Friday, March 2, 2012

last night, of the great dance

tell me what you took

some x, some perks, some

red lights are pauses and pushes,
blurring street lights and bushes
& he's half in the seat
    half in my face
          fingers tracing things i can't see

oh yeah, and some

and i half expect him to grab the wheel,
   kill us both
   or get pulled over as tire squeal
around corners

"yes, officer the pills in the bag are what
is left of whatever he thought might make life
       better, simpler, faster, slower
   up, down
             six feet lower"
                & he's
  all
          over
     the
                 place

telling me how much he loves me, doesn't
    want to die, then starts to lose his shit,
        a beligerant spider monkey, all arms
& legs trying to escape, bites & i hit repeat
on the door locks, eyes crossed to keep
        one on the road and one on him

eighteen will an orgy with the grim reaper,
   & he's still got three months til he gets there

'we're here'
    door open as the car stops rolling
at the front of the ER and i catch him
before he can puddle the sidewalk,
slippery in sweat & spit
  
HELPHELPSOMEONEHELP

nurses, guards, cops, through triage
to a bed, crash, talking craziness, the bats
   have flown and the belfry is empty, watch
his skin crawl by the look in his eyes,
   shakes---

don't leave me, don't you f''n leave me

i
am sorry sir, you are not family
you will have to wait outside

& i wait
until he can no longer see
                                 me,
before i cry into furious fists
for mercy from the stupidity
of those that think they're immortal
                   yet still
                            want to die

So, I scrapped the other one and wrote this on adrenaline after getting home last night from the hospital. All too real you know. Written for dVerse, where Ami Mattison is manning the pub for us and talking about spoken word poetry.

83 comments:

Mary said...

My lord, what a night you had, Brian. As I read your poem, I kept reading faster, and I could feel the beating of my heart. Drugs do such damage to so many young. I hope he has hit bottom and will now begin to rise up! A strong write, an unforgettable read.

Valerie said...

Powerful write, Brian. I too felt my heart beating overtime as I read this.

Laurie Kolp said...

Oh, Brian... what a horrifying experience for you... you've made it so real for us. I'm sure it was hard for you to step out of the room... see him like that.

DJan said...

I was there with you, this is so incredibly powerful, Brian. I hope he will be all right...

Wolfsrosebud said...

before he can puddle the sidewalk... you got me hear... and what's with the family thing... some friends are as close as family

Wolfsrosebud said...

before he can puddle the sidewalk... you got me hear... and what's with the family thing... some friends are as close as family

Daniel said...

Man, you have seen a thing or two. I am sorry that you had to be part of this and glad at the same time. You are a good soul my friend. Thanks for sharing and venting. Peace.

the walking man said...

At least you took him, here someone would have dumped him, then someone else would've robbed him and then stripped him naked and if he was lucky the cops would've found him before he puked his life into the sewer.

Too many of these kids have gone Emo and forgot that there is always a reason to live. What a world we have created. Life and chemistry. two key components.

christopher said...

Excellent writing.

And I'm sure it was nearly impossible to sleep after that experience.

izzy said...

I read this on the way to 55-
I swear there's something in the air- !!
(might have to do with storms and spring)
but people are erupting all over- "smiles" Thanks.

Steve E said...

This story is more than a picture ...it is a VIDEO of an 'incident', Brian.

After that, into profundity you slip with:

"...I cry...for mercy from the stupidity
of those that think they're immortal
yet still
want to die"

Exquisite!

Dave King said...

Sad and traumatic. Quite horrifying, in fact, but for me the saddest lines of the piece were:

i
am sorry sir, you are not family
you will have to wait outside


Gritty, gutsy and powerful. A fine poem.

kaykuala said...

The effects of drug abuse when witnessed by your own eyes can be a harrowing experience. I've seen it and just as described in your write. It was very accurately depicted. Great write!

Hank

Pat Hatt said...

All too real indeed
Many fail to take heed
Thinking they are above it all
And they can bounce back like some ball
But sadly not the case
Six feet lower really had me pick up the pace

Magpie said...

Your emotions are so raw and real and come screaming off the page. What a sad and painful experience. Your words are sheer poetry...imagine that.

mo.stoneskin said...

