Alex Reading “Relapse”

This is Alexander Ziperovich reading a heartrending piece at Wordplay 2014 in Seattle and is a written piece that was excerpted from his upcoming memoir, The Beautifullest, for the occasion.

Alex & Spider

Alexander Michael Ziperovich

when the spider finally died, its quivering throes of death no longer,
i lost some of my fear yet some of my fear grew stronger,
i killed that spider with a gruesome finger,
now that spider,
he sits in my dreams, whispering things, a crawling, lingering fiend,
remnants of the plagues in my mind that do not care,
sentiment like throwing an ice cube in the jaws of a polar bear offered meat,
hatred/contentment, nothing so bitterly sweet,
but the taste of broken, fixed again redemption heavens,
and i crawl and i speak- i killed that spider with the hand that i write with, and the spider will forever kill me,
he’ll be there inside those nights that i fight with,
those nights that are blood from knife slits,
those nights that take a man,
turn him into a knives kiss with just one lip- a transaction;
life maxim turn into a Phoenix, dazzle em, sassy castle on the hill-
look your eyes into their eyes and kill as they kill,
the spider in my pillow plotting, following my breath,
me staying awake to monitor the great monstrosity in my head,
even with enough water and bread, this monster,
he keeps coming and he keeps wanting more than i can
give.

Alex Ziperovich Reading @ Da’daedal 1

Alex Ziperovich reading “My Poor, Poor Friend Jamie” at Da’daedal’s one year anniversary at The Josephine.

Lov3

our candy!

our candy!

lift mountains up mountains
for you

drink rivers and create oceans by spitting on deserts
for you

initiate congress between heaven and earth
and find the sun and the moon in slumber,
wake them and announce their marriage
with stars and clouds carrying champagne around
for pluto jupiter mars and venus while saturns rings explode
in
to
sound
for you i would do this

tear the fabric of space and time, creating a new place,
destroy the old universe
for you

take jesus’ wine and make liquor and not drink it
for you

darling, i would do any and every thing for your
eternal happiness but first, can i, may i,
have a kiss?

God & Satan Discussing Evil

Image

Alexander Michael Ziperovich

“How about this,” god and the devil had already signed a treaty some time prior as god was simply too brutal and calculating an opponent, a master in the conduct of war; satan really had no choice but to accept his plush exile and his secondary status in hell (which he felt resembled Vegas in the summer in any case). They were broaching the question of the image and subsequent creation of man again, bickering like children over plastic toys. “How about for every sixty or seventy kilos of meat in every man you create in your image, you let me throw in an ounce or so of my pure, unadulterated evil?” He paused grinning. “I mean you can’t totally handicap me here and make me completely reliant on some unwieldy army of bureaucrat demons to possess people! The overhead alone on that kind of operation would bankrup-” God interrupts, stroking his cottony white beard, “You want me to let you be a part of the image of man?” The reverberations from his soft chuckles creates most of Asia and reality television. “Listen. I have already decided that my being the sole entity from which the image of man should be derived is already going to be an important part of the book I’m going to ghostwrite so that man is righteous and divine and my PR people all completely agree on this.”

Satan sat patiently listening and replied when the rumbling of god’s voice began to dissipate, “Yeah, I know you’re going to create the religion thing and have some book confusing, self-contradictory narrative written so you can see who truly has ‘faith’ and find out who the ‘true believers’ are, despite my thought that it would seem much simpler and far kinder to just show yourself indisputably every once in awhile to prove your existence for the sake of not only man’s sanity but his eternal salvation. Look, I think it’s confusing enough with the whole race joke-” God clears his voice to be heard and the minivan comes into being. “Yes, that should prove delightful entertainment insight into man.” The devil slowly continued, “God, you see, you have all the advantages! Throw me a bone here!” He timed this plea perfectly so that it was uttered at the very moment god was being draped in his brand new custom-tailored 20% cashmere 80% angel tongue robe and he was off guard. “Fine, satan, you can have the smallest bone in every man created to do with it what you will and it will be infinitesimal in size,” God lit up the heavens with a sly smile. “And I know you think big things come in small packages,” The devil sits in his rocking chair, one leg crossed over the other. A smug sophisticate. God continues. “But I said you could have that small part of man for yourself and my word is, well, it is the word of fucking god so the deal is done.” The devil sat dispassionately. “Now. Dear satan, do pass that mirror with that white stuff on it you plan on growing in South America with that rolled up dollar bill please.” 

FALLING APART ON JEFF’S FLOOR

YUM! Vomit. YUM! Vomit.

