Day 10 (Owning a Demon)- 30 Day Writing Challenge

Strummed beat, matched march, dirges as a throwaway tune,
deviancy is salt to bear rubbed tight inside a weeping open wound.
If you haven’t heard the music yet then swallow down your pride.
The life we lead is the life we get and you’ll know it deep inside.
So stagger or crawl and jog or sprint or fly,
the Devil is inside your soul today, just like it is for I.


I thought it would be a fun way to go today with a little poetry of sorts to begin with. This damn challenge thing has me trying to think on my feet about what to write and I seem to be coming up dry, or at least feeling like I’m grasping for straws about what to say. The goal was to just put fingers to keyboard everyday, and I’m happy to say that I’ve pretty much managed to do just that.

So, with that said, on my mind today is the nature of our own personal evils, our devils, our drive to do the untoward and vicious. For me, that takes the form of drinking or drugs, pumping my body full of as much poison as I can stand in whatever way I can get it. It’s always surprisingly shocking when after a bout in the ring with that particular demon suddenly the quality of life I’m experiencing diminishes rapidly and dramatically. I don’t know why it’s surprising is the thing, we truly do generate our own decisions, and those choices play out in the overall feeling of our life and how well we are able to experience the highs and the lows.

That seems like really common sense knowledge, and despite that I have sat remaining in, then feigning ignorance of it. Life truly is what you make it, trite and cliche as the saying may be, there is a huge degree of veracity to it that I somehow missed. It’s like I wasn’t there at school that day and somehow managed to keep missing that lesson for the next 20 years.

With that in mind, addiction is a doubly baffling fucking ailment to explore and endure. You find yourself superseding every survival instinct and rational or logical awareness you have in lieu of chasing further inclement weather, misery, and chagrin–all done for a momentary rush that has faded into boring monotonous repetition long, long ago.

I get that there is a re-wiring that happens internally with addicts. If you show an image of a crack pipe to a crack addict, before the frontal cortex is triggered the pleasure center rings in and says “great times to be had”. That means that addiction literally steps around the “smarts” part of the brain that makes decisions and can bring a logical or determined drive to bear on any dangerous ideas. Which in many ways makes it seem scientifically hopeless to recover.

But people do, in a myriad of ways. Some manage to just go the harm reduction route and drastically reduce their intake, or they transition it to new forms of addictive tendencies that are less damaging, or they actually well and truly get sober. The fact that there is a narrow band of success and the penalty for failure is horror without refrain followed by an early death doesn’t always make a sufficiently motivational case it seems.

Today, I continue the struggle, moving forward one foot at a time, continuing to believe and search for answers or solutions to something that has stymied me for the vast majority of my life. It is my heaviest wish to somehow overcome and share that success as a lesson to my children about what is truly possible as one of the strangest species on the planet.

People are weird, and when we carry monsters in our back pockets, we only get weirder. Part of me wants to just plain rejoice in that insanity and the multitude of characters that are created by the imps at our door, but most of me is just plain done reveling in a well trod and predictable path leading nowhere but an early grave.

Time will tell, as it always does. Plus hey, I still have getting poisoned by frog secretions to look forward to in a short number of weeks!

Day 5 (Frog Poison) – 30 Day Writing Challenge

Self care is always one of those mysteriously challenging yet o’ so crucial aspects of day to day life it seems. More often then not the prospect of going for a walk, reading a book, meditating, exercising at home, journaling, or any of the rest of the litany of options available to each of us, seems like such a long stretch after the necessaries of the day are taken care of.

Sometimes, it takes a totally different form.

In roughly 3-weeks, I’ll be joining in with a ceremony circle and spending 9-days engaged in holistic medical practices from (mainly) South America. There may be opportunities presented to partake in Ayahuasca, Peyote, and a host of other intriguing substances like Kambo–essentially frog poison–to attempt a system reset.

Whether or not you would qualify sitting in shack with a shaman and ingesting quantities of herbal and animal toxins mixed to unknown strength and potentially lethal consequences as self-care or not I guess depends on who you’re talking to.

