Archive for heroin

Me ineptum. Interdum modo elabitur.

Posted in poems with tags , , , , on March 3, 2013 by Phillip Barker


at the edge of night
the usual warnings apply
“out there be dragons”

once again charge,
Quixote like, into the dark
all warnings unheeded

*    *    *    *

contemplating line
the irresistable attraction
of lost and broken things

*    *    *    *

china white
dragon uncurls gracefully
above the ivory bowl

*    *    *    *

Vision’s grim allure
deep black water in my cup
dreams, three a penny
warmth in my hands
slowly spreading

*    *    *    *

Chinese white dragon
Soft floating dreams, a few per gram
Tonight’s chase begins
Fire in the attic? Who cares?
Hours pass, nights blend into years

*    *    *    *

spider on the spike
neurotic narcotic night
blood on the pillow

*    *    *    *

From the next tiny room
A waft of opium, a sigh
A tear, frantic reverie
A nightmare’s ceasing
Slide into glorious slumber

*    *    *    *

reminds me of death
once-upon-a-time lover
when she calls, I go

*    *    *    *

Mapping the bruises
Deep, somewhere behind her eyes
I decide not to call
Tonight, as the chill descends
Take up the bottle again

*    *    *    *

spilled shot glass staining the table
ink stained fingers pick out a blues

*    *    *    *

these tiny monsters
crawling, shallow, beneath my skin
hot, slow night draws out

*    *    *    *

Soft breeze, music drifts
Up and down the midnight streets
Blue wisp of memory

*    *    *    *

I know when to run
when to burn the evidence
often eludes me.



Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on March 2, 2013 by Phillip Barker

JANITA (a scenario)

(Eighteen. Long ragged mousy hair. Bruised sunken-eyed gaze – bloodshot – “SLEEP…” Op-shop clothes, tattered, dirty, disgusting. A bare bulb, mattress, blanket, chair. On the chair a candle, bent spoon and glass of water.)

Wailing her story –
she stops, injects
and ventures smiles,

She takes another shot

The belt bites
purple veins struggle to emerge
Finding one she prods
Draws blood and pumps… life
Smiles, forgets
rejects temperance

She smiles that smile that says
“I know it all! I know it all!”
Her head falls forward as her eyes roll back

The telephone calls
A voice on the wire
(and she’s wired)
Silence falls

“Ah! An offer to good to refuse!” she says, “Ummmm, ahhhhh
 back soon, okay? You wait and I’ll… ah, um, yeah,
well, listen I’ll be back soon, okay?”

(She throws on a filthy gypsy wrap and disappears….
I watch the walls and see –
crimson on purple streaked cream flesh.)

Wailing in memory –
then smiles, forgets
sends pictures
smiles, forgets.

(The door bursts open.
Agitated, beaming,
she draws twenty-six
silverfoil packages from hidden folds.
She smiles and says
“We’re ON!”)

(A week later)
She’s got an empty glass locked between her knees
She stares at the paper, closes her eyes
She sits and feels the power
She sits, counting minutes, counting hours… of pain
counts the minutes, counts the hours
“Any second now, I’ll be insane”
“Johnny”, she whispers, “you’re getting so crazy”
“Dear John “, she writes
Then her telephone rings

Johnny’s lying in an alley
with a 38 slug in his chest
bye bye, brave boy

(written around 1975)