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Remember running through the streets,

drunk on whiskey
vomiting from the joint smoked at the taxi queue,
stealing newspapers at dawn
it was my birthday
you were there but—

I was already lying in bed with the spins
ready to throw up New York City
violently expelling art and architecture,
dirty Chinatown streets and sad Russian kiosks.

This is my palace where I hold court
My scepter, the clink of ice in good bourbon
til the money runs out.
Hank Williams on the jukebox
until the bartender unplugs it.

The streets are my drunken lagoon
till dawn brings the last cigarette
and only the cokeheads are left
wandering the morning
hoping for a friend to last into the next day.

But not I,
the sun is like ice daggers in my brain
especially waking so hard
fully clothed on the kitchen floor
like hitting the jagged cliff rocks in a dream.

Then eyes open
somewhere beneath the sagebrush high in the Rockies
unable to sleep with the horror of hangover pain
The wild mountain drunkenness
a spirit that possessed me and then left me
as polluted as a hill of yellow mine tailings.

There is no drunkenness as complete
as in cold bosom of nature.
there is no woman so beautiful
yet so cold and uncaring
as the curved pine hillsides and soft skinned aspen groves.
You could curse her but she wouldn’t care
So we build fires and pass the bottle
until the violent animal spirits take us in
smashing boulders down the hillsides
wandering into the great sand dunes
with only a bottle of sour mash to mix with warm coke
And blotter acid for when the dawn breaks.

We have duct taped our shoes in hopes
of keeping out the sand reads the journal entry
scrawled madly
And on to Santa Fe.

And the canyon of broken glass where bums drink endless bottles waiting to be smashed in the gorge
with a sublime crash of glass
fierce parties out in the Llano
with wild Apache skaters, drunken expatriates
the transvestite from Fairplay
so drunk we tie him to a wood fence post for his own safety.

These are towers of the Taj Majal
I am building for you out of empty bottles
and the rush like subway cars in the tunnels
of endless blurred faces and experiences.

And what for? I ask myself
why give up the regular flow of linear time?
the cognizant march of sober experience
that in old age I could turn through
like a well made scrapbook.

I guess someone in me wants something more
to live life in four dimensions
experiencing one long crazy time
shifting like colored sand.

Do you remember being a young child?
How about your first love? No?
Have a drink; How about now?
No you only remember the movie your mind has edited
together from scraps left on the cutting room floor.
Every viewing is different.

But I hire the finest directors
pints of Guinness direct the early years
shots of Irish whiskey the love scenes
until I grab some random passerby to direct
complex shifting scenes, vast oceans of memory.

Until the camera lies broken
on the barroom floor
And at the end of the party
or last call
I guess it all boils down to this—
I don’t see the glass as half empty or half full
I just want a fucking drink.

Ben Bornstein

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