You can always drown again

You stand there barefaced
with your mica eyes, your hair a mess,
you’re bored in aftermath of wasted wildness;
your fingers claw for hypodermic bliss.
Your lips in avarice sandpaper a plea;
and carve your craves for more amphetamine.
You beg and say: ‘Further down I cannot fall’

But even in dependence deep as yours
there’s the fourth rule of the addict
that below the bottom lies another bottom deeper still,
that even if you’ve drowned you can suffocate again.
So relent your reverie; that dopey smile
your zilch of bravery that made you once
to take those drugs that kept you thin.

I will you please
unswill and sober up; bounce back to past,
become again the sanguine you of yesterday
Remember that I’ve always kept the faded Polaroid
we took before you plunged into the tidal waves.


A drowned woman (found drowned) by Vasely Perov

This is linked to Mindlovemisery’s wordle, and tomorrow I will link up to the Tuesday platform at toads.

December 19, 2016

24 responses to “You can always drown again

  1. Well, I’m listening to some gorgeous “siren” music tonight, so I think drowning could be a very pleasant thing, if it’s drowning in sensation, music, and/or a swirl of chaotically romantic emotions. But that doesn’t seem to be what you’re writing about at all. Or maybe you are, but it’s masked by the drug theme. I like that this could be about different sorts of addictions, but ultimately, the speaker is trying to make the loved one stop his/her bad/destructive behavior.

    I love “unswill” as a verb, that faded photo, and this: “below the bottom lies another bottom deeper still” … So many great phrases, actually, like “zilch of bravery” and “lips in avarice.” The first four lines are my favorites, I think. The mica eyes, and the messy hair.

    I’m really loving all these poems centered around the “fourth rule.” Very cool responses.

  2. A beautiful and moving poem that could do a lot of good in a frame on many a classroom, youth club and rehab center wall. Even if it only reaches one person and helps them think before they travel down the road of addiction, that is one person saved. A very powerful write Björn.

  3. I want to go out dancing with the title of this poem. Yes, I like it that much. You are so good at creating worlds out of words that had nothing to do with each other. So many wonderful phrases. “Unswill”, what an image.

  4. You’ve captured the uselessness and the hopefulness of those who stand by and try to help but usually only watch … Addiction is a lonely road… but sometimes they do listen and work their way out… I too like the use of “unswill”

  5. For the addict, there is always THE Bottom, the one they hit before they accept they’ve hit the last living one. Drowning is always an option, but breathing again has no such certainty. Well thought and wrought.

  6. I will you please
    unswill and sober up; bounce back to past,
    become again the sanguine you of yesterday

    One prays for them to be well again! More so having known their
    good side when they were well, before!


  7. This reminds me of some of the heartbreaking news stories I see about the severity of the opiod problem in my country. Very eloquent prayer of suffering.

  8. Addiction is bad, they say. Nice dissertation you wrote here. The worst part of being addicted may be getting off. I’ll always be that way.

  9. “Remember that I’ve always kept the faded Polaroid
    we took before you plunged into the tidal waves.” So full of multiple meanings. Killer lines.

  10. Ohhhh…. so much more complex than just bouncing back. For every bottom there’s another deeper still, so very true. Thanks for this.

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