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Author: Christopher Martinez

Don’t judge me

It’s funny how they think

they got a right to speak

Save it for your speech

can’t even show me What’s right

Getn gone all day barely getn thru night

Actin like everythings fine

Tryna catch me in a slip

Addiction trying to take minds

Hoping today isnt the day that I get got

While my kids waitin at the bus stop

feeling like he forget

fighting all alone

For everything seems lost

They yelling he’s never come home

do everything he can

auto pilot feeling numb

Bendin life tryna get to the top

no time to think Your Modern day robot

Remember the count can’t fuck up now

never break never sleep

Blowin cloud after cloud

Barely able to breathe

I hope you don’t know what it’s like

having starving mouths to feed

And understand what I mean

When I say this ain’t your day to eat

Mentally physically

killed my self for a lie

the sake of what we call love

Pretending you couldn’t see

Had me Lookin like John Pomfrey

When I was there for you , acting like you couldn’t see

Now you lookin down at me

While you up there smiling

My mind six feet under

starring at the clouds

Waiting on something that’s never comin down

Swearin to eternity

She was the one

Look at me now

Tell me if you had a second chance

Would you come back

Continue what we had

once again would I be your last

If you had a  machine

Would you go back in time

to tell you love me , just to let me know it’s deeper than the ocean

tell me was it worth overdosin

wishing it was all dream

Would still do anything

Just to see for a second

No matter what it is your dealing with in life

Just don’t judge me

For its not what you do

It’s how you do

So do you

The perfectly imperfect

Author: Christopher Martinez Don’t judge me It’s funny

Author: Jessica McClintock

We survive in the dark shadows of night

Trying to run from our internal curse

Hiding our pain with the smoke that blocks out the light

Falling deeper in darkness feeling better for now while making it worse

Not realizing at first that this puddle is what will cause us to drown

Drawn in by the numbness that masks the hidden inner beast

Fools for thinking we could break free getting high with these chains still dragging us down

Seeking to regain control of our scattered minds and from the torturous emotions find temporary relief

From the glass to the puddle and from that puddle into smoke

This addiction takes over and in its haze we become lost and confused

Days turn to weeks then months into years losing time itself toke after toke

It becomes what seems to be the only thing left preventing this internal explosion and without it we will lose

This battle we have inside ourselves its not a fair fight but more of a catch 22

Inhaling the smoke to hold the grip on sanity yet still going crazy with or without the smoky haze

Becoming increasingly insane with growing self hatred and rage is the problem us addicts face day after day

Broken fragments of ourselves regardless of how much we do to ignore these internal scars

You cant outrun yourself. No matter where you go, there is where you still are

On this broken path of self destruction with nothing left but ourselves to lose

In the end it doesn’t matter we are all just broken people no matter which path in life we choose

Free to make the choice but no one is free of the consequences of those choices

And until Death brings the Devil to kick open Hell’s door

We remain lost in life and in our own minds continuing to fight An Addict’s War.

Author: Jessica McClintock We survive in the dark

Author: Leslie Cappiello

I see your scars

they’re not hidden

from me.

Others do not know

The grief you’ve been dragging…

No matter how much you try

The covering of a smile

Cements the fragility of your heart

The heart that beats in time

With the man/child you lost.

 

I know you’ve been living

In shadows of who you

Once were…

 

A towering tree

Roots long and wide

Reduced to dried tubers

Mixed with summer and winter

Emotions fall

into barren soil

The wounds of “what ifs”

cruelly crush the spring

 

The dead tree gives no shelter

 

Dry bones will not rise

fragments of vines – the wreath of grief sealed in this life.

 

Love that was and will always be

You, my son, live in me.

 

I am the scar that only you can see.

Blowing in the wind

Bending into what was

And will never be.

 

I live in the shadowland

 

Between the rains of winter and summer

Until we meet again.

Author: Leslie Cappiello I see your scars they’re not

Author: Justin A. Curmi

I: A Cheap Flight 

Floral containing sandwich-ziploc bag

of parched mind-altering substance; urging 

to be inhaled through an inferno drag      

while sitting on a ship — slowly merging  

two hemispheres into one entity.

A Maui Wowie soothing getaway

for a solid-liquid identity;

meanwhile, lungs produce a stormy airway. 

