The Son’s Shadow
Ben John Smith
I haven’t attempted to write sober before
and I have my doubts on whether it will work
I try and
I write terrible poems;
but I always have
to be fair.
Ben John Smith is BACK and better than ever! Tackling themes of illness, depression, fatherhood, and sobriety, “The Son’s Shadow” marks the long-awaited new release from HST’s oldest friend and founding editor.
DOWNLOAD IT HERE
Six Twisted Hours
of this ole
of single barrel
Holy&intoxicated Publications is proud to present its latest chapbook,
‘Fire On The Mountain’, by the late great legendary Doug Draime.
Print run of only 50 copies:
30 copies available from dougdraime.com
($5:00 plus p&p)
20 copies available from email@example.com
(£5:00 plus p&p)
Available May 1st, 2019
Many thanks to John D. Robinson for publishing this chap. It is a testament to Doug’s timeless spirit that lives on in his poetry to have this published three plus years after his death. Going through the collection was a journey for Aaron and I, some of which brought tears to our eyes and a heaviness of heart. A Flower For You On Savage Creek Road was the first poem I read by Doug. It appeared in a local paper and I thought at the time, how sweet to be loved like that! I remember hoping someday a man will write poetry for me. Lori was Aaron and Shawn’s mother. She passed away in 2003 and Aaron and Shawn did not see this poem until I gave it to them after Doug’s death. Doug shared a lot about his writing with me and I edited much of his work over the years. That being said, some of the selections are new and some have been published. I hope you enjoy reading and rereading these selections.
— Carol Draime
Just got out of prison
Los Lunas, New Mexico.
She was smoking crack back in Chicago.
I was headed there to get my life on track.
She was living each day
at two C-Notes a whack.
Oh mercy, Sometimes it gets so crazy.
I’m dirty used and wasted
wearing turn around shoes.
Her kitchen’s full of garbage.
Her curtains all peeked through.
The dogs of years nipping at my heels.
I’m cheating sisters of the dice.
She all dolled up like Chinese food.
And I’m fool fried twice.
Lord it can all get so damn crazy.
The best part of truth seems to be the lies
God gives his left handed smile.
I can’t live life in the middle of the road.
Traffic comes at me from both sides.
There’s nowhere to hide.
I’m a Desolation Angel
Last time that I killed myself.
There were no vacancies in hell.
And she was doing Jesus
in some stained sheet motel.
Life’s a bitch, and she’s in heat.
Looking for someone to screw.
Time’s cracking his knuckles.
She’s out working the avenue.
Tell me how’d it get so crazy
I’ll play the hand that’s dealt me
Choke down what’s on my plate
I drew a crooked Tarot card
to my inside straight.
She whispers to me like shuffling dollar bills.
Her banjo eyes are waning.
Come on take a hit it could be worse,
It could be raining.
Did I just feel a raindrop?
Thought I heard the thunder roll.
Another junkie that can’t stop.
Another addict outta control
Oh I sold my soul
Now the storm has ceased.
I’m back in prison
Here in Chicago.
How it ever turned so crazy
I’m sure I’ll never know.
a clean but filthy, poorly-lighted place
I like the chaos of the place
the music is louder than need be
tortured women slurring words
swinging breasts, hip, and ass
under glowing red lights
the place is dark
remarkably clean but filthy too
I find it all right
the women dance
the beer is served
I write the poems.
And crucify it, drive it home, as fast as you can,
Filled up with spunk and rancor,
As his arteries scream for him,
Made of strawberry jelly and sprinkles,
Pour it out, into colourful bowls at the nursery school,
Too many betrayals now, too many nicks in the surface,
Kill everyone you know and barbeque their remains,
Make a bonfire out of your grandmother,
Fillet the postman and sell little slices from an ice cream van,
Split it open, with everything you have got,
Fill it to the brim with hatred,
Tear it open, and see what fits inside,
Discharge a loathsome fire extinguisher into the wombhole of a wombat,
Set fire to your pubic hair, steal anything not nailed down,
Incendiary chemicals and pencil sharpeners, ram it all in,
It is all dead
Defecation of a Nation
A checkered darkness
like a vacancy sign
flickering its last breath
of neon on half a mind
as the noose tightens.
Nazi cockroaches given
the run of the house,
quenching their thirst
with the blood of the kids.
Swarming over the dead
skin of those who dare
dream and feasting till
their gorged bodies fuck
in a ring of shit in a no holds
barred orgy for the ages.
Porn and power in wrestle-
mania a million and one,
fertilizing eggs bred
to propagate and prosper
in a nuclear genocide.
Memories of a New Jersey Project
New Jersey is a convenience store
I hunted for an ATM on an October night.
I had avowed to never use heroin again but now
I was half-drunk or half-sober
The bartender immediately made me for what I was
miserable and unconvinced that anyone had an answer
or anything to offer
to supplement the human condition
there were bottles of liquor in the back
a dining room off to the right
down a rickety hallway
I told him I was broke
when I didn’t leave him much of a tip
on a sixty dollar tab
I have to imagine
I wasn’t the first
nor the last
to lie in a barroom
under dim light
in the fall of a New Jersey night
Then my house guest and I
left to go cop
in the projects of Trenton
I made him drive
I was too drunk
we showed up
& parked in a fenced in lot
“don’t talk to nobody”
the man on the phone who I never met.
in New Jersey
there’s always a voice on the end of the line
that never matches
the person who strolls up to
the Korean made car window
after making me wait
A woman showed up
I had seen her before
she was tall and thin
long expensive hair
& a leather jacket
rusted chain link
and towering brick apartment
there were shots fired
her hand met mine
she turned and walked off
walked off with her
my inert wad of 20s
wrapped tight in my drunken fingers
his first full night here in Jersey
turned on the car
over the din
of city cop SUV sirens
Auditioning for Silent Films
The flies are dancing around
our regurgitated meals;
their bodies drawing the story of
the Three Headed Tyrant
but nothing’s original any more
(that damn sentiment least of all)
and they’re all buzzing
their wives at home
insisting we don’t need to talk
but you’ve got to audition
every week for some
role utterly beneath you;
and maybe I’d recognize you more
if it weren’t for this call
for an encore
ringing in my ears
– I’m no better than you though,
I cut myself to keep myself
in touch with the fans,
otherwise my ego
will swell my head
to God-like proportions
and God doesn’t make guest appearances
not even for the final act
and yeah they say
there are no small roles
only small actors
but what a fucking insult
to that dude who played
everyone’s favourite droid