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My Childhood
I remember when I was about four or five,
Making up dances, felt so alive.
Sleep overs often, I had friends all around.
At night, unafraid, I’d sleep safe and sound.
Then as a preteen, when puberty hit,
I began to compare, just not sure where I fit.
This girl was faster and that girl was slim…
My outlook on life became fear-filled and grim.
I dressed how they dressed, I adopted new slang,
And dashed for the phone every time that it rang.
I wanted so badly to just not stand out,
And by the time I hit high school I’d started to sprout.
Perhaps if I ate less and got name brand shoes…
I could numb insecurities with Daddy’s booze,
Just a little nip here, perhaps another nip there,
A few sips before class so I could just sit and stare.
Before long I realized I was drinking each day,
I ate lunch alone and soon quit the school play.
I stopped caring so much about what others thought,
And forgot almost everything that I was just taught.
For, my best friend in the world was contained in a bottle,
And I no longer cared about becoming a model.
I no longer cared about much anymore,
And would often wake up on a strange bedroom floor.
No more dances in courtyards, just drinking alone.
My dealer’s the only number I call on the phone.
How did this happen? Where did I go wrong?
Perhaps this was my destiny all along….
January 26, 2024

My Childhood I remember when I was about

The bitter taste of serenity
The pleasure of my guilt
The loneliness of peace
The paradise I have built

The weeks feel like days
The years feel like months
Occasions turn irrelevant
Relationships turn blunt

I watch my whole world Crumble
My conscience is not phased
I definitely don’t need therapy
Don’t tell me that I’m crazed

Next week will be different
The lies I tell myself
Addiction is a mind set
I fucking hate myself

The mind a temple
But temples they can fall
It’s time to kick the habit
Or the habit will take it all

The path that I am walking
I feel I am alone
I have no one to talk to
I have no place at home

I scream out loud for help
But only I can hear
If you could see inside my mind
You’d likely shed a tear

And as the days go on
It seems to last much longer
Reality is a fantasy
It’s grip is getting stronger

So as these words conclude
Be weary where you tread
Your love could be the difference
Of Wether I’m alive or dead

The bitter taste of serenity The pleasure of

Dear Alcohol,
Its time to say goodbye you duplicitous thief. We’ve had some great times man, no doubt about it. You just couldn’t stand to be in the background could you? Always fighting for the spotlight. Mr. Centerstage couldn’t just be a fun addition to the party, you had to make sure it was all eyes on you. Always showing off how strong you are, taking control of every situation, manipulating every emotion to lead right back to you. The Narcissist in a bottle, the Sociopath in a can, the Courageous Facade in a glass, consistent if nothing else. The time has come to part ways. You have overstayed your welcome and have begun to cause discord in my life. “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man I put the ways of a child behind me” (1 Corinthians 13:11). As the man of my house I have no room or time for your immaturity, your ever daunting recklessness, or your hidden agendas. The harm you have done to me and mine is insurmountable, the things you have done to me are detestable, but you know what? I forgive you. They say holding a grudge is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. I hold no grudge against you and you were my poison, so I guess you could call that two birds with one stone Big Dog. I’d like to say I’m gonna miss you but that’s the beauty of an ugly break up isn’t it? You never want to see the other person again. So this is it, bye-dios bro. You almost took me with you too but you forgot one thing… I GOT THAT DOG IN ME.

Later Hater.


Dear Alcohol, Its time to say goodbye you

Life Equation

San Francisco plus
plus romance breakup
equals cocktails.
Margaritas, gin.
New romances
schmucks plus
teaching high school
plus early thirties
bar hopping
independence equals
half a bottle of wine
most nights
maybe more.

Subtract San Francisco
add Tucson
age 38 now
minus Tucson
add Davis
now age 40
plus four years
of grad school
add Masters
add PhD
add student loans
add two years
on the job market
tally subtotal
daily drinking.

Subtract California
Minus beloved home
plus North Carolina
nosy neighbors
Southern culture
“bless your heart”
fakery and “where’s
your church homes?”
Add years
subtract dear friends
family west coast
add years gallons
and gallons of wine
floating up at times
on rising tides
other times keeping
something deeply

Subtotal tally 62.
Add two weeks
in January 2023
another new year
then begin subtracting
liquor. Add days
since last wine
add nights
without drink
same six
lay down
then add tomorrow
and tomorrow
and with any luck

Tally sum
of this equation:
Life minus
liquor equals
a deep night’s
sleep tonight
plus tomorrow
the potential
for peace.

Life Equation San Francisco plus twenty-something plus romance breakup equals cocktails. Margaritas,

Remember me?
We met at a party.
When I was much younger:
You were my best friends.
Always there to lift my up.
Always there to make me laugh.
Always there to help me not care, Nor to cry.
I was always the life of the party.
You numbed me from reality.
From the hurt, and pain inside.
You made me forget the bad, and only think of you.
You and the good you came with.
Or so I thought.
Because at the end.
You took more than everything took… me

Remember me? We met at a party. When I


It happened that morning, as great gray held the sky,
We sat on the steps, and I made her start to cry.

Her jacket bright green, but Her mind laced with black,
As She drew life in circles, and She kept holding back.

Dull light in her eyes, Her God almost a stranger,
She was tip-toeing the tight rope and ignoring the danger.

I smoldered and told Her this Work needs Your action.
And She sighed and She tried but She couldn’t get traction.

I ravaged my resources, just how could I put this…
She was fragile but fighting with Her spiritual sickness.

So I prayed for His guidance, more compassionate care,
As the rain rattled down and the wind whipped Our hair.

I tough-loved and rough-talked, as the dark sky expanded,
And I pushed an ultimatum so heartfelt it landed.

