Category Archives: Uncategorized

On Addiction

I don’t know if I’m more irritated by the trite, common sense advice well-meaning yet ignorant “normies” hand out (e.g. “pull yourself out of it” and “change who you hang out with”), or by the fact that they’re right. What most lucky, non-addicts, point out is, well, kinda fucking obvious. Yeah, I realize my life is a burning car crash. I know it’s better not to be on fire, believe me. But I also understand your confusion when you see a person who you thought was mostly brilliant (I kid, but the smartest people I know are addicts) keep burning his or her hand on the metaphorical stove top. And there’s the rub…. addiction is a fiendish motherfucker. I wish I had better answers. Imagine playing a nasty, manipulative game–the prize is your life and sanity–against someone who is exactly as smart and trickerous as you, all while you’re high as giraffe pussy.

I’m not trying, I don’t think, to defend addiction. And the normies are right, fuckers. All I guess I’m saying I think I’ve said before: if you have an addict in your life, before you give ’em the ol’ buck up, stiff upper lip there lad (lass), maybe educate yourself a little about how truly difficult living with addiction is, and be compassionate. Junkies got it tough enough already without the tough love. I raise a middle finger to that kind of love. Don’t need ya.

I love all you folks who have to deal with my stubborn, addicted lot. I know it’s not easy. Real love rarely is though. Thank you to those who stuck it out or are in the process of. Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up. That goes for everybody.

Just kidding

Wow, God, it’s a good thing my sense of humor is as robustly sick as yours.

You’re writing your autobiography. What’s your opening sentence?

A Product of My Environment

A Question Worth Considering

How do I be a dad, when I grew up with such a poor example? My mother, God rest her soul, did all she could, loved so much sometimes I wonder if that’s what really killed her, yet a mother can’t teach a boy to be a man, much less a father. And my father? I don’t want to inflict that example on my sons; I love them too much.

So I draw from the behaviors of my male mentors who guided me through my troubled youth. I observe life as it interacts with my heart, and I learn what I can. I stay as steadfast as I can in practicing what I believe. When I fall, I get back up. I promise myself I’ll never give up, and sometimes that promise is the only hope I know.

I tell my children the truth–I’m transparent in my parenting–perhaps I tell them too much at times, forgetting they are children. But I love them above all else, and I feel my unconditional love perhaps makes up for some of my many shortcomings as a parent.

I embrace labor as a sound foundation for a flourishing life. I continually cultivate positivity and happiness within my mind, knowing how bleak life can appear when experienced through the living lens of apathy or stagnant sorrow. I fill myself with buoyant laughter to avoid being pulled under by swirling currents of black depression. I refuse to drown in that too-familiar sea.

I strive to always do the next right thing because I know I’m being ever studied by my pair of sons. Children will brook no hypocrisy, nor should they. When I teach them to question authority, I can hardly grow angry when they eventually question mine.

Mostly I just follow my gut. I follow the Tao as best I can and parent accordingly. Perhaps no example was the best example after all.


Cold ashes swirl in the hearth
Animated by a frigid gust
ghosting through an unlatched door
from the moon-haunted night without
Feeble, they spiral uselessly in a pantomime
of living energy
as if recalling their burning dance
in an ecstasy of warmth and light
Again they fall
to gather on the concrete slab
and silent
as the heart within the grave

Why I Hang Out with Hippies but Still Can’t Seem to Get Laid

It’s graduation time: students from preschool to high school are transitioning to something new, exciting, worrisome, just to name some of the host of emotions. I remember feeling both relieved and benumbed by the surreality of no longer having to contend with the complex and, to me at least, socially terrifying juggernaut that was public school.

            I watched my youngest son graduate from middle school. I noticed there were a group of students who received wild cheers, like they were returning victorious heroes or some shit, and mostly this behavior irritated me. My irritation soon gave way to thoughts of how proud my mom would’ve been of her grandsons, but she’s dead instead. It was one hell of a sucker punch. I kept the sobbing back just long enough to get out of there.

            A good friend of mine also noticed this phenomenon of greater applause for some, but the experience triggered an epiphany for him. The thought occurred that the withholding of applause (or love, resources, protection, food, whatever) for “me and mine” is one of the reasons our culture is so diseased (if you don’t think it is, I doubt you’ve been paying much attention.) He then made it a point to clap and yell as much for every student as he did for his own. Perhaps this changes nothing, right? We’re talking about applause after all, but if we apply the same principle to things other than just applause and treat all people as we would our beloved (and this is where it starts getting difficult for me), then perhaps we could help more than hinder.

            I have a gnawing misanthropy, which seems to be growing more savage as I age. I try to give people basic respect, at least until they piss me off. When my friend spoke of his experience, it resonated so strongly with me, I actually felt my total disgust with most humans receding.

