by the wayside

 

what has fallen

 

on the door of the

refrigerator where the list of foods to be purchased is written

 

the small white, erasable board was carefully

 

cleaned and replaced on its magnetic hanger

 

in place of eggs or

fruit

 

a special green thai sauce

or vegetables once carefully listed

 

a
new list of

words was scrawled
in its place:

 

what has fallen by the wayside:

 

writing

 

reading

 

gardening

 

cooking

 

cleaning

 

caring

 

why?

 

A CONVERSATION BETWEEN
STEVE AND MARIE:

 

‘all the poets are liars’, he still ranted

 

no. ‘lairs’,read the
appropriate typo

 

 

 

or
maybe just all the

junkies are liars, steve… well, that too he remarked…but not all of them.

 

oh

horseshit! of course they are! the poets lie about

how the drugs bring out the creative process how it

sparks their muse, boosts the juice creative…that it’s the driving force that

keeps them pounding away at the keyboard

 

keeps them covering the

canvas

 

stepping onto the stage or

 

filling chapbooks and
broadsides with

 

the hippest of the hip

 

… the drugs ability to fuel
the words, the art

 

is the lie, maybe it’s an
initial impetus

behind any art…and maybe its not just

 

all the poets who lie about
it

 

i had known marie since

high school….straight a student. hippie mama. kauai

midwife.

 

lost

mother. childless mother.

 

once she had

untied the baby carrier from her chest

 

to set free

her dead, month-old-to-the-day baby boy

 

she was

gone

 

and just as quickly as the

flood waters of waineha valley

 

had captured and spun us
through pele’s

wrath

 

just as deeply as the
barbed wire had torn into our skin

and terror had left us numb

 

her beautiful

eyes

 

had

deadened

 

her spirit

vanished

 

and she was never the

same

 

marie was the only one i’d
ever known who blew off a

scholarship to ucla med school right out of high school.

 

she only lasted a semester,
forsaking such a golden opportunity

 

the trade-off was to leave
for the

islands. to finally be free….

 

marie, of the no tell
hotel
poem.

marie, who returned from kauai and from the death of her child

 

was now hellbent on kicking
aside her path of enlightenment and hippie creedo.

punishment and self loathing were the new streets she traveled on.

marie the hooker, marie the on-call lady of the night.

 

marie the junkie,
half-dressed in a lace teddi,

chased her dealer’s car down haight

street late one night, desperate to keep
the sick away.

 

marie, dead in a donut shop
in san francisco’s tenderloin

district after her sunday dose of methadone, a new baby, six weeks old, crying

in his crib while her pimp/daddy nodded in the corner of their roach infested

room

 

marie remembered steve from
when she was 16 in venice

 

marie and richmond, stood face to face,
a long way from

their first encounter inside earth rose

 

a dream and a lifetime ago

 

hey old poet, did i hear
you just say that you never felt

included in all that lying poet’s business? c’mon, man,

i know you’re kiddin’ me…

 

i was the only one capable
of telling the truths at the

time, man! sure i was! even after i lost my pad, got

all that cash and moved up on the hill

 

i stayed true

 

even buk was only seeing $$$$$ signs by
then

 

i was the only one still
keepin’ it

real

 

and it was about the art,
man! the demons

came to me because of the ar

 

the shinto gave them life
and power and i let them in

through my eye and out of my shit covered fingers! they were my

fucking muses, man! the art, the words, the real

slammed through me and the drugs were the highway they traveled on to get me

there!

 

and, at any given moment,
in the days

before i was smoking the shit and getting ripped off at every turn,

i knew the exact contents of my stash:

 

a little bottle of liquid
morphine to kill the

pain…the
methadone bottle to

either get high with or to detox with (someday)

 

thirty pain pills tucked
away

 

half a bottle of dilaudid (just in

case)

