Yellow

Photograph by Jose Padua
Sometimes I look back with regret,
wishing that at some point in my life
I’d done more drugs. I drank like
a master, for a time, but I didn’t get
high enough, didn’t do acid enough,
didn’t do line after line, and I never
did heroin, never did crack. The harder
drugs may not have killed me the way
they killed a lot of the others, but maybe
they would have, it’s too late to tell now.
I may have survived. I may be alive, now.
I never did ecstasy yet why am I so whacked
anyway, like a nervous guy standing
at the corner wearing an old-fashioned hat,
like the famous comic I used to see on
Avenue B, standing outside Mona’s in nice,
almost unfastened slacks who seemed
way far gone for someone still holding on
to a regular gig on TV. I wish I’d done
more drugs and that I’d worked less,
or that I’d spent more than half the time
I was working doing drugs too, filing papers
or shelving books while staring into blue,
exquisite space, just being there, feeling
like a machine with feelings. Now when
I work with the people I work with I feel
stabbed. They’re looking for ways for me
to not be there, looking for ways for
me to not work. I wish I could do drugs
with them and skip knowing them through
work, but I can’t even smoke the cigarettes
that used to keep me from shaking. Now,
all I take are drugs which keep my head
from hammering and keep me from sneezing
up too much snot but which do nothing
for my inner perceptions. Where are
the miracle drugs of the future now
that I’m sleeping at a comfortable distance
from the past? I’m thrilled but where
is the pill that will be the fabric bandage
for my working wounds? What is the dosage
that will never let me fall? The comic died
from drugs. They gave him his disease.
My eyes drop acid like it’s 1973. My ears
hear everything that’s yellow and can’t stop
hearing. My hypertrophied heart does the drinking,
for me. It’s thinking, with slurred speech.

-Jose Padua

Photograph by Jose Padua

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2 responses to “Yellow

  1. Geez, what happened last year? Cool to see you posting so much work. I still like it.
    Jon (ex-Eating Out In Tokyo, now Chicago)

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