A pauper enriching vacation far  

from life of modern civilization 

on an illusionary lush sandbar         

as dulcet ukulele elation

strums harmoniously throughout the room,     

long-temporary stay in the back room.  

II: Raucous and Lively Fireworks of Om

Two mil bag zip with glaring Megatron

that transforms dry dance floors to a shower

more kaleidoscopic than dingy Tron;

a midsummer fantasy with power,

and a tangible orchestra of beats.

All waiting on an eager ingestion, 

which forces the palate to urge for sweets

without imposing and halting questions. 

There in the grove of sensual bodies

I heard Dionysus’ warning to man,

yet the bright raining light disembodies 

form from trivialities of madman       

who greedily plays courtship and money;

however, unworthy in Bliss Honey.           

III: A’ Picking We Go  

In the Artistic Muse Athenaeum

earthly categorized shelves line the walls

as thirsty eyes survey the museum

while merrymakers pass the narrow halls 

to embark on autumn explorations 

towards streams of Lethe the forgetful,

which circulates throughout every nation

causing nights of Bacchus the regretful. 

However, in grand vantablack blunders

the expansive void lulls confused spirits

of the: rainmakers, shamans, and hunters,

from harsh daily granulating physics     

of distant computerized industry     

who quickly minimizes dignity.  

IV: Wintery Fairyland

Godlike snowballs waiting in gleeful hands  

as noses jingle to the frosty touch

that will introduce them to godly lands

while waiting around sets of tight clutches   

during radiant sounds thumbing the door,  

and aphrodisiac thoughts twirl and whirl

throughout the new Victorian decor,

which invokes a lofty opulent pearl.

A succulent taste of Nietzsche’s Table,

Marx’s Owners of Creative Creation, 

Age of Enlightenment’s changing playbill, 

or the pinnacle of Pluto’s stations  

where avaricious false deities dwell

as well as numb vermilion noses swell.        

Author: Justin A. Curmi I: A Cheap Flight  Floral

I was just a little kid when you entered my world. I remember the first time I saw you, heard you, smelled you, felt you. I guess at 10 years old all I wanted was to be liked, to be loved, to be needed.

In the beginning, you were attracted to me just as much as I was attracted to you. It felt like the final Tetris piece being maneuvered just in time to fit perfectly into my life.

You see early on we were a match made in heaven. You gave me confidence and with that came a sense of purpose. I was extraordinary at dealing with you.

At 12 you made me a hero in front of my dad. I never had to ask him for things… you had all the answers.

At 13 you gave me my first dose of anxiety. Oh, what foreshadowing this was. When we would hang out with my friends together I was the only one who would leave happy, they didn’t have such a positive relationship with you early on. When their parents started to hear we were together they grew cold towards me.

“My parents said you’re not allowed to come over.”

When I heard this through the phone it felt like someone poured boiling water directly into my bloodstream. I didn’t understand really. I remember crying in my room and thinking to myself that I would give the 1,000 dollars back that you had given me just to not be outcasted.

All of a sudden I was alone… again.. but there you were with open arms, waiting to pick me back up.

At 15 I remember the first time I got to truly show you off, it was in the cafeteria in high school. My friend’s grandfather worked as a janitor and he always bullshitted with us at lunchtime about different things. When he started talking about you I jumped in instantly to give him advice. He gave me a glance as if he was intrigued by what I said and then proceeded to walk away. The very next day he was waiting for me at the front of the cafeteria with a smile that could light up the midnight sky. “Wow you were right,” he said as he hugged me in front of everyone.

Man did I feel cool and important, and it was all because of you.

We grew closer and closer as the years went on. We had ups and downs but mostly ups. All the material things you brought to me didn’t compare to the foundational set of decision-making skills you prepared me with.

I was 21 when I first realized you might be a long-term problem. I started hanging out with you strictly alone and I couldn’t stop. It’s all I wanted to do. You affected my mood when I was with other people, you kept me up night after night.

I used you for every decision I had to make, you started to become one with who I was – it slowly was no longer you and me it was just…..me.

I started to feel alone again in a different way. The relief you had given me for so many years felt distant, hard to come by. I tried harder with you to regain the connection and harmony we once had. As I brought our relationship to new highs, deeper and deeper into despair I fell.

