Faces On Demons

Oh the (dark) places we go,

if only Dr. Seuss could remedy all,

perhaps the quiet abyss might no longer,

contain the strength,

the grasp sometimes

inherent in my every step,

the outlook of my day.

 

I sometimes wonder the strength of my addictions,

are the reason I move slowly,

perhaps in reason the justification

of lost principle,

allows me to wallow in my

sad and lonely way.

 

I’ve made mistakes,

they are plain to see,

unless you wouldn’t know me,

then maybe,

I could walk around in circles,

seem,

a bit more mistake free.

 

It is an inherent trait in our society,

to judge the person on your left and right,

in order some would argue,

to set your own demons free,

or am I only speaking of me.

 

I sometimes reflect on a world

of alcohol and drugs,

oh the sweet nectar

of setting myself apart

from every

symbol I felt of hope and faith.

 

The gambling arm,

set in tone the rest of me,

and for the little time I’d known,

I would seek refuge there,

only to come to terms,

with another bottle of scotch,

with an endless pour.

 

There is something remarkably beautiful

about peace,

peace of mind,

a peace to build our hopes upon.

finding peace,

inside the miracle of time.

 

I look to find all the faces,

that disturb my sleep,

in the middle of the night,

left staring at a wall,

rather safe than closing my eyes,

to once again,

know,

in the middle of a dream,

would there be an onslaught …

faces on demons.

 

We might suppose,

they’ll always be there,

quiet reminders,

like skeletons with favorite postures,

we liken them all,

to our own sheltered storm,

inside an expression at the county fair,

won’t allow a soul,

to imagine any other pain,

otherwise.

 

Occasionally when walking alone,

I do,

I choose with earnest,

to put my own,

face on demons,

I suppose it may appear absurd,

but rather than in a crowd,

I can own my own expression,

no longer under a shroud.

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When Yesterday

When we start to think about

our yesterdays,

we get scared, well some, me, suppose

the words need only be self-directed,

if validity

is the goal of my game.

 

I contemplate my day before notions,

those of consequence and reward,

I try to recall the best, when especially drawn

into the abyss of the mess.

 

A hundred years ago, my embellishment

landed me in places I couldn’t defend,

only wished I had found a way to mend

the indifference,

self-righteous patterns of wanting everything,

my way, my game, my gamble, my favorite

addiction.

 

I lost at every step, remembering when leaving

fearing skid row might be my home address

in six weeks or less,

less the confidence, less the support,

lest I drag my ass out of the gutter and realize

there is a life ahead.

 

However, there is always the readiness,

not choice by personal desire,

but the savior whomever that might be in our lives,

the one and only,

Grace,

the epitome of letting go,

realizing we cannot, and will never need to do this on our own,

alone.

 

Yet today, I do think about my yesterdays,

and wonder if I might ever step away,

to enjoy the beauty of this,

namaste.

 

* Lost Generation

Wise Repartee

We like to be right, you and me,

yes you, not me, only us, we all seem to

never want to agree,

instead,

we’d like to be right all the time.

or do we just want to be

ok.

A couple of years ago, I fought the urge to be wrong,

didn’t wish to ever acknowledge I could be a

lying, cheating, insolent, self-entitled, inebriated

jerk.

Funny, I wasn’t even drinking then,

just begin to imagine how truly lost my soul was,

if I even could count on that part of my being,

still existing.

When is it we truly lose our soul?

Wait on that for another moment,

let’s stick to the topic of being real, honest, truthful

about who we are

again.

We do seem to start over quite a bit, y’know.

Especially us!

I know you know, and I believe you could be alright with yourself,

if you just might let your world become the safety zone

she once believed it might be.

Back then, he didn’t have a lot of faith in anything,

and until his knuckles dragged upon the glass lined gravel

nobody anywhere really cared,

anymore.

Fascinating and amazing how suddenly people care again.

Quite right!

Solace in Rejection

rejection-ignore-no-ss-19201

Haunting, perhaps a notion, angst, some feeling

of fear in the pit of my stomach,

that which I never want to return to again,

yet, I haven’t a clean slate,

I have human condition instead,

matched up with societal choices,

favors, friends, family,

all the different values of our history,

that open the doors,

and slam the locks.

So what is it I am afraid of,

will I return,

fall back into the trappings,

take a hit, belly up to the bar,

sniff with a following injection,

perhaps instead I might continue the fight

yet I am so tired, so very exhausted

by the reality of the game,

for it is that you know,

addiction,

the biggest fuck your head around I know,

yet, as long as I can still play,

I’m going to win,

take my losses and mount a force of reckoning

on such positive distributions,

that necessary energy,

to help me,

pause, to let me realize,

I can learn more, everyday,

I don’t ever have to stop

wishing successful.

Raising My Adrenaline

addiction

(addiction)

***

When I see it happening around me, and I have to stop

take a breath, make a choice

do I respond, because when I do,

you know, they will retaliate, speak out loud

make a point that is that universal language

that shouts with vengeance, screams a throttling,

angst.