If She knelt with some earnest, and allowed for some bend,
This could be a turning point, as opposed to an end.

As He gave us a storm so the earth matched the scene,
I told Her, this shoulder, was Hers onto lean.

But not to solve or resolve or to turn a blind eye,
If She wanted to live, it was more than not wanting to die.

She let go and let God, braved the truth and Her start,
Flipped Her spiritual switch, and She prayed with Her heart.

The world started to ignite, and We battled to explore,
As She felt her pain, found her lane, and gave substantially more.

Then We talked of the future, not what She’d survived.
And like Dorothy in Oz, some vibrance arrived.

The solution was honestly, not self-righteousness,
Immediately Her jacket, was not the only brightness.

At first We both balked, didn’t know Who to Thank,
Then recognized Our Gods, on that hard wooden plank.

I gained My new Strong One, We farewelled a Newcomer,
Her world dissolved its gray shade, and achieved Teknicoulor.

TekniColour It happened that morning, as great gray

Author: Danielle B.

See, these days I occupy my minutes

with, the uniquely rich cancer sticks,

to make THAT part of me die –

over and over like a blister in the sun.


You see, I am stuck


the lines that haunt me,

the way that anger and pride kindle the hurt

the ebb and flow of wasting time,

of rising anxiety – which is automatically lingering these days.

People once told me that, that, it’s good, “it’s good to be seen”.

Behind these walls — this is why I hate to cry –


because, I’ve been told to let go, to compromise.

I’ve learned how to calm the ego, down

to taste freedom, but ATTACK – the silence surrounds me.

I just might, push the breakdown

In terms, like lines, and boundaries –

How can I describe … the darkness, the isolation, and the self-loathing?

Like a breathless papercut,

Let me lick these wounds into ashes, but …

Wounds into conversations, and inflections –

Healing has this way where moving forwards becomes a place,

where dialogue shapeshifts into the kind of happiness that still chooses to wear a mask.

Hope moves like legs and fingers that try to find others like themselves …

Intertwining like subversion, like hollowed voices beckoning darkness.

And Time, it wraps around old thoughts slowly,

the way a cigarette burns down




The pain and trauma

from the past,

from today

from tomorrow —

like smoke signals, cylinders of stories

which construct, and influx, the way my mind clauses –

complicated little niches – :: INHALE ::

Deep, just so I can collapse these mother fucking lungs of feeling.

Because my mind is a crowded space

These questions, like fears, little disarmed monsters –

This is why I choose to light up these contexts, to keep old demons down

with sand and grit, smoke like a chain between the filter and me,




I make room for the healing. But, don’t worry about me.

This is why I choose

to let these cinders burn.

— Sometimes, I miss the girl who used to stand

in the dark corners

of bars

of alleys

who was waiting to die

every night.

Sometimes, I miss the

black and blues

the cuts and scars.

The storefronts

The light poles

The burning smell of rubber

and red and white and blue lights.

I can still feel the cold concrete

floor of Central Bookings beneath my fingertips.

She at least, knew herself.

I, still haven’t found

what I’m looking for.

Author: Danielle B. See, these days I occupy

Author: Kristen C.

When her father was drunk, he’d say ‘I used to have a brother, you know’,
He got faraway look in his eyes, a memory forming in the clouds,
His hands would open and close, tightening as his breath grew swallow,
Cruel thoughts manifesting at the bottom of his scotch,
But he’d smile again a minute later and the memory was gone,
Along with the uncle she wish she never knew she had.
When her mother was drunk, she would stumble and fall,
Tripping over more than her words, but,
Her smile was never as bright as when she was half way through the bottle of wine,
And her eyes held a shine that would never see the light of day,
But morning would always come, and with it the shameful dissonance.
Her mother always hides the bruises and broken glasses well.
She had never known the effects of the drink until later in her life,
For she had seen what could happen when a pain that deep ran in the family,
But she has come to understand the appeal of a drunken stupor,
Reality always made much more sense when her world was spinning.
When she drinks, she drinks to remember, to forget
It depends on the night in question,
Sometimes it’s to remember her mothers smile, or forget the haunted look in her eyes in the morning rays,
Or she drinks to forget the secrets she wished her father never spilled,
Drinks to forget the reality she helped create.
She knows the harmful effects of addiction to the bottle,
But she knows she cannot function without it; family traits and all,
Yet there is power every time she spills the bottle down the sink,
But she clings to the drops as though they hold a dying prayer,
She hates living on a silent scream, but she still she prays
Asking those above to save her from the same path as those before her.

Author: Kristen C. When her father was drunk,

You were the only one there
when no one was.
You were the only thing to take away the pain.
You numbed me.
You made me not have to feel the hurt I felt each day.
But then you numbed me, to the point where you were the only thing that could help me cope.
You to my mind, life, family, friends.
You took more then my hurt.
You took all of me and more.
Now I sit and of all the things I missed, wasted time because of you.
Now you are gone, I’m taking my life back.
You will no longer control me.
This is my LAST goodbye.
I’m in control now.

You were the only one there when no

A drink can only fool you
A pill will only lie,
To say “Here is happiness for a while
But in return your heart will die”,
One sip and you’ll be fooled
dancing into night
but once the morning light is blazing
even sunshine will seem like a bitter dogs bite,
A hit may leave you smiling
but once it starts to fade
darkness may seem safer
so what’s the point in escaping
the life we are supposed to make?
A sip will mask you in confidence
a pill will make you fake
pretending you are cool now
but leave your hands with tremors & shakes,
For a few hours you’ll seem perfect
like all sorrow is a lie
but once the feeling disappears
tomorrow will simply cry.
why not live with all the empty
and fill your heart with words
for to escape the pain entirely
is to become, in exchange, your hurt.

A drink can only fool you A pill