Alexander Michael Ziperovich

I’ve been awake for seven days. No, six probably. Yeah, six or seven days I think. Jeff’s eyes are red whirling tops in the twilight of his bedroom. Everyone’s asleep again but I can’t sleep anymore. The same screaming fun-fun done-done thing keeps repeating: a day happens and then when it gets so dark that it’s almost light everyone stops talking and the fun stops and the done starts but I don’t know how to turn it off, turn off my fun button inside the pulsating, psychopharmacological experiment that is my brain. I’ve been stumbling around in circles trying to find someone to listen to me ramble for hours. Now I’m sitting on Jeff’s floor crying, playing with my pill bottles and panting.

“I don’t know what’s going on.”
He turns away from me to face the wall, “Go to sleep, fuck, Alex. You need to sleep.”
“I know but I can’t.”
He twists his body back and cranes his neck to see what I’m doing and turns back away, “Stop playing with those fucking pills.”
My brain is buzzing fuzzy, I am not feeling lovely and in fact my brain is fucking me, “I know but I can’t. Christ.”
He’s tired and lost, “Dude, c’mon. Let’s just sleep.”
“I am losing it, Jeff.”

I’m pouring various pills out of the bottle into and through my hands letting them slide through my cold fingers into my throat.

I convinced my fraudulent junkie doctor that I have ADHD. He gave me three or four different stimulants to try. I’ve been trying them with gusto. Once, his eyes wide and scorched bloodshot, he said, “I try everything I prescribe.” He’s my psychiatrist. We get along great.

I remove my shirt and look in the mirror and I see patches stuck to me, transdermal patches all over my body. Daytrana patches. Selegeline patches. Uppers. Downers. Mono-amine Oxidase Inhibitors.

Attached like leeches to my skin.

I feel like all I’ve been doing is eating handfuls of pills of all kinds.

That is all I’ve been doing.

I’m looking at the bottle of Atenolol I have clutched hard in my hand. A beta blocker. A blood pressure medication. If I take more than three it would probably stop my heart. Yes, I have enough to take me away, to take me somewhere to finally get some rest. A place to give the day away.

Suicide is seeming like a seriously viable option. I remind myself that I’m having a psychotic break from lack of sleep. I’ve been heavily abusing amphetamines among every other fucking drug for weeks. How long can this go on? I crawl into Jeff’s bed and I’m crying and I’m laughing and then I’m silent, my heart thudding in the darkness.

“I hate this. I can’t fall asleep, no matter what I do.”
“I know, me too.”
“I’ve taken like 20 bars tonight, man.”

We’re both laying there with Ritalin and Adderall and Desoxyn and Ketamine and Psylicobin and Xanax and alcohol and weed coursing through our blood streams in the glowglobe of his room trying to listen to the snow falling outside.

“You know it snowed like six inches tonight.”
“Yeah it keeps snowing.”
“We need to sleep.”
“I know.”
I say plainly, “I think I’m gonna kill myself.”
“Dude, what the fuck? Just sleeeep.”

I’m back on the floor in my pile of pills picking up bottles and reading labels and looking for new ones. I feel like one of these pills will do it, one of these pills will fix me. One of these will make me feel right. I wont ever have to take another fucking pill again. I just have to find the right one in this pit black box everything might be okay.

I know everything about pharmaceuticals. Benzodiazepines are the only drug, excepting barbiturates and alcohol, you have a real chance of dying from when you discontinue their use or in other words, go through a Dante’s Detox, you think not? Xanax is faster-acting than Klonopin but lasts half as long. Valium is good for relaxing your muscles and works well sublingually. Tylenol is the most dangerous thing about Vicodin and Percocet. You can smoke, snort, and shoot Oxycontin if you know what you’re doing. Even if you don’t know what you’re doing you can. Ask me anything about a psychoactive pharmaceutical and I can probably tell you about whatever aspect of its psychopharmacology you’re interested in, everything except how to stop or how to feel happy on them or off of them. I have everything but the answers I need.

“I’m calling your mom dude.”
I nod as I put another klonopin on the tip of my tongue. God, it’s like strawberries flavored with laughter…

I hear my moms alarmed, high-pitched voice on the other end as Jeff explains that he needs help with me, that I’m breaking down, that yes I’ve been taking “those damn pills” and no he doesn’t know how many. She knows the junkie shrink gave me stimulants. They warned me.

How strange that it’s snowing and I’m on my friend’s floor seriously contemplating pharmacide now.

My parents drive through the snow to rescue me. They feed me a seroquel and I feel waves of calm, a warm serenity washing through me and my body begins to relax and my mind finally surrenders and I sleep, dreamless.

