Wednesday, August 3, 2016


is sick.
His life
is littered
with addiction
like a NYC subway
is blanketed with disease.
My family tree
has syringes
hanging off the branches.
And each branch
has fucked each other
royally: absence, suffocation,
adultery, lies, betrayals, coke,
weed, booze, pills, and
that grandmaster,
heroin. Arms shot,
noses gone, lungs coal mined,
jobs destroyed, homes foreclosed,
cars repossessed, heirlooms pawned.
have made it out
at any age,
but I did.
I got lucky.
After 50 years
of trying to fill
an inside straight,
I changed the game.
I found fear,
healthy fear.
I did not want
to die. Not
at 52, not
like this;
not then;
not now
at 68.

My brother
is stuck
in an addict's nightmare:
too easy to cop,
too hard to refuse.
His brain
is turning
to mush.
But after four years
I've persuaded him
to go into a program.
In all probability
it won't work,
but there's a shot
it will. If you're willing
to change the hand
& gamble in a game
where you don't know
the rules you might
get lucky

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2016

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