Poem: Where My Journey Began

In Four Verses


A small paper package
falls empty to the ground 
holding nothing but the remnants
of no return.

White powder disintegrates into blood
and the red stream is contaminated

I follow the fake prophets
to a false resurrection of plastic light
and find myself hidden
from the arguments outside my window.

I suppose this is why the first taste is always free.
It’s cheap too.
What they fail to mention
is what comes with it.
They fail to tell you
it takes lifetimes

to pay off that first,
initial dose.


Man struggles with demons.
He searches through the cracks on floors,
looking to find pieces of his poison
hoping to find redemption
while praying to never be near “this shit” again 

East New York Brooklyn:
Streetlamps cause the corner to shadow.
Eyes shift in the dark
one hand trades with another
like a chain reaction that leads to an explosion

like say, 31 miles east
in the basement of a house on Adlin Court.


Life changes after the introduction.
Nothing is ever the same.
The sights we see leave stains on our eyes.
They blind us and wash away the vision of hope.

We formed our own rituals.
We formed our own routines
We made our own way
until steel bars separated our journey.


I sat across from an old junkie turned inmate.

“Ever been,” he asked.
“What? To jail, you mean?”

“No,” I told him.
“I did a bunch of overnights.”

I told him,
“I spent some time in two facilities
and 11 months on a farm.”

He laughed . . .

“Those places are a resort compared to where I live.”

I thought about the inevitable ends they told me about.
“Jails, institutions, and death.”

April 1st, 1991

I walked into the house on a farm.
This is the place that saved my life.

And there they were.
My Family

I had to tell them that I fell off.
I had to tell them that I lost my way.

That was 25 years ago.
Man, that’s crazy

am I right?


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