            Yet, as I sit here writing what I hoped would be an optimistic and possibly even lightweight inspirational piece, I can’t shake 47 years (fuck I’m getting old) of experience. That’s why “Shoot, Knife, Strangle, Beat, and Crucify” is in my liked songs list and “Age of Aquarius” or whatever the fuck is not.

            Try, I guess, and so will I, to be brotherly or sisterly. Believe me, I know not everyone deserves it. But, then again, who are we to judge anyway?

If A(ddict)=L(eper), then T(ough Love)=H(orse shit)

I have something I want to say to the majority of people I’ve interacted with of late: fuck you. I am weary to the bone of being treated like a fucking diseased pariah for the heinous crime of being a recovering heroin addict. I’ve been in medication-assisted treatment for over two years. The clinic I go to provides counseling and other services, and my attendance there has reduced harm from my addiction and brought increasing stability to my life. I’m a fairly honest person–I’ve been open about both my drug use and my recovery–but I’m quickly learning not to be. I was stopped about two weeks ago for not having plates on my car (and my moving permit was expired by one day), and then I was arrested for DUI because I told the highway patrol dick that I was coming from the methadone clinic. I am at a stable dose, meaning the methadone I take causes zero intoxication, but apparently driving dead sober on methadone is illegal in Nevada. I told a family member about this when she asked how I was doing and she responded, “I hate to hear that you still have to use synthetic drugs after all this time (sad emoji). Wish you well (kissy emoji).” What an arrogant, ignorant, and falsely righteous fucking statement. I get it; you can’t help how you feel, but you can help what you say. Keep your fucking dip-shit beliefs to yourself, please. Imagine I told someone, “Sorry to hear you still have to use synthetic drugs after all this time” to a diabetic or someone with MS. People would come unglued. If you’re thinking, “Well they didn’t choose to be diabetic” then fuck you too. I didn’t choose to be bi-polar and prone to addiction. Why does one person draw compassion and the other abhorrence?

Okay. I’m sorry for all the “fuck you’s” and such, but I find it very frustrating to be constantly treated like a second-class citizen by strangers, by the law, by family members. The most intelligent people I know are almost exclusively drug addicts and alcoholics or recovering drug addicts and alcoholics. Addicts don’t fuck up their lives because we don’t understand consequences. It’s not a lack of will power–I’d bet dollars to donuts me and the addicts I know can tough out far harder situations than most squares. If I could explain the mechanics of the problem, I probably wouldn’t still have the problem. Please, if you know an addict or an alcoholic, try to dial back the judgement and criticism. You could never be as hard on us as we are on ourselves, and frankly, your tough love is judgmental horseshit. If that’s all you can provide, then please just be quiet, and leave us alone.

My Muse is the Sun

My muse is the sun
And the stars from which I was born
My muse is my breath
Through which I am awake
My muse is my mother, my sons, my family and friends
Whom I deeply love
My muse is my father
Trembling in prison for life
My muse is my pain
My muse is sorrow
Tears shed in years of silence
My muse is this pen—-
scratching on the page
whispering solace
My muse is the Way—-
planted in me with martial love
by compassionate Masters
My muse is the sun

Succumbing to Serpents

I reached for you—-
like a man sinking beneath quicksand

I lashed out in pain
no better than a wounded animal
yet trusting by virtue of
your steadfast compassion
you’d see my anger for the sorrow it was

Instead, like a viper you struck
fangs pierced my mind
venom snuffed out my tiny flame of hope
for human connection in
this reeking, mental miasma

I’d been there for you so many times
you’d needed a friend

Yet you left me to sink
into myself
clutching my snake bite
in utter disbelief
and despair

I survived—-
my belief in your love did not

The First Union Carpenter I Ever Met

Rebar skeleton
sinews more like high-tension 
  cord: tiny, steel strands
flowing together into a juggernaut of 
  leanest strength
Hard hat spun
like backwards ballcap
young rebels maintain the
Whiskey-soaked Copenhagen
   fat dips that would
give pharaohs 
  the Spins
Daytime, hung-over, weekday
 clever builder
ingenious tricks make his
trade magic
Nighttime, weekday, side work, I'm invited
He pounds beer and
I with him
He's had more practice
  We're both crazy
 and we drunkenly 

He tells me about cocaine paranoia--
hiding rubber bands choked
with cash and eightballs in the walls
       I imagine his mind deafened with the ringing 
    of those cocaine chimes
       and the slumping jungle bass
        of his heart eradicating the
location of the caches from his mind
See, he'd become maybe too good at cutting out sheetrock,
 mudding, taping, and matching the texture.