We Are Addicted
Poetry is a vice
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
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.
About the author
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.
Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!
Compelling and original writing
Creative use of language & vocab
Heartfelt and relatable
The story invoked strong personal emotions