I am not ready for heroin

This piece was a sort of revelation for me on a couple of levels. Firstly, it has an actual title, a title that I quite like. Secondly, it really just came out without any effort. I know that  writers hate it when people say things like that, but I sort of casually wrote it while watching a movie about Kerouac.

No, I do not think I am ready for heroin yet
I do not think I am ready to read Swann’s Way
To own a television or a couch
To travel across America in a broken-down sedan
To take a week-long train ride from coast to coast

I do not think I have suffered enough
To sing the blues
To return to those things I carelessly discarded
Those people I broke like guitar strings
I do not think I have played enough minor chords

I do not think I am ready to open the music box
To hear that tinkling of angelic notes, prophesying nothing
I do not think I am ready to pretend
Or to fuck somewhere we might get caught

I do not think I am ready to rhyme
To read poetry in front of a crowd
Wave my words like a loaded sestina
To finalize the divorce
I do not have room for a coffee maker

I do not think I am ready to lose control
To drink until higher functions all shut down
Until I can no longer hold a pen
Until I am a penumbra of infirmity

I do not think I am ready to leave Oregon
To breast the mountains like a board on the waves
To throw away those old CD singles
To give up on my dreams of the stage

I do not think I am ready
To appreciate abstract art
To kiss you and not mean it
To scream as long and loud as the highway
To pick up the good times like litter when the bad times are falling ashes

I cannot cry at nothing any more
I cannot watch you grow up
I cannot stop wishing I was a girl
I am not willing to buy a new toothbrush

And I do not think I will write you a love song
I am not ready to throw a plate in anger
Or carry a loaded gun
To kick those old, white habits

I do not think I am ready
To abandon hope of you
To use the word ‘broken’
To throw out those t-shirts that no longer fit
To finish

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3 thoughts on “I am not ready for heroin

  1. Very entertaining and well written. I think the title suits the poem, and really sets the piece up. I would love to hear you perform this piece … just imagine that as a performance this poem would go to another level. Thanks for sharing.

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