Have I made a terrible mistake?
And so I write now to examine it. I write as Damon Brink. I write in acceptance of who I am and what I have done and I write to examine and hunt for both the truth and the good. It’s possible I will find neither and I write with that fore-knowledge.
One thing is certain. I am not as good and as noble as I think I am, as I pretend to be, as I wish others to be. I have my share of misery, deep and often as seductive as a whore. I complain inwardly, I suffer, I blame and I seek to make others responsible for my own pain.
I use anger like a weapon and I wield it with a skill born of 50 years of training and indoctrination. I take advantage of my privilege, often without giving back.
I hurt the ones that are closest to me, that I love the most, purely out of an unwillingness and incapacity to look at and change my own perception. I am selfish, indulgent, petty, violent and prideful.
It’s not looking good.
So what, then, is the point?
The point is, simply, that I am a human being, like you are a human being. We are not different species. And on this day, the day, eleven years ago, that I became a father, I realized something that I have since put away and then hid away. I realized as I looked into the eyes of my son, as I felt his helpless body and heard his first cry, as I stood in awe of the strength of the woman who had born him out and the wisdom of the women who assisted her, as I played a helpless and most fortunate observer to the process of life, I realized how far our world had drifted from our own hearts and our own love. As I experienced the birth of my son, I realized that every father had, at one time, had the thought “how can violence exist” in the face of this.
How can such violence exist in the face of my newly born child?
I had the thought that fatherhood could help save world, if it only could be held onto.
I saw a world, enflamed and protected by the love of the father.
And I have failed.
I have failed to keep my truth burning. I have failed to lead with the flame of pure love. I have given up and given in to the world around me and to the world inside of me.
I have failed.
What have I chosen instead of the flame? What have I chosen instead of the truth? What have I chosen instead of the good? I have chosen culture. I have chosen society. I have chosen emotional blankness. I have chosen comfort. I have chosen popularity. I have chosen righteousness. I have chosen obligation. I have chosen fear.
I have chosen to remain quite while all around me fools plan for impossibility. I have been a fool.
But No More.
No. Fucking. More.
Which brings me to my second point. Fuck You. I’m coming for you. I’m coming for the cowards. I’m coming for the fools. I’m coming for the righteous, I’m coming for the rules. I’m coming now and bringing myself, who’s been so slow and long away, I’m coming now, invite me in, you’ve had so much to say. I’m coming for all you liars, cheats and bores…and guess what you mutha fuckers, I’m teaming with the whores!
So get your violence ready
Because that’s all that you have left
and really it’s all you’ve ever had
since early on
you came bereft
And the beauty of it all
is that I don’t even have to come
there’s no escape for you
no matter what
you’ve laid the table
what’s done is done is done
But life cares not
how you feel
or how you can convince
life doesn’t care if
people agree with you
or if there’s no dissent
Life doesn’t care
that you have the law
doesn’t care that you are right
doesn’t care if you are mighty
what you have coming
is the night
and what you have coming
is the blight
and what you have created
for your families
is only, purely, fright.
I used to speak with honour
I used to care a lot
but I don’t hang
and I don’t agree
with the folks
who run that lot.
So if you are a coward,
which you surely are,
There’s no escape from me
and I can only hope you dare.
And as you read this
and run in fear
and start to stutter, shake and stare
just know that I am waiting
to hear what you will share
and know that what you’re sharing
is for everyone and all time
and feel the weight of all the eyes
and all the hearts and minds
as you write and say your
all wrapped up behind false names
you’re shining dull
for all the world
and I’ll kill you with my rhymes.
I’m coming for you
you fearful thots
and useless idiots
your day is over
hope you enjoyed it
but I know
that you did not.
Ok. So there’s that. Yes, i failed and I have failed to be the father that saw true love and true peace and true brotherhood, but I’m getting back up and dusting myself off. Come at me bro!
The world isn’t ready to have some conversations.
leave them behind
leave them in the dark
how do you not let
What do you do
when faced with hate.
I feel embarrassed
as soon as I ask the question.
As if people haven’t been dealing with that for all time.
As if people haven’t shown the answer
As if people haven’t paid with their lives
As if I don’t know,
and therein lies my coward…
as if I don’t know…
“The Labyrinth is fully known”
What do you do when faced with hate?
