“Castle” by Carron Schneider

Haven’t written a poem in so long
Got caught up in being strong
Thought rhyme was lame,
Outgrown, playing the adult game

I’m no Ed Sheeran but neither is he
We’re just people caught up in following dreams
I haven’t written in forever, wouldn’t wanna quit it, never

And this is a freestyle, no rhyme scheme
First thoughts
Free write
White skin
Dark nights

Dark Knight
Was a terrible film
I’m not being facetious I’m just keeping it real,
And this wouldn’t make sense
To anyone but me, or maybe somebody else with my kind of anxiety

And I should be reading Bakhtin, or Dickens, Bleak House, but I’m in one of my own
A castle of shadows, at the end of death row
And I’m trying to keep it all together
But I’m running out of hands
Trying to build a castle but all I’m gathering is sand
Sand castles, sand castles on land
First flood, flash flood, red blood, good drugs

And I’m romanticizing, fantasizing,
Living the dream,
But I have nightmares, and things are not as they seem

And I’m brave they say,
Got balls of steel they say,
Just ’cause I shaved my head, wear my hair a different way

And my mom laughs and kinda sighs, thinking I’ve gotta be different,
And she’s heaven sent, my own best friend,
But even she doesn’t get it, ‘fraid that pill’s be the end of my personality,
But I wanna tell her, at what cost am I me? My sanity?

And I’m an African, ritual, dancer
Got me in a trance and I’ve got no name to which to answer,
My bond to earth is my words in my lungs

And when this makes no sense to someone like you,
Imagine how fucking terrifying it must be,
To have a one thirty plus IQ and a uni degree,
And still to be afraid of the outcome of life and one day,
To be afraid to go sleep thinking tomorrow will go away

That it’ll steal away in the night
Everything I hope and I love,
And I cry out and I pray to God above
And I envy, the people, for whom that is enough,
But I doubt Lord and I’m sorry because,
In the good times I feel you and I thank you from my place in the light,
But I get scared and I find it so hard to believe at night

And I’m still writing and fighting and breathing and believing and dying and crying and I’m still her, here, writhing
In pain on the inside
But you can’t see
So you question my motives and you don’t believe me

My soul is broken like an arm or a leg
Can’t be fixed with a cast but a bottle of pills instead,
And I’m scared of what I might become,
I’m scared about ending up like my mum,

I’m scared of death and of decay and of having my way and of sleep and of work and of admitting defeat

And I’m tired and bleeding,
It sits on top of me screaming
In my face and I can’t see past it
Tries to stop me from leaving

And that’s Eminem and that’s bullshit
That’s where I’ve come from, the black pit
And I don’t wanna go back,
To black, to Winehouse and shit House music and dubstep, and porch steps and the weed and the drums
Don’t wanna go back to the toxins and the smoke in my lungs

Regression, depression, obsession and stuff
Don’t know, my first big girl diagnosis on paper was a GP
Dissociation, what’s this shit supposed to mean to me
I’m a warrior, fighting a battle daily,
Against my mind and maybe just maybe
One day I’ll win
Overcome original sin

Mom blames herself and daddy don’t know
How I screwed up and screwed around and acted the hoe
And time heals and time steals and time feels like it slows
And I can’t breath and I can’t leave and the walls close in

And I haven’t put pen to paper in so long,
Haven’t created, haven’t written a song,
I wrote a cutter’s lullaby once,
“Come to me if you are lonely and the world has broken you, I will give you my instruction, I will tell you what to do. Just put the blade upon your skin, this is where all lost sheep belong, and I promise if you pull the trigger, you can join our song”

But I can’t sing, voiceless, voice less, I’ll stop complaining,
But my eyes keep raining, it’s storming, tear drops like bullets are forming and the world’s a fracture,
Religious rapture,

Shit’s tumbling down,
The world’s coming down without a sound
Look round, it’s fucking apocalypse
Loose lips sink ships,
Friendships, friend’s hips, seasick
I’m sick
She’s sick,
The chic sheik’s sixth sheep’s sick

Tongue twister,
wanna twist my tongue mister?
I got a little sister,
She’s sugar and spice, and she’s not nice but she’s whole, and she’s Malibu Barbie at home,
Dream house, quiet as a mouse, she watched me wreck from afar, wrap my car round a telephone pole
She wants the big room, death’s a loophole,

And my mom and dad,
Would be sad and I can’t die
Because the only thing that scares me more than life itself is letting it fly
And I haven’t been this down, this real, so feel in so long,
And I can’t listen to music because I become the song

And this is excessive and nobody wants to hear,
Moaning and groaning and fucked-up fear,
But sometimes it’s gotta get out,
Scream, shout, cliché and predictable,
Abysmal poetry, repeat history, herstory, political statement, hell-bent on going on writing

Free-writing, free writing, and letting ink spill,
Rather than blood, because I haven’t cut in years and there’s still air in my lungs
And I’m winding down, I swear,
The page’s about to tear, the rhyme, the rhythm, the rope’s beginning to wear,

And I wish you could read this,
You, me, grandma, godmother (Du Preez)
And not get sick,
I wish you could see me, transparency, and understand,
But for now I sit, putting my head in my hands,

Confession, concession, possession, obsession, time to end this session
And I’ll do it without even finishing a sentence,
Does that make sense?
I lied, I can’t do it,
Fuck this.
This is.
Bullshit.
Forgive me, guilty, what is my crime?
Chasing time, walk the line, screwing up rhyme.

The ebb has flown and I’m running out of steam,
So tired, dead tired, of swimming up-stream,
I relax and I let go, I float on the dream
“Inhale and smile girl,”
“It’s not as bad as it seems.”


Carron Schneider is currently a postgraduate student in English Literature at the University of Stellenbosch. A former drama student, she engages in playwriting, has tried her hand at penning short stories and is currently sitting on a (terribly) rough draft of her (would be-) debut novel. She loves talking about herself in the third person (apparently), and she is currently researching the allure of nostalgia, the global impact of American cultural imperialism, and the cultural value of products of popular culture for her Honours thesis. In her spare time, Carron enjoys dreaming about tattoos she’ll never get, trips she’s unlikely to take, and books she hopes to publish.

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