For me, it presents a unique opportunity to stretch my acceptance and belief system to try and encompass something that many would consider “woowoo” kind of pseudoscience magic and embrace it as something more. It also provides a chance, depending on the validity or hell, even the placebo effect, to help me disarm some of the more disagreeable parts of my psyche and behavior patterns (like addiction or smoking cigarettes which I still struggle with) that have remained reticent and resistant to all other forms of treatment at this point. I don’t believe in magic bullets, but I do believe in the prospect of rewiring connections internally, both mentally and physiologically if resetting parts of the DNA or bodily interactions which may have become messed up over multiple decades of drug abuse.

So there we have it. In the meantime, I’m getting out to ride my bike more regularly, and had a dog not chewed off the top of my thumb recently, doing some more general exercise while attempting to practice better health practices overall. It’s a multi-stage process I suppose, every little bit helps the whole to develop and grow.

While it may see strange, this is not intended as just another story to put in the bank, taking 9-days to really focus on healing, nutritional changes, not bringing any smokes or being in a location where they will be accessible (nor will drugs and alcohol) cannot help but be beneficial in the long term. In the short-term, it buys me a period of time away from my normal day to day where I occasionally flounder and struggle for direction or conviction to stay the tried and true pathway to life, love and happiness.

So bring on the frog poison, bring on the dream tea, and bring on open-mindedness to something which is beyond my normal ken. Time to expand that awareness a bit.

Day 1 of 30 – Writing Challenge

I’m going to try and actually stay consistent about something for the first time in, well, probably ever. I’m making it a personal challenge to write 30 pieces, one a day, for the next month to practice, and to see if I can actually do it. Sure much of it is going to be slop….but here we go. -S

Another mental crunch as the pieces fall into place. Patience is watching without virtue the calamities of yourself as they leave ricochet pockmarks into the surrounding population. What a shame that it all came circling back around this direction, to the twitchy fingers and uneasy guts. The lackluster moans and the desire for release in some way from the grip and tight tenor of the fingers laced around your brain stem.

Just another day in paradise it seems. Drooling into a cacophony of disinterested moments where the past is relieved in modern terms and the future slips by as identical discord. Yeah, here it goes again with the “will I nevers” and “if only I had the”–this time will be different, sure of it. Always remember that slip comes before the fall and that landing on your hands is a great way to break something. Take the bumps and bruises, roll yourself up and get a grip.

Next hour is a doozy, but the one after that brings us closer to setting off on a worldwide trip. Settle down now young buck, rest your weary head, we’re in this for the long hall, and some might question why it is you aren’t just dead.

Addiction is a Beast

To highlight the feeling of insanity that comes from active addiction.
Feels about right.

A sense of calm resignation is starting to settle in. So often shunted aside still for madcap panic and desperate flailing as this faltering shell of a body which carries an acidic sonofabitch that wants out while refusing to take pleas, no’s, or prayers as a hint to get lost. It’s there on the outskirts as the magnitude, the absolute fucking magnitude of how colossally I’ve screwed the lives of those around me up, while trying to ruin my own existence..

It always sat there just on the outskirts, even when it should have been blatant. The self concocted cocoon of ignorant bliss I had woven around myself to keep the realities of life and the need for growing up at bay made sure that even if I was looking at it head on, I wouldn’t see. I’d spin it internally, sometimes to deflect the judgement and actions needed, sometimes to punish myself further and feel so amply deserving of it while begging confusion to those closest to me.

God help me. I sat there blind to love, affection, nurturing, opportunity, friendships, my children, the actuality of LIFE itself. 

All in favor of an endless repetition of the same monotonous actions. Awake, chase, get high, drink, crash, rinse and repeat ad infinitum, The same rhythm that most humans are going through their awake, cabinet, coffee, drink, functional, productive, competent portions of their day to day.

What has it cost? 

I’m sitting in the mountains which are my peaceful place, body too exhausted to hike or sleep. Dimly aware that I’ve imploded yet another beautiful person’s life, tucked mine into an 18’ trailer, and spiraled into oblivion while desperately fighting a battle that can’t be won on my terms. Beginning to come around the edges of what that actually means–to be so viral, so toxic and caustic in someone’s life that you can literally see it reshape their entire being from what they were prior–knowing that even if it wasn’t intended, that’s what happened. 

