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Jai K

Author, Poet, Writer, Traveler

No Longer Drunk

I no longer crave hangovers in a cup,

mostly sugar,

those train shots given to the losers.

Instead I replaced them all with water

and found myself, an isolated stoner,

sober for once in my life.

 

My head no longer wakes up pounding

clouded from the night before.

The morning sickness no longer immediately vomits

all the hazy conversations

I can’t remember word for word.

My skin has become as clear as the goals that keep my mind busy.

My split ends have all finally started following in the right direction

while I no longer walk in calligraphy

falling on the floor.

 

Every other day was a party,

a celebration,

an excuse to drink more and more.

No matter how much I tried to stay away

the bars kept pulling me through their doors.

 

My bank account was drowning

and going out became a habitual chore,

every Thursday hanging with the girls,

bored with my life,

hungry for more.

 

Blacked out a thousand times

after years of fighting this same fucked up war.

Then one day I woke up

terrified and disturbed

with not one recollection of what happened the night before.

So I swore to myself I wouldn’t let it happen anymore

because not having a clue of anything

is one of the worst things I have ever endured.

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Clichés

It’s time for clichés again,

those awkward

“It’s going to be okays.”

 

I light up another cancer stick

absorbing it like the rest of my family

who never smoked a cigarette a day in their lives,

but I’ve learned that no matter what happens

a diagnosis is not necessarily a death sentence.

 

Tonight I’m going to drink that word away

like the pain that it is ,

and tomorrow I will wake up with it being

the bitter taste in my mouth,

the hangover in my head,

but I refuse to let it spread faster than the disease of not knowing.

It may slip from my tongue

like a drunken text I should have never sent

but I won’t let it define me

nor will I ever allow it to drive me home.

Possum’s Budget

I traded uncharted territory

for an expensive piece of metal

and a kitten riding shot gun

after I deleted baggage kept in laptops and cell phones

and ruthlessly ran away from my ghosts.

 

I chose to climb mountains

over generic garden dates

forced like weekend get-aways,

excuses not to pay rent,

and counterfeit smiles driving for hours

to accommodate fine-dining tastes

on a possums budget.

 

I chased inspired waterfalls

to forget frozen arguments,

apologetic flowers I would never smell,

and the bridges I burned while standing on them

just to prove how crazy I am.

 

I followed flowing rivers

instead of corporate-city-lights

that stole every star I hoped to see,

instead of snoring-sleepless-nights

drunk off wine

existing for only a paycheck

that would be gone tomorrow.

 

I gave up the cold world of popping bottles,

sniffing snow,

pressing rewind continuously

to be stuck on pause playing with local celebrities

who preyed on me

like meaningless words that pierce a heart

repeatedly,

and those people would never be more than I would be

once I left their noise

and started listening to me.

Server Story

Finally a two-top gets sat in my section after I had been waiting two hours for a table.  It was a young, white couple in their early twenties.  They were an attractive couple who looked great together, and both smiled at me as I greeted them.

Immediately, the guy politely asks about the specials.

“Well, we have two entrée specials tonight.  The first is going to be a snow grouper with a coriander rice, braised October beans, and patty-pan squash. It will be $30.”

He interrupts curiously, “What are October beans?”

“They are just white beans.”

“What is patty pan squash?”

“They are just little miniature yellow squash,” I answered.

The couple nodded as if they understood and was ready to move on.

“The next special is going to be a pan-seared duck breast with a cayenne sweet potato risotto, caramelized kale and a maple balsamic gastrique.  It is $32.  Do you guys have any questions?”

The guy excitedly asks, “I’ve never had duck before, what’s it like?  Is it like chicken?”

“No I wouldn’t compare it to…”

“He interrupts, “Pheasant? Quail?”

As he looks back up at me for answers I give him a stern look to be quiet and let me finish explaining.

“No duck has its own distinct flavor.  If you have never had it, I definitely suggest it.  It is my favorite.  It’s a lighter meat, succulent and not fatty at all.  A lot of people expect it to be gamey, but when it is cooked right it’s not.  Ours here is absolutely delicious.”

He pauses for a moment, while the girl orders the Filet cooked medium.

“Between the bouillabaisse, salmon, or duck what would you eat.?”

“Me personally I would order the duck hands down.”

I don’t lie at tables. I don’t eat fish and I also wanted to sell the special so Chef F wouldn’t get on my ass.

“Okay, I trust you.  I’ll have the Duck.”

“Good choice.  Is Medium Okay.”

“Whatever you suggest.”

The dinner rush had finally started and I was sat with another four tables before I had the time to make it back to the young couple.  All of his duck was gone by the time I arrived.  Most of the kale and risotto was gone as well, but for the most part he had eaten his entire dish.

