Monday, February 04, 2008
Four fingers left to go...
There were times in the last three years
when fleeting mystical serenity was obtained
employing the use of alcohol as my metaphysical
snorkel, upholding the amber baton of enlightenment
in grapple similar to that of a patriarch and a scepter
after a day of writing, looking out the nocturnal sockets
of my bedroom window, taking intermittent chugs and swigs
before abandoning the contents of the bottle into my body and
doffing the cap off another bottle, another 40, another IPA
another shot, another Guinness. My vision skips across
the inky continents of the novel I am currently treading through
and then high dives off the second story of my
apartment window, lost in an upside down umbrella of snow
showcased by the yawning spotlight of a streetlamp--
if I look straight ahead as I tilt back the
hue of my bottle lost in the evaporation of planetary
bubbles sledding into the area of my face just above my
chin before I swallow and watch (almost in slow motion)
as the crystal rocket reverses its trajectory from
the brim of my lips, the nectar splashing into every
abandoned cell hollowed out inside my chest as I smile
and look back on to the December white of a fresh page.....
"I wouldn't try going cold turkey all at once." My brother-in-law, who is a
doctor advises me. "With the amount of alcohol you consume on a daily basis
you'll start shaking and sweating every night."
There were times when I lived with the psychic on
Heading avenue when I would go out into the woods at two
in the morning, the sylvan fountain of trees attired
in a thin sheath of snow, the skies bejeweled with
a broken chandelier of thermonuclear pebbles
as I searched for Sirius and smiled, howling as
I floated into the shadows of the night
a Fosters special Bitter or Icehouse
cupped in my palm. During the day, often
spring and autumn, around the pinkish tint
of a pending dusk I would lower myself into
what I already immortalized in my book
as the "nuclear woods." The same woods
my best friend David Hale got stuck in
on Patrick McReynolds 13th birthday sleep over
and we had to get help....the woods I dreamt
about exploring when I was in jr.
high with the crimped bangs and late-80's
and numerical high school
digits stitched into the jacket of my girlfriend close by
feeling somehow the awakening of our bodies
mirrored the awakening of the planet
the newness of spring
the endurance of summer
the ash of a fall evening
and the splash of ovum baptismal white
of a winter melting into the continuous narrative that is nature
years later finding myself somehow living on the upper lip
of the woods I loved in my early youth
loafing on a the thick bark of a toppled tree
a bridge to some childhood innocence
loafing, smoking my pipe, pouring back
into the hovel of my mouths the
the taste of a sunset childhood
and the taste of what is to come
For Christmas my creative writing professor from college
presents me with t he largest bottle of Jack Daniels I
have ever seen. If placed horizontally it resembles a
southern crystallized blimp showcased at a late-eighteen
hundreds world fair of arabesque intrigue.
There's something about the hardcore image of A
writer being an alcoholic. Jack London died when he
was 40. Kerouac was 47. when Raymond carver
was 39 years old the doctor said that
if he didn't quit drinking he would be dead
in six months. He ended up dying young anyway
(fifty, of cancer) but he said that he was more
proud of staying off the sauce than anything else
he had ever accomplished in his life.
The quality of his prose and the manner in which
he feisty inhaled every molecule of the last
decade of his life attest to the poetry of his
But writers are addicted to truth
when your truth is sloshing around
the corners of your lips
one second and then
trying to find something to fill the void
left by something that you
once put inside the interior shafts of your flesh.
When I was at the store today I told Tiffany who scans barcodes
and swipes link cards for low income families that
somehow can afford better clothing and vehicles
than i ever could that I am giving up booze for the
upcoming week (she saw that my order was fraught with frozen
vegetables, plastic silos of Gatorade and rice and inquired.)
Tiffany is hard core working class, skinny as a virgnina slim
who loves cheap domestic long-necks and country music and dogs.
I can tell that she has been having a typical Monday in America
can tell like all the rest of us that she is struggling
to make sense out of all the shit--struggling to make ends meet
struggling to find companionship (she refers to her boyfriend
as "dad" whenever he calls) struggling.
"Why are you giving up booze?" She says.
I tell her that I am only giving up booze for a week
and that the ultimate goal is to cessation of all
alcoholic products during the work week.
Tiffany continues to check out my item.
When she bends over placing the items into the
stationary cart at Sav-o-lot I can make
out the color of her bra.
"But you seem happy." She says. "If it makes you
happy all the time it can't be all that bad."
I turn around and begin to pack my groceries in
a box once used for tuna fish before shooting
a smile back at my checkout friend, whose
place of employment is much worse than that of my own.