More of the Same by Laylah Hough

apologetic commentaries come as naturally to me
as forward slashes, box brackets and parentheses
i’m a johnny come lately who can pen a few poems
just about dress themselves/but not much else
incessantly infantile/witness the white outs
suppressed shouting/choked up sound
of casper the [not so] friendly ghost
grossed out by my tears, i swapped soothing self talk
for snark and snarl/i bound and beat my horses to a pulp
whipped all my wants back/bashed my own teeth in
polished them to put together pretty necklaces
pearly whites into pendants of pessimism
poetic productivity may have previously boosted my dopamine

given me a sense of worth;

but writing warped whispers highlighted the confusion i was sinking in

i like puzzles but i can’t work out where the hell i’ve been recently
it’s not like explanations can’t be drawn/rooted in abnormality
maybe it’s a matter of random misfiring/just the way i’m wired
but all my insights into psychology didn’t stop my fear ruining me
i’m no pioneer; everyone and their cat has depression and anxiety
it feels prissy of me to talk of my peculiarities in medical terms
why couldn’t i just buck up/internalise the cbt i’d learned
spurn the topsy turvy thought patterns as they occurred
the exasperated inner masses screamed:

‘you had one job!’

it’s pointless self destructing or sobbing now
the policing sector collapsed from burn out
long suffering, understaffed and disenchanted
compartmentalisation bred systemic meltdown
parallel to the physicality of adrenaline shakes and attention breaks
it doesn’t take a degree to notice the estrangement of feelings from


the inability to express my wishes clearly coupled with a strong

compliance tendency

it feels all alien, stranger things;

how on earth anyone could extract enjoyment from my company/

want to know what makes me truly happy/

try as i might, i struggle to connect the dots
i don’t trust myself to move right/so i stay stock still
hoping that even i can’t mess that up.
stillness isn’t saying the wrong thing or looking the wrong way
or crying or being weak or asking for things
and to my back brain, that’s always seemed better
so utterly obsessed with failure/it’s an error that i’ve lived
with such limited functionality; the balance stays skewed
crudely stitched together/i wanted to quarantine myself
far enough to not inflict the unease of my company

so afraid of the disease/i fell deeper out of touch
no one felt they could reach out and touch me

who would, when this lemming never lets itself be human, let loose or be free.

never showing outward affection for fear of its offending capacity.

blindly blundering on courses of action
i breached my non-maleficience clause

it’s early days yet but a little chemical correction
could be doing something/blunting my very worst edges
i don’t want to hedge my bets/maybe it’s me accepting
i need some extra help/i can’t think myself out of this
(feeling the wrong things) (not feeling the right things)
(not coping with how i feel) (not expressing it well)
there’s no room for excessive error checking or
rehashing a million potential uses for ctrl-z
it’s late now; i’m worn out and i need to go to bed.