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I know I’ll do this again and wonder why.

Night is my forever day.

The moon grows the marigolds only I can see.

Put them in water and drink.

Become invisible.

Car headlights shine through me.

A dog walks through me.

My soul pours out of me.

Leaving nothing except more nothing.

Morning sun.

Run and hide.

I know I’ll do this again and wonder why as I draw the curtains closed.

I know I'll do this again and

I was never high enough. My body defied odds of survival. A regular EF5 tornado.

He was my treatment center roommate for one afternoon. Dead that same night from an overdose.

Found his cheap cologne and kept it.


Years ago I worked in a swank department store. Men’s clothes and accessories. Sold crank to a girl in their human resource office. She got me the job.

Went to a vintage consignment shop. Dress for success. Picked up a few suits like in a 1940’s Humphrey Bogart detective picture. Cigarette always dangling from the corner of his mouth.

Black and white movies always with a femme fatale. Shimmering hair.  Impossibly beautiful face. Exquisite and delicate shape hinted at by her sexy soft satin dress.

First day on the job at that store I stole a five hundred dollar bottle of men’s cologne.


That’s how I knew my dead roommate’s cologne was five and dime. Tossed it in a drawer anyway.

A young kid moved into my room. He hooked up with a girl at the center. Asked me if I had any cologne. Sure.

Next morning woke up and he wasn’t there. Story was he overdosed.

Two dead roommates. Everybody in my therapy group called me “Angel of Death.”

A few weeks later a friend went into my drawer without me knowing and sprinkled a few drops on himself.

Slipped in his bathtub and broke his neck.


Addiction Poetry

Invented a drink called “Death by Margarita.”

The stolen bottle from the store I lifted should have been called “Caligula.” Right after I started using it I began living with a lethal stripper. I was never high enough. My body defied odds of survival.

Invented a drink called “Death by Margarita.” Shoplifted an easy thirty thousand dollars in men’s threads and accessories. A regular EF5 tornado.


Now in rehab I own one pair of underwear. Two tee shirts. One pair of gym shorts. Sandals held together by duct tape.  Can’t  afford deoderant.

Am definitely no detective like Humphrey. Can’t even track down my own sanity.

Girl’s here with clothes covering skin and bone bodies stripped clean by the needle and bottle.

Drink of choice is stale decaf coffee.

Possible collapsed lung and scars on my liver.

Cigarettes I dangle come from the ground and ashtrays.

I was never high enough. My body

The huge clock on the wall has given up.


In the 1920’s big city bus stations were once something to behold.

Art Deco luxury palaces of days gone by.

Once a romantic location where young lovers bid farewell
till the bus returned them to each other’s arms.

Dads sent their innocent teens to their aunt and uncle’s farm for summer vacation.

Business people dressed up in stylish clothing paying homage to this golden age.

Addiction Poetry


Beaten down shadow travelers buying tickets to nowhere.

Strychnine and Fentanyl.

Used needles and empty bottles.

Living dead near the doors begging.

Drunks and the homeless.

Sitting in their own shit and piss.

Wired prostitutes.

Makeup caked from days ago.

The sunshine cannot break through the filthy
cathedral windows anymore.

The huge station clock on the wall has given up.

The huge clock on the wall has

“Started recreational/Ended kinda medical.

Came on hot and soft/And then it tightened up its tentacles.

– The Hold Steady

Addiction is a disease of the mind.

A spiritual disease.

One that robs you of dignity, autonomy, and sanity.

It infiltrates, destroys, and rebuilds you.

Into a mockery of your true self.

It makes fools of those who love you and care about you.

The beauty of it, though,

Is the way God uses addiction.

He is infinitely more brilliant than the forces that create it.

As ugly as addiction is –

God makes the recovery process 10X as beautiful.

Using human beings in recovery

As shining beacons of what life can be like

Lived right.

In touch with a Higher Power.

Experiencing the joy of life

In its restorative, infinite beauty.

"Started recreational/Ended kinda medical. Came on hot and

Every addict is an egomaniac with an inferiority complex. I’m no different.

The first flight had been cancelled. Two hours before takeoff.

No doubt the work of the Feds, I think to myself. 

A week prior, I’d sold old company laptops to a Middle Eastern guy on Craigslist.

The next day, I entered a diner during lunch.

The food took longer than normal – and I was soon joined by two obvious spooks and a Homeland Security agent decked out in full riot gear. 

That couldn’t have been a coincidence.

Or perhaps Congo CEO Julian Barre was behind the cancellation.

He knew of my work with Negotiator, the company that was going to disrupt the eCommerce world and bring Congo to its knees.

The same way Congo had brought Crossings, Okes and Bales, and countless other book retailers to their knees years before. 

Definitely Barre. I affirmed to myself silently.

Perhaps in conjunction with the Feds. Congo had that kind of power these days.

I was lying on my friend’s couch.

Reclining in a position so that my head wouldn’t be exposed to sniper fire from the outside.

Two glass doors provided ample lanes for an execution to prevent me from fleeing town. 

Dawn’s darkness was still in full force.

In my possession was a backpack filled with hastily packed clothes, a plane ticket to San Francisco, and a few thousand bucks to my name. 

The podcast I had just appeared on was entitled, The Mindful Millennial.

A week after cutting the interview I was fully in the throes of amphetamine psychosis. 

Every addict is an egomaniac with an inferiority complex. I’m no different. 

My name is [redacted]. I am 31 years old.

Two Days Later

Alyssa takes me through the woods. We walk at a brisk pace next to each other.

We’re in San Francisco, hiking through a nature preserve at her insistence. 

We reach our destination – a cliff overlooking an expanse of the Pacific.

Beautiful, blue ocean. Calm washes over me.  

As Alyssa takes a seat next to me, I turn to thank her. 

“I knew what your heart needed.” She responds. 

Right as she finishes the sentence, the crowd around us gasps.

A majestic whale emerges from the frothy ocean to the shock and delight of everyone on the cliff.

We hail a Lyft back to her place downtown.

On the way back, I confess that I’m not mentally well.

She tells me she already knows.

I tell her I’m leaving town the morning. 

She exits the Lyft, starts walking toward her apartment. 


She turns around and comes back to the car. 

“Oh wait, I thought you should see this.”

She hands me her phone through the open window.

I look at the screen, glowing iridescent in the San Francisco night.

It reads, “In Native American lore the whale symbolizes wisdom, spiritual awareness, good fortune, and long-lasting love.” 

As a hardcore amphetamine addict who had essentially lied to myself every single day while I used, I take that as a good omen.

The very next day I check myself into the Western Psychiatric Institute of Pennsylvania. 

Every addict is an egomaniac with an