Tag Archives: drugs

ode to a dealer

the way he came to me. just would show up. from los angeles. in a gang. always wearing blue. he played pool like a peacock, strutting his feathers as if to draw attention to himself like a foolish man who didn’t know how to walk a high wire in circus act gone terribly wrong. i knew him right away, as one knows an old friend. only he wasn’t a friend at all. he was a dealer. but i knew. which would say what about me? and he kept coming again and again. knocking on my door. presenting himself as a gift. y’aint nothin’ but a motherfucking cockroach bitch. leave me alone. i would scream to walls as though a friendly spirit watcher was there to protect. there was never protecting…never a man on my roof humming sweet lullabies. only me. alone. sniffing, snorting, smoking. and i didn’t care. he did though. i was a consumer and he pried me open, capitalizing on my needs. and i needed. or wanted. sometimes i’m not sure. i cried when he stole my ’03 eclipse. i would yell at him. you look ridiculous driving my car. do you get hit on by many men? sometimes i’m surprised he didn’t kill me. threatened me enough. put a cold blade to my stomach once. and i told him to do it but he couldn’t. pussy. and the last night before leaving forever, he came one last time with a gift – you know the kind – and he asked if i had any regrets about him and i as if he was actually wishing that him and i were a we. i said yes. i wish you had a teacher like me.


Thursday, February 17, 2005 7:38 AM

From a series of prose letters that I wrote to a fellow poet…

i demand right now to know what was in that syringe because i think you drugged me with your soul. my heart stopped as you pulled out half of mine and started when you shot up half of yours and now look at what’s happened. you think you almost killed me and i think you gave me life. the worst night of my life wasn’t the night you’re thinking of…the night i tore through my skin. the worst night of my life was the night you called me over to you and brought me in and i reached out and, with hand on your stomach, pushed you away and vehemently refused to look in your eyes. the way you sat there so alone and broken and the way i walked away. and i think i hate myself.

Our Sunset

Our Sunset

3×3 cell stenched with raw semen
stands solid
in your mind’s storm.

molded with ¾ fury
resting head in hands by grave
¼ tears wept,
fetal position
and numbed by your breath
stained with bacteria of past bruises.

I am here
and though I do not need
I want.

Wanting was once a placid river,
pupils wide-eyed
gazed with a haze
an illusion crafted by cunning goblins.
They wore me
though I fought.
I waged war with weakness
and drifted to their ocean.
at first, whispered childhood laughs
stings cast by deadly desert scorpions.
How could I have expected
page in my book
to be turned without consent?

This ocean,
their ocean
goblinesque nightmares that pull currents,
not moon.
And raging waters
seem to cease
only when eyes,
finally fall to slumber.

This goblin’s playground
rests in bold, dark ghettos
and exists only after midnight’s moon magic
swallows lovers,
outlines childhood dreams,
casts stars in eager eyes.
Not mine.
It’s when clock hands are between realities
ticking away.
Hear it?
before the last minute beats through
reminding all of clock’s persistence
keeping up with time’s demands.

While treading
I’ve fed myself on bile and stomach lining
as acid, hungered and pained,
searched for shreds of food
by eating myself alive.
I’ve survived
weak now
near death sometimes.
I am too proud to perish
so I keep swimming, not with goblin’s pull of current,
but against
allowing them to feel my strength above them.
My heartbeat,
I hope,
will deafen them
and cause ears to bleed.
I’ll take pride in gallantly swimming
over blood shed.
not mine
not yours.

gleefully mask themselves
with laughing eyes
squinting to seek blood.
Bitten a few times
blood is clotted
scabs swelled with furious urge
to fight with might
summoned after eyes,
read your courage
teared at your will
and felt my weakened heart grow
with energy from your pen.

You are purest of gold
ancient with visionary guides,
raw with rage
bestowed with ink
powered to cast out demons
with breath and ice
you alone
can fuel pen with.
You are a dreamer,
And once,
though only once,
you dreamt yourself asleep.
You stand,
shining with brilliance and wonder
aurora borealis
Alaska night sky.
You light up all around you
and provide me with light
desperately needed
to swim on
against demons dancing in my darkest dreams.

I once thought
I should be the one to splash you,
wake you.
I was wrong.
It’s you that needs to
continue shining
pen held tightly.
You hold pen
with war-like grip
as a sword that saved you when yesterday’s dark alley nights
haunted you into a shadow.

with purity of heart know you will proudly stand
with will,
with desire for truth,
though petrifying as it may be.
As ink forms each new weapon
never allow yourself defeated.

Spring has arisen
broken out of Eliot’s Waste Land
and it is not,
as he noted,
“the cruelest.”
It is ,
the purest
with fertile soil
breezes spreading pollen
time for rebirth,
time to shed burdens of yesterday’s skins
though bound they may be.
Leave them to writher
on the page just before going forward in Whitman’s Open Road.
Perhaps, as you walk forward,
you will hear a song
whispered in wind
to only those
with knowledge to hold ear to stars.
And you will hear his wise, white beard,
who meets you each time you bravely take pen to paper.
Perhaps you will be another of his eager students.
He’s told me,
in a number of walks we take in dreams,
that he wants to meet you,
guide you.
He will sing to you a song of the open road
but you,
with force,
must hold head high
pen clenched with might
be willing to be guided over graves of those before you.

You are strength
though once a pebble in a desert of quicksand
you evolved.
a ruby, rare with spoken word
will become immortal
as minds before you
just as tortured
light fire to your dark alley nights.

I am in a new beginning
lost for too long
I ran from whispers of wise ancestors
I rested pen on my own gravestone
too weary to write.
I thank you for guiding me back
to a sacred cemetery
I walked from
to rekindle bonds with dead poets
I thought were lost.
Perhaps once again
I will fall asleep to Blake
and wake in his dream
between heaven and hell.

And it is so lonely here
holding drippings of ink
from your pen
which I carelessly broke.
It’s time, perhaps,
to wage this war on land
away from goblinesque nightmares.
Though I have fought battles
many alone
so, my friend, have you.
Our battles are future tales of untold whispers
clenched in your hand,
my hand.

We are facing a relentless clock.
Can you hear it tick tocking?
It’s time for last of battles in this war
though future speaks of others
far less bloody than this.
The last scene in our prophetic war has arrived.
One day the battleground before us
will host young travelers
seeking truths,
ours and theirs.
Our truth will be found
when pens write last stanzas of goblin’s reign.
ours together,
can conquer past echoes
and birth
with brilliant force
a color spectrum with millions of off-shades,
prisms and hues
only seen together.

As I can see only
squinting through pages
in dreams of ghosts guiding me,
future travelers will only catch shimmered glimpse,
of pages we formed together after “the fight”
when endless worlds
in two parted journeys
walked together,
fists clenching
not with rage,
but with warmth of palm
as those words
still waiting to be formed,
waiting to become one beat
with breath and pen
ink and desire
exploded in colors unseen,
met with breath of dead poets
sacred cemetery
fierce battleground
in a sunset
found on shelves
libraries of poetry
telling tales of us
for tomorrow’s students
waging their own wars
seeking truth in their dreams
as they kneel before our graves
making sense of truth
in the sunset
we still
have yet to see.

Copyright © Ellen Garrity 2004