CL poetry contest winner Dan Fecht releases new book about suicide awareness and mental health

Read ‘Good morning, America,’ now.

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click to enlarge CL poetry contest winner Dan Fecht releases new book about suicide awareness and mental health
TAINARA FECHT

In 2017, Dan Fecht’s poem “The Sunset’s Son” took top prize in CL Tampa Bay’s poetry contest. Last week, he released a new collection of poems, “Assisted Suicide Talk Show,” which focuses on suicide awareness and mental health.

“There’s no hiding how depression is the perfect storm for American society. We have so much simple access to materialism that we become jaded and fed-up with the constants of acquisitiveness, without realizing how its nurtured every day,” Fecht told CL Tampa Bay. He laments how society is told, or learns, that its efforts aren’t good enough and are easily disposable by corporations.

“We as individuals aren’t good enough and even that our material possessions are subpar. Comparisons to our neighbors and lustings for diamond-encrusted shoes and truffle-enriched, marbled Wagyu beef jerky with a touch of saffron-infused salt end up high on our wish lists,” he wrote. “But at what cost? The cost of our cognizance. The cost of our minds. The cost of our mental health.”

Fecht explained that he finds a sense of freshness in the human interactions of Minas Gerais, a large inland state in southeastern Brazil where most residents have jobs but have very little to show for it other than a roof over their heads and food in their fridge.

“There’s no opulence. A Honda Civic is a rich man’s car here. But it doesn’t matter,” Fecht wrote. “Daily, they come together with their next-door neighbors and family to dine and celebrate, laugh and watch as the sun bids itself farewell behind the foothills… Yet, they’re some of the happiest folks I’ve ever met.”

Reflecting on Minas Gerais allows Fecht to double-check how American society has perverted itself. He mentioned how, sometimes, it’s more than necessary for an individual to consider medication to handle long-term depressive spells.

“However,” Fecht added, “in some cases the slavery to medicine and the pharmacy, Big Pharma, has birthed suicidal daydreams right beneath the noses of American civilization.”

And that’s how we got to this excerpt from his new collection of poems.

“Good Morning America”

Medication severs nerves/

Commercials vending anti-misery pills/Doctor must see dark cloud revolving around your head/

Writes script/

Now you swig every morning/

Along with organic coffee

You feel like a mannequin.

Featureless.

Phantom Arteries of plastic.

A heart that isn’t there.

Your personality got left at home

In an orange bottle

Child safety proof.

Do not take Funzac if you are taking Exciteozide or Awesomeylene. 

Some young people have thoughts about suicide when first taking

An antidepressant. Stay alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.

Make it a great day by…making it a great day (opens bottle).

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About The Author

Ray Roa

Read his 2016 intro letter and disclosures from 2022 and 2021. Ray Roa started freelancing for Creative Loafing Tampa in January 2011 and was hired as music editor in August 2016. He became Editor-In-Chief in August 2019. Past work can be seen at Suburban Apologist, Tampa Bay Times, Consequence of Sound and The...
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