Chad Grant: “Rise Above”

Rise Above

“It is sometimes an appropriate response to reality to go insane.” — Philip K. Dick, Valis

“The reward for the life of a writer is not happiness, but sudden death or disability.” — Philip K. Dick, The Divine Madness of Philip K. Dick


I’ve always been an avid reader, from my long love of everything science fiction to my fondness for Plato, Descartes, Nietszche, and Jung, to poets such as Countee Cullen, Garcia Lorca, and Walt Whitman, but it wasn’t until college that I was hit with the existential. Funny the names we give to matters of the spirit. Camus was right in stating that life was a Sisyphean task, and that we must learn to love our boulders. Granted his sentiments registered with me due to the fact that I had never wanted to be what Nietzsche called a Letzter Mensch. If anything I was going at my own terms. I’d arm myself with a tape recorder and go around interviewing people who’d be willing to answer this would-be journalist becon call. From the copious hours of recordings I had, I created a zine with a friend. We took the name of our zine from a Black Flag song calling it Rise Above. We covered the elections, music, the prison industrial complex, and the workings of Capitalism from my readings of Das Kapital by Karl Marx. My friend ‘Kim’ came back from Iraq and landed a job working for Vice in the early days of its advent. He wanted to be the next Hunter S. Thompson or Tom Wolfe.

My life was going well. I had a car, a job, a girlfriend, and things were looking good until I lost it all, including my mind.

How does one define insanity? Let me pose another question: if one were suspicious of their roommate sneaking around in their drawers looking for the next whiff, would it be a far leap to allege that the country was run by a reptilian race, would I be paranoid? Perhaps. But where is my empirical evidence to back up my theory? I, therefore cannot prove my hypothesis either way. If my theory of a race of reptilian beings from the planet Kebert Xela ran the Disney corporation, and that said corporation sent out messages in codes, turned out to be proven wrong would I be a fool to still believe? If it were to be true I’d have to look in the mirror and restate my assumptions. My nervous breakdown happened when I was twenty-five due to a chemical imbalance where I kept repeating to people that I thought that the world was about to end. It’s rather interesting that I refused medication in the hospital because I thought that the nurses were not there to help me. With all the despotic events going on in the world it was no small wonder why it happened. Carl Jung called it a confrontation with the unconscious when he went through his own breakdown, so-called medicine men had a different name.


Mr. Glass

A whimper,
Fell from my lips
In a clumsy
Slip of the tongue.
An unrehearsed
Babble at the drop
Of a hat,
Kinda like a joke or something
Too heavy for heads
Stuck in the clouds.
“Pick it up,” I say
To myself like an old friend.
I’ve been down all week
Visiting earth,
When my reality shattered
Like words falling
On deaf ears,
When a glass breaks.



I couldn’t let go
Of the sentiment that
There was a God.
It’s usually the ones
Who grow up alongside
The imagination who
Rely heavily on
Sedatives to alleviate
The scepticism of themselves.
But ego does not die
With harsh criticisms,
Doubts arise once the artist
Finds it in himself
Let go of the thing
He once loved
Which is himself.
But he knew how to
Convert the hideous.
Looking into the mirror,


(Featured image by AzureParagon, used under CC-BY-NC-ND 3.0)

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