Anxiety became our newest addition. Fixed in its place. I could hear my heartbeat every second of the day as if it was synced with the clock on the wall. This level of suffering became normal for me, it was ok because I still had you.

At 23 you made me believe I didn’t have to get a job to survive- like I was different than everyone else. You always left a small window of opportunity open for me which Is why I loved you so much. At this point all I needed was a chance, a glimmer of hope and once again you were there to greet me. You were unforgiving with your grip on me- like a tree’s roots deep into the earth’s surface.

At 25 I realized maybe you weren’t everything you made yourself out to be. I got a real job but I took you with me. You were there when work got stressful, you were there when work was great, but slowly the tables started to truly turn.

You kept me up night after night- lie after lie. I started to resent you for everything you had put me through. I tried to break up with you numerous times, I swore on everything real that you would no longer be apart of my life only to wake up the next day and run to you like a toddler who missed his mother.

It got real bad. The relationship was now 100% toxic yet I could not get myself to separate from you. When we were truly together, just you and I, you made me feel like time stood still. I did not need friends or family, I did not need food or sleep. Being with you, just us, was all I asked for.

At 27 you held my hand as I got fired for the first time. You whispered in my ear that everything would be ok. I knew you were lying yet I still listened to you closely. At this point, I had to hide the fact that we were together, especially with my family, at all costs. I would have died before letting them know about us.

At 28 you forced me out of the country. A new beginning. I was ready to leave you behind, once and for all. The weight of you felt like a piano resting on my back, I just couldn’t tolerate it anymore. I didn’t talk to you for months but you were still on my mind, every single day and every single night. I started to feel what life was like without you, it felt good for a moment but then terrible the next. I just didn’t have closure, I wanted you back but I was too afraid to admit it- I hated myself for this.

At 29 I was back in the states when tragedy struck. Everything I knew about the past, the present, the future was suddenly frozen in time. I no longer knew the difference between up and down, stop and go, life and death… I was as lost and alone as a sunken ship in the trackless field of the deep cold ocean. Once again there you were, with open arms, calling my name.

Life was different from this point. I no longer had to hide you as well. We took our relationship to new highs which brought me to new lows. As the resentment between us grew so did the lies., the deceit, the suffering. I wanted you out of my life but I just didn’t know how to do it, for I tried for 10 years and failed. There were times where I thought maybe we were just meant to be together and this was the life I was supposed to live. Boy was I wrong.

At 32 I decided enough was enough. You had taken a toll on me that I can not put into words, my body could not handle it anymore, let alone my mind. It was 22 years in which you controlled me. I wanted to be free, I wanted to have a normal life. I knew the only way for us to truly separate was for me to be honest with my family about our relationship which is what I did. It was by far the hardest thing I have ever done in my life.

November 25th, 2020 is when we officially separated for good. This day I intend to go down as the turning point in my life.

So here is my goodbye letter to you.

I will miss the excitement you brought me, the hope, the ability to make boring work tolerable but that’s about it…

I won’t miss the anxiety, the time spent, the hot and cold rushes through my body, the unbearable stress, the lies, the deceit, the artificial maneuvering, the panic, the drama, the mood swings, the compulsion, the manic behaviors, the hate, the lack of self-respect, the lack of integrity, the lack of discipline, the lack of honor.

I won’t miss the feeling of misery, the manipulation, the dedication, the obsessiveness,  the suffering, the aggressiveness, the passiveness, the suffering.

I won’t miss the look on my finances face, I won’t miss…. You.

So goodbye gambling, once and for all, goodbye. I don’t love you and I am starting to realize I never did.

Author: JG

I was just a little kid when

How does she coax a rose from a stone?

Cold flat surface and non-dimensional plane.

Heavy burden of stone, lifeless, exhausted, no name.

Her days have moved forward with more days yet to come.

And like a stone she won’t let go of the things that she’s done.

And she sits contemplating the greatest of sin, treating each day as a means to an end.

Until one day a question came in the form of a prose.

Is there any way to coax a rose from a stone?

Is there any way to move a stone to rebirth?

No more counting on someone or something to show her self-worth?

So she sits at her table, a stone in her hand and reaches an agreement they both understand.

This life did not give her something already made, but provided the pathway to let her be brave.

