girl #4

As does obedience to a false belief,
So does love. It takes your lonely terror
And hones it to a sword. You are held and safe:
While thinking of yourself as queen and warrior.
The paradox of love is tractable
And steely, each achievement with a cost.
In AP English, it is Isabel
And Dorothea who have failed. They’re lost.
You understand the consequence of choice,
Learning from them to rise above and win.
The Blue Whale Game gives you a different voice:
It is not privacy, but interaction.
If others have succumbed, that is on them.
You’re dying for a cause, because of him.

 

 

Creator

The blue whale is a chance to finally escape:
It’s natural. I see this now, and so do they.
They invite me in, to rearrange their mindscape.
It’s only what they want. I’ve learned the way
Child-predators do: take the journey slow.
Once they are isolated, once they are in
Your net, you love them; then you let them know.
Take love-bombs away: it’s what they’ve done.
The ones that stay are made up of a mixture
Half child, half mind, half trouble, and half sorrow.
I love the combination of the texture.
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow.
Come be my baby, come be my sugar-pie.
Come be my lover on the day you die.

 

 

Girl #5

The confines of this life: “I want them curious,”
Says my high school French teacher. “Outside the box.”
But compared to the Blue Whale hilarious.
I’m not a child, and he’d squeal on his accents
If he knew that I’d stood upon my windowsill,
And watched the birds convene. Outside the box!
That’s rich. That makes me laugh. I take the pill.
I have a glass of wine; undo the locks
To my own life. I am not someone young and sweet.
I am someone who is outside the box
Forever, only happy when the right
To move to higher danger sets my clocks.
I’m ready. Order me to get inside your car.
I will. Order me to jump. And to what star.

 

 

Creator

I want them kind, reserved, and oddly shy.
These warriors think they’re better: and they’re not.
It is the best ones that deserve to die.
When I’m in prison, left to live, the knot
I’ve used to tie us all together holds.
The families are all dying, vulnerable,
Their sorrow deep, their raison d’etre folds.
It teaches smug suburbanites, now humble
Because of me, who took their darling daughters
And did what they could not. It is control
To mete out the instructions, give the orders.
Each girl thinks she is my true precious one.
How stupid can they get? I like them young,
Unbroken in. I teach them a new tongue.

 

 

Girl #6

I want the ones that are superfluous,
The pretty ones, Homecoming queens,
The ones that Instagram and Snapchat us
To know I’m deeper than the daily screens.
I find the layers far beyond the clicks.
Check this out: you who call me ugly, loser.
I rule, but it is through a different context.
Go ahead and call me nerd, brown noser.
You don’t have the talent, or the courage,
To go this far with me. You are a filler
Of space. You call me fat, but now writ large
In the universe, I play Blue Whale. Caller,
Fat-shaming is just one bad thing you’ve done.
I’ll make you feel so guilty when I’m gone.

 

 

Creator

I want the ones that aren’t afraid to die.
It’s in their arrogance I catch them all.
How dare they think they’re past the lie?
How dare they think they are invincible?
It’s just a way to trick them to their death,
To see that I hold who they are and when.
The Internet is our sustenance and breath:
These girls can’t think that they are just like men,
Although sometimes it’s true that boys will play.
I’m far beyond this human mediocrity.
The love letters I read keep hate at bay,
And all attention crushes out their pity.
I’m like a college student who plays guitar:
I’m your idea of yourself, sung from afar.

 

 

Chorus

They are, in the end, the lovers I’ve created.
He is, in the end, the lover that we wanted.
They are, in the end, the wrong world I have righted.
He is, in the end, the real life we’ve recanted.
They are, in the end, what I’ve remade blue whale.
He is, in the end, our myth. We love him so.
I gave them sugar, and each obstacle.
He is the depth of every sun and snow.
They are, in the end, what made my life worth living.
He is, in the end, what made us rise to this.
They are, in the end, what made me unforgiving.
He is the savior, its antithesis.
They are, in the end, not made of skin and breath.
He is, in the end, what leads us to our death.

 

 

Creator

They are, in the end, the check and what’s checkmated.
They are, in the end, the lovers I’ve created.
I want the ones that aren’t afraid to die.
I want the ones that are superfluous.
I want them kind, reserved, and oddly shy
(The confines of this life). I want them courteous.
The blue whale is a chance to finally escape,
As does obedience to a false belief.
Love does that to you, as does lack of sleep.
Much higher than in their daily life:
I’d put them in my game. They’d have a role.
I thought that I would be a death Messiah.
I thought that I’d have purpose and control.
I thought that this would be a good idea.

from Rattle #63, Spring 2019
Tribute to Persona Poems

__________

Kim Bridgford: “One of the things I’m most interested in, in poetry, is the opportunity to connect things that don’t appear to be connected. To bring my own disparate parts together and to also build that infrastructure internally, and then be able to apply that to my relationships with other people. The more connections I can find between disconnected things, the better my connections are with others.” (web)

Rattle Logo