I have no idea how to respond - firstly hope you're able to hold yourself together, secondly sorry to read and (only imagine) what you had to go through and thirdly, absolutely reading piece.

Jill from Killeny Glen said...

Oh, this is all too real. AND painful Brian.

adan said...

"he's half in the seat
half in my face
fingers tracing things i can't see"

and

"those that think they're immortal
yet still
want to die"

can't even know what to say, so good, so to the heart and head, all at the same time; i'm glad you wrote this...

CiCi said...

That is like living with my hubby when he was in a manic episode. He didn't need any stimulants when the chemicals in his brain went on a trip.

Cinner said...

Brian, wow I am sorry you had to go through that. amazing put together of words. sadly this hits very close to home for me with an ex. strength for yoU today Brian. smiles.

Brian Miller said...

he did survive the experience...and i as well...

wordcoaster said...

Wow. Wow. Wow. I'm exhausted just reading this--so much going on here, so many strong emotions and pictures and--WOW.

Nancy said...

Wow, Brian. This brought tears to my eyes.

Myrna R. said...

Oh Brian, this is too real. I hoped it was fiction. So sorry for youth so confused. And though sorry that you had such an awful night, I'm glad you were there.

mairmusic said...

Reads like the emotional rush that engendered it. You, inside and yet observing, like all good writers. Great write, my friend.

Teri M said...

:(

Yousei Hime said...

Your writing is more enjoyable (and it's good as just writing) because of the reality you paint it from. Sorry you had to go through something like that. Thank you for sharing though.

JJ Roa Rodriguez said...

That is quite an experience Sir Brian. Oh my! I hope abuse of substance will stop for heaven sake. A lot of life have been destroyed already.

JJRod'z

A Daft Scots Lass said...

I am speachless...

frikken awesome read. So so good!

rosaria said...

You are a soldier, and your war is nowhere close to an end. How do you cope after this, after each and every one of these?
How do you?
PTSD.

darkangelwrites said...

Brian this is electric. I love the way you say it without saying it. There is a strange theme running from this prompt though!

AmyLK said...

OMG! What a horrible day! I hope you're okay and he is too.

Steve King said...

efore i cry into furious fists
for mercy from the stupidity
of those that think they're immortal
yet still
want to die

That is pure inspiration. Everything before it was so vivid and raw. What a great transcription of emotions. Glad you were able to capture it all.

Jyoti Mishra said...

very sad... was able to feel all from your write up...
u depicted all so nicely.

feelin bad n angry same time !!

sharmishtha said...

poor child!

moving and powerful.

drybottomgirl said...

It's all to common isn't it. Twice in the same family(friends of ours) I have lost people to suicide. First a teenager, and then a father. It never adds up. Hopefully some wisdom will come to this boy. He's the same age as my son, so its scary. Excellent write my friend....

Gloria said...

OMG Brian what night and difficult time:)
and what sad too:(
I always think in my twins they have 17 and I wanna care them but is difficult:(

hedgewitch said...

god, bri--I can't even imagine having to deal with these sights and events all the time. A vivid write, a horrific and heartbreaking time.

Claudia said...

love how the poem mirrors the speed and wild action of the situation - was like watching the scene in a movie - but what i even like more is to feel your heartbeat in these lines - how much you care for the boy and the grim determination to not let him slip away - he needs someone like you - i have such big respect for the work you're doing bri

Chantel said...

Quite speechless really...you've painted agony so beautifully.

Raven said...

This is perfect Brian ...and yes it well must have been written on adrenaline. It took me back ... lets see, (I have to get out the calculator) 46 years ago ... minus the drugs ;).

What to you do in the hospital? I am an old RT. Liz

Mrsupole said...

An experience like this is one you will never forget. I do hope it is your last but if not, it will never get easier. Been through similar and my prayers go out for the both of you. Sometimes they just want to escape for a little while and accidentally take too much. I hope that he gets counseling and go into a rehab program but mostly he will need your love and support. You will be his rock but make sure to take no crap from him because he will test you. They always test us. We have to be stronger.

Best wishes and lots of love going both of your ways.

You are in my prayers.