To know that the fiber of your being is so saturated in selfish self-hatred that it closes you off to the possibility of trusting and believing that anyone could actually love you for a person you don’t even know any longer, yourself? Knowing that sounds like Narcissistic Personality Disorder and digging around to see if there’s ways to be less of a screaming manchild asshole only to find that if it’s really the case, there ain’t shit to be done?

To realize that I don’t even fucking know what things I actually enjoy in life? To have focused so many countless hours on a single destructive course that it has literally obliterated all remnants of understanding about what joy means. How love is shown. What fun is. How to treat others or myself in any sort of a humane way laced starkly with the deep confusion of always being at odds with myself to begin with. That I have erased inborn gifts, destroyed my mind, poisoned my body wildly–that I will die younger than I had to and may never have the chance to see my children again. That my children have been growing up without their father.

Being aware now of the wreckage and turbulence behind my passing from those unlucky enough to have had me walk into their life “chaos incarnate” as I used to joke. To not even be able to apologize in any sort of a meaningful way yet because time and action is all that really will matter, could matter at this point. To not be able to say thank you sufficiently where I mean it within such limited scopes as I’m tooled to have the capacity for. The endless dreams that have died in lieu of one more hit, one more drink.The beautiful dreams that staggered onward beneath the weight only to have the carpet ripped out from under them again. The smashed hopes that held them aloft for so long.

It is seriously time for a change. So for the first time in YEARS, I’m throwing in the towel, surrendering, and just going with it. I have a bed at a program starting in a few days, a kennel for the dog, a storage spot for the trailer/home, and a hiatus from school while I straighten myself out and make some so critically needed changes. Peter Pan with a crack pipe and a 100u shot–fuck it’s old. 

The next time I write will be on the back end the next 30+ days probably, so until then, thanks for everything and all the kind words, help, camaraderie, and digital awesomeness that is everyone else out there. Addiction’s a beast. Mental illness is a beast. But neither gives any permission to keep perpetuating that cycle endlessly or to inflict them on those around you.

Time to give up the fight and go back to the drawing board, starting fresh all over again.

Something About Trees and Monsters

Simulacrum bonsai spirit shining bright,

tendril bushings famously tiny

sit so perfectly tight.

Clipped to stand proudly small,

deficiency rests on laurels deep inside

where no one fears the height

but is aware of the fall.

Watered down trivia the company kept,

guessing games fuel creativity

while vices rumble and trouble

until tranquility arrives, envelops and sets.

Your ghost is born on silent words,

freedom found out where they fly

unbound from earth by roots,

out in the open air

where birds sing and lost men die.

10 Grams of Meth in a Toilet

I know a man who threw away 10g of meth. Down a toilet. Intentionally, during a moment of lucidity. He woke up from his dream. He didn’t do it for the posturing or the bragging, he did it because he had a fucking moment and things added up.

He saw his future was his past and all that was going to come again. The regrets. The broken relationships. The self-hatred. The loneliness and the pain. The body count and the desperation. The stagnation. The missed joy and thrill of life. The empty smile and the personal failings. The prayer for death unanswered.

It hit that water in the toilet and didn’t even stain the water with some indication of all the soil and grime that its brand had left over the years. All the marks on his morals. His appreciation of life. His awareness and understanding of the world and himself. His inability to connect and always be “other” – not in a way he was proud of, but in a way that left him sullied and greasy where it would always be felt most.

He wasn’t going to revisit and replay what had come before. He was learning gratitude for all the experiences, painful or pleasant, and that meant realizing that the pain had only needed to happen once. He didn’t need to put his hand back into the fire like always. it was still fucking hot and he was worth more than scorched flesh. He wanted to, could, and will become more. He’ll evolve, be seen in the mirror as true to himself, a good friend, an honest and genuine man, and as a survivor not an unchanging Peter Pan chemical fiend. Wreckage for decades as his only gift to the world, a Lost Boy playing pirate to his own loot.

He had learned, was learning, would continue to learn. He would grow.

I know a man that threw away 10g of meth. Finally took a dive and emptied a bag, got back on the horse, and welcomed in a change for once.

Stay that road fucker, I miss you.

