Chronic To The Tonic



Title art by Rimel Neffati. Click image to visit her studio.



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Nine Inch Nails “Somewhat Damaged (Instrumental)”





Don’t give up
Never give in
Things may appear fucked right now
But luck has a canny old habit of changing
May feel like the world’s against you
Know precisely how that feels
Sometimes shit conspires to make us question what is actually real


Sometimes pain is agonizing
Too much to conceal
For all of our best efforts
Desperation starts to overspill


Facing odds that only ever lengthen day by day
Taking shots from all directions, bound by come what may
Shaking off depression, when it’s all about the comeback trail
Making a hot mess until we’re on our knees so it can see us fail


Meanwhile, we grow increasingly frail
Chasing relief, we proceed then to lead with our tails
Hopelessly pinned with no wind in our sails
Fighting lost causes with morbid resources and forced into thoughts of endorsing the bail


All of us possessive of the tools to prevail and just cause
Precious few equipped to pit our frittered wits against the slips, the trips the falls
Wish to scream
To stem the bleed
Yet, every time we do the deed
It ends up in a bloodbath


All that’s left is aftermath and picking up the pieces, in receipt of news that losing ain’t the half of it
How about humiliation
One last passed up dignity
Making meal of our disgrace
Then lacing it with arsenic


Party to the chronic pain that names and shames so ignorantly
Starting to suspect that my own exoskeleton has it right in for me
Tried to haul the skin from bones
Pulled my back out, stubbed my toes
Now I’ve got a bloody nose and suddenly I’m out of fucking meds and the pharmacy just closed


No way I deserved this
No way this is higher learning
Fuck the worm for turning when reluctantly my guts are fucking churning
Burning up at fever pitch
I swear I’ll kill the son of a bitch who masterminded this
Then slaughter his daughter and cut off her tits


Someone up there’s laughing and the last one is on me apparently
Maybe I should take the hint and do another stint in intermittent twinges pinching at my final string of motherfucking sanity


This isn’t me
Constant pain just speaks so eloquently on behalf of me
Fuck it, I’ll just take a break, go run myself a bloodbath
While silently, violently bleeding my last
Not that this will be my last
It will pass eventually
And starting to feel better curiously


Perhaps that rant of consolation scant was worth the ants in pants and tears which led directly back to tantrums


All those who see me will cater for this
Remind not to give up
To never give in
Things may well be fucked right now
Battleship out of depth charges and sinking
However, I just met a friend to no apparent ends and this got me then to thinking
They call it social network for a reason
We call it chosen family and choose our brood most handsomely


Comprising others feeling pain
Those healing hands are never far away
Should problems share in equal halves
Then faring up should be fifty less hard
All of us are battle-scarred
Every pain in waiting leaves its calling card


Don’t you give up
Never ever give in
For what you go through on perpetual loop and troop with sense of fucking humor is inhumanly inspiring
Blood in the nitrous but tearing up asphalt with resistance fiery, all pistons now firing
Time to take that bloodbath
Fuck it, let’s make it a shower then





Richard Charles Stevens


Keeper of The Crimson Quill




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© Copyright: Rivers of Grue™ Shadow Spark Publishing™





  1. This isn’t me
    Constant pain just speaks so eloquently on behalf of me
    Fuck it, I’ll just take a break, go run myself a bloodbath

    This piece reduced me to tears. I suffer bullshit since the summer brain haemorrhage of 1996. Snowballing symptoms and uncurable syndromes. Mental health fucked. It’s tragic and dearest Grey… I empathise.

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