So You Want to Quit Drinking (“Sticky Post”)

(Even though this was written in September 2014, I keep it as a sticky post up at the top of the blog in hopes it can help others.)

(the following poem contains profanity and raw imagery. it is not intended for young, nor sensitive, eyes. it is inspired by several bukowski pieces, each linked to in the footer. while bukowski, to my knowledge, never sobered up, there are few who understood alcohol’s powers as well as he did. I’d like to think he had both bluebird and kraken in his heart, and would not hesitate to let you borrow either, or both, though he’d probably ask you for a six-pack in payment. hey, we all have our demons, baby. if you need help, get some help. don’t let them win. you’re worth saving.)

***

so you want to quit drinking

after bukowski

so you want to quit drinking
give up the bottle
clean up
dry up
grow up

so you’re finally ready
to quit waking up
in strange places
with spit
on your face
vomit
in your hair
glass
in your hands
asphalt
in your knees

oh I bet you really made an
ass of yourself
this time.
did you fuck up
royally?
fall off the wagon?
fall off your bar stool?
fall off the karaoke stage?

did you flash the bartender
kiss a woman
grope a man?
did you fuck a stranger
flip a cop the bird
throw up on a neighbor’s lawn?
did you scream at your mother
slap your kid
kick your cat?
did you drunk dial your ex
walk out on the tab
crash your best friend’s car?
did you lose your wallet
your keys
your dog
your mind?
did you pick up a gun or a razor
a bottle of pills
a pen to write your last goodbyes?

no?
none of that?
well maybe it didn’t happen.
not like that.
or
maybe it did.
or maybe it will
next time.
how
the hell do you
know?

ah.
so that’s why you’re
ready
to
quit
drinking.
you’re tired
of no longer being in
control of your actions.
tired
of being a slave
to the demons in your head.
tired
of running from yourself
only to find out you
cannot
ever
out
run
yourself.

you can lose yourself
oh sure.
you can go mad,
give in,
give up.
but why would you want
to do that?

why let them win?

they
will, you know,
if you let them.
the demons in your head.
the fat
pasty
booze execs
their
slick suits
and
slick hair
and
slicker words.
the smug
housewives
sipping their
wine slushies
whispering
over their
pee-no-gree
gossiping about
your
demise.
“oh poor dear.
she was so fragile.
bless her heart.
what will become of the children?”

fuck ’em.

if
you give in,
they win.
and there’s always
going to be a
they.

fuck ’em all.

your
demons?
they live in
the past, babe,
this is the now
the n. o. w.
your demons aren’t here
they’re way back there.

why
go
back?

all
those nights,
all
those bottles,
all
those black-outs and hangovers,
all
those times you wanted to die?

newsflash, baby.

you’re
still
here.

tougher.
stronger.
badder.

somehow you’ve had more
than your share of second
chances.

you should be dead.
I don’t know why
you’ve been spared.
like me,
you’ve survived
a thousand deaths.
another
laughing
heart,
another
modern
Lazarus,
another
marvelous
god.

maybe those gods got plans
for you baby.
maybe it’s
one big cosmic
horse race in the sky.
maybe this is your race to lose
baby.

you really are marvelous you know
the gods wait to delight in you
maybe they like you
maybe you’re entertaining
maybe you make them laugh
or maybe they just feel sorry for you
laying on the bathroom floor
beside that other god.
maybe you remind them of themselves
the gods were young and crazy once too
dancing on tables and flashing strangers
gods gone wild
before they too
cleaned up
dried up
grew up

oh
how the gods love fools and drunks
but honey you don’t have to be a drunk
you can just be a fool
or
even better
be the one who fools them all
they’ll never see you coming.

oh
there will be days you want
to fall back.
there’s no help for that.
but don’t fall.
save those feelings
send them to that space
that place in the heart
that will never be filled.

we can meet in that space.
and
instead of waiting
instead of drinking
we will release the krakens.

what?
you thought I really had a
bluebird in my heart?
no baby,
I have a fucking kraken in mine.
and so do you.
instead of drinking
we’ll release the krakens
and laugh in delight
and smoke our cigars
and we will make it through
this day.

so
you really want to quit drinking?

put down the bottle.
do not pick it up again.
ever.

pick up the pen.
do not put it down again.
ever.

and
when they come calling,
which they will
for a while,
you know what to do.
let them keep their
bluebirds –
you
release your kraken,
baby.

nobody
can save you but yourself
,
true.
but a kraken never hurt either.

now
off you go baby . . .
remember,
bottle, no.
pen, yes.
and write write write.
write it all
let it come out of
your soul like a rocket

c’mon baby, you want to quit drinking?
ain’t nothing to it but to
do it!
do it!

then get up tomorrow
and do it again.
then the next
and the next
and the next day again.

but you have to start
some day.
how about today?
this day,
this
one day.
that’s all there is.
you can’t go backward.
you can’t go forward.
n. o. w. is what you got.
it may not be much,
today,
but it’s enough.

there is no other way.

and there never was.

