I’ve Stopped Thinking of Suicide

I’ve stopped thinking of suicide,
there’s no point to it.

A year ago I noticed
a finger beginning to fade.
Then the hand, a few ribs,
the left side of my face.

This morning I stood at the mirror.

So pale I’ve become,
I could see through myself,
the shower behind me,
the dull tiles, mouldy grout.

So, I’ve given up dark thoughts,
they’re always in a hurry.

And some days I’m not.

The Cockroach

Don’t ring, don’t knock.
I’m not picking up, not answering.

I have, as the French call it,
le cafard, the cockroach.

So for today,
so until further notice
I’m not answering, not picking up.

Le cafard

No, not depression,
nothing so plodding, clinical,
so pharmaceutically manageable.

Not angst,
anchored, organic,

And no, of course not the blues,
impossibly the blues,
their weight, gravel-voiced,

Le cafard

Singular, thin, brick-brownish,
slick as fine machine oil.

The standup, perhaps,
after the room has emptied,
dawn as distant as yesterday.

Le cafard

Gregor Samsa
in the morning noticing
he is again a man.

Nicola Vulpe considers poetry an unfortunate habit, but has nonetheless published four collections of poetry, including Insult to the Brain and Through the Waspmouth I Drew You, which both received Fred Cogswell Awards for Excellence in Poetry.