Robert Brendan

(1979 / Calgary)

Derek - Poem by Robert Brendan

we needed some glass
but I never seemed
to pick up enough
to last.
only enough for a
couple of days.
And that was if I
stretched it out nice
and long.
Coffee in the morning only
a couple of shards
or scoops
and then I would be
done for the day.
Except for when I would
sneak back to the
house
or when walking
near it
I would look
and see the high-rise
and think
'Go on, just a touch more
to get the sauce into
your heels again.'

we went over to Derek's house
I had never been there.
The second I had
walked through the
door
and down the
stairs
I wanted to get the hell
out of there.
But meth is not something
that comes easy
and networks are
hard to uncover
due to shame
felt but never
admitted by the
tribe.
Derek
was tattooed with
swastikas
and women being
torn apart by monsters
with claws.
wait wait wait
he said to us.
I stood
quiet
looking at something
new on the wall every
few seconds
all the wile aware
that I was going
to be setting off
paranoia alarm
bells if I kept
up the nervous kid bit.
But I just could
not shake it.
Derek
since we had arrived
had not stopped
handling his long
knife.
even when he was
counting his money
of which he had several
centimeter
deep
stacks of.
He would not put it
down and would
not
let it rest.
wait wait wait
I have some affairs
to clear up
okay man cool.
we can dig.
he cleaned out the remainder
of this one bag
and dumped it on the mirror.
a quarter ounce of
glass if it was a gram.
without crushing it
without bashing it
he calmly lined them
up into
two straight lines
chunks and shards
about one half
centimeter long
and one millimeter
wide.
then he rolled up a bill
fat
(I was horrified then)
and put
both of those
rail ties
up his nose
one
after
the other.

like it wasn’t anything at all
his eyes didn’t
even blink or
roll into
the back of his
head.

cool cool guys
now what can I
do for you?
all expectant and
a genuine smile

I was still horrified
and doing a class act
job
of not
gagging.

couple of grains, like
whatever
fifty bucks
will get me, I said
well, well, see here.

he served me up about
one fifteenth of what
he had put up
his nostrils
by my careful
estimate.

Legalize Marijuana.


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Poem Submitted: Monday, October 17, 2005



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