 

~~~

Inspired in part by Bukowski’s:
So You Want to Be a Writer,” “Another Comeback,” “The Laughing Heart,” “No Help For That,” “The Bluebird,” “Nobody But You.”

 

Footnote:

Colossal_octopus_by_Pierre_Denys_de_MontfortFrom Wikipedia: The English word kraken is taken from Norwegian.[20] In Norwegian and Swedish, Kraken is the definite form of krake, a word designating an unhealthy animal or something twisted (cognate with the English crook and crank).[21] In modern German, Krake (plural and declined singular: Kraken) means octopus, but can also refer to the legendary Kraken.[22] In Dutch, the verb Kraken means breaking or the sound of cracking.

 


89 thoughts on “So You Want to Quit Drinking (“Sticky Post”)

  1. I was wondering the entire time while reading whether you wrote it or not – because this is so very good that it might as well be written by someone whose name appears in every book on literature 😉
    Really stunning writen. I’m so impressed. I can’t even get the right words for it. I’ll just applaud.

    Like

    1. Aww, that’s one of the nicest compliments I’ve ever received, thank you.

      Yep, I wrote it (at 3 am after it woke me up) though the italicized lines are from the mentioned Bukowski pieces.

      Thank you again!

      Like

  2. LOVE this. Very much. I want to just keep parts of it in my phone, or on notes around my house, because the reminders are relevant every day.

    Like

    1. Aww you can slice and dice this up any way you want to help slay your own demons. You can even borrow my kraken. 🙂

      Or even just the Buk pieces “the laughing heart” and “nobody but you” are great reminders too.

      Thank you SO much. ❤

      Like

  3. Goosebumps, baby!
    I’ve missed your pen. 3 am sessions may wreck the body, but it feeds your craft.
    I’m with Michele…fucking brilliant and you know I only drop the f-bombs for something special.
    WOW!

    Like

    1. Holy fuck baby, you dropped the f-bomb!!! I’m not sure you’ve done that here yet, or just once if you have… I think I only saw it at Cayman’s, lol.

      My filters tend to go out the window the less sleep I get. It creates some interesting work sometimes. But it also creates some of my rawest, truest work too.

      The hardest part is typing it all up. My handwriting goes out the window too, haha! It’s like deciphering the medevial scrolls. I have some more stuff, just gotta get to typing. 😉

      Love you baby, thank you!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I love the “no filters” and am envious…no…awed…by the freedom of your pen.
        I’m also chuckling out loud. I can NOT read anything I scribble any more, so my best work will never be read because nobody (not even me) can decipher it!!
        I actually just came back from a walk (in downtown Nashville) and was wishing I had committed your poem/freewrite to memory. It’s meant to be read out loud, delivered with the just the right phrasing and staccato and emphasis. I could hear it when I walked. It made my pony tail bounce with determination and added a touch of magic to the evening. Thank you, sister!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh insomnia can look all sorts of crazy ways. I’ve written some horrible words while wishing for sleep. (I wrote something called Bone Collector right after this piece. I’m not sure yet if it’s horrible or just weird or depressing. Probably all of the above.) This one pleasantly surprised me the next day though when I saw it wasn’t half bad. 🙂
      Thank you sis, miss you…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow- really awesome! Your such an incredible writer, poet, journalier- yes I made that word up! I ❤️ This and plan to share with a few friends!!! xoxo

    Like

  5. Well, my muse is currently comatose again… but she woke long enough to repeat these lines:

    “so
    you really want to quit drinking?

    put down the bottle.
    do not pick it up again.
    ever.

    pick up the pen.
    do not put it down again.
    ever.”

    Can you hear my fingers snapping? 🙂 You’ve got the beat… yeah, you’ve got it!
    xoxoxo
    SueAnn

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah baby, I can dig it. 🙂
      So great to hear from you, I stopped by a week or so ago to see if you’d posted…your muse will show up…just keep writing and let her catch-up to you baby.
      Lots of love to you! xo

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Holy shit, Jones! I don’t even know what to say to this. “So bad, it’s good …” It’s late where I am, 2:00 am. I read your reply to my comment on WFTY and came directly here. I was on my iPad. (I’ve been kinda missin in action for awhile.) I see the title and Bukowski and start reading, and I’m thinking I love Bukowski, he’s so fucking real, and I get to the line . . .”fall off the karaoke stage?” and I think, wait, Bukowski wouldn’t say that. So I swipe back to the top of the page and see “after Bukowski, and I think, damn, Christie! Fucking brilliant. And then I read the read.

    And, again, I say damn, Christie! Fucking brilliant. There’s so much real passion and emotion and good advice, even if we don’t need to quit drinking, because everyone has demons of one sort or the other.
    “. . . write it all
    let it come out of
    your soul like a rocket”

    Hell, yes.

    P.S. I had to put down the iPad and get on the computer to really take this all in and then comment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So, um, you liked it?

      😀

      Seriously though, Mary, thank you. For everything. You continually inspire me to write better, write truer, and write rawer.

