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We Are Addicted

by Michael Redgen 5 months ago in social commentary · updated 4 months ago
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Poetry is a vice

We Are Addicted
Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

2 billion people living their lives addicted

each trying to find escape in locked up denial.

You are called an addict

when you sip from the hip flask

or multitask, gym junkie, marathon runner

watching marathon after marathon

as you stuff your face with sweets and treats

or eat chips or take trips or do pills.

A Sisyphean existence

hyperbolic alcoholic

addicted to the rush

the ride, the high, the dive, the lows–

dopamine fiend out to get a fix.


Me? I’m addicted to art.

My addiction leaves me begging for my supper

or pleading with my landlord

wishing I had untouched super.

I beg to stay

I can pay in poetry I say

I just need one more line

I can reach the next deadline

dead-end jobs leave me dead inside.

Overdue bills pile up

a note is left on my windshield

“is this car abandoned

it hasn’t moved in weeks!”

No credit, can’t call

kicked off the train

and fined for fair evading

can’t afford the coffee you already made me.

What currency do you accept?

Do you take songs or poems

or sonnets as payment?

Perhaps you’d like a piece of my soul?

Will art cover the cost at all?


No, I don’t paint or draw

I only have these words that pour out like lava

and a battered microphone to tell it how it is.

I’m not a man who pushes up the cart

or one to push the buttons with no purpose.

I’ll keep my aching inky fingers

and the workers can keep their pointless jobs.

The alcoholics can toast to their drinks

the junkies can have their junk

no dope to smoke but still broke

I’ll stay addicted to art.


I hear a chorus of, “Have you got a real job yet?”

“Does writing not pay the bills?”

“You know poetry is dead right?”

Their words crack like a cliché avalanche

because maybe they’re right.

I don’t have a trade

I could never paint, or pave a road

or mine a cave, but I can create.

I make words that can change minds

and inspire for a better time

I bring attention to the great divide

and even as I write this, I use the streetlamp for a light.


My addiction, which keeps life constantly precarious

forces this shamanic wordsmith to live a

day to day, hand to mouth

pen to page, book to stage existence.


This self-inflicted suffering

helps me better understand the world

and allows me to share that insight with everyone.

The stars are out tonight and I’ve got itchy fingers

and much needed inspiration from all those colored voices

of the hungry artist and the wide-eyed poet.

The mind is anxious, the soul meanders

and the heart is like an atom bomb.

social commentary

About the author

Michael Redgen

While distracted by cats and coffee, Michael writes philosophical poetry to help sooth his restless soul. With a unique grasp of universal metaphor and imagery, he writes in depth diverse topics of life that are both personal and relatable.

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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