Take arms against a sea of troubles/and by opposing end them. Yes, but how? With a bare bodkin? Messy. Besides, I didn't really want to shuffle off these mortal coils. That will come in due time. It was the sea of troubles, the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. Though no, that wasn't quite it either. It was the soliloquy itself. Consciousness.
Stop the chatter, hush those iambic pentameters. Some easy fixes that don't require terminal measures: alcohol, drugs. Temporary, but sometimes one is just looking for an angry fix, if I may be allowed to switch poets for a moment.
How about something that has the violence the troubled mind is calling for, with no damage to this too too solid flesh? I did it once. I piled all my favorite vinyl in the middle of the living room and went at it with a baseball bat. In retrospect, I wonder what I was doing with a baseball bat since I haven't swung one since childhood. But it felt violently self-destructive. I was anhiliating part of myself. Another time I took the handful of poems I'd written and found worthy of keeping and set the pages on fire. The records I could replace. The poems were gone forever. Irreversible self-destruction.
Whether I was seeking some relief from anguished consciousness with these acts I didn't stop to think. I just did it. To swing or not to swing. To burn or not to burn. I had no such soliloquies. I just wanted to destroy part of myself.
Flash forward to another moment of self-loathing rage, this time in the digital age. I knew what I had to do. I assassinated my digital self. I took myself out of social media. Call me the invisible man. Exit ghost.
The phantom, the ghost who walks, came back. Here I am babbling in my own website. Posting a link to it on Facebook. I sure wish I had those records back, especially now that vinyl is oh so hip. The poems I'm not so sure of. Maybe I'd read them now and find they were drivel. No matter, there's more drivel where that came from.
And now that I'm more gray Lear than bright Hamlet, anguish takes different forms. No more morbid meditations. There's plenty of morbidity marauding around. And one gets too old to cut a fine brooding figure wandering the castle halls. Anguish comes and I suffer it until it blows away. I hang on for dear life. For dear, very dear, it is.