Tag: addiction

I Wonder How Many Members Of Congress Could Even Spell Fentanyl

I don’t know much about
much, is what I know
I don’t know how to
solve anything
I cannot present a solution
I do not suffer anymore from any
delusions that poetry intersects anywhere
with public policy
and I don’t know if this is poetry or
more the feeble efforts of a deeply
troubled mind to make sense of
what cannot be made sense of.

You died to the best of my knowledge
on April 26 2022

lost his battle, is what they say in
such cases
lost his battle
and isn’t that a nice way to put it
apt, when it killed a hundred thousand people last year
that is an entire war
if war were compressed to just the death
no political aim, no fight, not really
just a dead generation in their bedrooms and
in gas station bathrooms and every single
other place, losing battles, a losing war
but Nicky you didn’t lose any battle
there was no war, no one fought
you were murdered by accident, by
a world that can present no
solution, that cannot regret, that cannot
fucking feel
I can’t pretend there’s any valor or glory or
tragic grandeur anymore
if there were any notion of justice in
this world, any fairness, any love or
decency then no one would have to
think up euphemisms to use in obituaries for an overdose, there would be no pharma
marketing drug names words like an alien
curse upon us all, it’s killing everyone, it’s
killing everyone and what can
we do
I don’t know
I can cry and I don’t
know, I have no solution
and it isn’t getting any better
lost the battle, hell
people follow battles in newspapers
people win and lose elections over battles
but this, this is killing everyone, and maybe
the world at large cares enough to cry
a little
but not enough to present a solution and make it
stop killing my fucking friends
and I get white hot heart pounding angry
and I think about this until I
realize I can do no better either.

there must be something please
it’s too hard
I don’t know how this isn’t the biggest
political issue in the country a
hundred thousand dead in a year it’s so big how
is it even real
I don’t know
I don’t know anything
I can’t parse it

it’s too hard.

All We Ever Wanted (to know) Was Everything

that which does not kill me
might fuck me up irreparably
and maybe that’s real strength
after all a scar is stronger skin
a weld done well is stronger than
the initial casting
but it has to be done well
that’s important, that matters
it has to be done well

or maybe not, I don’t know
I’m not a welder.
I don’t know what I am.
I’m the carbide tooth at the tip of the bit at the
end of the shaft of a drill
spinning down through the ancient world
for purposes beyond me
and surmised only dimly even by the
is he god? I don’t know
would god understand my hopes my
dreams my little anguishes any better than
I do those of the quarks that comprise
subatomic particles?
does a quark dream? I don’t know
I hope so.

I’m prehistoric peat moss buried by a
hundred million tons of time and
pressure burning at the nozzle cone of a
breaking the pull of the world whose
heat and gravity in the great and utter dark
where it all broke down
the devolution from biology into chemistry
the men came with carbide teeth spinning into the
spinning world and
through machinery and into the light
I was there
and this world
left, briefly
and from a great height maybe
put a picture on a TV screen on April 10 1997
maybe put a ton of TNT in a packed movie theater on December 16 1944
maybe put boots on alien rock on a
famous date
maybe blow apart seventy three
seconds after liftoff maybe
all the work
all the time all the love all the hate
maybe the sum of human sensory experience
could god even understand
could anyone
what is understanding
what does the carbide tooth think? I want to know
what does the crude oil think
where is the driller
where is the rocketeer
I want to know
I have questions

can you see me
can’t you see me
can’t you see how hard I’m trying
can’t you see the fire in my chest I hope to
burn forever
and will the weld hold?
and can a
quark dream?
I bet.
I hope so.

A Lot Of Things Had To Happen For This To Happen

there is a hand to turn back time
there is a light to wink into and
out of existence
walled up both sides by eternity
and maybe someplace far away or
long ago or far ahead the
electrons took on a different configuration
and maybe one humid june night maybe the
narcan hit ineffective and maybe I
maybe the sun exploded maybe the
Russians launched a hot happy accident and
maybe a light winked out
a child lost his first love down the
garbage disposal a bird brought down an
airliner and in the blood bloom and
respiratory depression one night I died

someplace else a long time ago I wrote from
the other side of this page and when I
came to, I couldn’t remember
and the page was still white

it might take a thousand years
and a thousand years ago an alcoholic monk
scarred up his parchment and wondered
and a thousand years later an
alcoholic truck driver scarred up his arm
and wondered

answer came and went
both forgot
one died, and the other…


I don’t know if you can hear me but I’m shouting
I don’t know if you know this but
I’m trying this is a
new town a new place a new outlook a new
poem new eyes new this is a new car
this is new
this is an attempt
this is effort
this is killing me
this is slow death
this is me subverting a stereotype
this is where I do that
this is where I actively show weakness to people I don’t know
these are the problems of a man you wouldn’t like
this is how you ink a fountain pen
this is killing me
this is how you finish a liter of liquor in one short sitting
this is how you lose your mind
this is how
you can trust me I ought to know
this is how you think you’re worth it
this is how you write stilted verses on your
phone at three thirty in the
morning this is how many
milligrams you take and this
is how much you drink afterwards to
feel like at least tonight your
blood pressure probably won’t
rupture your eyes this is how you
take a deep breath and come back into
lower orbit this is how you think you’re
not batshit for a fleeting fucking
instant this is how you meet
new people this is how you
embarrass yourself this is
how you justify it this is how you
become unconscious
this is how you derive hope
this is how you lose your mind
this is how
this is killing me
I don’t know if you
can hear me but I’m

It’s not so bad as it sounds.

Better Times

It’s not so bad
I make it out like it’s
something else but it’s
not so
after all I’m alive
and I’m not likely to ever
live again
and so for now
I can sit here
and write
and sip whiskey
and hear at high bitrate
through well-reviewed and expensive
the sounds I like to hear,
safe from the
cold and
the rain
and the war and famine and disease
and what the fuck am I complaining about?

I’ve made strides
for I believe
this is the first poem I’ve ever written
with a relatively clear head with
thoughts passing through my brain
at a normal pace and
not at the
speed of
and I know this isn’t good
I know everything I’ve already written
already beats the
everliving shit out
of whatever this is
and I know that I’ll
never again write as well
as I did
but if I don’t
I hope I don’t.
I hope I never do
because take one look at
my ruined smile and my
dead eyes and
see what that
cost me.

And I would’ve ended this there, in my draft of this poem
I wrote on May 30 2017
but these are better times. Or they’re
becoming so.
Anyway I have to believe they are now after
after longer than I’d ever gone without, after all if they
aren’t then why did
I do it at all?
or rather why did I
not do it?

these are better times
which I needed
because I
was at the end of my
fucking rope
strangling, dying
hanging from it.



Late-stage, hopeless, dehumanizing
is the ugliest thing
I’ve seen
or can conceive.
Bright-eyed, awestruck, newfound
is the

To meet eyes,
to understand
to grieve for what they’ve yet to see
and can’t conceive
since at the start, it’s merely harmless,
Then that moment peaks and passes—
Christ, does it go fast—
and by the time they see
what’s happening,
it’s long past way
too fucking

To meet those eyes
might well kill me.

It’s an awful thing.