Inside Isabella at the park.

Liquid snake is common compare,
The river beneath the milk puddled blue.
Joy soaks all the green that grows,
in hedges, lengthy strides and by rows.
Here I watch the ever present of growth
Here I see the catalyzing mystery,
of what comes next.
Along the banks of of proud water,
scales made from ripples,
a mirrored surface refracting radiance,
royal and haunted eye azure to dazzle.
A bewitching tone of cerulean
as you would see skull mounted
to the face of a person of purest pale.
Baby, wouldn’t you take the briefest of moments,
to pause, to break the doldrums of repetition.
To slither our bodies the distance across
and along that charmed prism of color.
We can be washed clean
of the need for forgiveness,
though we might beg abruptly,
for the sky to open,
and cleanse us in the love of yesteryears.
When trouble was nothing but childsplay,
whispered dreams were sought and chased.
found, pursued and realized.
We would go floating,
Bucolic and serene on tides of hope.


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Change the Future

Agents of Change

Beguiled and lost in the haze of one life,

Still losing out on what could salvage that strife,

Put meaning and purpose behind all the pain,

Gather the crazy to shed light on the game,

For all the nights spent on streets,

Walking and stomping amuck.

Banging head against wall for the sound of a thud,

Claiming bad luck.

If I had to find solace in all of the facts,

Like the door once chopped down as a kid with an axe,

It would be to show vision of future not so bleak in design,

Make windowless posters and let bleed out my mind,

To a world created unsorrowful, joyous and free,

Pleasure found in success is where I’d seek to be.

I’d be pleasant and loving,

Caring and nurturing,

Devoted and faithful,

Consistent and capable.

Brilliantly damaged with an uncrafted mind,

Open to new thoughts,

Carefree instead of careless with my time.

I’d be playful and cheery,

Opulent in my charity,

Give all with sincerity,

Never expect in return,

I’d find that blistering heat of our sun to which I once yearned.

There’d be lessons with smiles,

Understanding and patience for miles.

I’d recognize your pain that I felt as a child,

Never more would I feel like I was trapped in a zoo.

The display would be dismantled,

Daily shit show would be cancelled,

Put the guardrails away,

Be approachable, jokable and laughing while at play.

I’d tell a story that said all the mistakes clear and loud,

Put nothing out there afloat on pink cloud.

Pride in voice to name myself a survivor,

Through chance and luck as much as MacGyver.

Explore the recesses of why I did what and how it had to have changed,

Look never for excuses, but reasons to grow, heal, and set aflame,

-a desire for beauty to cross ‘cross the world,

Melt away shame for my broken child be they me,

Boy or girl.

Stand owning my personal legend of existence,

Know that at the end of my days,

I made something more than a negative difference.

Glass Walls

Glass maze image from overhead.
Labrynth

Putting pieces back together in a maze made of glass,

Seeing clear the future goals to move beyond the past.

These walls that edge without blotting out my vision,

They feel so tight yet loosely fit and lie about position.

I thought myself to be far in, so buried deep indeed,

Nearly neglected thought and action calls to change for want not need.

