“Self-Autopsy of a Crazed Man” by Willie James King

Willie James King


I was living through a breakdown
and didn’t know it, had a good
job and just up and quit; a blue-
haze almost always hanging
about my head, making me wish
that I was dead. A man, wasted
by matters set forth by his own
hand, but I am still here. I rode
the storm alone, in a crisis that
must have caused Christ to
tremble at all of the terrible things
which I was tempted. All of those
pills, doctor bills, coupled with all
of those which kept my phone
ringing from hard-working collectors
persistent as the pain I couldn’t pin
down with all of that pride which
caused me to keep the hurt inside
and couldn’t make myself believe
I should seek some help I never
thought I’d need, before I broke
my own heart, and caused
too many others to bleed.

from Rattle #20, Winter 2003

Rattle Logo