Posts Tagged Alcoholism

Man in the Messy Wing in the Hospital

I lost everything.
I couldn’t care for the cats.

The mother followed me
to the store.

She got run over
on the way home.

I fed the kittens milk.
They told me not to.

The kittens died one by one
before they opened their eyes.

I lost everything.
If you’re not an animal lover,

you wouldn’t understand.
I pass.


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Compulsion Loses Another Battle in the Long War

The cement grinds my shoes
as I resist the lonely slog
from car to sterilized elevator.

Giant waves stir deeply and compel
me to run away, get blasted, but
I’ve been trained, so I suffer, I crawl.

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I Am the Trash Man

The litigiousness of society rips at me, but I’m likely to blow off the residing anger, say a cuss word like fuck and move on. When it was finally my turn, my day in court finished with a tremendous victory for me and my sleazy lawyer.

Later, after all of the media bullshit, when all of the people started detesting me, the anger erupted inside me, refusing to dissipate, so here I write my cultural defense, having crushed the competition in the courtroom.

When I did the people’s taxes, I had these spirited periods of time like being in a jet when I would punch in these crazy numbers, but it was always in the people’s favor. My customers loved me except if they happened to be audited. My audits seemed to get worse and worse, and the partners always blamed me instead of understanding that I was only trying to make things good for our customer.

I went out in a storm of blurry shouting when three of the partners sat me down in Fred’s office and fired me without letting me defend myself. I was still drunk from the night before, so I had yet to hit the sauce I kept in my desk drawer. I felt put together, Read the rest of this entry »

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The Reason I Blame the Vodka

In the gruff days before she killed herself,
I told myself she was the preacher’s problem
because that’s what he did; he comforted
the distraught souls, cushioned the despair.

He had all day for visiting, while I worked
all day, while I frittered with numbers for
meager paychecks, to pay the bills and buy
my vodka, so it was his deal, his bag of guilt.

But I kept thinking of it, kept thinking that I
expected too much of the preacher, a man we claim
to be a man of God, for if a man of God couldn’t
save her, how could I, the orphaned infidel?

Yes, but I replayed the days before, all of those
days in my cubicle thinking of when my vodka
would comfort me first, then thinking maybe,
perhaps, if I spent time with her, it would help,
but the vodka never gave me time.


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The Unshakable Infantile Spirit, Part I

I’m a baby, and I work hard
to cover tiny me under thick skin.

I wonder if being a baby is a bad
thing, thinking of my most
compassionate self coming

from baby me, but
I cry, and many people don’t like
people who are so maladjusted.

When I’m working the hardest to
cover, I don’t notice, but sometimes,

when my shell is naturally suiting itself
to me, I look at others and I think
I see that they have baby moments,

and those splitting quick images
make me feel less inadequate, less
alone, but I measure my inside

sensitivities against their outside
shells, knowing better, but I see
they don’t need shells like I do.

At some point, babies decide
that they want to be loved by
everybody, and if one comes

along, not loving, babies like I
feel intense pain, perhaps not
understanding the finicky qualities

of mature humans. I am like
hungry babies about some things;
I want what I want right now, but

I am a big baby, and I don’t want
much, if anything. I always want to
sleep like a baby, but for me,

instead of fueling cell growth, it
helps me relieve the pain of sadness,
and when I don’t get enough sleep,

my emotions are terrible like a baby’s,
my feelings are like tiny slivers of glass
being smothered by sharp rocks,

so I do my best to get sleep, but the
adults don’t like this for they think
I am a lazy asshole. When I became

old enough, I started enjoying alcohol
because the alcohol smothered baby
me, and I built my booze shell that made

me funny and entertaining and fooled
me into feeling a central purpose, fooled
me into a sense of meaning, and alcohol

smashed my persistent depression.

I’m a lucky baby because alcohol
decided to become my enemy, made me
hate the world so severely, and inspired

me to quit drinking with many people
who helped me avoid the deepening
path to miserable death I was on, so

I sit here wishing I could tell you how
embarrassing this is, tell you how
my spirit is so frail, so undeveloped, so

you can see how terrible I feel, but I tell you
because afterward, I can let loose, and cry
and cry and cry until you send me away.


