breakdown by Doug Metz

huddled in the dingy basement
flask drained to its last; sticky, bitter,
burning like scorched licorice
last cigarette before payday
only a morning away but wonders
if and how to survive the night

tries to sleep but cannot escape
his own voice in his head
not many, just one, it teases it taunts
he squeezes his skull as if somehow
If he squeezes hard enough
silence will come
the voice continues.

mocking. judging. condemning.
tears fall, a wail escapes
ashamed of his own weakness
he made the bed in which he cannot lie
it’s all lies.
chasing shadows in the fog

despair overwhelms. institution beckons
we are what we are and so must be
thoughts of the childhood escape plan
the rusty blade. the crimson tears.
please god just make the voices stop.

god’s voice stopped. the taunts continue.
silver screen, unwritten dreams.
what is to be will be.
how many before he can take no more.
wanting not to live but to be alive
where did the dreams lay down to die.


From his earliest youth, Doug’s writing has always been about catharsis. Whether love or heartache, bliss or despair, writing is his vehicle to overcome. He dabbles in poetry, screenplays and prose – whatever the muse inspires. Doug’s poetry can be found at