Painting Prozac

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By Alexander Michael Ziperovich
I climb back into the ketamine cave and into the fire, into the luminescent thrashing mind-rape of disassociation. I’m inside Annie’s condo and everything is spinning and shooting these beautiful, malevolent stars and nothing makes any kind of sense. Everything is a fucking mess in my head. Her disorder is on full blast tonight and she’s toying with me on the K, telling me I’m hurting her, she’s screaming at me playing these twisted back and forth games that I can’t even understand in my identity-challenged, ego-blurred condition. She is cannibalizing me as I try to numb or poison her voice out of me. I feel some dark masochistic crevasse inside of me, some tumorous cave within is actually enjoying all this pain. The screaming mixed with the ketamine like a storm, the K hurts me and I feel my brain liquefying but more for me is good, the K talks to me and it just says more and everything is simple that way.

Finally, she goes to “sleep” after circling, hovering around me like a vulture as I sit hunched over my pile of glistening powder like a praying priest. She was stomping her big legs down into the wooden floor, enraged, all around me screaming and screaming and I don’t understand why or about what, not that the K is responsible for that, I’ve never understood what she does or why. I stay up to snort more powder, of course. She’s upright in her bed just howling for hours days weeks years, she’s dying for me to come to bed, to come lay down next to her, a wounded shrieking beast. Even now on the unmoving K platform of cognitive paralysis I know somewhere deep inside that she is gone, that my lovely Angie, the Angie I thought I had or would have or would have had, that that Angie, she’s gone because she never existed. In that long and beautiful dream we shared, us both privy to those few perfect moments but all of it is lost forever, it was never really real. It was drug-induced chemistry like a beautiful nod after a perfect shot of good heroin. The worst moment doing smack isn’t when you’re all the way sober after a really exquisite shot and you feel filled with the anguish of loss. No, the worst part is when you’re just coming to and barely sober enough to realize you are going to be truly sober again. You think about time and how badly you want to just go back and stay there in that wondrous warmth forever. That’s what it’s like with her, I just want to go back to the way things used to be but Angie, the pretty ugly butterfly from the broken cocoon is now resigned in my mind to the equivalent of a dirty black splotch of residue on a burnt spoon after I woke up from our dream, wistful reminiscent, thinking about all that fleeting, impossible to hold on to beauty, wasted gone but I’m still chasing her because I think how, “You do this thing that makes me believe it’s still there and I can’t leave you, baby. I feel abandoned and wrong and scared and crazy, too.”

Let me go, fucking let me go, let me fucking die alone at the bottom of a dark hole. Just no more of these nights. No more pain. Please, no more.

I rise up from the chair I’ve been glued to with K and she’s screaming harder and louder as she hears me trying to slip on my shoes and jacket. I’m trying to be quiet so she doesn’t know I’m leaving or else she’ll stop me but I have no coordination and as I grab some cans of red paint I’m making noise bumping into walls and her door. I stagger out and down the stair well and I start crying as I walk into her lobby, numb and I feel something, some part of me is dying. I fall out of her building into the heaving rain and the black wet night takes me into its arms and I start painting these big sloppy hearts on every flat surface I see. It’s a kind of frenzied reverie for me and I do this when her apartment is filled with too much horror and when I do this I run and I paint and I sweat as I run and it feels invigorating, all the rain pouring down my face onto my chest with the sweat dripping down my face as I write and I write and I write, I LOVE YOU and LOVE and IF NO ONE LOVES YOU I DO and my red dripping hearts are everywhere after a few seconds. I spray on walls that look lonely and dark, like I’m painting hearts on myself. I’m looking up through tears back at the rain being tossed from the sky as if to argue with the sky as the clouds smash down into my face commingling with the sheen of tears and snot running out of my nose.

I call my mom, delirious. I’m in so much pain. She is trying to talk gently to me as I pace around painting walls in black drenched avenues using my phone and a lighter for light to write my little LOVE idioms. My mom keeps trying to figure out what the fuck is going on at 4:47 at fucking Angie’s place. My body is jerking these little sounds out of my mouth through my desperate crying to her and I look at some cars speeding up Madison and I think that it might be better to just walk into the paved street and lay down on the soft, gleaming concrete in a little puddle and wait for something to just take the pain out but something says no. “Mom, whaaat… the… fuuuuuuuuuuck?” But she doesn’t know why. None of us know, her family, mine, me, her. No one fucking cares.