So to answer the question that came from this prose;

How does one coax a rose from a stone?

The answer is simple, but the path isn’t straight.

It takes time, patience, bravery, and love to create.

Author: Joyce Brand

How does she coax a rose from

Our Ground Time Will Be Brief

Pressure on figs makes them sweeter.

—Arabic saying

 

If only your date of death were slipped

under your door—then maybe you’d jettison

your adolescent, super-human fictions, not film

your roof-launch onto piled mattresses;

maybe

you wouldn’t walk across the arc

of the bridge’s left girder on a dare,

sneakers snugged between round buttons

of oversized bolt heads, river and train streaming

beneath, your pals waving from the bank

like frightened windmills;

maybe, just maybe,

you’d stop telling yourself there’s time

for another shot, another black out drunk

where tales of that other self mount,

achieving cult status—

time for cigarettes

coughed up in the cemetery—Dog,

you’ll get over it, choke it down;

maybe

you’d stop saying there’s time enough

to travel to that distant island

with its Recovery sign twinkling;

or time

to make love again and again to

a woman you don’t love.

If you held

death beside you every night

how would you live each day differently?

What carnival ride would you choose

as the hands near zero?

What words

would you commit to? Poems that attack

cancer cells, as if the push

of pen could clear fields of them

blooming in someone’s lungs?

Would you drive

across seven states to tell your ex-lover: I slept

with someone too, shouldn’t have blamed you?

Would you sign intake forms with your real name?

Takethe train to Hoboken

and hold her hand

again? Here, this is that notice,

a Coming Soon sign

wrapped around a book of matches.

The rustled paper seems to whisper: Go on,

burn down the house, set fire

to all that doesn’t matter.

                                                Here, this envelope

and note can kindle it, watch the blooming

take the wood.

Author: DAS

Our Ground Time Will Be Brief Pressure

Zopiclone 

Author: Annie K.

PM.

Zopiclone.  Zo. Pic. Lone.

Zo.

Zo, zo tired.

Wash your fatigue over me,

like a welcome wave on hot feet burnt by sand.

Pic.

Pic me up and plonk me down.

In my bed.  I don’t care

about the lights being on or;

the wind smacking the curtain or;

the the child crying.

I can’t see you.  I can’t hear you –

No more.

Lone.

Lone Alone

Without you –

Stress, worry, hopelessness.

Lone Loner Lover Love

Lovely.

Sleep

Goodbye

Thank you Zo. Pic. Lone.

AM.

Wake

Hello

Fuck you Zo.Pic.Lone.

 

Wrong side of / off bed

Hangover without drink.

Drug dependency.

I’ll be tired

all day and won’t sleep tonight.

 

Eyes fizzy,

brain fuzzy,

stomach woozy,

 

Zopiclone,

Why do I consume you?

Now you consume me.

Zopiclone  Author: Annie K. PM. Zopiclone.  Zo. Pic. Lone. Zo. Zo, zo

Author: Katlynn Gibbs

This has been the hardest goodbye I could ever imagine.

Without you, I begin to feel shy all over again.

I would count on you to break me out of my shell.

Now that I don’t have you, I get mad and start to yell.

Fearing learning how to learn again,

I realized that I must find myself a new close friend.

Not wanting to say farewell forever;

yet knowing deep down that it’s only for the better.

Now, I’m consuming myself with love made by me.

Accepting and moving on will be the most important key.

Changing my mind has been the difficult part.

While here, it has seemed to go hand in hand with my heart.

Without you, I will always be glad for my steady health.

While I’m suprisingly pleased with this better, new improved, version of myself.

Author: Katlynn Gibbs This has been the hardest

Author: Maggie Millian

There’s so much pain.

It feels like an ocean.

Sometimes the ocean is calm and sunny.

But when there’s a storm,

And the water gets choppy

I feel the waves crashing against my body.

But the thing is

that even when it is sunny,

The ocean is still there.

And I know what the water is capable of doing to me.

How quickly it can turn on me.

How the water can lift me up 

And deliver me back down 

gently.

Or it can drown me. 

And when the storm comes,

The problem is,

I never know if it will pass.

And I certainly can’t remember how the sun felt.

All I can remember is the grief of knowing that sunshine was once possible.

Author: Maggie Millian There’s so much pain. It feels