I Was a Stigma to Myself

All credit to Emotive Brand for the image.
So often I would sit and wail about "why"?
The frustration unending,
the obsession ongoing,
a gut wrenching demand to understand
that in itself
kept me from the knowledge,
the peace I sought.

Sick in the head druggie,
psychopath,
crazy as a shit house rat,
lunatic,
insane,
addict,
"something's wrong with that kid" -

Drug user stigma phrases shown on an image with a haloed syringe from the words.
All credit to Stonetree Harm Reduction for the image.

I tried to own those labels
make them something to be proud of.
I tried doing that,
by doing all the things
I imagined people with those labels would do.
I followed that up,
by demanding that I not be persecuted,
not be judged,
not be looked at differently,
though I had just behaved in a way that demanded all those things happen.

Now I come to terms,
sit with the idea of peace,
find pride not in my actions
but in the understanding
that awareness and acceptance bring.
To know that I am not an actor playing out roles,
that I lost myself,
but I am a survivor,
no longer needing to play the role
of victim or perpetrator anymore.

It's a small thing,
Which means so much to me.
To be able to introduce myself,
engage in a conversation,
with confidence.
Know that I accept who I am as a being,
that I no longer let labels
define who I choose to see myself as,
act as a script for my identity,
or be my scapegoats when I screw up.

That like so many others,
I am the hero
and the villain,
of my own story.
That my abnormal mental states,
my addictions,
all the resulting experiences,
are gifts to allow me opportunities,
to shine my brightest
against the backdrop of adversity,
and decide just how much of it there would be.

To know that there are others out there gleaming,
and if we encounter each other
it could be in the form of respect and love,
admiration for the battles fought,
no matter whether they were felt won or lost,
an opportunity to compare notes and grow.

I'm not ashamed of who I am,
or where I am today,
I am disappointed in many of my choices
but they have been mine to make,
and they were made.
I used to have a vision of the perfect person,
someone that I would measure myself to
and inevitably fall short.

Today I am me,
released on the world
perfectly defective,
beautifully abnormal,
gifted with challenge and capacity for growth.

All of it,
so that I have a chance to become
an oh so slowly evolving,
human being.




Hey there Teacher

Fuck-ing bull-shit.

Hey there Teacher,
with the faltering step and the windblown hair.
What’s the story all about,
the one you told from the side of your mouth.
Where honesty met a curve,
tongue lolled to one side and spilled out some verbs.
I know it’s tough to turn the glass,
that shining mirror which overwhelms the past.
Where bullshit shines greasy like sludge,
and all the distortions are gone,
back to the mud.

Hey there Teacher,
with the drugs in your system and cheap sex on your brain,
Do you remember when you stopped learning and just sought out pain?
Stopped spitting out wisdom and bought your own lies?
I know you know the system and how it all spins,
I didn’t think you one who would cheat to win.
Thieving and twisting until your charm is clear,
problems abound but you never paused to hear.
Words and actions meant to help and soothe all your fears
but you were too deaf and I was too near.
Fucked up actions that caused all the pain,
hell you admitted the abuse from your side but then changed the game.
Cut out the bullshit and tell it all true,
I’ll try the straight route and see what you do.