You stand and face it.
I think I’ve found my coward
he’s been there quite some time
avoiding all perception
wishing on passing time.
It’s strange to feel his strength
it’s strange that he’s so strong
I always thought that he was weak
I never knew that I was wrong.
But there he is, a superhero
taking up all the space
telling me how important he is
telling me to give up the race.
He tells such tales of pain to come
he has such dire warnings
he rings alarms and blares the klaxons
from night until the morning.
He’s been hiding behind his best friend
the one that I call pride
and the two make quite a pair
when you put them side by side.
Pride is more the devil
because he does the devil’s work
he keeps me blind, infects my mind
and plays a trick on my self worth.
But when the pride is busted
and the facade falls to the ground
and you are left stark naked
the coward comes around.
He reminds me of my youth
before I created pride
of a time I was so scared
I just wanted to run and hide.
I was a little boy
so bright and fresh for the day
and all I wanted in my life
was to play and play and play.
I didn’t want to save the world
I didn’t want to stand up tall
I didn’t want to do “the right thing”
or anything at all.
What I wanted was to run and yell
And jump and play and shout
what I wanted was to live in life
having fun without a doubt.
And, I suppose, that’s the best of childhood
to build a foundation out of joy
of living life without the worry
oh, to be a boy.
But that is not how life is.
That is not the way of our society
That is not the way of the adult
Worry is our joy
Punishment is our cult.
And the little boy believes this
he believes what he’s been told
he has nothing else to go against
what his parents say is gold.
And that little boy must face it
in a shocking and dreadful way
he must face the worry and the blame
and do what his parents say.
And when he does, and no one’s trained him.
the little boy, he is not strong,
He’s soft and understanding
when the first hit, it comes along.
And of course he is a coward
even if he strikes back
because fighting back is not the issue
it’s that he was attacked.
It’s that the worlds not safe
the world he thought he knew
he can’t make sense, he doesn’t see
beyond the pain, so new.
So the little boy, he pulls back
not fully, not for now
he’s staggered and now shaded
by the darkness that’s come down.
And more attacks will come
he doesn’t take them on the surface
his little heart gets battered
and he’s introduced to worthless.
And so the boy, without his knowledge
begins to build a wall
he thinks he can protect his heart
and thus begins the fall.
So up it goes, and that’s the pride
just trying to feel safe
the boy was young, decades to come
as he joined the human race.
The wall grew strong
and the coward stood behind it
coward was the boys young hurt
he might not ever find it.
Life’s not static, decisions made
the boys wall is now a fortress
when you turn away from your heart
you turn away from your purpose.
A boys pride knows this but the boy does not
and the pride becomes the purpose
and the world is made by many men
who teach this on the surface.
And the surface becomes the purpose
and the purpose becomes the fortress
and the boys are lost and the men are weak
and pride rules the day on purpose.
But there are times
when the heart does speak
and loud enough to be heard
even if it’s been walled up
even if it’s been ignored.
There are times because it must be
that the walls they start to crumble
or maybe they’re shot down completely
and the man begins to humble.
And when that happens, through the fog
and the rubble of the years
the man can see the coward
through the veil of his young tears.
And the man can see the truth
maybe the first since he’s a boy
the man can see the coward
is just pain that leads back to joy.
Nothing is as it seems
except the pain of being human
everything’s a dream
except the joy that is illumined
And when the walls come down
and the heart is on display
it’s clear the heart is starving
to be with the man today.
So if you one day have
a terrible attack
and walls begin to shatter
facades begin to crack
and you can feel the pain, again
of youth and innocence
and you begin to feel the pain, again
of the original violence
you might see the Coward is me,
my boyish heart, it all makes sense.
He’s a boy
that love was pain
and soul betrayal
not for evil or for bad
but because we are so frail
we know nothing of it
and why should we
when we’ve been taught
that there is so much above it.
Oh my god, my boyish heart
it’s good to see you once again,
I’ll do better,
I know better,
I’ll be a better friend.
Pride has served it’s purpose
now it’s courage time,
maybe courage IS my heart
I think that I was blind.
But my heart it does not punish me
only welcomes me back home
it would sit forever
if I chose, again, to roam
and wear a patient smile
because it knows I’m not alone.