SPOTLIGHT: Full of Now, by Ari Whipple

“The confessional vulnerability in Ari Whipple’s first full-length collection of poems leads readers on a journey of self-realization in a mindscape where reality may not always be what it seems. Full of Now weaves a powerful narrative from the perspective of an individual accepting their bipolar disorder. The poems ebb and flow between states of mania and depressive lows, reflecting the shifting nature of self-acceptance, diagnosis, and treatment often associated with the condition. The persona, through poetic storytelling, paints mental health battles metaphorically as manifestations of enraged ghosts, cacophonies of jangling bones, and nostalgic tales of a “world beyond” told by Mercury. Whipple’s collection acts as a painter’s dynamic canvas as the persona discovers their role in reality, reveling in being alive despite “the demand to keep moving these tiny souls inside us.”

– Donny Winter, author of Carbon Footprint

The Ghost

The ghost whispers a lot

of things past and present

selfishly I guess

Is it selfish of a ghost

to ask to exist

in a house with rooms

“I haunt the world”

asks the ghost

turning into wind

Blowing the grass

petals in the breeze

just a flower really

until there’s nothing left

except dead air

Go no farther

What Am I Doing?

What am I doing with my life?

Where am I going?

What will I be in a year?

In five years?

In ten years?

I feel so overwhelmed at times

about the big picture

about what’s to come

I think

“What if I don’t live that long?”
Hell, I didn’t expect to live this long

and I feel confused

Lost on my track

It all fell apart

Now I’m trying to pick up the pieces

slowly

Nothing makes sense anymore

I’m just trying to live a regular life

just like everyone else

(whatever that means)

My psychosis is frustrating

Brain fried

Tongue tied

See the world through world weary eyes

See the world through eyes of an alternate reality

Nobody sees the cars like you do

That lead you up to the apartment

Nobody hears the messages from the radio like you do

You’re walking on that path alone

Don’t totter off and fall again

Oops too late

Back inside

Up the meds til you get your head on right

Maybe

Then it’ll be alright

Sort of

Brain fried

Tongue tied

Start all over again

See the world through weary eyes

They don’t see what you see

And don’t understand when you speak

Dream Dirge

Time for sleep

off to slumber

Rest your head

let dreams take on new meaning

Rise into the clouds

Fly into the sky

and take on tomorrow

There’s a dream waiting

to be fulfilled or not

Shaken upon waking

Left in the bedding

That drifts onto the carpet fibers

and rolls between your toes

Like sticky sludge when you stand up

Carry it with you

on your soles all day

Bearing the brunt

until you lay down

Then peel themselves off

and take flight into the clouds

Like birds with the geese

Going north

into the mountains

Squawking their sad song

Another Fight

This dreaded cycle again

You on your end

and I on mine

Fighting cats fighting

Old scars old wounds

You’re done with me this time

Throw me out with the trash

“Find your own way”

You’re onto better things

supposedly

Motherhood

and lovers

and seasides

Possibilities

While I wither away in artisthood

alone and dying

I’ll die before I’m dead

having gone nowhere

and done nothing

these bones turned to dust

dried up

blown on the wind

then they’ll bury me

in a bipolar grave

early too soon

“That’s what’ll happen to you”

She said

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