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Summer is a poem about addiction, a poem about the viciousness of my disease, a poem about the insanity that sits only under the surface, that has not gone away.
That will never go away.
Poetry about addiction is something we need in a world that wants it, and us, to not exist. Every day, I am grateful that I live where I live, that I was able to receive treatment with persecution, that I don’t live in the Philippines, where people like me are executed in the streets, or in Russia, where ‘treatment’ means going cold turkey and seeing if I survive.
Summer is a poem about addiction, but it’s mostly a poem about the truth of what we experience. The greatest problem addicts face is the absolute negation of our experience by non-addicts.
They think we’re making it up, I guess.
This poem was originally published by Anti-Heroin Chic — you can read it here.
Summer — A Poem About Addiction
It’s summer and I’m crushing up seafoam-green tri-dimensional highs and mixing them with tiny blue buttons and clear capsules that explode into a million microscopic oranges and I vacuum them up with my nose and.
And I’m angry at Purdue Pharma.
And I blame Purdue Pharma.
And I love Purdue Pharma.
And I’m slamming the microwave door and I’m melting my pills and my bones are creaking-cracking-CRAWLING out of my skin-skin-skin and I can feel the electricity sparking through my synapses GOD and I can feel the sickness rising and I can’t wait forty minutes then in the freezer twenty minutes then chop-chop-chop for five minutes then JESUS IS IT READY YET scratch it against a hose clamp a beautiful fine white powder and ahhhhh …
And it’s perfect.
And I’M perfect.
And it doesn’t last it never lasts and I wake up and I don’t know it’s summer and I don’t care and I smell burning hair and dripping blood and everything is burning and I passed out I passed out I passed out again again again AND–
And it’s empty again and I’m empty again and the bottle is empty again and my throat is empty again and my nose is empty again and I’m freaking out Freaking Out FREAKING OUT FR–
And I’m sending a text and my fingers shake as they type “where you at” and sweat drip-drop-drips across the screen and my stomach is a psychopath mauling my guts clawing my throat bursting my esophagus tearing scraping gnawing biting BREAKING HACKING BURN–
And the highs streak off into infinities of never more never more never more than twenty minutes twenty minutes twenty minutes of.
“I’m good, MAN.”
But-but-but it’s supposed to be eight hours that’s what Purdue said that’s what the reps said the reps the reps with their crinkled yellow-binders-brown-fillers-red-excipients pasted like death across eyeless smiles stretched across their shit-stained noses their teeth white pearls stolen from the healthy eight hours eight hours CHRIST WHY DOES OXY ONLY LAST TWENTY MINUTES?!
And it’s summer.
And it’s summer and I don’t know it’s summer and I wake up and maybe it’s winter and maybe it’s spring and maybe it’s morning and maybe it’s night and maybe it’s I DON’T KNOW WHERE I AM I DON’T KNOW WHAT MONTH IT IS I DON’T–
And I’m driving, and I make a phone call, and the signal is.
And the pings move the white men in the black suits because the bitch ratted on us she told she told she told She Told SHE TOLD I TOLD THAT IDIOT NOT TO TRUST HER NOT–
And they wait, but I’m riding ultra-sleek neon white Xanax bars with their beautiful precious gentle imprints pressed so lovingly into their dissolving faces by the men the women the people in the factory their pockets checked as they leave work their things brought in the morning in clear plastic bags no stealing no diverting we need to make a profit Profit PROFIT WE–
And I go right past the men. And my veins pulse with health while my nose pukes mucous dot-dot-dotted with fillers and specks of coke and inositol and grey-green paint and the veins are next the veins are next my nose won’t last forever it won’t–
It’s summer and I smell wet metal and burning again and I go for pancakes and I wake up and the EMTs are screaming at me and I’m screaming at me and my leg My Leg MY LEG MY FUCKING LEG MAN WHAT–
But the screams come from somewhere else and I say in my head for the tenth-hundredth-thousandth-millionth time never again Never Again NEVER AGAIN THIS IS THE LAST TIME THE LAST SCREW IT I’LL CALL MT I’LL–
And the men are there at last and there is nowhere to run and there is a gun to my head and they’re taking my drugs They’re Taking My Drugs TAKING please no please stop arrest me take me to jail to county to prison to anywhere ANYWHERE JUST PLEASE DON’T TAKE MY DRUGS PLEASE JUST BLOW MY HEAD OFF PLEASE DON’T PLEASE–
And when they take us I scream-scream-scream because I can feel the sickness boiling in my gut and I know they will not help me They Will Not Help Me THEY WILL NOT HELP ME HELP ME HELP ME HEL–
And I wake up next to a dumpster again.
And I hear a phone ringing again.
And I know the pills are gone again.
And my gut wrenches at the thought the first thought the last thought the only thought: how-How-HOW will I get more get more I NEED more the hunt begins again again dammit again.
Please not again.
And I sigh.
And I am so DAMN tired.
And I have.
Because it’s summer.
And it’s always summer.
And no matter how hard I try to escape the circle.
I always end at the beginning.
Read More on The Theme of Addiction
Addiction is a recurring theme in my writing — I can’t escape it, no matter how hard I try.