3 Teams of Horses
The war is dragging on, even though we brought it home. In irony of ironies I live in an apartment over the National Guard Armory. After days of mines & molotovs I'm finally alone. I need to do some hard, hard drugs. I need to feel the needle in the mainline, charley. I know that drugs are counter-revolutionary. I know that I don't care. The Jesse James Brigade will have to struggle on their own for a little while. I need to do some hard, hard drugs.
I glanced in the bathroom mirror. Catch a glimpse of Che & Lenny Bruce on the back of the bathroom door. Shoulda told me something...but nothin'.
Four ampules will be good...more than good. But a meat shot or a skin pop, no way. I want the heaven rush from the mainline. I squirt the 4 ml. into the spoon with the same amount of water. It looks thick & viscous, but I'll bump it slow & easy. I watch the rose blossom in the clear hub of the 25 gauge. Squeeze the grape gently, if a little over-eager. I boot it twice. Have just enough time to toss the rig. Grab the hard edge of the cold porcelain sink. Ride the rocket. Wait patiently on eternity. Drift in & out of time. My eyes focus momentarily on the tiny ribbon of scarlet running down my elbow. The too-bright white of this tiled cell. The smiling leer of Marxist Che. The leering smile of dead Lenny lying on the cold porcelain of his too-bright white tiled tomb. I know something is very wrong.
I am alone. Wrong place to be during an overdose. Jim, Jimi, & Janis should have taught me that lesson. I stumble out & down. Somehow. I ooze out into the dark of a final night. Somehow force myself to breathe & walk. Walk & breathe. Two blocks. I can go no farther. Find myself yet alone in Riverfront Park. In a sudden or eternal serenity I drop to a park bench. I gaze out across the glorious star-filled Allegheny. Clearer than the night, the thought envelops me...what a beautiful & peaceful place to die. Sitting on a park bench, eyeing riverrun with grand intent, Nepenthe Drug. Driving across the surface of the lapping placid river comes a team of black Hellhorses breathing fire. The smell of brimstone wafts like incense from the sparks their anthracite hooves somehow generate from the water's surface. I can hear a bullwhip made of human hide cracking in the night. I can hear the voice of Papa Legba calling out my name. Just as I'm about to see the judgment on his face, a Dodge Challenger RT screeches to a halt at the curb in front of me with a cloud of burning tire smoke that obliterates the horses from my view.
Petey & Jodie-boy wear diabolical grins. Grab me without a word. Throw me like a mannequin into the backseat. We depart with the alacrity of their arrival. I manage to grunt, "Pantopon OD."
I vaguely hear snippets of their gaiety from the front seat...high adventure...vanquished boredom...Crazy Nathan's Od'ing...haven't seen The Mole. Every bump down Penn Ave. jump-starts my heart. I grasp a breath. My muscles have turned to poppy jello, including my airsucking diaphragm & my blood pump. My tongue is the size of the beef one I put in my parent's 'fridge as a joke. I could die to laugh. We pull up in front of V & J Pizza, local nightspot. The jukebox can be heard wailing even from here at the curb. "Sympathy for the Devil". The Stones. Dr. Petey looks in the back with a sardonic grin & intones, "Ah, the triad of coma, pinpoint pupils, & depressed respiration strongly suggests opioid poisoning. I'll have to concur with Dr. Nathan's diagnosis." Dr Jodie-boy chimes in, "I prescribe three extra-large Cokes with plenty of ice." As they disappear, I begin to.
Now out of the still silent darkness, the Obstetrician gently ties one end of a velvet rope around my neck, the other end to the harness rig of a team of glowing angelic Arabian stallions. He cracks a bullwhip of umbilicus over the nimbus-lighted heads of the steeds. Their hooves sprout Mercurial wings. They begin to pull. I am ripped from the womb of mother night with a resounding plop into the afterbirth-scented backseat of a Dodge Challenger RT. Petey & Jodie-boy are pouring a second extra-large Coke with plenty of ice into my shirt this time instead of over my head, the third one goes down the front of my pants. The freezing cold rips gasp after gasp from my pulsating lungs. My heart is pumping like an amphetamine whore. I gulp mouthfuls of caffeine sugar syrup down my parched constricted throat. The Arabians are gone. So is my nest of womb & warm. Back into this so-called life.
Once again we are flying through the night.Yet now I hear Morpheus singing on the FM coming from the JBLs in the back. Petey farts in the front seat. I feel safe leagues away. Up & up we climb to the peak of the summit overlooking it all. They carry me out. Lean me against an oak tree. "To survive or remain," Jodie-boy says. My arms are leaden. I can not move. But I am at peace. They sit on the right side & the left side. They stick the pipe stem in my mouth at intervals. The sweet hashish demands I inhale. The expansion expects exhalation. I hear the drums & songs of the long ago Senecas. I watch a pair of ruby roans drag a chariot across the sky. The war, as I had wished it, is far, far behind me. My awakening erection makes me think of yesterday's girl, remembering her name, Lost Lenore.
3 teams of horses with 3 different reasons: birthing, dying, loving this spin of the wheel. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall not fear, for friends are with me. It is not yet my time to slough off this mortal coil. I have much to do. Many wonders to show. & yet many meaningless tales to tell.
Wave good bye to my mother
& hello to Old Nick...
Bile flavored vomit
as I double over sick.
3 teams of horses
riding out of the skies:
1 team pulls the casket
when another soul dies;
1 team pulls me out of the womb
into the world;
but that other team is glory,
spins my life in a whirl
dreaming about tomorrow
& yesterday's girl.