Up Behind The Clouds

Up behind the clouds,
me down beneath the ground,
eyes of stilted slits,
finding starry eyed stars,
just to stare down,
just to get even with

My big blind telescope in a world,
that’s a vandal’s braille,
i hear the clinks of glasses,
in my head i hear the wails,
siren songs, singing spelling wrong,
as always, the petty flesh will fail

Potted palm fronds, flitting about in gusts,
for all we’ve done that isn’t wrong,
a song written in dust

Add weight to my shoulders, break back and repeat,
release nothing until depletion, mixing iron into meat,
drink wine with dead soldiers’ clamors, pleading for the ink,
one pen left to write with and so we write until we’re weak

Leave the rest to the weary,
i’ll write so the half of me that thinks,
doesn’t have to think so scary,
for blessed is the one,
the one that surrenders nothing,
except the right to breathe until he decides he’s

done

These Words I Write Have No Right

Alexander Michael Ziperovich

It’s so crucial to be neutral these days, hesitate before I let myself go bleeding away,
decimate the page with my sordid references embedded inside splintered, decayed
sentences, remove myself from it and say it’s abrupt literary fucking, you can’t
stop my blistery wondering, it’s like the stars are on fire directly in front of me,
you can see them up close, unfurling of a rose, a ghost, caught in an inferno
lost in the woods during a forest fire, going to burn down our funeral pyre
die a mortal, a coward and a liar worth nothing, I just think it’s about
time we had this discussion, my brushes with death a few minor
digressions, the point of this is that the points I like make blood
like blades and they cut deep if they have any grace, they’ll
leave gashes in your mind that you can’t wash off or stitch
you piss off momma bear it’s hard calming a violent bitch,
you’ve lost your innocence, your presumptions intimate,
so infinite, our collections filled with what they gave us,
knowing it won’t save us, we just got spat on charity,
bent down, collected their spittle, the generational
learned with their belligerent fiddles, out of tune
ballads of knowledge and philosophical riddles
that don’t end with a lesson but rather they
begin with the same redundant toy titular
thistles meant to scrape your shins and
break your wind until you can’t run
and painful is sin and your mind is
just a piece of the giant lake of hot
burning oil in the desert with the
limbs of soldiers dead in wars
that we adore for hating the
people under the other
stars, like loving afar,
I love you, it’s hard
words weren’t ever
going to kill, maim
you or stab, hurt
or leave scars
I just wanted
to show you
the way I
collect all
our hell
in
a page like butterflies in clear empty jars

My Friend Jamie, My Poor, Poor Friend Jamie

By Alexander Ziperovich

It was really just me and this obese woman, a drug counselor incidentally, in this rehab. There was the Indian that smoked heroin and bitched about his need to go drive his non-existent Porsche and the Mexican he paid for his dope, how he wanted to kill this fucker. He was a farce- but fuck he was built like a fucking panzer tank or better, a gasoline tanker truck, I mean this massive asshole actually had a jet black pony tail! We didn’t get along after I walked in on him showering in my bathroom. Me and the Indian, no we didn’t get along at all and I left him alone but his eyes really didn’t ever leave me much alone time. So, it was all of us shuttered up in this cramped little hovel a few hundred miles north of San Diego in this post-apocalypytic wasteland suburbia apropos of hell with two twin obese freakishly round half-Mexican “caretakers” or whatever feeding us our pills and cooking bad enchiladas every single day. I mean, seriously, every day and the bulk cheese was applied like the bubonic plague in European history.

Me and the obese woman, we cliqued up right away. She was momming me and I was sonning for her and it was working beautifully at first. See, the reason she came to rehab in the first place was because she felt she needed Gastric Bypass surgery and her pain doc had her on, she said and I believed it, sixteen eighty milligram oxycontins a day plus liquid morphine to top it all off and get the cocktail tasting right. The problem here then is that with her on so much dope pain medication there would be no feasible way for this large woman to get any kind of pain control if she did happen to have gastric bypass surgery to thin her out a tad. It was all sad and amusing and we talked about her hepatitis C and her days following the dead (the grateful ones) and her son doing life in Chino and all sorts of other getting-to-know-ya shit. She took to me. She really did. I wasn’t surprised. And with sixteen eighties a day, shit, sign the adoption papers today.