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Memories That Terrify Beyond Their Aged Powers

A brief instant, coming back
frequently, but not more than a
spark, a tight frame, when I surely killed
my son and a dear friend, one of those

lashes where there is no possibility
of survival barring some god
which flowered sympathy for the
tragic follies of men so deleterious to
themselves as I, and that maroon

truck which should have flown through
unforgiving skies, which would have
fallen so far, it would have bled its
own gallons of life as that same

merciful god, merciful if it had allowed
us to die instantly, would have used
our own gallons of blood for lessons
for people who were meant to be

frightened by the terrific powers of
those named follies, this increasingly
swamped unconsciousness which
seems to alleviate years of agony, of
empty purposelessness, but only

prolongs the blankets of pain,
as the stadium grows larger and
larger, our wiring blurs in tornadic
waves, sounds fuller than a stadium
should allow, having dreamt of the

massiveness of the musicians we
longed to see cranked my drive to
a state beyond intoxication into an

evil blob of emotionally stormy
empty, evil for it was to murder
us but for that sympathetic god,

and when this flash comes back,

I long to know that god for one
moment or more and thank it

for that night,

ask it how it chose
such worthless, mostly
in my case,

candidates for rescue, but the truth

seems to be I’ve been saved
from the nothing of the end
millions of times, despite
thousands of desires for the end

from a defeated spirit, it seems
this impossible prevention of the
end was either done to save only
my son and my friend, or more

frighteningly, done to prove to me
that something loves me despite
my follies, that something needed
to show me my powerless receipt
of a gift too large to imagine.


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I’ll Never Be Cured

My brain leaks,
just like my mother’s did,
my brain hurts,
I’ll never be cured.

They throw it back,
they give me shit,

my brain leaks,
I’ll never be cured.
My brain hurts,
just like my mother’s did,

she threw the black pans,
hailed our personal failures,
told us we’d never be good,
but I’ll never be her,
I’ll never ruin your psyche

My brain hurts,
just like my mother’s did,
my brain leaks,
I’ll never be cured.

The world hates,
It foams in my head,
with no smile,
I know I’m no good,

just like my mother said,
just like my mother said.

My brain hurts,
I’m scared of you all,
‘fraid I might crash,
you’ll see my soul crushed,

for my brain’s dead,
excepting total despair,
yeah, my brain hurts,
just like my mother’s did.



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Brain Broke

A day late again, but here is my piece for PAD day 12 which was to be a piece about the word broke.


Brain Broke

Not as broke as I was
in the early days. Broke
is what we use for a bank
account or a car, but for me,
broke was my brain.

There are days, nothing
but broke, and when I’m
broke all the way, I cry
hard, and the blubbery
actions help relieve me.


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Seven Minutes of Healing

Today’s challenge for PAD 2013 was to write a “sevenling,” which is a poem with two tercets, which may be unrelated followed by a single punch line.


Seven Minutes of Healing

Soft colors and faces warm the room,
and plunked, I’m in a corner, swamped
by sympathetic but foreign personalities.

Linda held the room to a low energy,
allowing our insides to come outside,
making our hot souls melt the evils.

I cried, and I wasted gobs of Kleenex.


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Brahms, Revisited without Tears for Today

Johannes Brahms


Brahms, Revisited without Tears for Today

Brahms has the twitchy fuse,
lighting me in acidic
flames and the arguments inherited
from old elephants, between piano and orchestra,

are trudging – me, I verses the world,
and I’m losing
but I’m pounding the keyboard
until I get a break, a breath, a sigh,

and I show this grace
that is un-Brahms
but is
Brahms at his greatest,

and when the horns arrive
in red army coats, you know
victory is grasped with dirty,
dry, crisp finger nails, but it

never happens, never consummates.
I am finished, a heaping
pile of slippery dung
when Brahms is done.

And as a practicing drunk, the tears
would wilt tarnished cheeks and create heat
emanating around thorny eye sockets,

but these days are desert dry, pain layered
and hidden and only Brahms, only the
master knows, knows the truth, and now,
at least I rest, I stop, I pray, lost.



p.s. – Embedded below is the referenced piece, performed by my favorite conductor and one of my favorite pianists. The exposition of the first movement lasts 3:45, so patience is needed in waiting for the arguments between piano and orchestra. The climax/recapitulation of the first movement at about 13:20 is one of the most intense sections of music I know along with the ending of the first movement. It is immense music. The third movement is a kick ass jam if you make it that far…


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