Hearing Miguel Saavedra read “Scream” at the Salem Poetry Project, I was struck with a sense that he really wanted people to hear this. I am glad I asked right away for a copy, because Miguel says that he often writes a poem, reads it once in public, then throws it away.
These are difficult thoughts that many people do think at some points in their lives. Lest we pass them by without wondering what they are thinking, this poem may act as a hearing aid to boost our receptivity.
I can’t take this anymore,
this fear of rejection is destroying my life.
Why can’t anyone see my pain and loss?
The only relief I find is in thoughts of death.
At least God listens to me, and knows what I’m really saying.
I’m feeling dead inside, because there is nothing I want outside.
Companionship is fine, but it’s not compassion.
I would talk, but there is nothing I need.
All that I would ask for is some peace.
Peace from the violence in my mind.
Peace from the conditions around me.
I see people with no control over their lives,
who would rather die than reveal their weakness,
and that is exactly like me.
I can write 50,000 words without saying anything,
but I can’t scream out loud.
Just lay your head upon my chest,
feel the beat of my heart,
which is the only proof that I’m still alive.
And if you decide to love me, please,
listen to what I can’t say.
I ask the poet some of the usual mundane questions: What moves you to write this poem? Is this you, or are you speaking for others? Miguel answers:
This poem is about suicide…the quiet suicide which is all too common. I live in Salem, the “city of peace,” and I find it here, under the oppressive spell of the small city. This may be a type of peace, to want nothing but to be left alone, but it leads to a life that is no longer lived. I pray as much as I can, and I hope that God is listening, but even if He isn’t, the act of sharing these deep feelings of pain and frustration is all I need at the moment. I don’t believe that I am the only one who feels these things, but I feel that others cover it up and hide it, even from themselves. The societal conditions are such that to bare your heart to another person is nearly impossible, except through poetry.
Salem Writes seeks to reflect the creative writing spirit in the greater Salem area. Contact Vere McCarty at firstname.lastname@example.org.