I think about her as I push my body down the street with my phone and my can. This poor fucking girl, already in so much psychic and emotional pain that her pain is all there is now. I never wanted to hurt her; I wanted to save her so she was able to save herself. Maybe by witnessing me kill myself through drugs and I said to her without words, I said, “I’ll be the sacrificial lamb. I’ll die for you, I know you want me to. I’ll do it for you, baby.”

I’m talking to myself and my mom and Angie who sits inside my head as a screaming that echoes in my skull at the same time, walking, staring up at the black nothingness squinting trying to see something through the endless sheets of cold droplets.

Everything hurts and every time I spray a big stupid red heart on a wall and I watch it drip crawling down to the street I feel a little relief from this nightmare. I see some cold junkie walking alone through this same lonely rain in the same lonely pain seeing my dripping hearts. I hope he sees them and he feels better or warmer. I want someone to feel some relief from all this. I’m passing on love Angie keeps telling me I don’t even have to give but this aerosol paint on these broken concrete streets in a downpour creating these horribly broken totems for the hopeless and the damned makes me feel better.

I tell myself I give everything I have to give, but it isn’t that much anymore. I gave her everything. More.
Her and the drugs took most of me.

The drugs robbed me of so much. I work with what I have left, some streaky red graffiti that looks like sad, dripping ignored love notes smothered in darkness, running off of walls into gutters like the buildings are bleeding.

I’m walking down these empty streets with the sky smashing into my face clutching my single can of red paint spraying it until it’s dead and I throw it, sending it careening into the street and suddenly she appears at my neck, grabbing at my arms, hissing at me like knives.

I’ll always be alone and then I will die of prostate cancer.

Bitter Little Bits Of Hope-Coated Noose-Lowered Rope

Alexander Ziperovich

I need to let off some steam, badly
I think I might do something shabby
shove something into a vein I don’t even have to feel happy,
disappear into the ether floating while slamming while passing water boiling so fancy stirred with a spoon so thin amongst my colleagues,
the faculty of sin, all moaning for happiness within as we grind our heads covered in shawls, my mind feeling like a third world bathroom stall with a gaseous mist seeping in choking on all the incessant judgment of Pluto the banks of Hades with his handsome boat as he casts me off to swim, beating my burnt angel wings just nubs in the current drowning in eternal subservience to a power no greater than the salivating that’s burning my throat as I swallow these grains of green, bitter little bits of hope coated noose lowered rope

so ugly it’s beautiful so hideous it will ruin you so horrid it’s true

as real and eternally infernal as children burned alive in an inferno made from candles and servitude

barbaric with an ax to grind metal sparks flying blinding men that are already blind burning their eyes until they can’t see even the black, all they can see is themselves dying over and over inside of their masks, I paint you a picture and you can fill in the lives and we can look at how disgusting our creation is, especially mine, and we can step back and have a smoke and watch the small embers crawling up into the sky, like a shadow in a gust of wind or a ghost that appears as a nun stuffed into a crib rising up out of it into the pitch as if you’re alive you’ll go up with the smoke away from us, our lungs expelling every single thing you ever wanted into a fine gray dust to be blown around the room of our god, this new soon to be exhumed funeral parlor where after we write brave men speak what they harbor and the thorns from roses are thrown at them until they bleed better spirits for the audience to experience in golden goblets they can really taste the pain in the faces of the poets drooling agony –

– one wrote his masterpiece for you and it was short beautiful truth but it burned and the flames that erupted out of the single page were small cruel and futile like the text never existed and the piece that made a master out of a man now made that man into sand with a stack of blank papers, a match and some gasoline in a can in a bathtub to lay in as he started to burn he began to remember verbatim the words of his poem as he sat like his poem he became ashes in his urn, he drowned in his fire and self-pity and genius but as he died he told the world his words but the earth didn’t hear him and the words he spit through the fire in his mouth were the words that made god so envious and evil and fiendish filled with so much doubt so he smiled in irony at such hostility given to him like wisdom – the things that poets conjure and die for to make you all feel pure and cried for – he died with a sneer on his face that was really a grin and he showed the sky his flaming face as he winked up at god’s ugly face and asked the earth to swallow him leaving no trace of his perfect works, leaving no face from which to know the man with the perfect words instead just a wisp of smoke from something that burned

it’s a dangerous autumn getting darker and the blackest crows line up to eat your eyes and I don’t even care if they start before or after I die as long as I can be the rain coming out of the sky flooding the streets in tides I want the rain to be the tears I cry the tears cascading out of my eyes so the world can feel my rage and pain as I scream lightening and fire in a ruthless hiss at humanity sitting atop Mt. Vesuvius

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