Strange Planet (poem)

A few months ago, I began looking through my journals at old poems I had written. “Strange planet” has gone through several revisions over the past year or so, and this is where I’m at with it so far.

Strange planet

By Nick Pipitone

Why do you fear death when

you’ve done it so many times?

It was new once and it scared you

awful boom and tingling sensation

up your spine, lights dimmed

explosion of impossible colors

tastes like metal and smells of wood

leaves you breathless

You wake up on a strange planet

red moons and amber clay

You ask, “Why does it have to be this way?”

baritone voice echoes, tells you sternly

You’re a little nothing and you’re not the

one who’s allowed to ask questions.

The poem started as a meditation on death and addiction. In the last few years of my father’s life, I worried so much about him passing away that it forced me to think about mortality (probably too much).

But, for me, the poem is also about spiritual rebirth and dying to self. It’s a familiar concept for recovery folks and one that I think about often.

I often feel that every few years when I fall into a depression or go through a rough period of life, my old self “dies” and a new self is “born.”

Weird, but it’s the best way I can describe it.

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