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Paul Durcan – Thinking About Suicide

by Taf Taf

Although I may never commit suicide

I spend parts of each day thinking about suicide –

Thinking about how I lack the courage to do it.

I wake in the mourning with 60 per cent depression.

That’s how it remains for the whole day,

Except for the odd occasion in a year

In the doorway or on the street I meet by chance

For a few minutes a woman passing-by

Who has the time to stop and talk for three minutes

Or five minutes or even sometimes seven or eight minutes,

Who rocks back on her heels in her pink, hooped skirt

With laughter, no matter what the topic.

Depression and despair are two different states

Of mind, not having a lot in common.

Although I have 60 per cent depression, I do not despair.

I do not see eye to eye with Samuel Beckett

Who disapproved of suicide and who promulgated

The doctrine of ”going on” for the sake of ”going on”.

Estranged from my family, if I do not soon

Take my own life, others will take it from me –

Hooded males with knives in their tracksuits

Or medics in their scrubs prancing corridors

Or cowpat-faced ward sisters smirking

Or ice-cold proprietors of old peoples’s homes.

How is it that you do not see it, Samuel,

That I do not want to go on for the sake of going on –

Seeing the same old, tired-out impressionist paintings again and again?

Men are such po-faced bores.

Each one of them an editor-in-chief.

I wand to stand still by the water’s edge.

I want to hold a woman’s hand for the last time.

I want to fill my pockets with Palaeozoic stones.

I want to open my eyes.


From the collection Praise In Which I Live And Move And Have My Being (2012).


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rivets 9/1/2018 - 7:34 pm

I think we need to go back to the Paleozoic. All this modern shit has made the world a much less enjoyable place.

Cause of Death: Suicide 9/1/2018 - 10:43 pm

Very enjoyable to read. I haven’t heard of Samuel Beckett but thank you so much for that stanza and arguing against what he stands for. I am at 99 percent depression and despair as well.

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