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The Inside of Mental Pain
By William Maniss
Genre: Poetry Level: High School 10-12
Category: UAA/ADN Creative Writing Contest

A man calls to ask me and asks "how are you"

I stop and enter the gates of my inner mental prison

The place I didn't choose to know

But it clenched on to me as I drew a first breath

And now I explore the halls and inner agony

They are cold and concrete

I yell out in this void


What do you know?

A voice returns and it sounds like mine

And it is the eater of time


The infestation of decaying

growth As a candle in fire

Progressing through the trials

Being unraveled and taking in new wire

It never ends

And I try to drive away


I choke the leathered wheel

To drive to a location

But still all lives become a distraction

What counts is my destination

But the world gives me a different destination


They say

Take time in the forest

It is silent

It is close

It is humongous

It is

overbearing It

is oblivious

It is lonely


Though there is no fruit in my mind

No goodness

No better outcome


I'd rather choose to

Take time in the know

It is earning

It is developing

It is understanding It is cultivating

It is

affecting It

is training

It is instruction It

is observing It

is nurturing


Yet the woods whisper to me

They tell me to jump

They see an action waiting to happen

I see the unknown

expanding from a vast crevice in front of me

it contains the mysteries of the universe


I must jump I must jump for he tells me to trust him

Trust? Trust! Trust!!!

I've trusted before


The rose does look pretty


So why not lay in the garden

Only wanting to embrace it

The idea of beauty

But the red of the roses

Became the red of my blood

As the thorns pricked my skin

And stabbed my trust


Trust!!! Trust! Trust?

He is the quintessence of life

I take the jump


I only endure to the continuous falling

It gives me time to think

What is Love?


I don't know

What do you mean you don't know

I just don't know

Tell me the truth

I don't know what it is

Why do you say

that Ahhhhhh

Come back


Of course I know, but never let a monster out of its chains

The truth is I don't want to get close to that creaking chain

I know what it contains and it is splinters in my brain

Yes forgive forgive

forgiveNo fight fight



Of course I am wrong, but never let the truth hurt

The truth is I am the monster in the chain

I put myself here, a quick excuse is fear

I cry frequently but I don't use the tears to rust the chain

I use it to refill my day for tomorrow

So the aching pain can come back again

With a new strenuous sorrow


I want out of this chain

I want to be free

But greater the chances

This monster will hurt




The monster is not near

And I still feel pain

Truth must be the way

But I am scared

Most people are

So many scars?

They come back twice as strong

But I wanted to be gentle not strong

It takes time

I have given it time

So now it will take action

So now I leave this chaos of inner thought

And answer the man saying "I am fine"

Because a lie can hide the insecure fool's mess

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