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Friday 16 March 2012

RC Edrington-

After Heroin 

2:16 a.m. 

2 Latino street whores
ignore the stale, downtown rain 
as though it were the familiar piss
of some $20 trick washing away 
the dime store make-up
off their sullen, sunken faces. 
They huddle together, stay warm
in the glowing desire for heroin. 

2:28 a.m.
Still no cab. 
Traffic splashes by
in random, uncontrolled spurts 
like a 16 year old boy
stumbling upon sex for the 1st time
between the sticky pages
of a worn magazine. 

2:35 a.m. 

This is day 7
of my alleged detoxification, 
& this soiled mattress
laying limp on this worn wooden floor 
reeks a bit more of flesh
than it once did.
Sometimes I sleep to dream of mirrors 
but awake to only windows, 
as though this city
were some extension of my soul, 
& like the cheap, petty artist 
I search for a metaphor of self
in the broken streetlights 
& trash scarred alleys... 
in the disembodied
& disemboweled voices
that grip me from sleep 
to pull me into
these sweat drenched nights 
to watch 2 whores wait for a cab 
beneath this hotel window. 

2:43 a.m.
Seven days & I feel clean again, 
but I still don't trust myself... 
it somehow turned on me 
like a dropped stiletto in a gang fight. 
Turned & twisted like a secret 
whispered into the ear of a lover 
who doesn't need me anymore. 

But I have no lovers now.
No friends.
No enemies. 
Just demons with fangs like syringes
& voices like drunk fathers 
reminding me I'll never amount to shit. 

3:01 a.m. 

2 whores drift like ghosts
into the backseat of a yellow cab. 
I light a stale
hand rolled cigarette
& fall back into bed 
beneath the blinking cliche of a neon sign.
There is a "vacancy" here.
Spent Angel Blues 

In this room of things which strain to move 
time lies overdosed 
on the cold cement bathroom floor. 
There are no cigarettes left 
to ease its passing. 
No songs remain 
to fill the empty spaces 
where once drifted the subtle strokes 
of its blood beat. 

There is only stillness, 
a tea spoon of cheap Mexican heroin 
and memories... 

At 29 
my friends are dead 
strung-out, jailed, or 
trapped in between 
the cynical Styrofoam walls 
of mental institution 
like freshly hooked trout 
in an ice chest 
waiting to be gutted.
They've left me here, alone 
to only the stale glow of a butane flame 
in which to perfect this dying art. 
To sing anarchistic odes to our youth 
shattered like a glass syringe 
against a red bricked schoolyard wall. 

the memory of Traci haunts me. 
The night they found her 
naked blood caked body 
tossed away like a cum stained Kleenex 
right on the sidewalk 
in front of 100 screaming tourists 
who till this day don't believe 
the pretty bright lights of Hollywood 
are fueled by the charred mounds 
of runaway teenage flesh 
searching to fulfill childhood dreams 
but only end up filling their tiny orifices 
with whatever perverted disease 
the man with the $20 bill wants. 

So I continue to walk 
this death row promenade of memories 
perhaps the way 
a sergeant walks a post war graveyard 
wondering if all these bodies 
should somehow add up to something more 
than a few medals for his chest... 
or a few scribbled lines in my notebook. 

And as the heroin begins to burn 
like napalm through my veins 
blood rises in the thin syringe 
like a scarlet mushroom cloud 
over Hollywood Blvd. 
and for the spent angels of the apocalypse 
another personal Armageddon 
draws temporarily 
always so fucking temporarily 
to a close...
RC Edrington's latest collection, "Apocalypse Generation", was published by Tainted Coffee Press and is available through Zygote In My Coffee. His website is It contains links to his previous collections, reviews of his work, and links to journals and magazines he has been published in. 

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