The Mental Marathon: Poem

I wrote these lyrics about five or six years ago, and I recently came across them again. I've made a few revisions and decided to share them here. I'm not sure what i was going through when I wrote them and now I think the lyrics are a bit too abstract for my taste, but it's interesting for me to see my changing poetic styles of the years so I thought perhaps my hubpage readers would also be interested in this growth.

I'd be interested in your thoughts so, without further adieu...




THE MENTAL MARATHON

The answer is so close— beckoning,
yet the question remains a mystery.
I'm not even sure why there seems to be
a confusion constantly lingering.
I pursue this riddle without relent,
but I can't pin down this discontent

I'm sorry if this seems to be
a rambling piece of trigonometry.
My mind is running circles around my head
and the certainty beyond and what awaits the dead
clashes with the world here and now
and I need to slow it down somehow.

The void in my heart
is a void no longer
I don't despair about forever
But icy tentacles grip my heart

(Maybe I'm not listening
as I should with each endeavor)

Maybe I don't need to know
Maybe I'm overthinking
But I can't stop this mental harassment

(Oh God,

please grant me clarity)





all rights reserved. copyright Justin W. Price March 10, 2012






Thanks for Reading.

A FREELANCE WRITER, HONORS STUDENT AND GOVER PRIZE FINALIST, JUSTIN W. PRICE (AKA, PDXKARAOKEGUY)IS A POET, SHORT STORY, BIOGRAPHY AND HUMOR WRITER. HIS POETRY COLLECTION,DIGGING TO CHINA, WAS RELEASED FEBRUARY 2ND, 2013 BY SWEATSHOPPE PUBLICATIONS AND IS AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.COM, BARNES AND NOBLE AND THROUGH YOUR LOCAL BOOKSELLER.

HIS WORK WILL ALSO BE FEATURED IN BEST NEW FICTION (2014 EDITION), AND HAS APPEARED PREVIOUSLY IN THE RUSTY NAIL, EFICTION, THE CRISIS CHRONICLES, THE HELLROARING REVIEW, BURNINGWORD, SEE SPOT RUN AND THE BELLWETHER REVIEW. HE CURRENTLY SERVES AS MANAGING EDITOR OF EPOETRY MAGAZINE AND THE BRIDGE ONLINE NEWSPAPER.

HE WORKS AS A FREELANCE WRITER, EDITOR, AND GHOST WRITER, AND IS WORKING TOWARDS HIS PH.D. HE LIVES IN A SUBURB OF PORTLAND, OREGON WITH HIS WIFE, ANDREA, THEIR LABRADOODLE, BELLA, SCHNOODLE, SAUVEE AND BLACK MOOR GOLDFISH, HOWARD WOLOWITZ.

PLEASE VISIT HIS PROFILE PAGE FOR MORE INFORMATION. THANKS!

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Comments 56 comments

PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Me too, Audra, but, life is a puzzle and a quest, so, I come to this place often. Thanks for reading and commenting :0)


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks a lot Rahul. I enjoy your interpretation :-)


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks, Wilbart. I have not considered putting this to music, but, maybe someday i will. Thank you for the suggestion!


iamaudraleigh 4 years ago

"My mind is running circles around my head

and the certainty beyond and what awaits the dead

clashes with the world here and now

and I need to slow it down somehow"

Wow, so powerful! This was my favorite part. I wonder what you were going through when you wrote this. So emotional and deep within you.

Voted up and shared!


rahul0324 profile image

rahul0324 4 years ago from Gurgaon, India

You see there is a palpitating feeling gushing out.. which makes me feel strongly for these lyrics...

Great work Justin My friend:)


Wilbart26 4 years ago

It would be fun if you will put some music on it. It will be much more cooler, I would love to hear it. Can you sing it for us? Great writing skills. Voted up!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Teylina... I certainly don't think I'm alone! Thanks for reading and commenting!


Teylina profile image

Teylina 4 years ago

I like it! Keep that side going! We should various facets to our personalities that create different facets of writing! Up and awesome (doubt if you're the only one that's ever felt that way!)


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks so much, Stars!


stars439 profile image

stars439 4 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

It is whats in your heart, and mind , and that is good enough. God Bless You.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Karn... there is great comfort in knowing that you're not alone! Thanks for reading and commenting!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Raci, thank you!


ImKarn23 profile image

ImKarn23 4 years ago

Loving it! Also good to know that we're all basically the same and worry about what is and is not - and may be! Maybe..maybe...maybe...voting up!


raciniwa profile image

raciniwa 4 years ago from Naga City, Cebu

love this song Justin...and the rhyme is awesome...


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks so much, Vellur!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

thanks PMCCray. you're welcome


Vellur profile image

Vellur 4 years ago from Dubai

This is thought inspiring, great poem. Voted up.


pmccray profile image

pmccray 4 years ago from Utah

Beautifully written lyrics, thank you for sharing.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

DrTruthman... perhaps I will... if and when I begin playing music again. Thanks for commenting and for the tip!


Drtruthman profile image

Drtruthman 4 years ago from Harlingen, Texas

Great job Justin. Yes, do like finding old work and reflecting also. These are terrific lyrics, maybe you should put to music. Just a thought. I voted up all across except funny. Lee


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks for the scripture, Perspycacious. That one is a good reminder.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks Leros. I'm glad I could help bring you some peace this day!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks Dexter. I like that word!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks Vincent. You speak the truth, my friend


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

ardie... whatever you sang was correct. I had no tune in mind. I'm glad you enjoyed this and thanks for your input and comment!