I cheated – when I thought things were open,
so you fucked three more guys and used sex as a weapon.
I hurt you with words – called you freeloader and more,
you called me a psycho, a piece of shit, pathetic, and evened the score.
I didn’t make changes in the ways that I should have,
didn’t take the time to address my behavior in the ways that I could have.
Stopped taking my meds to test out a theory,
that I wasn’t so crazy just misinterpreting the scenery.
I didn’t have the courage to stand by my gut,
so I broke like a loser and washed myself free of blood in the cut.
I didn’t trust you completely and thought it was trash,
an actress putting on skins and a falsified past.
I actively ignored you and left you to your own devices,
was bitter and hateful and often times spiteful.
All the while I bent the world to help you realize your dreams,
pulled out the stops, went into debt without question,
begged on street corners when shit went south even though I wanted to scream.
Started school, accepted disabilities, got a job, begged my family,
all to put food in our mouths.
I changed my approach a thousand and one ways,
became more patient, understanding, sought to attain empathy,
sympathized, recognized, and upended my reality,
all so that I could spend time with you for some much needed days.
When I asked for time and some space to calm down,
you pushed, poked, and prodded – gaslit me all over town.
You had me fooled for so long that I lost who I was,
abused me emotionally, mentally, and then called it love.
When push came to shove at the end, long past due,
asked to be friends then found something to fuck with again, even if it’s true.
So I snapped and said I was done and that it was all dead as could be ever
blocked you like I’m supposed to and wished this would all blow over.
I’d forgiven you for everything,
moved past it into the future where I saw smiling people and less lies.
Then you guinea pigged me and question why I lashed back,
you robbed me digitally for the last of my stack –
the money I sent you strings free the week before when I still had nothing,
might as well have been burned.
The cops could have put you in jail,
they have your license plate number now–watch out for that tail.
I asked them to drop charges and they said they would,
my comment was, “she’s in a horrible situation and deep down she’s all good.
But then I find you spewing hate all over my safe place,
the one outlet I find online.
Evidence says your besmirching me everywhere at this point,
reaching out to other exes and raising unnecessary hell all over this joint,
trying to get my goat got – and I understand that’s just fine.
So realize that while you’re smoking that next bowl,
hooked on the shit and getting tagged for it on the down low,
I’m happier now for a month then I have been since I met you,
not intended as a stab, just honesty, since I look back on our time with regret and much rue.
I regret and apologize for all of the fights,
we should have never been together, you and I just aren’t right.
You were my entire world, believe it or not, and by you my sun set and would rise.
Special you wanted to be and special you were,
now you are nothing but a nightmare and a thieving cur.
And if you want to go fire with fire we’ll both of us burn,
don’t make me reopen charges and shine a light on your emotional spurn –
meth, dick, deceit and theft, you’re the one no one should trust,
hell, I shouldn’t have for a second and I hate that I still feel like I must.
So go lay in the gutter all filled with hate,
funny how it rings so loudly as manipulative a classic NPD emotional quake.
Fuck your intolerant and misjudging voice,
you’ve slandered my ass far too often to care, but that was your choice,
I learned enough from you and I’m done with the lessons,
you speak pretty proudly for a someone who treats their latest attachment as a lifelong obsession.
Clearly your conscience is clear, there are no places of doubt,
I wish you would actually finally cough up your bullshit stories and stop playacting on what this was all about.
Shower someone else with a thousand dull points,
bleed your issues on them till you’re all run dry,
except that you don’t want to do anything about them, you don’t even try,
you just want the sympathy to help you look good and pure while you endlessly justify.
Goodbye for forever, and good luck out there,
Please don’t come back into my life,
we shouldn’t have married, I was no husband and you were no wife.

Hey there Teacher,
with the red eyed face.
I made mistakes and fucked up your life and made it all bad,
but I thought we made our choices ourselves and shouldn’t be sad?
I adored and admired the person you were,
but now you use my name like some dirty slur.
I won’t darken your days or your nights,
all I ask is you get gone and do what is right.
Teacher, you’re all that I needed,
but it’s time to staunch the wounds and stop the bleeding.
Good luck in life, I don’t wish ill on you despite what you’re feeling, I swear,
someday, hell, you might even see that I genuinely cared.
I found that “me” that I lost,
the confidence now to not get talked in circles like a fighter might box.
I’ll share my happy with the world with refinement and friends,
now that your sickness is gone I can finally breath again.
No more second guessing – nothing that won’t make sense,
Hell, I’m back on my meds and feeling peace and its wealth.
Feeling feelings again that aren’t belittled or kept stealth.
I’m free and wished you well while you stole from the bank,
no more parasite on my soul and my heart watching and mocking
while the ship ran aground and sank.
I’m not perfect, I’m deeply and totally flawed,
but your hate is misplaced, and your speaking all wrong,
if I was more talented I’d try and put it to song.
At least then you’d pay attention and might actually have listened,
which I didn’t do until it was too late,
that’s another fault of mine, an ommission.
but that’s ok, it was an error, something I would have changed, a MISTAKE.
So Teacher, the class is dismissed and we’re out of session,
I’ll end this babbling shit show with some questions.
Why is it that you hate me for everything that’s passed?
You’ve done just the same, mimicked my every action in fact –
each nail you drive home, does it stick also to you?
Do you recognize the hypocrisy your hate is laced thick with?

