I feel so far removed
from the thousand or so evenings that I spent
splayed out on that broken double bed,
smoking the finest hashish,
escaping without leaving the room,
drifting up above the old Indian blankets and the poverty,
and into the lyrics of the most enchanting songs,
always with the music playing so loudly all around me
that I couldn’t hear my thoughts anymore,
or the thoughts of others,
or the sirens or the screams or the banging on the wall,
all I could hear were the words coined and voiced
by men and women who had once been as sad as me
but that had survived long enough
to turn their suffering into poetry.

Those evenings alone
with Leonard or Jimi
or Francoise or Stevie
or Bob or Amy
or Eric or Janis,
those hours where I saw nothing, nothing
but brown smoke against the pattern on the ceiling
and the insides of my eyelids,
those evenings spent in the most comfortable paralysis,
not wanting to stir in case my movement
frightened away all the inspiration these people have bestowed upon me,
not wanting to breathe
in case my newly procured bravery scarpered off,
not wanting to smile
in case the high disappeared…


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