When I feel,

it all unravels so quickly I can only sit back

and resign, let the wind hit me with stride

hope my balance, hope my center,

can withstand the scrutiny, piece of myself

that always believes there is something wrong

because the world around me constantly,

reminds me.

If when I respond to the circus that plays me,

I might not always feel a shelf below

the polished instruments that eyes take notice,

letting those in the dust become a secondary after-thought.

Yet when sunlight strikes the silver lining,

that is the peace that drives me forward,

knows I can love with compassion,

knows there is truth and discovery,

allows change to become a practice,

a remarkable challenge toward realizing

strength.

So when I cry,

please don’t ask me why,

just let me be there,

in the moment underneath all of my fear,

lies a vision, an honest reckoning,

perhaps a quiet travel through life’s intrigue,

while searching the endless avenues,

those difficult stumbling blocks

that when surpassed may speak …

Elegance.

Scotch on the Rocks -prose-

scotch

Nine years ago, I had one of these. Around 4 in the afternoon, as soon as I could after getting out of work. I know I probably had two before going home for about 1/2 hour and then taking off with the excuse that I had correcting to do. My school basketball team was in the state tournament the next day. It was St. Paddies day. I remember because that was the day that I had my last drink, at about the time of this writing. I left my favorite watering hole after finishing a martini. See I had made the transition to martinis because that was the natural progression necessary to be a full blown alcoholic. That night I slept on a thin mattress with a metal frame nailed to the floor. Unfortunately, I virtually remember everything about that experience.

I recall sitting in the bar knowing it was midnight, and thinking I could get to the next tavern on time for last call, and then I would just have a quiet road to get myself home unscathed. I got into my car, pulled out, followed the avenue with one eye on the rearview mirror scanning for any cops. I pulled up to a left turn lane with a red arrow and waited for all of about 30 seconds before I decided to make the turn without a green. The lights went on just out the right corner of my windshield and then followed the back of my car for about 150 feet until I pulled over to the side of the road, in plain view of the next bar I was heading to. I could have parked the car and run in, but I probably would have created a scene. Instead, I became the scenery.

The officer that arrested me was an extremely gracious man. I waived my right to walk a straight line as my body careened against the side of my car as I was being escorted to the back. He read my rights, and I was soon in the back of a squad car, another patrol intervened to record the entire arrest. My common phrase at the time was, ‘my life is over’ almost a chant that lasted for a couple of hours, audibly to no one who would listen. After processing I told the officer he would hear from me in six months, that I’d had my last drink. I hadn’t a clue how often that guy probably heard the same thing but never got the calls.

I remember my head spinning as I was walked out to another squad to be transferred to jail. I was basically put into a drunk tank and told I would be processed in the morning. That would be a Friday, and my team would be playing that evening. I suddenly thought of Dennis Hopper in Hoosiers, but the glamour didn’t stay with me, and I soon passed out. Have you ever woken up and suddenly felt something was terribly wrong? Or, did you ever have that instance of wondering if everything that seemed to be drifting in your mind actually revealed at truth? When the officer woke me, I asked if I could call my wife. He told me I needed to get my jail clothes first, and soon afterward I was wearing pajamas and brought up to the actual jail, where I later met a gentleman named Bubba.

The room was painted white with a heavy metal phone, and a small fuzzy tv in the middle of a wall. There were around a dozen beds in the room, all seemingly filled with patrons. I was relegated to the top bunk. Imagine climbing up a secured ladder, while hung over and feeling the embarrassment and shame with each step. I got to the top and laid down, only to realize I had to use the bathroom. As I crawled down, I looked at the metal caged wire across the thin basement like windows that showed no scenery but only allowed white light to encompass the frame, the only light of day I would see for many hours. I walked into the bathroom, and found a metal toilet, a metal basin, a metal shower head with no curtain, and I began to weep. I knew I wouldn’t last a day in this place and I hoped I could be released before the weekend kept me for three days.

On the outside, my wife was scrambling to get bail together. We were in the middle of a winter storm, she was forced to drive across the city in weather no one in their right mind would attempt. I have thanked her many times for that gesture, and I think I will probably thank her again before I go to bed tonight, in my home, in my bed, with a comfortable mattress, pillow I love, and a beautiful woman that I can hold while my final waking moments drift into a peaceful reality.

Today, I celebrate nine years of sobriety. I chose this to save my marriage, but more importantly to save my life. Had I not quit drinking it would not have had an opportunity to kill me before I took my own life. So I am a fortunate man. I have my family, I have my peace of mind, I have my home and all the responsibilities that go along with being a father, a husband, a teacher, a director, a positive member of our society. What I do not have is an urge to return to the events that lead to this story, and for that I am grateful.

A scotch on the rocks was my drink of choice. I loved to roll it in the cubes of a cocktail glass, imagining myself to be that suave guy at the end of the bar that attracted attention for his debonair personality. The reality was, I was simply a drunk that created no positive persona in my community of alcoholics. Nine years ago I was given an opportunity, and there isn’t a day that goes by where I am not reminded of how fortunate I am.

Here’s to you and yours and may the spirit of our Lord be with us to carry our load in all of our endeavors. I am a grateful human being.