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 4 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

Perhaps this scripture helps put discontent to rest: 1 Peter 4:7-8 "But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins."


leros003 profile image

leros003 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

Very deep! I do like the calmness in the poem also. Very relaxing. Makes me forget my troubles.


Dexter Yarbrough profile image

Dexter Yarbrough 4 years ago from United States

The word that comes to mind is awesome. I am sticking to that!


Vincent Moore 4 years ago

My poetic friend, this marathon will haunt us all until our last breath, so don't be scared or confused, let your muse roam around in your head instead and bring forth the words you share to us all in your prose and rhyme.

I have been living in the dark most of my life and have accepted not fear but delight in meeting my maker on the other side of darkness they call light. Peace and blessings to you.


Ardie profile image

Ardie 4 years ago from Neverland

Okay by the end I had picked up a rythm and I was singing - Im sure it wasnt the tune you had in mind but since you didnt specify I went with a "talking" not rap but more melodic and singy tune :) I liked it! AND I prefer the abstract - it gives the reader / listener a chance to make the lyrics about something he or she is going through. So it opens up the option to connect with it more. I hope that makes sense!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks. people's responses are interetsing for me to read, especially when I don't know what i srote a poem about. I like reading how people interpret my words. Thanks so much for reading and commenting, Cyndi!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks cardisa. I think we all have!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

thanks Cheryl!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

aurelio, I think this speaks to many things. I'm not sure what i was seeking clarity about when I wrote this, but I'm always wanting direction for something!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

thanks for the votes Gypsy. I know that feeling well!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

thanks so much, moonfroth. I like your analysis very much!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks Flash... that's exciting! It will keep things fresh!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks billy. Almost makes one wonder if we should write notes of explanation on our work, eh?


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks Audrey. I like that my work is recognizable... and I like that I have grown calmer. Thanks for reading, audrey!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Ardot, thanks for reading. I'm glad this relatable! It's nice not to be alone!


cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC

I love poems like this - I was looking through some of the comments and it's affecting people differently. That's when you know you've done a great job. This makes me think of RIGHT NOW in my life: I want to make a change, but I don't know if it really lies in career - what type of career - or selling my house or staying put...the question is actually less clear than what I want the answer to be. I like rasta1's comment: your signature style of dexterity.


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 4 years ago from Jamaica

Justin, many of us go through exactly that mental confusion you described in this poem, I personally can relate to having gone through it.


cherylone profile image

cherylone 4 years ago from Connecticut

Wow, really deep and philosophical. I loved it. Whatever you were doing at the time, it made you dig deep for this one.


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

I'm wondering what it is you were seeking clarity about. Seems to me this could apply to many of life's great issues. I like the use of trigonometry and harassment, most likely because of the way they sound and how they relate to your mental calculations. Voting this Up and Beautiful.


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Voted up! Love the way you wrote this because it made me feel the frustration. There have been moments when I've found myself just standing in the middle of the room with no purpose and then slowly but surely the mind clears up. It's been on those days that I've found the oddest things I've been missing just by starting to go through some things which I've been meaning to clear up for a long time.


moonfroth profile image

moonfroth 4 years ago from Rural BC (Canada) & N of Puerto Vallarta (Mexico)

I respect your honesty in posting this deeply reflective, introspective piece. It's rather like an unfinished bit of music: the theme and feeling are almost fully in place, the rhythm and imagery are still partially outside, trying to get in. Thanks or sharing it with us.


flashmakeit profile image

flashmakeit 4 years ago from usa

That was a deep poem and I could read it 20 times and think of something different each time.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

I think this pretty well captures what most of us go through; I look at some of my writings from ten years ago and I have no idea what I was thinking or feeling, but it is obvious change has happened. I like it quite a bit; good job!


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 4 years ago from California

I love finding old work--great job! Although I agree with rasta--seems a bit more manic than the work I now identify as yours--


Ardot profile image

Ardot 4 years ago from Canada

Awesome poem! I've been there before, i can relate to the lost confusion that is conveyed in the poem. Voted up!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Rasta, I agree with the pace. I'm a lot calmer now. Thanks for the compliment and the input1


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks Chris. I've actually found quite a few of my older poems. I'll probably be posting many of them here!


chrisam01 profile image

chrisam01 4 years ago from Los Angeles, California, USA

I completely agree with Victoria's comment ^. Always nice to read your work, Justin - new and old and rediscovered :)


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Glad you enjoyed this, Vicki. Sometimes it's fun for me to rediscover one of my old poems and try and figure out what i was trying to say :-) Also, I published my Elizabeth Bishop article on wizzley, if you're interested in having a look...l there's a link above.


rasta1 profile image

rasta1 4 years ago from Jamaica

This one seems a bit racy or speedy. Your modern poems shows more calmness. Otherwise than that, its your signature style of word dexterity.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

I personally love it! It reminds me of some of my "a.m. poems" that I've written, with my mind running around, crashing against itself, my heart all wrapped up in it, random and racing thoughts, looking for answers. "I pursue this riddle without relent, but I can't pin down this discontent." That says it all. I can totally relate to your words and your poem. Voted up and everything but funny. I think it's great, pdx!

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