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Self Mutilation

Updated on April 17, 2017

A masochist:

"Pleasure an individual receives from being abused or hurt."

To sit across the room from my seat

in the Therapists office, the opening

of conversation:

Not only work I have chosen

but relationships I have chosen.

First, I work

with removed tissue from others who hurt

at a machine called a microtome

"These ladies will sit in front of their microtomes

until they die," cutting ribbons

ribbons all day

of tissue

over and over

until your wrist feels like breaking.

Try to eat healthy

So I tried eating healthy

yet ended up sneaking

a trip through the drive through

Currently each fatty


brings pleasure through the pain

I am an angry gut person

who holds anxiety in digestion.

Sometimes I catch the Therapist

losing eye contact, for a moment:

I try to recycle

but find that preparing,

cleaning fast

is more important to me

Do you ever feel suicidal?

as I hold a knife to my belly

or dream of a revolver

releasing itself upon my brain

I am more curious than destructive

there is a certain thrill

a desire to do it again.

But I would never do such a thing

I do not believe in it

Sometimes both of us stare at the clock

for close to a minute:

I tried to change my career

during midlife

to a profession

that I felt

truly serves community

but I was fired

and I miss

my old nine to five life.

To make progress we have to find

the root of the pain:

Sitting on school bus,

middle school,

enduring another student

throwing my books

to the back of the bus.

I daydream

of my father

being hit by a bus

his essence becoming a smear

on newly paved road

a thrill


I believe we are making progress:

The summer before,

locked in my room

to avoid constant bombardment

of abusive language

beginning with

"are you stupid or dense..."

"What the hell is wrong with you.."

sleep and wake

a few times in the same lake

where I lay silently looking

up at clouds

knowing behind me

is a murky dark ochre.

I read and read

jazz covered my space

as I pushed through pages

I was safe

not a care in the world

not surrounded with rotten green algae.

The poetry helps me get by.

Sometimes I would stop

to pull my body

into my imagination

push my face into lake

bottom mud.

I fear I might remember

when pain

was tangible.

I enjoy our meetings together

as I grew old

each relationship

agressive greed masturbation

prince albert pain

relationship pain

every scar I have given myself.

Now let's stop thinking about it and move forward

What a healing machine

man is

a dictation of damage

an explanation

no more.


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    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 13 days ago from Queensland Australia

      Wow, Jamie. This is powerful poetry but a little troubling. So much feeling and emotion are trapped in your expertly written words. Life is often tough but you just need to stay strong and ride out the storms.

    • jhamann profile image

      Jamie Lee Hamann 13 days ago from Reno NV

      Thank you Jodah. I feel this is a poem that needed to be written about the breakdown I had about 6 months ago when i started medication and Mental Health care at the VA. I am doing much better but needed to write about those moments. Jamie

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 12 days ago from Southern Illinois

      Geeze, I hope this is poetry depicting the anxiety and hurt of someone, not you? It is very compelling and deeply enters the psyche of the reader. Self mutilation is a real action that is begging for attention. This quickly got my attention mainly because I worked with patients who hurt themselves, revealing the action relieved the stress they were having.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 12 days ago

      Jamie, I certainly hope it isn't describing your feelings. I do know some people who are not happy unless they are unhappy. You have a way with words.

    • jhamann profile image

      Jamie Lee Hamann 12 days ago from Reno NV

      It would be safe to say that poetry is not autobiagraphical but through the experience of a narrator. But then the premise of this poem is working through some of the weird dark thoughts I experienced during a recent mental breakdown that i am currently working through. I was uncomfortable with these thoughts, even though scattered and not representative of me, and felt the need to write it out. thank you for the read of this not very uplifting poem. jamie

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 12 days ago from Southern Illinois

      Jamie, I can relate. I always need to write to relieve any pain that I'm going through. It seems putting it on paper is a healing process. Blessings my new poetic friend...Cheers..

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 12 days ago from Minnesota

      I applaud you for writing such personal experiences and thoughts as I see it as healing therapy. May God watch over you as you wade through your journey of healing.

    • jhamann profile image

      Jamie Lee Hamann 12 days ago from Reno NV

      Thank you Ruby and Linda. Jamie

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 11 days ago from California

      Hi Jamie--poetry is a wonder isn't it? Powerful for the reader, but maybe even more so for the poet--do you have a blog? Would you consider joining an online poetry blogging group? I belong to a couple of really good ones--very supportive--pm me if you are interested--

    • jhamann profile image

      Jamie Lee Hamann 11 days ago from Reno NV

      Thank you Audrey. I will PM you later this week. Jamie

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 10 days ago from london

      Another deep one. You're becoming like me. LOL. Great poetry!

    • jhamann profile image

      Jamie Lee Hamann 10 days ago from Reno NV

      Thank you Manitita44. Jamie

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