Not Here

30th October 2020

This edition of the newsletter gets pretty sad and intense, and then it gets hopeful and then a little sad again. But the rollercoaster is worth it, I promise. Yesterday I posted a morning read on my Instagram, this very picture and I didn't say a thing about it. I quoted it and let a few lines sit there and talk for themselves. Now I would like to say something about it. This is 'Not Here' by Hieu Minh Nguyen and within it lives one of my favourite poems. 'Notes On Staying' closes the book and at its core, it's a poem about suicide and depression. I have never made it to the end of this poem without crying, whether I am reading or listening to it. It's just one of those poems that speak so much truth; it's agony. Lines like 'Maybe hope is stopping the story before it's over before the inevitable messy end' punches me in the gut every time because it tethers on the edge of logical. It takes a level of sadness away from the sadness he is feeling but at the same time amplifies it by a million. The chucks of stanzas, the ever-changing pace, Notes On Staying is the sort of masterpiece that makes you want to write forever, and I am talking about this to say, you're not alone. The way this poem relates to me was scary at first, but it helped me realise how I am not on my own even at my extremes. Please remember you are not alone. There are dozens of people (including me) willing to listen to you, I promise. So listen to this poem, talk about it and then share some of your favourites. What poems hit you this way? Below I'll leave his performance and a poem Neil Hilborn wrote after it called the door. Happy Thursday.

Hieu Minh Nguyen - Notes On Staying

Neil Hilborn - The Door (After Hieu)

Tomorrow is coming

and I will

be there smiling

Invisibility: The Superpower Never There When You Need It

I am in the woods, and the duvet is shrinking.

I am trying to figure out why silence buzzes the way a live wire does when it's been torn away from the only place it’s ever called home.

I am trying to remember if my body has always been a one-man-band. If making a fist was a drum solo that wasn't quite there yet, ya know?

Out there through the trees, there is a sun, but right now all my thoughts are midnight. I have built a cave from my defeat, I have put my paws over my ears, and I am not swinging the axe today.

It is optimistic to say that even bears climb trees, but my duvet is shrinking I am being exposed to the world

And all I want to be right now,

is invisible.


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