The Depression Tests

by Chris Buchanan

Poetry, 2022

They ask at the end

of the depression tests

don’t they

Do you have any thoughts

of hurting yourself

or killing yourself

And they may break a touch

Here goes, be ready, look cool

And I say No –

And they’re back. Relax.

But I’m wondering

Should I finish?

The full answer is No –

Not myself. All of you.

Absolutely all of you.

I didn’t make this thing!

Dug it up, brought the canaries down.

I haven’t clawed out

a hole in the walls, inches back from it,

pressed in,

scented the indent with me,

a warning

So I’m can stay here working it, safe, smiling, name on the door,

mind your head

Breathe

Slow

It Happens All at Once

by Chris Buchanan
Poetry, 2013
From the collection Growing Up Too Fast

It happens all at once. One day
you’ll wake up, wash and dress and say-
I really must do all that work
then make things neat and meet some jerk
for bitter drinks and uncooked meals
and flat, black suits and needled heels.
Then when the fateful day is done
and some old mate calls up, someone
will fart or tell a sweary joke
and you’ll say, well I don’t think that’s funny.