      And ps, I didn’t even notice any typos. 90% of my comments are via my phone…I shudder to think about some of the auto-corrects I’ve missed.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you so fucking much! I seriously needed this tonight. Bookmarked, and looking forward to reading more of your work.

    Like

    1. You’re so fucking welcome baby! Thanks for finding me! A bit of a mixed bag around here, but the weather is nice, the people are nicer, and you can put your feet on the furniture any ole time you want. Welcome! And thanks again, Christy

      Like

    1. I think awesome is my favorite word of all time, so it’s very awesome you used it to describe my work. And I guess walking away is better than running away?

      Thanks so much for sharing with your readers and for the way awesome comment! -Christy

      Like

    1. So very nice of you, thanks baby! The change of seasons has me feeling creative, so I’ve been writing on for sure. Fun post planned for tomorrow… 🙂
      Have a great week! xo, christy

      Like

    1. Awww, thanks. This was a fun one to write, for sure. It’s fun to channel someone as raunchy as Bukowski. I’m happy it’s encouraging so many—that gives me goosebumps. Thank you again!

      Like

    1. You can do it baby, hang in there. Stand on your head in the bathroom for thirty days if you need to. Those first 30 are the hardest, don’t give in to your demons.

      Lots of support out there, click around…a few sober blogs on the right in a blogroll. Also some resources on my contact/resources page.

      Proud of you!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Holy wow! I really love this! Thanks for sharing your kick-ass fantastic writing, Christy. ( I misread your attribution at the beginning, which I thought said, “by Bukowski,” so the whole time reading I was thinking, “Oh man, Bukowski got sober? How do I not know this?” And then I spent a half hour reading Bukowski poems online, which was a wonderful way to spend a half hour.) But even better, it’s not Bukowski, it’s you and you’re amazing and it’s no wonder the gods love you so much! I will tuck this one away and read it when being sober starts to feel too hard, which sometimes it does, and then I will read it and laugh with you and the krakens! xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought and thought and thought about it, and finally decided to add a little intro at the beginning saying “hey! strong language! crazy woman’s psycho insomniac ranting ahead!” haha, since I’ve learned that several very nice folks have shared this piece with some of their support networks. It’s just a bit of irony to channel Buk in a sober-up poem, but man, who else understood demons and the power of alcohol like Buk did. And while, yeah sure, Hank could be 100% asshole at times, he had a sensitive streak for cats and underdogs and those doing battle with demons and darkness. “there are ways out. / there is a light somewhere. / it may not be much light but / it beats the darkness.” (From “The Laughing Heart”). Another favorite is “a vote for the gentle light” (shared in a Words volume here: http://wordsfortheweekend.com/2014/08/09/is-this-a-message-finally-or-just-another-day-vol-38/)

      Like I mentioned off-line, I sure appreciate your notes. You’re marvelous baby, and I know the gods delight in you too! xo, c-

      Like

  9. wow… that was… wow… may be one of the best post i’ve ever read on the struggle inside. i think most of us have been there but that’s why we’re here (clean). not much to add i’ve read the other comments and i totally agree with all of ’em. well done! a maze zing.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you

    I was simply browsing around checking out different sites on sobriety, am celebrating 19 years in March. The things you’ve written here took me back just that quick. Not in a bad way, but as a reminder of a lifestyle that I never want to live again. Each day I am more blessed than the day before. Nineteen years ago I was a mess in every sense of the word, spiritually, emotionally, physically, financially, legally, and in my personal relationships. Today I’m grateful every day, somehow some way, one day, sometimes one minute at a time, I’m here and whole. I am grateful for people who are truly willing to share their experience, strength, and hope. Be blessed.

    Like

    1. JulieLynn, welcome and thank you! I’m not sure if you believe in nudges from the universe, but I’m pretty sure you just delivered one to me.
      Huge congrats on your long-term sobriety and upcoming anniversary. So grateful for your visit, comment, and nudge. 🙂
      Christy

      Like

    1. Sober is SOOOO fucking better, baby!

      You know as well as I do that sober is not always easy or perfect, but it’s always better than being a hostage to alcohol.

      So glad you took time to read, thanks hon!

      Print, copy, paste, slice, dice, ginzu… Whatever you’d like is fine if it will help you stay sober. 🙂 Love! – c

      Sent from my iPhone

      >

      Liked by 1 person

  11. This is powerful and beautiful, and exactly what I needed in this moment.
    I feel like you’ve slapped me in the face, looked me in the eye, and told me what I needed to hear in words I could never have envisioned myself. Thank you.

    Like

    1. Oh you are so welcome. I’m glad you found these words when you needed (and were ready) to hear them.
      We all need a good “snap out of it!” slap from time to time. I’ve been lucky enough to get a few too.
      Hang in there and don’t you dare quit on yourself.
      Love, christy

      Like

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