Do you even fucking care to just look at what good times we had as a gift?
The only thing left when the love died was respect in what you were –
does it hurt to know now that she’s gone, that imaginary incredible girl?
The one who says she wouldn’t tell anything but the truth,
never be vicious, always patient and would never steal.
You’ve broken every value you pretended you had,
why am I’m supposed to be the one that leaves this situation feeling terribly bad?




F*ck Sunshine

I’ve found playful meaning

in the sharpest strands of daylight

while they bleached my night tan

into a wholesome red and brown.

been stripped clean of the unwholesome.

The rasping, the choking, the decaying

scent of another moon laced night

spent chasing dragons down the streets.

In the silver kissed necklace of shadows

that roll menacingly beneath the stars

as a slipshod grasp on tenuous reality

falls away, fast as a bat, never to be caught.

Crawled out dusty and beaten by self

into the unwelcome openness of daytime

Where people have jobs and families

go do things and have fun of their choosing.

There’s always a sick, nasty bitterness

surrounding the way I’d look at the crowds.

In those moments when shame carries

the day and bitterness over the injustice,

of wounds septic and worsening, a brain

melting beneath the heat of inquisition.

A Cadillac of contempt would sit, shining

In the corneas of each purple smudged eye.

Letting the self-loathing and concern go awry,

masking envy as hate and desire as disgust,

riding panic and fear out as arrogance and disdain.

Patronizing seconds as the world creaks,

moans its way out of the decadence of night,

quickens into the tittering joy of form alive.

There’s no surface to touch and manipulate

no interface that allows for a connection across

to that other world imbued with shiny smiles

and unbroken teeth not doing unspeakable acts.

In those moments when the sickness begins,

wafting out of your skin to notify and alert

anyone caring to notice of your diseased being,

your lesser than status, your unworthiness.

Those are the defining moments that show

the defying strength and fortitude you want,

when you have the opportunity tell the world

“get fucked, piss off, I make the next choice.”

or reaffirm the skepticism pandering to your

apathetic acceptance of what life has become.

Those are the moments when the shear grit

required to simply gut out the next series

of bad decisions, knowing how much it will hurt

but owning it, owning that the deeper down

you crawl the higher it will feel at baseline.

When you finally disconnect from the grime

Long enough to breathe untainted air

Purified in the radiance of sunbeams

And the wealth of happiness that soaks

Summer days beneath the blue painted sky,

there is a startling awareness, an epiphany,

a closure to doubt and a recognition,

that sobering up is just getting high in a new way.

Books, Booze and Blues

Boozehound image from dadadreams showing a dog drinking scotch.
Image borrowed from Dadadreams

John Lee Hooker says whiskey and women,
the blues man before asks for another pint.
Pour me a tall glass of that liquid summer
down the hatch and off into the night.
Pounding embers of wisdom shed into fluid form
its time to get wasted to the tune of a misfire
and the sobbing caterwauls of mans plight.
Joy measured into shared company is compounded
misery dissipates in that carefree state. .
Spider Robinson says that Callahan’s is the cure
that telepathic understanding would make us pure.
Three shots of jack and the curtains reveal
magic bullets in glass containers of sin.
Esoteric breakdown of barricades sitting strong
imagining the beauty in words as music hits the song.
Dusty lungs coughing out something foul
to the satisfaction of another cigarette horked down
sitting numb eyed in a daze that seems to follow.
Chest sits warm in dispassionate easy grace
somber living never gets you to these places
never breathing deep enough to indulge in phantom chases.
Down memory lane and into the brambles
a stumbling mess of skull fucked cobwebs
and woven disasters of recollection branches.
Drop those spiders on my spirit and proud face
its not for nothing that they call it a sad display.
But here I’ll sit until the noonday sun
calls out my moon tanned skin for daytime fun.
Polish the bottle child and don’t leave a drop
there’s a ride to be ridden this evening,
no conductor to guide us
and no idea where it stops.