 

oh mama marie…i miss you so
hard sometimes, my sistah…and

now the cancer is ready to take mary away. who will be my memory

keeper once she has left to join you and the others we traveled youth with

 

you, who guided me with
your voice and antics through my

silence, my wordlessness…as gregarious and outrageous as you were, i was
your

equally shy and silent compadre…the one who was in awe of your ability to
talk

to anyone; in awe of your word spinning and of your magic. the

flood seared us and waterlogged our youth; our ideal-filled hippie innocence was

burned and washed right out of us, just as quickly as those waters had
filled

the lungs of your tiny son…….you, who brought me to the wonders of
kauai…you,

who taught me the lessons of giving and generosity…you of all people,
didn’t

deserve the cruel and unwielding force and fate that destroyed your
life…and

you in turn, destroyed you

 

the pain was too great, she
remarked.

dealing with grief’s hand around my neck, choking the life outta me 24/7

left me no alternative. my life for sattwa’s became the only

deal. i needed the highs to tolerate the fat, desperate hands of

those tricks that crawled all over my body like roaches in the filthy kitchen
of my tenderloin

apartment. to not feel their desperate urgency when they came in

my mouth…i could never kill that pain enough!

 

liars, richmond? you think
that junkie lies

aren’t lies but true reasons because life was too hard, too rough, too painful

to deal with? i know you’re kidding me, man! you and

i have slammed needles into our veins until we had no veins left to speak

of! we have smoked and snorted and slammed enough dope into us

over the years to kill a herd of elephants! and of course!

we lied! we lied, we stole, destroyed all possibilities of

letting love in, pushed away friends, lovers and our families who loved

us! and we made excuses and dumped and spewed out every ounce of

integrity that we ever knew of….

 

we did
anything
to to
get all the blame and

 

false reasoning in line! we
were the lies!

 

my demons had the eyes of
dead babies,

steven…waterlogged, dead-weight babies

 

pressed against my naked
breasts, right

above my broken

heart

 

this is the vision i had to
kill every time i closed my

eyes. who is to ever say whose brand of pain is real…or whose

‘cool pain’ is simply imagined

 

or made up simply to fill
the poetry notebooks

 

of twenty or fifty–year old
angst-ridden boys

 

we used whatever we could
make up

 

as the perfect excuse for us

 

and for the sake of

 

art

 

i remember my apartment on
cole street off

ashbury in the haight. it looked like a stevie nicks wet dream,

man: scarves and treasures; beaded lamps; fabric billowing off the

walls; everything seemed velvet and lace. and in the early days, i

had my stash lined up in a music box from chinatown that sat on my art deco

dresser;

 

a little bottle of liquid

morphine to kill the pain

 

the methadone bottle to either get high
with or to detox

with (someday) thirty
pain pills tucked

away half a bottle of dilaudid (just in case)

 

it’s the

ritual the game, man!

 

i heard the call of the
foghorns as they walked together

through a milky, silent shroud

 

down speedway then

fading into the early morning light

 

and as i rolled over

 

i heard the chirps of the
small innocents

 

the baby birds nestled in
the hole in trunk of the apple

tree outside my window

 

and thought, they must
almost be ready to fly out of the

mama’s nest

 

past the watchful eyes of
the noisy crows

who’ve been waiting, vigilant

 

past the pair of blue jays
that papa bird has chased from

branch to branch for weeks now

 

under the radar of the barn
owl, who passes overhead each

night

 

its startling screech

 

reminding them all that he,
too

 

has been payin’ attention

 

maybe they’ll make it out
into this world

 

struggling to enter get
through and make it in this

life

 

my eyes opened to the
bookshelf in the corner of the

room

 

and before i realized that
it had only been a

dream

 

i wondered even

slightly panicked

 

worried that one or the
other

 

or both of them may have
taken it all with

them

 

from the corner of the top
shelf

 

the little bottle of liquid
morphine to kill the

pain

 

the methadone bottle to

either get high with or to detox with (someday)

 

thirty pain pills tucked
away

 

or, the half a bottle of

dilaudid

(just in case)

 

all the poets are

 

liars

yes, yes you were right, richmond

 

and

 

we too

 

have

 

all

 

fallen

 

by the wayside

 

 

 

 

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About lindalou5150

as exercise or exorcism, i write...for the eyes of others, for my eyes and heart only, for the love and the rage, i write...to release the gamut of emotion...to tell the truth and say what's often thought but not written...
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