January 26, 2015  :: 0 comments

Sheila was waiting
waiting for the court
to give her kids back
to believe that she had given herself
to Jesus now and that she was walking
the straight and narrow
keeping her nose clean
staying off the dope
not turning tricks
and keeping creeps and con-men
out of her bed and out of her life
Sheila wanted them to think
that staying clean was more
more than a dog and pony show
but she knew damn well
that as soon as the kids got home
she was breaking out the needle
and the spoon
one more time
Sheila was waiting
waiting in the methadone line

Reggie was waiting
waiting for his wife
to get enough courage
to finally walk out on him
after all the shit he had pulled
and she had put up with
year after year after year
all the lies and all the promises
he had lost count ages ago
of all the times he had let her down
and she had threatened to leave
Reggie didn’t care anymore
he couldn’t remember
if he had loved her in the beginning
but he sure as hell
didn’t love her now
and maybe if she left
he could get a little money
out of her
Reggie was waiting
waiting in the methadone line

Lizzie was waiting
waiting for her case
to just go away
she had been speeding down Sunset
high as a kite on large amounts
of very high quality coke and smack
she hadn’t a care in the world
until she hit that parked Chevy
going 85 miles an hour
and suddenly, everything in her life
changed for the worse
Lizzie was fine, believe it or not
too stoned to feel a thing
but her best friend Sue
in the passenger seat
never woke up from her coma
Liz had a billionaire daddy, though
who found a fancy lawyer
to get her out of trouble
Lizzie was waiting
waiting in the methadone line

And, I too, am waiting
waiting for my willpower
to die of neglect
I don’t know how many times
I’ve tried to get clean
but I’d get two days or three days
before the fear and the rage
would gnaw at me
like a trapped rat
chewing off it’s own foot
and I’d be back on the street again
I didn’t want to stop using, see
I just wanted to not have to
sell myself to lonely old perverts
or rip off my family
or hustle some poor slob
out of his hard earned money
just to buy enough dope
to keep myself well
So here I am
waiting in the methadone line


featured in the poetry forum January 26, 2015  :: 0 comments

I watched over her while she kicked dope
sweating and
xxxtwitching and
xxxxxxscreaming obscenities
xxxxxxxxx“Fuck you and all your holier than though
xxxxxxxxxxxxbullshit, “she said
She promised me
it was going to be the last time
that she would screw up this bad
and who was I to judge?
I tried to drag her from the jaws of death
but she just kept
slipping back

I sat by her at the doctor’s
all the blood and
xxxthe pus and
xxxxxxthe nose burning stench
xxxxxxxxxas he lanced one abscess after
I had never
seen someone I cared about
in this much pain before
but what choice did I have?
I was trying to pull her from the gutter
but she just kept
slipping back

You know, I told myself
I loved her but I didn’t know
what that word even meant
She was just my new addiction
and the purpose and power I felt
was what was really in my grip
when I thought I was holding
her hand

I listened when she relapsed
as she lied
xxxand she lied
xxxxxxthrough her teeth
xxxxxxxxxthat she was sober, that she
xxxxxxxxxxxxwas clean
I didn’t want
to push her out
of my life forever
but that’s exactly what I did
Instead of me, lifting her up
she was only
dragging me down
so I let go of her hands
and watched her disappear
as she just kept
slipping back

editors note:

We try to hold on as along as we can, but sometimes we have to let go of that hand. Such a sad thing… (See another sad but searing strophe on David’s page with a link to access his new book, writing as Max Mundan, “Junkies Die Alone” – check’em out!) – mh

Rubber Bullets

featured in the poetry forum October 2, 2014  :: 0 comments

“Thank God they’re only rubber,”
I think, as the bullets
Rain down on us like hail.
We try to move with the crowd,
As it scatters like the rats
Who usually rule these streets.
One wrong move, one slip of the foot,
We’ll go down and if we do,
There will be no getting back up.

Feeling the hard welts
That are starting to rise
Around my tender, aching ribs,
I think, “How did this happen?”
How did a Cinco de Mayo street party
Degenerate into this?
Mad panic free for all;
Every man, woman and child for themselves,
In a vicious storm of black, rubber bees.

About this time, to my pleasant surprise,
I realize I’m still holding my beer.
“Thank God for small favors,”
I say to myself while simultaneously realizing
That’s a lot of Jesus talk for this atheist.
I’m running wildly now and
Have no idea what’s become of my friends.
“They know how to get home,” I think,
“I can’t hold their hands all the time.”

Turning a corner, into an alley,
I am stopped dead in my tracks,
My beer bottle slipping from my fingers and
Smashing loudly in the street below.
Blocking my way are 6 fully armed riot cops,
Their guns trained on my torso.
As I drop to my knees and put my hands up,
I have the abstractly lighthearted thought,
“Even bees can kill you if they sting you all at once.”

editors note:

But, they won’t sting if you don’t annoy them, right? – mh

The Perfect Box

featured in the poetry forum June 13, 2014  :: 0 comments

He always wanted you
To fit into the perfect box.
He tried to round off your edges and
Slice away the quirks and
Idiosyncrasies that made you too
Wild and weird to
Perfectly fit that
Perfect box.
You desperately wanted
To fit into the perfect box.
So you stuffed your feelings deep and
Told him what he wanted to hear and
Jumped through all his hoops in
The vain hope that someday you would
Perfectly fit that
Perfect box.
It proved to be impossible
To fit into the perfect box.
You died a little more each year when
You realized that no matter
How much you bent and twisted yourself
You could never make yourself the shape that could
Perfectly fit that
Perfect box.
In the end you just stopped trying
To fit into the perfect box.
You decided to quit the game and
Exit the struggle completely and
It’s a shame you are not around to
Appreciate the irony that now, at last, you
Perfectly fit that
Perfect box.

editors note:

Imperfect contents in a perfect container; box on, box off. – mh

A slightly off key love song for the ones who don’t quite fit

featured in the poetry forum November 4, 2013  :: 0 comments

At the reception
You look across the room
With such substantial yearning
Holding two complete convictions
Yet solid in your sense

The first an exaltation
That this bland and humdrum crowd
Has not the wherewithal
To incite your febrile nature
That their vanilla pleasures
Can never rival
Your intoxicating ones

The second
Just as vibrant
Yet unworthy to concede
That in a heart’s tick
You would cheerfully
Disburden yourself
Of your cumbersome uniqueness
If you could leap
Into their clique
And be enveloped
In their safe and soothing shelter

editors note:

Oh, to be a part of those who stand alone – together. Baaa! Baaa! – mh