A Divorce for the Past, Present, Future

So as something of a preface to the following let me just say that it has been an extraordinary (in both positive and negative ways) period of weeks since I last punched together something to share with the webs’ people. I had a few challenges about a month and a half back which resulted in my being asked to write a divorce letter to my “disease:….but not the quintessential “goodbye forever drugs” – but rather, towards however I envisioned that sickness which had driven me to be were it to wear a physical form. The suave smooth talking salesman, a blundering and demanding gargoyle, a bad ass mans man with a beard, a sexy woman teasing and seducing….whatever form i chose.
Hey baby you sexy thing,
Hey brother you filthy rock star.
Thank you for the stories,
Those staggering rides up with the comets,
Them epic nights rolling without pause into endless days.
Damn but we fucked well and,
Damn we sped past those pathetic sheep on the streets,
Damn we were a fireball of excitement,
A hurricane of insanity.
My sweet goddess of sin,
My destroying titan of hatred.
You blessed me,
You cursed me,
It’s time to walk away,
Sky, John, off with you and your false matrimony,
Off with this slavers collar on my finger,
Just like you spit in my face when the fun was done,
Feel the scornful gaze that your wisdom brought so many I once loved to cast upon me.
Sky, my lovely succubi, take your sinfully beautiful body,
Those promises of impossibly intense bliss that would never end,
Taste the disgust you draped me in before all I encountered.
My gruesome and powerful spirit,
My depiction of remorse,
Of emotion to be understood and chased,
My devil-may-caresofuckitallandwatchtheworldburn charmer,
John, even when you convinced me that I was doing something positive,
Always those that I wanted to hurt the least caught the brunt.
You made loving tantamount to self-inflicted emotional trauma,
Never again.
You both served your purpose, goodbye.
I divorce myself from my past including you.
From the present wherein my personality is lost in yours and all I can see and be seen as is as you made me,
From the future of which I know little,
With this freedom,
I embrace myself again to stand tall and walk with purpose and confidence to something brighter.
Where the voices are new,
The suggestions more pure,
Life lived more passionately instead of intensely.
-S

Geographic Cure for Addiction and Sanity

Beautiful image of Smith Rock

There is always a wild and unpredictable feeling that accompanies a move to a new area. In very rare instances, that area is not an unknown arena but rather a time tested experiential location filled with either positive or negative memories and feelings.

 

With several cases in point over recent weeks which stand out even amongst the 40+ different housing and city changes over the previous 24 months it strikes me that perhaps I am not alone in these occasions.

 

First, New Bedford – a city built originally on the whaling industry and once the single wealthiest in the entire western hemisphere. It was the New York City of its time. Today, it sits as a sprawling and squalid shadow of its former self. A huge portion of the city hovers under the illegal immigrant status, yet both they and their families are able to regularly and quite effectively work over an already overtaxed system in creative and remarkable fashions. Far from an irregular event is it for a young woman to show up at the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA or “welfare office”) and secure nearly free housing, food stamps, and a guaranteed check on a monthly basis – only to walk out and begin making calls on the newest phone the market has to offer.

 

The city itself is predominantly populated either by the indigent, nearly indigent, or fisherman who fluctuate between those states depending on the last trip and how much was blown on their return to the docks where the prostitutes, drug dealers, and other “entertainment” providers sit with cars at the ready to ensure the checks are cashed promptly and whatever is desired is immediately available at their fingertips. It is one of the densest concentrations of opioid addiction in a state that is under a crises the likes of which has never been seen. The yellow brick road is a literal pavement of syringes, nowhere more than a casual eyeshot in any direction.

 

This finely tuned squalor was where much of the insanity that I ran through following my crack cocaine induced destruction took place. It’s where I lost my wife, my home across the river, had my first new love in nearly a decade before losing her to the grips of heroin and finally seeing what it was like from the opposing side of the table – watching an addict you love destruct, and NOTHING you can possibly do will help. It’s where my best friend went from the consummate and brilliantly arrogant healthcare professional I had met originally became an absolute animal. It’s where I learned how to inject speedballs and began my foray into the truly sickening world of dope.

 

It’s where I went insane for the first time since my years as a teenage meth addict. But as an adult voluntarily living homeless on the streets, refusing to sleep and food in lieu of drugs for days at a time until my body would demand rehydration and yet another trip to the hospital for IVs would begin. New Bedford taught me the real meaning of ignoring tomorrow and living strictly under the immediate need for a fix of any kind. Overdosing and being left for dead under a bush in a bad neighborhood along with the terrible shock of waking up. That there was no light, no memory, no message and just a blackness that was closest to blinking. The initial experience of simply expecting to wake up from death, and the frustration that it seemed that for whatever reason I was not to be permitted such a simple escape from the daily frustration and misery.

