I wait
for relief.  Ache
clouds waking.

I take aim at stepping back–

As if one could be a stranger
to the weight upon
one’s back–
though the grey gravitates
to the frontal contours of core, cortex–
never, for some reason,
does it press down the flesh
of my rear end, my ample hips,
which could perhaps use
some tightening–

As if its ways might be learned;
as if, then, it might even
be put 
behind bars.

But it is so much better
at surveillance.

Sometimes, it takes the cover
of a cheap chopping block,
sits in my chest sheathing breaths
in shadowed slits,
skewed knives badgered
into use.

Other whiles, it’s a separate head
in mine, a horned scaled self,
stalking eyelids as stolidly as a dummy Komodo,
until anything tries flight–
then it flicks it in
quick enough–
(Who would have thought Depression
had such fine motor skills?)

I plot escape, but it’s difficult
when you’re watched
from the inside, when you’re wearing,
as it were,
your own wire.


Here’s a poem not at all for Thanksgiving, but for Grapeling’s prompt on With Real Toads, “Get Listed.”  

Moving on, however, to the subject of Thanksgiving, I want to extended deeply-felt thanks to all of you who read this blog, and to all those in the wonderful online poetry communities, particularly With Real Toads and dVerse Poets Pub, especially Kerry O’Connor, Brian Miller, Claudia Schoenfeld.

Also a very special thanks to all who have purchased either in paper or kindle, my book Nice, or any of my other books–thanks thanks thanks.

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12 Comments on “Surveillance”

  1. claudia Says:

    i like the image of being watched from the inside…think in a depressive phase we tend to watch ourselves with way too critical eyes… and hey… thankful for you as well k. – hope you had a lovely thanksgiving day

  2. And I, in turn, would like to thank YOU for writing such beautiful poetry. 🙂

    Greetings from London.

  3. brian miller Says:

    i was waiting on the reveal…yes it lurks…i like the allusion to it being that lizard in wait…this time of year is hard as well…the shadows are longer…the chairs emptier….

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks, Brian. No empty chairs really here luckily. We have had super nice holiday. But the poem came to mind in thinking about the words. Hope all well by you. K .


  4. Kerry O'Connor Says:

    Many thanks to you, k, for always being an inspiration to me and to others in our online community.

    Your depiction of depression in this poem as a sly invader is very telling. How does one combat this unwelcome presence in heart and mind?

  5. Steve King Says:

    A quite interesting (and chilling) take on the way depression inhabits the soul and the being as a watcher and keeper. How difficult it is to escape such a warden–a warden who is in a way one with the prisoner. I hadn’t ever thought of it that way. Thank you giving me this new insight.
    Steve K.

  6. It’s such a painful description, Karin.I was particularly struck by sheathing breaths and not being able to escape its weight on your back and that you’re wearing your own wire. No, you can’t be a stranger to it. I remember a dear friend saying her only response was to notice it and try to step back from judging it, your own surveillance as it were. Sound like what you’ve done here- put words on your experience and shared it with us. You’re not alone now, we stand with you in witness.

  7. grapeling Says:

    so I’ve come back to read this before commenting, k, letting it sit and digest. astute, insightful, and as ‘poetic’ a description of the void as I’ve read, in particular the closing 3 verses. i’m grateful you returned to post this – thank you for adding your voice to the prompt ~

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thank you, M. I always really appreciate your thoughtful prompts–your super thoughtful poems, and your kind readings. Take care, k.

      On Sat, Nov 29, 2014 at 12:41 PM, ManicDDaily wrote:


  8. That weight you feel on top of your chest.. to me I blame the weather. The darkness of these months before it turns to light again.. But that beast within that fill you with dread. I’m glad I came to read this.. and I can relate a lot.

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