God bless.

Tara Miller said...

It's so saddening to know this goes on way too much in the life of anyone....especially our youth today. I know it's emotionally draining and hard but I'm glad you were able to be with him as long as you could and help him. Know that you're a true blessing in his life - I'm pretty sure he knows that too and does love you.

Daydreamertoo said...

Bought tears to my eyes Brian. Not exactly like this of course, but have been all too close to this type of events myself over the past few years in so many ways.
Thank God for people like you and, thank God you can write it all out, too.
I hope and pray the boy lives and can somehow get his life back together and see that he is worth so much more than this. You certainly don't ever waste your time in paying it forward.

lifeisaroadtrip said...

Ohmygosh...I hope you are both okay, *hugs*

Travel & Dive Girl said...

OMG - absolutely horrifying. I could not imagine it.

Betsy said...

You are such a blessing to me, you know that? Thanks for caring,..and putting that care into action. What a horrible evening...glad he survived. I pray for you often. xo

Anonymous said...

Oh Brian. I am so sorry. You must have a very special countenance and character to be able to work with these kids and still keep your chin up at home and enjoy your family.

Loved the ending:
"of those that think they're immortal
yet still
want to die"

And your spacing on "all over the place." Excellent piece, as always.

~Shawna
rosemarymint.wordpress.com

ayala said...

A moving and powerful write after a horrible night. I respect and admire the work you are doing. Prayers for him and you....

tera said...

Rough night.
I'm glad you have an outlet,however painful and raw.

On another note, I sent you a happy.
Sounds like you might need it.

t

Kerry O'Connor said...

A poem to be performed on the rooftops of every city. Marvellously powerful work, Brian.

Beachanny said...

Love how you capture a moment, and this dance so painful, so emotional, so dramatically real. Felt helpless as I careened through the poem holding out my hands and heart trying to keep it from reeling down to stop. Amazing work, sir. One could say - killer.

Ed Pilolla said...

what a high-octane story. you really nailed the emotion of the car ride, or so it seems since i have never been in quite that same situation. you are clearly someone teenagers can trust and rely on. you seem to have a spirituality that allows youngsters to gravitate to you.

Vicki Lane said...

Di.spatches from the war zone...by a master correspondent

Charles Miller said...

Man you are always so in the moment I am just bowled over by how your whirlwind pulls everything in its wake and wakes me up in lucid awareness. This stuff with friends who want to pull a six-footer has to drive you insane. There's chaos that creates, for sure, but also destroys and I hope your friend makes it to realize the difference. And, of course, the sad part is that you can't tell them about it, they need to live it. That's the wisdom in your words, bringing us to life and its school of I'll kick your ass until you die curriculum. Great poem.

Tabor said...

You are one strong 'dude' to be in the moment in this and to be able to also write about it later. Unacceptable is this world sometimes.

Grace said...

Whew...I was caught up in the scene and emotions of the young boy.

"before i cry into furious fists
for mercy from the stupidity
of those that think they're immortal
yet still
want to die"

Hard to learn these lessons until you are really there....but I am glad he survive and so did you ~

Great write ~

Sue said...

I didn't even like to read this, Brian. It hits way too close to home, and time isn't as much of a cushion as I thought.

"/

Jenny Woolf said...

God, I was there with you, it was horrific. A very good although shocking poem.

RD said...

damn B...without elaborating, my sis in law completed the cycle on Mardi Gras morning...a choice that only deepens the sadness in hearts of the survivors

she was laid to rest today...

God Bless Her...and you

Peace

Fred Rutherford said...

Strong write, a real bite and a bit fiercer than your normal tone- tough night, perfectly poeticized. Thanks

De said...

Wow. Speechless. So powerful. Thoughts and prayers for your friend.

Mama Zen said...

I've said this before on one of your pieces; thank God you were there.

xtraordinarypoems said...

Dude, I know all too well how this feels. Your last line sums it up so perfectly. Seriously, that describes the feeling in a way that I never thought possible. Whooo, man. Beautifully impressive, regretfully necessary, and lovingly heartfelt at the same time. Scheisse!

farmlady said...