 

New Bedford taught me to pawn everything in sight, that material items, even the most sentimental, intrinsically have only a single value – that of cash. If you refused to close out the memory and loss of each component of what you once considered to be your life it would be enough to send you over the edge. I learned to numb even when the drugs were gone and there was only an aching feeling that something was terribly wrong.

 

I learned to expect and understand what would transpire if I called certain dealers who would demand sacrifices of the more physical nature. That there was a way to close it out, embrace the pain as deserved an simply shut down whichever part of my brain should have been screaming no in a vain attempt to preserve a sense of personal value. My first true experience with a jail where no one was there to offer their assistance in easing the situation.

 

New Bedford taught me starvation willingly, arrogance, desperation, abandonment, hysteria, psychotic behavior, willingness to overlook, junkie pride, losing trust, a taste for anger always bordering on violence, loneliness, resignation, degradation, disgust, hatred, shame, isolation, manipulation, lies, betrayal, deceit, hope, disassociation, confusion. It taught me for the first time since I had been in the deepest portions of my meth addiction what it really meant to crave the release of death and how cowardly I was.

 

And I had pride in how my stories always elicited shakes of heads and the inevitable, “you’re fucking nuts man.”

 

So I left.

 

I moved away to program after program, always staying as far as I was able to from a city where it was impossible to walk a street without encountering someone I knew or was known by. Once you’ve been on the news you even become recognizable to those upstanding members of the community who would have had no reason to associate with you other than to comment about how you looked so familiar.

 

Of course wandering through the streets shirtless with blood streaming down your arms from injection sites and asking strangers for needles is not usually considered to be a low profile method to avoid notice either.

 

Aside from the point – I left.

 

Nearly two years later I was offered an excellent job….in that goddamn city. Fresh out of jail, my rationale was that if I maintained several cities as insulation than surely I would be able to avoid the swirling pool of madness that seemed always to draw attempted escapees back in.

 

I was wrong of course.

 

There were a million memories on every corner, a recollection of some obscure event, some half remembered person, a story, an event, a failure, a SOMETHING.

 

Inevitably as always is the case, it became known that I had come back to the area and my phone started to ring again. Even though I was living nearly 10 miles outside of the darkest areas of my past, there was no escaping it. At points of relapse over the previous years there were times when I would willingly spend $75 on a taxi or Uber in order to get to “Brockton by the Sea” (another moniker for Whaling City, or New Beige). Instead of a confident no, it was soon to be a short push into acknowledging myself to be a short bus ride from wherever I needed to be.

 

When the other shoe fell, and the house I was living at asked me to leave, I was forced back into the more affordable region of the Beige – at $500 a month, which was okay despite the fact no running water existed during the walkthrough, sewage had backed up, dishes had not been done in nearly 3-months, a closet was filled with trash bags since the previous week’s pickup had been neglected.

 

But it was okay at the time, because it was affordable and temporary.

 

Even after I saw the Narcotics Anonymous (NA) pamphlet and learned – so I thought – that my new roommate, a remarkably charismatic and intelligent young woman had been in recovery for nearly 8-months. It was thrilling and welcome to be able to share a commonality and bond as we were both working on building up our lives to become more than they had been. There were no qualms about the upfront cash I had given her for my move in, I was back to trusting people, holding onto a naive and woefully childish dream that people were what they said and taking it at face value.

 

Until I was asked not to tell anyone I was living there, and informed that her father controlled her money and I should give him the rent from there on out, and that she really wasn’t working full time, and that the rent was actually going to be $700 as the landlord had vowed to increase it if someone else moved in, and a million other signs.

 

Within three days it was simply volunteered that she was actively using, and that the money I had given her had been spent immediately which was why my presence at the house had to remain a secret. Moreover, would I consider lending a few more dollars and shoot her up since snorting the brown wasn’t cutting it anymore – a fact witnessed when nearly two grams did nothing visibly to change her behavior.

 

She had a dealer that would front and she was into him for several hundred. The issue was resolved initially by introducing her father to her connect and having him pay the difference directly. Than taking in a cat to watch for one of his friends. Eventually the turn was taken as it always is, sexist though it may be, commonly for women and sadly for some such as myself, occasionally for men.

