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 June 16, 2006

There’s a day of my life of which I have no memory, but it is one I will never forget.

I am supposed to go to the doctor on a Friday afternoon, having had a fever of 103 for almost two weeks. My mother comes to check on me before leaving for work. I am non-responsive and incoherent as she attempted to shake my stiff body.

She and my father carry my ridged, febrile body down the stairs and pour me into the car. We rush to the nearest hospital only to wait at the ER for someone to pay attention. We wait an hour, maybe more. Weak and in pain, I sit in a wheelchair, leaning against my father as my mother tries to explain to the staff the severity of my condition. In my delirium, I mumble to my father, “I’m only here for the narcotics.”

Eventually I am lead to an examination room. Sitting in my johnny, it is immediately obvious to the physician from my arms the nature of my illness. Endocarditis caused by intravenous drug use. Endocarditis is an infection of the heart valves, in my case caused by staphylococcus.

The doctor encourages me to tell my parents about my drug use. He ushers my parents into the room, where I hold out my exposed arms, proclaiming, “I’m a user.” I don’t have a memory of the horror and fear on my parents’ faces, but I can only imagine the expressions they wear at that moment.

From there, I am poked and prodded as they attempt to find a usable vein. My arms look like a map of intersecting expressways. Red and blue swollen lines run up through my hands, with an egg sized abscess on the inside of my right arm as the source of infection. They do echocardiograms and CAT scans as the bacteria consume my valves, sending emboli throughout my blood stream. My muscles are stiff with sepsis and spots form on my hands and feet.

I come to in a small hospital room in the most excruciating pain I have ever experienced. The combination of withdrawal and sepsis, plus the fact that they haven’t given me any pain medication because they are not used to dealing with heroin addicts in this small suburban hospital, amount to me wailing and wincing with each breath.

But this is only the beginning. I must start a six-week course of an antibiotic that I am allergic to, so I must be desensitized in the ICU. I am sent by ambulance to a larger hospital, which can more easily accommodate my high risk of heart failure. I spend five weeks in the hospital with every possible complication: kidney failure, liver failure, pleural effusion, requiring two chest tubes, an aneurism in my hepatic artery, etc. I had seven CAT scans, an MRI, and countless echocardiograms. I saw a specialist in nearly every field. And the whole time, I just wanted another fix.

Used to call myself...

 I used to write enough to call myself a writer
But these days the words come out more slowly
Like they’re folded in on one another
A decrescendo of eloquence
In the shadow of a much more anxious exterior

I used to call myself a writer
I used to call myself a lot of things
Could call upon myself to hold up a face that was mine
Not a silhouetted image with fuzzy lines drawn in from time to time

I thought I knew what I was looking for
But I have lost myself
To my own introspective dominance
I get so sick of me
So sick
That my mind thickens to a pulp
And I leave my body heaving in its own silence

Sometimes I lean in and try to fade into the brick
Of whatever building I land on


Numb wasn’t born with me
But I can’t remember life without it
Shadows of a life before
In loose photos in a box

Vulnerability let you win
So in the name of “never again”
Pull back
Blood clots better than tears

And scars map the shame
That blankness cannot hide

New Poem

 The third moon rises on Jupiter

Time is lost in translation
But the moonlight reminds me of her
Like a whole springtime season, her
Vivacity blooms in organic spectrums
Spinning unconscious in the depths of her
I, like the shadow that consumes me,
Glow brighter in her presence
Struck by brilliance from which I cannot hide

Dive head-first into palliative soul light
Disguised as skin: Her
Body fits perfectly twisting with mine
Flesh upon flesh in familiar fashion
My hands ache to touch
Softest softness of divinity

She is the reincarnation of Jupiter’s third moon
My heart flies eternally with hers
 I fucking hate myself.  I am seriously fat and disgusting.  I am feeling really sad and vulnerable and I don't want anyone to know.  I am probably going to continue to suffer silently.  I want to die right now.  I know enough to prevent action, but the thoughts don't stop. FUCKKK


I don't know what I'm doing here
standing in the dark
warm blood on my hands

can't tell if it's mine
or hers
or a composite sketch
of dna splatter paint
dripping down my arms

there's nothing to say
no words to breathe
feeble meaningless apology
left stuck with the lump
in my throat 

a poem I wrote in high school

This appears on my senior page in my yearbook
Not very good, but it's always interesting to rediscover old work

Follow the yellow brick road, they said.
but I've been following all along
and it must be the light that tiptoes
behind me, casting shadows
and silhouettes for me to chase.
but when this ends or when I turn off 
this endless, directionless path,
there will be only edge.
I will receive no badge of courage,
no advice, no way home.  I await
only the half-smiling realization, that
the light can no longer cast darkness
before me when there is no surface
to catch its grief.  No reason to press on
through the flashing signs screaming
"hypocrisy" only to stand at the edge
looking down.  I wish the current of
conformity would for once take the
shackles off and unleash me from
such limitless limits.  Yet, I am pushed
from all sides toward my oblivion
in this whispered, flowing crowd
blowing like the harsh desperate wind.
I can hear them sigh as they waft past.

May. 3rd, 2010

where do dreams go
when they die? 
do they drip from
my mind
like a bloody tear?


I may quite possibly be coming into a new era of my life.  I'm no longer sure I believe in true love or any of that fate destiny shit anymore.  It seems I've deceived myself into dreaming of things that will never be and devoted to much of my time to believing in ideals that are passe.  This is not to say that I've abandoned hope or anything, but rather, I've changed my perspective.  I don't know.. things change for me all the time.  We'll see where this leads. 

right now

Love is complex
Searching for answers to
Am I happy here?
But I want this or
I want her
Never is an answer
I never want to hear