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Rated: E · Poetry · Experience · #2256842
Haven't written anything for a long time, A poem I'm Very Rusty

As Best I Can
by Keaton Foster

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I stand,
I stood.
Or past tense
Matters not.
When and how,
Even less.
Upon an edge,
To myself
It was said:
There it is,
An end,
Of choice,
Of reason.
The why
And how come.
One step forward,
Closer than before,
Inches from
I would not,
Without question,
Continue on.
The bitch cousin
Of truly living.
The height,
Far too great.
The weight,
Unequivocally more.
I’d be alive,
Then not.
No fear finds me,
No realities scare me.
I’m here
On my own accord.
I own the right
To decide for myself
And dare I say
Everyone else.
A fool's game.
Equally lame.
For dopes.
Faith and fate,
Gods upon
And within
I have neither
And I have none.
I am just alive,
Living as sorts,
As best I can,
As worst as I must.
I’ve done many
Terrible things
In the name of,
Under the guise of,
What for most
Would have been
Not survivable.
I have shame,
I own such guilt,
Like a knot in my chest.
It resides next to
My foolish heart.
Each beat is at risk,
Each thump betrays
The need it creates.
My lungs inflate,
My blood flows,
Autonomously controlled
By a mind that has
And always will
Betray what could be
With what I perceive.
Reality is different
For a man like me.
What is real
Is based off
What has been
And not what is.
I can’t escape,
Nor let go of
A past of absolutes.
I was tortured,
Used and trashed,
Thrown away
By those who
For a time decided
My faith as well as fate.
I am broken,
I fight each day
As best I can,
But I fear it’s a fight
Increasingly I can’t
And won’t ever win…

Written by Keaton Foster Copyright © 2008-2021


This poem is a raw and poignant exploration of existential despair, resilience, and the struggle to find meaning amidst personal trauma. The narrator reflects on their past, present, and the choices they have made, revealing deep emotional scars and a profound sense of isolation.


Temporal Fluidity: The opening lines emphasize the fluidity of time, suggesting that the past and present are intertwined and equally significant in shaping the narrator's experience ("I stand / I stood / Present / Or past tense / Matters not").

Existential Contemplation: The narrator stands on the edge, contemplating the end and the meaning of existence. This edge symbolizes a precipice, both literal and metaphorical, representing the brink of life and death, choice and fate ("Upon an edge / To myself / It was said / There it is / An end").

Autonomy and Defiance: There is a strong assertion of personal autonomy and defiance against fear and external realities ("I’m here / On my own accord / I own the right / To decide for myself"). This highlights a desire for control in a life that has often been dictated by others.

Rejection of Conventional Beliefs: The poem dismisses common notions of fear, pain, hope, faith, and fate as irrelevant or misleading ("Fear / A fools game / Pain / Equally lame / Hope / For dopes"). This rejection reflects a deep cynicism born from personal suffering.

Survival and Shame: The narrator reveals a history of doing terrible things to survive, leading to deep-seated shame and guilt ("I’ve done many / Terrible things / In the name of / Under the guise of / Surviving"). The internal conflict between survival and morality is palpable.

Physical and Emotional Autonomy: The poem describes the body's autonomic functions juxtaposed with a mind that perceives reality through the lens of past trauma ("My lungs inflate / My blood flows / Autonomously controlled / By a mind that has / And always will / Betray what could be").

Trauma and Resilience: The narrator acknowledges the impact of past abuse and the ongoing struggle to cope with its effects ("I was tortured / Abused / Used and trashed / Thrown away"). Despite this, there is an underlying resilience in their continued fight for survival.

Despair and Resignation: The poem concludes with a sense of increasing despair and a recognition of the potential futility of their struggle ("I fight each day / As best I can / But I fear it’s a fight / Increasingly I can’t / And won’t ever win").


The poem is a deeply personal narrative of enduring and grappling with past traumas, asserting autonomy in the face of overwhelming adversity, and questioning the very foundations of hope and belief. It reflects the narrator's ongoing battle with the emotional scars left by abuse and the complex interplay between survival instincts and moral conscience.

The recurring themes of time, choice, and autonomy highlight the struggle to find agency and meaning in a life marked by suffering and control by others. The rejection of conventional beliefs and the emphasis on personal perception underscore a profound disillusionment with traditional sources of comfort and meaning.

Ultimately, the poem is a testament to human resilience and the complexity of the human condition, portraying a relentless fight for survival and self-determination amidst the shadows of a traumatic past.

© Copyright 2021 Keaton Foster: Know My Hell! (keatonfoster at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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