 

The used condom belied the prior night’s lie that it had been a blowjob and nothing more.

 

It was amazing to speak with her father, a man of compassion who had not yet been broken of hope and was convinced that a bottom had already been reached. That if he were only willing to selflessly offer support with rides, money, food, hell – a brand new phone that lasted all of 12hrs before hitting the market – everything would be all right.

 

I saw my mother in him. At least in the earlier years of my spiral.

 

He was likeable, smart, well read, and easy to talk with.

 

His daughter reminded me of myself. A face that was easy to trust, a personality open and quirkily cut with intelligence that wiped away suspicion and confirmed.

 

It was an interesting perspective on how terribly effective what I would consider normal behavior is in ousting others character evaluation and ensuring that there is an immediate thread of trust built. Underneath the easy smile is a raging fire of manipulation and capacity for widespread destruction, emotional scarring, and selfishness.

 

As things fell apart, in retrospect, I have to look at her as a manifestation of what the world must view me as – that’s a painful thing.

 

To shorten this up a bit, New Bedford helped terminate my determination and weaken the walls of resistance i thought were built strong.

 

After so many years away – my family (bless them a million times over) and IIIIMiMiIII decided that it was time to bring me home. Oregon. The one place that called me.

 

3,000 miles from the insanity, the black balling at hospitals and rehabs, from all the connections and memories I was constantly assaulted with. An opportunity to rebuild my passion for life, and reconnect with the individual I was supposed to, and wanted, to be.

 

I nearly didn’t make it. I stepped out of detox with a blood pressure of 170/130, but I had to catch a flight and there was no other option….I took the risk of a seizure, because fuck it – I had one shot to do it, and I wasn’t going to miss it for all the tea in China.

 

At the airport, it crashed in on my (as well as the night at the hotel prior with MiMi). I was going to lose more than just the bad aspects of my life, but the immediate access to the biggest love of my life. I was in many ways abandoning the woman I admire most in the world. Despite my deepest desire to stop hurting her and everyone else that cared I was going to do it again because I was selfish enough to “just go”.

 

MiMi encouraged me to do it as the right thing. That kind of strength is astonishing.

 

I am fortunate to have such an option presented to restart my life, I recognize that.

 

Currently I work serving coffee, beer, and climbing gear at a pay that accounts for a 70% drop. But you know what, I’m happier and more relaxed than I’ve been in years. Climbing again, an old obsession that consumed my life in a very positive way.

 

Sometimes what has to happen is to jump ship and swim to a new shore.

 

Though addiction and mental health issues are not immediately tied to the landscape we occupy, there can be an enormous feeling of relief in leaving behind that memory crusted wasteland to one that offers opportunity to plant new roots in welcoming soil.

 

A geographic is what brought me to New England originally…I arrived with one backpack of clothes. Twelve years later I got off a plane with three.

 

Let’s see where this goes.

 

Much love.

 

-S

The Update of Hope – 1/12/13

My apologies for not getting on earlier. Everyone following and others have been so incredibly supportive of this site and my work that I feel guilty over a prolonged absence.

However, for the first time in many moons that absence is not related to horrifying events, rather the beginning of a renewed vigor for life and the culmination of some challenging work.

I am being tested at a new position in the hopes it will be come something long term – I’ve thrown myself into it beyond 100% in the attempt to do so. Happily, and with great satisfaction.

I’m finally paying child support, not as much as I would like to be giving to my kids, but everything that I can afford. Consistently and with the intention of finally becoming a consistent presence.

I talk to my children once a week, reliably, and without fail. I have 5 different alarms that go off and warm me so that if I collapse in exhaustion either the alarms, or calls from multiple people warning me, will get my ass up to be there to speak with my remarkable son and daughter. While the animosity is thick between my ex-wife and I, somewhere I’m finding the appreciation and respect for her that I should have. She’s been raising my children while I was unable to. It is my responsibility to earn my way back into the family I destroyed, not expect it handed back with a smile. I don’t think that way all the time, but as I build a better existence and confidence I find that it takes away the undercurrents that I let drag me farther from them.

