I am so tired, said Lennon.
He woke up with Yoko next to him
yelling for more water.
She brought him water
and took his rib.
I am so tired, he wrote,
I barely slept a wink.

Morrisey wrote he was tired
and needed sleep
but didn’t want to wake up from it.
He was a sad Smith.

I once was in a hospital.
That song was playing when it was my turn to go
It was a somber, mournful, dark day,
but it wasn’t my turn to go.
Even the radio sang “Don’t Fear the Reaper,”
and I requested “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door.”
I didn’t want to die,
but I didn’t want to feel pain anymore.
So they laughed and giggled
and didn’t realize I was wrenching, needing air.
Frankly, they didn’t care if I took my last breath
and died right there.
So I went in my bed
and tried to sleep it off.
I slept with the lights on that night
and was grateful when the drug wore off.

They clapped in unison
when I asked them to,
said it’s death’s little tune.
If you want me to, I will, I thought.
They clapped. If it was true, then I would be.
Dead. But clap all you want,
I am still here writing this. I survived it.
I am just reminiscing, Elizabeth.

So, I went to the kitchen,
where the milks were locked up
and where staff gave us liters
of Polar Ginger Ale
to quench us.
Murder was on the TV.
It was understood. I was going to die.
Right after breakfast time.

But I didn’t.
I went in my room
and took a spoon, made it into a shiv.
Started to graze it over my wrist.
Then realized I wanted to live.

But before I did,
I took a pillow full of cotton balls
that was for anxiety, put it over my head
and closed it quickly.
Held it there for ten seconds, things went dim.
But I took the bag, took it off my head
and said, I am going to get through this, Elizabeth.
You will not see me dead
in one of your hospital beds.

So, I tried to get out
as quick as I could.
The only thing that I did
was try and read books, take the meds,
try to sleep, and fake my ass out of there.
Doc, it’s a miracle, I feel so much better.

It wasn’t till I got out of that place
that my face turned back from blue to peach
and my nails grew from short to long
and my stomach grow from fat to thin
and my hair went from long to short
and my clothes from pscyhe ward socks to shoes.
My air cleaned up, my teeth brushed. My smile back.
It was when I got out of there.
That’s when I got my life back.
And I will never go back to that hospital.
Oh, Elizabeth, I won’t.


Jason Wright is the editor and founder of Oddball Magazine. His column appears weekly. His latest book is Train of Thought.