Horror & Dark Fantasy

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Poetry

Around the Corners

Struggling with lifelong mental health issues means I’ve heard a lot of suggestions from folks who seem to think I’ve overlooked any number of simple remedies. It often reminds me of the confidence on display when, while watching a horror movie, some viewers are just so certain that they would make smarter, quicker, braver decisions than the characters on screen. How calm and bold and logical they would be while surviving the deadly threats. When you’re safe and comfortable, it all seems so simple and obvious. When your mind is cooperative, it’s easy to confuse your good fortune with wisdom.

—JKA

People think the minotaur is just the monster,
those blunt teeth as big as birthday cards
dividing you like smoke.

Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
Depression is like a disease, just less reputable
.

They forget what else the minotaur is.
It’s that big animal smell in the dark, fur and breath and shit whispering,
“it’s true, it’s all true, I’m here and I’m hungry.”

Self-harm is illogical. Take a minute. Just think it out.
Get the thoughts down on paper
.

You know that bull-head has chosen a long corridor to watch,
that it waits for movement, tense as a rattlesnake,
all light-starved muscle and potential energy.

Have you read that book I recommended?
It’s free online
.

That punished and cursed thing is the reason that, no, you can’t just go in with a headlamp
and graph paper.
If you’d been there, you’d know.
The dirt is clotted with easy answers and old blood.

Have you tried yoga?
Meditation?

There are children running on the stones.
Your memories are ghosts
and the house they haunt is you.

I used to be sad sometimes,
then I chose to be happy
.

Focus too much on the monster
and the maze will sweep you away like a riptide.
Don’t, and feel your fear peeling open eyes on the back of your skull.

Are you getting enough sunshine?
It could be a vitamin issue
.

I strain to hear the minotaur running
and know I’ve missed something essential.
Does it have hooves or feet?

Are those scars from a cat?
Do you own a cat?

How can something I think of every day
always stay half a myth?

Jarod K. Anderson

Poet and podcaster Jarod K. Anderson (creator of The CryptoNaturalist Podcast) has built a large audience of social media followers and podcast listeners with his strange, vibrant appreciations of nature. Wholesome and odd, The CryptoNaturalist is a scripted, single-voice podcast about fictional wildlife. Jarod’s poetry collection Field Guide to the Haunted Forest currently has over 300 five-star reviews on Amazon and has been praised for its affirming view of magic hidden in the mundane. Jarod lives in a small white house between a forest and a cemetery. You can find him online at jarodkanderson.com or tweeting earnest love for the natural world @CryptoNature.