Neil Hilborn’s “OCD” slam poem nearly brought me to tears

Check it out:

I know some people don’t like, get or appreciate poetry and that’s fine, but, as with any artistic medium, there is such a vast world therein, I would only encourage people to seek out different styles, poets and such more to your liking.

Slam poetry is one such style of poetry in which I’ve come to love. It combines two beautiful artistic mediums: poetry and performance to create an emotional roller coaster, which is often intense, passionate and potent.

This poem is no different. The poet has OCD and through that prism, he tells the story of meeting a girl, loving a girl and the girl leaving him and his heartbreak therein. Given his disorder, the way in which he performs the piece is astoundingly intriguing; are the ticks part of the performance or are they actual manifestations of the disorder? Or maybe both?

And then these lines:

She tells him it was a mistake to let him get so attached and he says, “How can it be a mistake if I don’t have to wash my hands after I touch her?”

And then, “Now I just think about who else is kissing her. I can’t breathe because he only kisses her once. He doesn’t care if it’s perfect.”

I don’t have OCD, but the depth of that, the beautiful potency of that, it just speaks to me on a raw, visceral level I can’t really articulate.

Because of his OCD, he talked earlier about locking the doors eighteen times at night and how “she felt safe” because of that. Well, he misses her so bad after the breakup, he says, “I want her back so bad, I leave the door unlocked.”

Yep, by that point, I just about had tears. Wow. Just wow.

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