Monster

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I have a monster inside me.

I saw it first when I was ten, and I’ve never forgotten:

Sneak up to my brother’s cradle, push him off the bed, watch him fall in his sleep, an angel. Drag him to the middle of the room, leave him swaying, like a ghost.

He wakes up, cries, falls to the cold tile floor. Wails, pushes me away.

I smile, tell him it’s alright, hold him to my chest, whisper sweet nothings into his ear.

I imagine squeezing him till his flesh oozes out in an hourglass.

What happened, why is he crying? 

Oh, it’s nothing. I think he’s sleepwalking. I was trying to put him back to sleep but…

He didn’t like me very much after that. I bribed him with chocolate so he’d walk with me and hold my hand and we could be normal again.

. . .

There’s a cruelty inside me, I saw it first when I was ten, and it never left.

It’s in my bones, it’s in my blood, it sings its siren songs into my veins.

It coos of where you’re vulnerable, where you hurt. It shows me how to take love and trust and faith and chisel them into knives. It guides my aim to where you’re weak and it strikes.

Cruelty, I find, knows no reason.

So I taunt where you waver, I scorn where you love.

In those rare moments I play nice, I mock you in my mind and I marvel at how dense you are.

I let you fall when you stumble and I tear you down when you go too high.

When you finally come apart, I scavenge at the remains.

I grieve for you, of course, when the high has left me with cold, cold memories. Watching myself say things I’ve never thought, hurt like I never have before.

But those flickers of regret are never enough to blaze out the past.

. . .

I have a darkness within me, and like the shadows streaming from the light, it has tied itself to my soul. We are entwined together, this monster of mine, we are soulmates, in the purest sense of the word.

Don’t be fooled: some days, I might fake normal.

Scrub myself until I’m clean, scrape off my skin, drain my blood. I smile and charm and bluff, pretending my monster doesn’t exist. I say sweet things I don’t mean and let you play with your knives, shame, degrade.

A repentance, I tell myself, but we both know that isn’t true.

Inside, I hope your knives will go deep enough, cut off this chord that keeps me bound. I hope my monster will seep out of me with the salt that leaks from my eyes.

But my monster lies deep within, in the marrow of my bones. Mocking me, in the sound of my heart. Because it knows, like it has always known.

The monster is a second skin, rubbery and vile and mine.

This monster within me, this hatred, this cruelty, this darkness: it knows, and it has always known.

Cut this chord, and I am as lifeless as a puppet without strings.

Cut this chord, and I lose, I am lost.

The monster trails its tongue across my lip and smiles.

. . .

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161 Comments Add yours

  1. You write beautifully.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Shannon<3

      Like

  2. Dark Poetry Geek says:

    What will be your new website name?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m planning for it to be more of a personal website this time, more intimate, so my own name. The same style of writing, the same content, but the layout is changing.

      Like

    2. Dark Poetry Geek says:

      Thanks! I can’t wait to see it!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It isn’t until you recognize an impulse as a demon that you can do anything about it. Recognizing a trait as a constant drive and not just a random moral failing is the first step. Not every demon is evil and most have their uses. Some on a daily basis and some only rarely but they didn’t get inside you randomly. Somehow you needed them, just not to run amok with your life.

    I have come to make friends of my demons. Otherwise, strong demons won’t be denied and will either push thru or fighting them will drive you into emotional disability. Weaker demons will be a continual irritant. By befriending them, you have a chance to talk with them, negotiate with them. You can reach an agreement where you can stay in charge but allow them to come out and play in a manner you decide is safe. A place you won’t get arrested, hurt anyone or destroy your career. A sandbox.

    I honestly believe that games, anime, and other media offer a pressure release valve for many destructive impulses. I believe it is one reason why violent crime has dropped so much in the US since the 1990s. We can take out or hate and anger and aggressiveness on virtual enemies.

    Alcoholism and drug addiction are physiological demons of such enormous power they have to be handled more rigorously. Drug addiction maintenance treatment is possible but I know of no such option for alcohol. Alcoholism is probably genetic and the resulting damage too severe to make a sandbox approach viable.