The TV was the epicenter, the headquarters of the house and we watched the movie Alpha Dog continuously, which tells the true story of this little kid that’s killed with a mac 10 on a California hiking trail because of his older brother’s very insignificant drug debt. “What are we watching tonight?” You can hear the enchilada’s frying and sizzling, all that cheese, these poor fat women, Jesus. “Alpha Dog,” “Oh. Yeah, it’s good.” The Indian absolutely hated Alpha Dog and you’d hear a door slam. I liked it, kinda. I mean, shit, it wasn’t Wheel of Fortune or TV Telemundo and it pissed the Indian off.

Here’s the variable – I run out of smokes and all there is to do is sit at the table outside and smoke or watch alpha dog and eat shitty cheese smothered tortillas. So, I start bumming the obese ladies’ Camel non-filters, which she refers to as “leemacks”. The reason, she explains, is because you never want the fuzz to know what kind of cigarettes you smoke, so you smoke the unfiltered Camel’s backwards, burning up the little Camel stamp and leaving a butt with nothing but hopelessness for any homicide detective trying to find out who dun it. She learned this awhile back I take it, at least before the cops figured out DNA and fingerprinting.

I start bumming her leemacks and she isn’t very excited after I’ve devoured her 7th pack inside of 48 hours. She slows me down getting irritated. Somewhere around this time I use her nail clippers to cut my fingernails and then I remember she has hepatitis and I get a little freaked out. Uh oh, I say to myself, uh oh. I don’t want no fuckin’ interferon. Shit.

“Alex, I can’t bum you anymore smokes, I love ya but I can’t do it.” She will run out herself if I keep smoking her leemacks and I don’t want her to run out and she doesn’t want to run out and no one wants to run out of nicotine in fucking rehab because it’s fucking rehab and there are no good drugs or drinks. Bastards all of em. Burn em at the stake and pour poor liquor into their face, sober freaks.

“Oh, really? Damn. You can’t afford to bum me anymore leemacks? Shit. That’s okay. I’ll survive.”

It is time for me to get the fuck out of this pit. Post haste. No cigarettes? No, no way.

I call my friend Jamie in San Diego to come get me and he concurs. Some skinny fucker gets word that I’m leaving and comes to try to intervene and keep me hostage in the house of bubbling enchiladas and nicotine withdrawal but my mind is all made up on this one. No cigarettes? Cocksucker even offers to buy me a pack. A pack? He limps away all fatalistic away from my roaring laughter. So, I wait at this tropical Tiki Hut themed bar drinking Coronas this older woman keeps blessing me with acting as if I were Macauley Culkin before the heroin (again, I have this effect on older white women, don’t ask me why) and I’m twirling one of those little toothpick umbrellas in my mouth in the sun feeling great. Jamie makes the two and a half hour trip and I see BMW M3 pull up and I’m out like a fucking ghost in the night, although it is daylight and there is no one to put up a fight, except maybe Charlene or Chandra or whoever the old blond is, she wanted me to stay. Sorry Chayenne. She smiles wistfully and waves goodbye.

What I have not thus far mentioned is that I generated a generous benzodiazepine habit along with my usual opiate one: xanax 20 mg a day, klonopin 10 or how about I just greedily pour the fuckers down my throat as much as I can without choking to death. I would ask that the reader keep in mind that this is only really like my fifth or sixth detox/rehab and so I’m still learning the ropes, day by day. I figure that the bullshit WWI benzo the enchilada twins are feeding me (brand name Serax; extremely short half life and worthless for a buzz FYI) doesn’t mean shit and isn’t doing shit but I have yet to learn the delicacies of a benzo withdrawal…

Naturally, I assume I’ll be completely fine. And I am. Dandy. The drive back is stupendous, I’m free, free at last, from rehab and obese women with leemacks and bad enchiladas and mean heroin smoking Indians and Alpha Dog and the whole damn thing and I get to Jamies house and some  dudes are sitting there on his front porch thriving on forty ouncers and blunts and I get with them and catch a taste of Cannabis Sativa and Mickeys Malt Liquor and we chill. A few hours pass and everything is all good, gravy, gratuitously great.

What’s this weird feeli-
EVERYTHING GOES INCREDIBLY FUCKING WRONG.

