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Exclusive Talk With “The Depressed Poet”- Doc Dalton

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A TALK WITH THE DEPRESSED POET, DOC DALTON ABOUT DEPRESSION, FAITH, BELIEF, NEW VIDEO SERIES AND HOW HE STUMBLES THROUGH HIS WORDS, SO HE CAN MAKE IT THROUGH HIS DAYS.

The Depressed Poet - Doc. Dalton

The Depressed Poet – Doc. Dalton

You have said you felt poetry has saved your life. How and why did you start writing poetry?

I was hospitalized for depression and while there a doctor suggested I try writing some poetry. He felt it would help me and he had his reasons why. At that time, I felt he was crazier than I was, but I couldn’t leave so I tried, and it turned out to be a great thing for me personally. It let me express myself about things that I never gave much thought about. In addition, it let my mind relax as if it was taking a break. All the nonsense that traveled through my head all day long would magically stop, once I started writing.

If you had to judge your own poetry, how would you rank yourself amongst other poets?

My answer is simple and always the same. I am not a great poet and I say that because the truth is, I am just not. I am not even a good poet and I say that again because the truth is, I am just not. What I am is just a man who stumbles though his words, so he could make it through his days. It’s really that simple.

Is there anything or anyone who makes you write or can bring you to the table to start putting pencil to paper.

Yes, Irish poet Pat Ingoldsby writes some words that are way out there and I really like them a lot. Sometimes you can’t explain it – it’s more of a feeling inside but he motivates me. I like his words.

Roots Music Artists, Ray Wylie Hubbard and Darrel Scott. I always say that when I am walking the floors of hell in the early hours of the morning, if I take the time to listen to their music, they can get me moving and putting some words down on paper. This is what works for me, and I am happy about that.

Everyone comments about you being so very open about your mental illness. Why are you?

In life there are those whom I call Rat Bastards and they are people who get enjoyment out of seeing others suffer. Their own miserable lives flow along the curb so easily that they need something like someone suffering to make themselves feel better. Doing it this way, it takes the power a way from them and is back where it belongs.

Then there are those who are embarrassed, and I am not talking about those who are suffering, I am talking about relatives who tell their so-called loved ones to keep quiet about it, kind of brush it under the rug so to speak. By this taking place, the one who is suffering now has more reasons to suffer because they now feel that they are an embarrassment not only to themselves, but to their family.

And last, maybe someone will notice the way I approach all this, and by me being so open about what I have and just maybe that will help motivate others to do the same. There are countless people who are sick, and this is just another sickness. This is exactly how it should be looked at.

Besides Poetry, are there any other writing projects coming up in the future?

Yes, I have a series of what I call short books. They are somewhere between 50 to 70 pages. It’s the type of book that someone could sit down and do an entire read within one or two sittings. They will cover a number of different topics such as Faith, Belief, Kindness, Appreciation and of course Mental illness.

Just like the poetry, I am not a great writer, but I am a guy who has a story to tell but wants to keep that story brief. When all is said and done, there should be a series of 10 to 12 books. The first book is called,  “ The Happiest Sad Guy In Town” it should be out in about 90 days.

The Depressed Poet - Doc. Dalton

The Depressed Poet – Doc. Dalton

There is talk of a video series as well, care to talk about that.

The series is called, The Coffee and Chair Series and the concept is easy. You can take a chair and place it anywhere and do a short show from that location. From a beautiful mountain top, to an alley way in an urban city. It’s plain and simple raw talk. There will be people who write in to the show and those who send in video clips so they can be part of the show. But again, Simple, Raw and to the point with room to grow.

I am doing the show with two close friends whom I have done projects before with and they are Joe LePera and Patrick Mirucki. Two great guys who have now entered a new stage of their lives and want to have some fun while at the same time making it meaningful.

And about the coffee end of things. I am older now and for me coffee is what I now call, my choice of drugs these days. So, it’s The Coffee and Chair Series, “Where a Good Cup of Coffee and a Comfortable Chair Can Make for Great Conversation.”

We have heard about your sense of humor and how it gets you through rough times. Can you explain more about that?

Sense of humor or in this case, my sense of humor is at times frightening to say the least. I feel as if my humor is a type of mechanism that helps me protect myself from my depression or even more, being bi-polar. It helps me, stay in charge of me is the best way I can explain it. When my mania is high, my humor is way out there and I am one funny guy and I do not have a clue what is going to come out of my mouth until the moment I say it. When I crash for a lack of better words, it’s hell at the highest level.

I am concerned these days because I feel my humor is leaving me and it makes me wonder what is coming down the road in my life so to speak. To explain it in simpler terms. For me being funny is a protection but it’s also difficult and exhausting and at times it’s not as funny as one may think it is.

Staying on the topic of your depression, what are some of the other things that take place.

It’s dark and lonely. At times scary because your thoughts are running wild and in many different directions. Some of the worst times for me are the early morning hours when I can’t sleep and walk what I call the floors of hell. For me it’s a journey that at times is 100% out of control and you worry just how long it will last and how dark it will go. There is always that fear wondering is this the time that my mind will push me over the edge. Is this the time that hell will really break loose? Is this the time that you have always hoped, would never come?  It’s scary to say the least.

If someone was having issues, what would you say to them as far as getting help.

There is always help somewhere somehow. Almost where ever you live there are associations where you can go to, in order to get advice. I personally go to group meetings and at these meetings are people who are having troubles as well. Some are worse, some are not, but either way it’s a place of common ground where folks share their experiences. Talking about it helps a lot, but listening to others helps even more because you can hear what others do to help themselves get through their personal situations. It’s the understanding of others that will let you gain knowledge in order to help yourself. When all is said and done, it’s just knowing you are not alone. It really helps, it really works, and I personally go to two groups per week but there are those who go to four and five groups per week. What ever helps you get from point A to point B without having a train wreck in between is a good thing.

Anything special you have planed that you could share with our readers.

If you want honesty, I will give it to you right now.

My Future Plans are, to sit on my ass and scratch my belly everyday with a good cup of coffee in the other hand. I don’t only want to watch the world go by, I want to enjoy watching it go by. I want to watch the leaves sway back and forth while listening to the breeze that is making it happen. I want to watch the birds fly from one tree to the next because each flight of a bird is different than the one before. I want to watch and catch as many butterflies as I can because not only are they beautiful, but they are so interesting as well. I want to watch the clouds float by while the stars set in the night time sky. From a twinkling star to a falling star, to me, it’s amazing. No one these days really take the time to really watch, listen and learn. They are in a hurry every moment. They are flat out rushing to their death.

I want to tell my family how much I love them and hold my granddaughter each and everyday and never let her go. And last, I want to Pray like Hell to the Heavens above, just say thank you to the big man up-stairs for not letting me fall and even more importantly, not letting me jump. Appreciation and the understanding of that appreciation is so very important and goes, such a very long positive way.

Can you share the last 4 lines of one of your most recent poems?

Lord, don’t you hear Prayers or me calling your name?

Are you mad at me or maybe feel that I ‘m the one to blame?

Could it really be as simple, as you’re just not there after all  

But in case you are, all I ask of you is to stay by my side and please, don’t let me fall

If people want to learn more about you and what is happening in the life of Doc Dalton, what can they do?

All they need to do is go to my website at docdalton.com. Everything that is happening will be there. Learn about our show, writings and other things that are taking place. Would love for folks to stop by and leave a message.

Doc Dalton, thank you for spending time with us, we appreciate it very much.

The truth is, let me say thank you to you for letting me share my information. I am grateful for kindness.

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