Keiran, let me tell you something about your poetry... it's honest, without being overtly annoyingly honest ie cheesy sap-filled hoo-haa that everyone's heard before and doesn't give two flying f.ucks about.
I've always had that dilemma about what to say upfront and what to mask in metaphor, what to truly say in a different way, and what to say because it's deep and meaningful.
What does poetry mean to you? What notes does it sing in? What language imparts something magical and timeless? How can we ever know these answers?
We have to try, we have to experiment, we have to keep on pushing and struggling, because that's what artists of any mould do. They retaliate against the norms, they strive to explain the sweetly unexplainable. It's so many facets, and that's the true, sparkling beauty.
"I'm the one
Who forgot to smile"
People are so serious. I'm like that half the time. I used to be like that, solely. And... it got boring, stifling and stuffy. Life... is more than knowing what you'll do exactly over the next decade... it's [insert your dreams here].
I think you could ditch your last sentence, and instead, use the preceding line "I promise" as your individual end-line. Why do I say this? I think it's overstated. Lead the reader to this conclusion subconsciously, is what I'm saying to you. And that's what poetry is about to me. But make up your own mind... it's your journey.
I don't think there is an inbetween in life and death because I believe that even the process of dying is part of life. I also believe that being clinically dead or paralyzed is part of life. This is so because whether or not there is hope of recovery or getting back up from whatever hang up, there is still a consciousness that takes something in; a consciousness that continues to grow whether we believe in it or not. Otherwise, I doubt that you would've been able to write about it with credibility.
As for death, I think that it is a quick switch. I think that it is the actual inbetween that divides existence and whatever obscurity there is that follows afterwards whether it be an actual death or a metaphoric death.
Of course, me spending a lot of time in hospitals and therapy sessions, that's how I see it. I could be wrong.
As for the whole metaphorically crying business, I don't think that people can "man up and move on" without metaphorically crying. This is so because, while that process doesn't exactly involve shedding a tear, it involves confronting the issue, asking questions and learning from it. To not do that is not exactly to "man up." To do that is to run away like a kid no matter how superficially tough the person may seem. It's very Peter Pan.
As for the piece, I don't think you're rambling. I do, however think that this is a mental exercise that pins the issues by limbs while the core remains fluttering freely; a tease for the imaginative if you will.
On the positive side, I do find the strength of it appealing. It has a cold forcefulness that reaches out with one hook after another. I do however think that it could've been better had you submitted it without the pinning, without the restriction. That way, the desperation for meaning would have spoken and McLuhan would've loved you for making use of a theory that may have made him look crazy.
Still, I think that this piece has solidity and definately a lot of potential.
As far as presentation goes, I have nothing to say, your words hit each other back to back and crash in a way that makes this poem catch you as you read it. You have a piece or two here or there that tie it together like with smiling, which is a bow for this piece.
A few things that get me, the title and the content of the poem clash, "You act like its okay to cry" and then, "Its alright to cry, I promise" this makes me think there is a speaker talking to someone who is currently crying, is that it? Or did I miss something? Plus at the beginning you say how breaking down bugs you, I see a clash of moral standings and it bothers me.
You certainly have a way with words. Even if some of us don't agree with them.