My heart is going to leap out of my chest like in that movie Alien with Sigourney Weaver and I start shaking like a leaf in a storm and I am burning up, red like a lobster shell with a temperature of one hundred and hell degrees. I feel as if I am about to expire. This is definitely not opiate withdrawal. Now it’s time to find out via the internet that if you don’t titrate off benzos very slowly you catch a fun seizure and your ass goes spasmodic and you fucking die, well, my ass fucking dies. Fuck. My poor friend Jamie, my poor, poor friend, he’s happily spinning music on his turntables and I’m trying to bury myself in his couch, burrowing, burrowing. I cannot escape my biology I realize and I suddenly leap up and shriek at Jamie: “We need to go the fuck back now! I am going to die here! It will be everything but dignified! Vamanos!” I am very reluctant to return to bad enchilada land but I know they have that Serax shit there. My “brother” (yeah fucking right, Brady) who said that if I needed anything to call him and who lives literally minutes away does not answer my thousands of phone calls and text messages and who is a complete junkie pharmacist and who would have, I am certain, been able to procure me some valium or something. I’m betting Brady’s high watching the sci fi channel playing with Fentanyl patches, selfish fucking asshole. Oh, Brady recently found Jesus and sobriety after doing a year in the county after trying to kill the sky with a .357 Magnum on the roof of his moms mamsion with the cops surrounding his house and a red dot stuck to his skull. Whatever, he isn’t an option so we go and I’m riding shotgun in the M3 telling this poor child friend Jamie to hit the motherfucking gas. “Get this bastard moving, it’s an M3 isn’t it?!” We pass several police traps and I inform poor young Jamie, who has had yet to catch his own habits, to fucking fly by em’ and keep going or I will die in the county jail. As in, if a pig tries us, speeeeeeed the fuck up with the pedal directly on the motherfucking metal.

We are now about 22 minutes from our signature destination; where the Serax (still a shitty benzo, but hey, a benzo’s a benzo when your heart’s about to explode) lives and I have to piss from drinking Malt Liquor so fucking bad that I am screaming while also shaking, biting my jaw into itself so hard my mouth is a swamp of teeth, blood and bile.

Now we are 19 minutes out and the piss is just going to have to go somewhere at this point and we are not fucking stopping no fucking way my heart keeps stopping and starting and stopping and starting and I don’t want it to stop entirely the way it would if we stopped we are not stopping we are not stopping no cops no tanks no armies we are not fucking stopping Jamie do you understand James? Fucking hit the fucking gas you pussy motherfucker!

ETA 11 minutes and there’s a scramble to find a bottle, but the one I find has nothing I need, it is one of those shitty Pepsi bottles with the incredibly tiny holes. I give it a good shot, I mean I fucking try, but I got a big dickhead and while were on dickheads lets just come right out with the fact that I am a Ron Jeremy sized Dickhead for what takes place. I really do my best to get it in there but it is as if the hoover damn, or I don’t know, the entire fucking ocean is just coming up out of me and this little Pepsi bottle is just mocking me as this river of urine explodes around it and it ain’t catching much of anything at all so finally, I give up and in glorious, relieved, graceful, beautiful defeat and I just lay my ass back piss flying everywhere, a tide of piss cascading down off his seat going off into and filling up every part of his once urine-less BMW. Right as I’m squeezing out the last few drops, smiling dumbly, piss still dripping down off his seat into the pond that is his car he pulls up to the house. The look on his face is priceless as I pause, think of something to say, forget it and open the door and exit, shaking the pool of piss off of my shirt and shorts onto the street and I look at Jamie and his eyes are wide and shell-shocked like he just witnessed a murder or a fucking man die of Ebola in his car, “Uhhh, what the fuck, okay. Okay, great. Fuck. Fuck. Yeah, no problem on the ride, fuck. Oh my god, what the fuck. Yeah, I’ll see you, man. Later du-,” and as he screeches out of the drive way he makes a u-turn and it looks like he’s trying to spin the car so fast the piss will just all somehow fly out or evaporate.

My Friend Jamie, My Poor, Poor Friend Jamie.

Jamie, next time you cannot piss in my BMW when you’re coming off of your Xanax habit.

This one’s for you ol’ boy, take it like an apology or something bro. I’m glad we’re still friends because if you pissed all over my M3 I may have had you murdered and thrown into a hole in the desert. Love ya, pal.

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