    A true psychopath or sociopath or any other severe pathological disorder is lacking in empathy and so has no reason to filter them. They don’t worry about demons hurting others or even recognize that the urges ARE demons, they only worry about getting caught. They are the demon and have to be physically locked up or they’ll happily destroy those they come in contact with.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love this, Fred. I agree: the first step to anything is acknowledgement. The most dangerous monsters are the ones we don’t know about. The idea of a sandbox is appealing, contrary to the normal belief: that anime and video games are what spur violence. I’ve come to believe that we are all inherently violent though; only some of us express it in socially unacceptable ways.
      I think it was Phil who brought up the idea of humans as inherently predatory, and hence, somewhat predisposed to random acts of cruelty.

      Thoughts?

      Like

    2. Cruel behavior because you want to see someone suffer is usually caused by hate or a pathological lack of empathy. Natural predation involves killing for sustenance. It may seem cruel but it isn’t in the human sense. The wolf isn’t setting out to inflict pain when it goes after a moose. The pups and pack must eat and there is only one way to drop a moose if all you have is teeth.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Very powerful, but the monster only smiles if it thinks it’s dominant – and yet there is both, the sunshine and the shadows 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, Felipe. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment 🖤

      Like

  5. Anand Bose says:

    Very Kafkaesque. Anand Bose from Kerala

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Anand.

      Like

  6. Manoj says:

    Such honesty, such clarity!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Manoj.

      Like

    1. Thank you, Ailbu. Will add you to the list<3

      Like

    1. Thank you, Sharon! Will add you to the list<3

      Like

  7. Tamara says:

    I have same monster!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Lady Fu Hao says:

    If this doesn’t speak to me then what will? This is a little perky smartpiece

    Like

    1. Haha thank you so much. Glad it resonated! ❤

      Like

    2. Lady Fu Hao says:

      I just feel like that most days you know… I have this cruel and ugly side to me and funny enough, this part of me was roaming around yesterday 😁

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Cold Beenie says:

    relatable…thank you for this

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Regrettably relatable…

    Liked by 1 person

  11. jonicaggiano says:

    Bravely and honestly put as we all have a monster that lives within. That monster for me is my wrath which is my sin. Wow, so thought provoking. Thanks again amazingly frightening too!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wrath, I believe, is in all of us. It just manifests differently. Some of us implode, shrivel into ourselves, lash out with poison words at anyone who comes too close. Others explode, destruct, and bring everyone else down with them. I think what really matters is what you do when the monster leaves: I will be happy if I can find the strength within to forgive myself and forgive the people around me and move on.

      Sending love your way<3

      Liked by 2 people

    2. jonicaggiano says:

      Thank you SHREYA. Wisely put and thanks for your kind thoughts.

      Liked by 2 people

    3. I think sometimes, even many times, when the monster leaves, if we’re able to forgive ourselves and others, the question becomes can they forgive us? There are times when the monster leaves so much destruction and chaos in it’s path that the clean-up can be daunting, if it can be cleaned -up at all…

      Liked by 2 people

    4. I love this. When I read this comment, my first thought took in the ‘they’ in ‘can they forgive us?’ to be the monster itself. And while I’m not sure if it was what you intended, it brought up quite a different meaning for me. So much of what destroys us, we latch onto; because it’s identity. Our addictions, insecurities, failures, fears, hatred: all of it becomes something we define ourself by, whether we mean for it or not. And for me, the hardest part of recovery was the letting go of myself. The risk, the fear, that unbearable loss: it feels so much like a betratal. It’s so easy to stay. To remain. And of course, the aftermath is quite a different hell altogether. Without the blurry-eyed vision of whatever it is you’d chosen to give yourself to, everything is misshapen, deformed. This present, the future and the futureless past…

      Like

    1. Hey, not sure I’m getting you here. Do you want me to add you to the list, or do you want to chat? If it’s the latter, then shoot me an email at my contact page: https://themidnightember.wordpress.com/contact/

      Like

    2. well chat, with respect to our content…….sometime……
      will surely hit you up soon

      Like

  12. Isha says:

    Hi, would love for you to check out my poem about depression 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. us says:

    Hey, you used to write fantastic, but the last several posts have been kinda boring¡K I miss your tremendous writings. Past several posts are just a little out of track! come on!

    Liked by 1 person

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