I’m living in a stable location….more than 40 moves in 2-years….STABILITY would be a blessing in so many ways. It took me almost 3-weeks just to put my suitcase away because I was certain that something would go wrong…now I’m considering bringing more clothes that have somehow survived all the travel.

My squishy and delicious Mimi without who the world would have stopped so long ago. Forever and always will I be hers, and she mine.

Happiness.

I think I’m getting closer to happiness.

God damn if it didn’t take one hell of a journey to get here, and he (or she) shows that I gave up time and time again. They also know I’m terrified that the other shoe will drop at any second – usually I’m the one wearing it when it does.

I’m optimistically terrified of arriving at a new future, a start to something better, and becoming what I was intended to be.

My love to everyone who continues to support the blog. I will be trying to get more consistent again as everything balances out.

Happy 2017, merry-post “holiday insert” – and my wishes for kindness, satisfaction, joy, and contentment in the coming year.

Tonight the world is peaceful.

peaceful-night-2

-S

 

 

 

 

Hope

Hope is the sun rising again.

The landscape of hope breathes life to we Travelers.

She takes in those who walk upon her,

Brings us to the peaks of our mountains.

She shows us clipped horizons opened to infinity,

Has us inhale crisped air cleaned with freedom.

Where lights cluster above,

Their thousands of points glimmering success,

You’ve made it to join the others,

A star in your own sky,

An inspiration to the next Traveler.

Hope will lead you to become something more,

And the darkness will always give way to your light.

Strange Waves – Spoken Word

Plummet describes in a word the dumb shit,

The result of a life lived from one hit –

-to the next and that second of fuck it.

As intense wash the waves,

Through your secret filled caves,

Telling memories back from where you sent them away,

Until the shores are a littler cascade of broken mirrors pelting your gaze,

Each reflection a question,

Each flash a suggestion,

Of what happened and why,

Where you broke the faith and started to cry.

Each lens is a how of what could have been,

Who you are without all the sin.

No more pills and bottles and rock,

Bags of dope, sacks of coke and the inevitable cops.

Living on streets and the pity of strangers,

Acting devil may care to numb out the danger.

When each shot you took put a pin in your son,

Blocked his love just as well as you holding a gun.

You got loaded and loaded,

Raised finger and goaded,

As your legs washed out at the thighs,

From a tide on the rise.

If not for the merciful care,

From those you punish unfair,

You’d be sunk,

Drifting drunk,

Out to a personal sea in a trunk.

Boxed up tight when you ran out of fight,

Away from the world and your right,

As a man to do your best to make it alright.

And as long as it took,

For you to confess as a crook,

Thief of dreams, hopes and beliefs you forsook.

You can’t change the past,

It’s gone while the onrushing future hits fast.

So you accept the regret,

Live learn love and refuse to forget.

Keep strong in surrender,

Committed to change,

Because in the end you’re not alone,

And are any of us really so strange?

Becoming a Literary Exhibitionist

Exhibitionism at it’s finest calls for a complete strip down – but like most nudity, sometimes those watching would prefer the clothes stayed on. Authors must dangle and hope the meat on display attracts the eye. Easier perhaps when your life is wrenched from the most vivid hallucinations of Jack Kerouac and Hunter S. Thompson then run through the Douglas Adams’ improbability drive. Prodded with LSD and electrified glow-sticks into the Minotaur’s lair to play. Surely that would entertain?

This is a lifelong dream, a Purpose or a calling that I’ve never been able to just put ahead of everything else. Please share, and thank you for taking the time to browse. Thank you.

IndieGoGo – Crowd Funding Effort

empath-imagery

Jail Bound

Headed to jail today to wrap up a sentence and hopefully get a brand new lease on life without probation. Thanks to everyone for the support – and my love to those who have been there all along. Mom, dad, Mimi, Wolf, Anya – thank you for believing in me even when it’s all crumbled to dust.