This is amazing Brian. Like a train wreck happening before our eyes. Your words are on speed... descriptive and heading in one direction.
Just amazing...

Rachel Hoyt said...

Oh my. What a scary night! I wish it wasn't true. My heart goes out to all involved.

myheartslovesongs said...

oh, brian! as a spoken word poem this is brilliant ~ reading it gets the adrenaline flowing ~ but the reality is heartbreaking! i don't know how anyone can do the things you do with the kids, but knowing how very much you care... i can't imagine how hard it is for you. thank you for all you are doing.

janaki nagaraj said...

Wow! I could feel the urgency in the picture you have painted vividly.

Bodhirose said...

What a strength you possess. The calm in the storm...whew!

Caty said...

This makes me sad...it breaks my heart to see young people so hopeless, reckless, struggling,and "wanting" to die. I hope he's doing okay, starts getting better. What an awful, emotional experience (for both of you).

Lydia said...

You wrote it on adrenaline and mystical understanding, transporting us into the back seat in the car and following you into the ER. This is as tough as it should be and then some, and makes me want to cry into my fists too. I have a close family member who is on a wild downward spiral in the last year, undone by prescription drugs and alcohol and so angry that it's impossible to break through to her. She's no kid, either, at 59. Hell, her 17- and 19 year-old sons have it all together and are doing great. Your poem could not be written about either one of them, but their mother...yes.

ladynyo said...

My God, Brian....my heart was racing with the car.....these things, these youth, they take their pound of flesh, neh?

Brian, you are the most powerful poet I know now. Each poem has relevance to life, nothing false here...you throw your heart, make a commitment totally.

Real life makes real poetry, neh? Wish it wasn't so, though.

Lady Nyo

ladynyo said...

My God, Brian....my heart was racing with the car.....these things, these youth, they take their pound of flesh, neh?

Brian, you are the most powerful poet I know now. Each poem has relevance to life, nothing false here...you throw your heart, make a commitment totally.

Real life makes real poetry, neh? Wish it wasn't so, though.

Lady Nyo

Mystic_Mom said...

Brian - you have the gift of sharing the moment vividly and so wildly. I was there, and for a moment, wished I could have helped, and realized that we all are by reading your words and sending up prayers for that young man's way and thankful prayers that you were there in a guardian angel suit. Bless you my friend...and thank you for the share. Powerful stuff there, just wow!

Heather said...

oh this is sad....

ds said...

I'm crying into furious fists, too. "oh sir, you are not family" when you were likely the closest (in all ways) thing to family that poor young man had (has? did he make it?) Powerful, gut-wrenching, disturbing* stuff, sir. Thank you.

*because it happens all the time; they never learn, (the authorities, that is). The young men & women are different, sadder...going on too long, sorry...

Wander said...

Brian, I have been in your friends position before...many times. The only difference was that insted of a ride to the er I got to hear an argument about weather someone should call 911 or just leave...one of those times I died for a min and a half. I have wrote of this on my blog before and I am sure I will again. I have also been in the position you were in. Hard place to be! what I never understood was the damage I was causing to those arround me; I was a tragedy, and causing trauma to everyone just through my pressence. I am glad for your sake that he survived, that isn't a burden anyone should bare!

Wander

PattiKen said...

Wow. Just wow. Amazing, what you do. In all respects, on paper and in life.

pandamoniumcat said...

It must have been harrowing, it's like the reader is in the car with you. Amazing you kept it all together, and at the end you let go... the world needs more like you.

Syd said...

What a sad thing, man, that this kid OD'ed. I hope that he is okay and will maybe realize that you care and others as well. Hopefully, he will learn to care about himself. Drugs suck. I know that it was hard on you, but I am glad that you were there.

Katherine Krige said...

In life we make differences; big and small. Sometimes for ourselves, sometimes for others & other times for those we will never even know. Giving yourself over like this and sharing this nightmare that you choose to walk with another touches more lives than you might ever realize. I hope you found some peace at the end of that long night my friend.
hugs

poeticlicensee said...

...but will the survivor survive?

Carrie Burtt said...

Thank God that he had you there.....this truly hits home for me more than I wish I had to admit....thank you for sharing this Brian....truly heart wrenching...:-(