He leans back in his chair patting his stomach and says to me, “Can I be honest

with you?”

“Of course.”

He said “The risotto was amazing, absolutely perfect, the kale… Well the kale is probably the best kale I have ever had in my entire life.”

I said, “Wow, that’s a very high review.  It really doesn’t matter what you say about the duck now.”

We all laughed, but then he went on to add, “The duck,” he hesitated, “Well the duck smelled exactly like my dog…  I mean exactly like him.  I had to eat the duck real fast, because I couldn’t get past the smell.”

I laughed, “Well that might be the most honest thing I’ve ever heard.”

I left the table and went to grab their tab and check on the other tables I had, when I returned to them, the young guy said, “Nikki, I’m Michael.  I will definitely come back but I will never eat duck again in my life.”

Again we all laughed and I said, “I bought your dessert.  It will be out in just a minute because it must’ve been very dramatic for you to eat your dog tonight.”

They left me $50 on $100.

A Day in the Life of a Dollar Bill

My name is Washington, A.K.A, Dollar Bill, and let me tell you my life is hard.

Last night, I was folded into a paper airplane, and shot like a dart, into the brown eye of a stripper who smelled like Chanel #5 and a beat-up pussy.  While she twerked violently onstage, I fell out of her ass crack and got stuck under her stilettos before several more of my friends were thrown at me.

My friendships never do last too long, as we all get tossed around like a blunt at a Snoop Dog concert, and live just as long.

Just yesterday I was fresh off the press, so crisp and so clean, with hundreds of my boys and swooped up by an old man’s hand that smelled like piss, where he shoved me into his leather wallet beside my brothers Jackson and Franklin, who look exactly like me but with different faces.

Throughout the day, the old man handed my friends off one by one, trading their lives for a pack of Marlboros here, and a couple of scotches there, until the rest of us left were brought into this dark, club that smelled like years of smoke, alcohol, and rancid bodily fluids.

From the moment we were carried in the wretched building my friends began scattering like a bunch of teenagers do when the cops get called.  I watched some of them get shoved into drawers; some thrusted down the shirts of cocktail waitresses, some drown under spilled drinks, some making it rain onstage, and some that were still floating around the room like I was forced to do all night.

After T-Pain’s “Buy you a Drank” quit playing, the stripper bent over, bundled us all up, and carried us offstage against her naked, sweaty body.  I was lodged between her breasts with no chance of escape, buried under my remaining friends that were forced to travel with me.

A few of my buddies managed to drift away and I watched them fall onto the sticky floor. I watched my best friend’s, Lincoln’s, head get ripped off when some asshole tried to snatch him up from off the ground, but just like that it, was over for Lincoln.   And in that moment, I wished it was me.

We were taken backstage into the locker rooms where she threw us all into a black duffle bag that had “Blessed” written in pink glitter across the side.

I figured I would be able to relax for a moment with the rest of my friends, but before you knew it she pulled me out and straightened my wrinkled body against the side of a porcelain sink before she rolled me into a tube and snorted cocaine out of my ass.

I was up for the rest of the night after contorting my body into a straw as if it was a new yoga pose.  I still have not been to sleep, and now I lay beside this half-dressed stripper, hungover as a mother fucker wondering if I’ll live to see tomorrow.20190103_1349014534593495782815976.jpg

Better Companions

I don’t want to talk about it.

No one would believe me anyway

not with my track record,

like a whore claiming rape,

”Well she did it to herself,”

they would say,

and maybe I did.

I knew better than to sit with old demons

and still consider them old friends,

drink from their cup and expect them not to poison me,

but as many times as I have lost myself with them

never once was it not by own hands.

I keep talking to myselves trying to separate the colors

but all I can see is black.

I only remember the exact moment they all faded into one another.

My body has been heavy for days now

carrying the weight of my mind that’s working overtime

trying to get back just one of those missing puzzle pieces of time.

The doctor says I’m fine though,

that I’m blessed to be alive,

but that unfortunately there is no way to detect

what happened on that one forgotten night.

So I hide and remain silent

because no one can be trusted.

Victimized again by my own poor judgement.

Scared sober,

finally,

because this time was different.

Now everywhere I will go

I will keep better companions.

New Year’s Resolutions

December is the month of reflection

as I reminisce on the past milestone of my life.

In January I slaved at a job I couldn’t stand

to pay off the last of a debt and gain an open road.

By February I took a chance and quit

and found somewhere I wanted to stay a while.

In the spring I copyrighted a book

and was published four times,

slowly raised my credit score and booked a past-due flight.

By the end of summer

I stepped on the lands of several new cities,

new found freedom

and waterfalls I had never seen,

two unforgettable concerts with friends

when my goal was three,

but at least I danced.

The fall brought me pink sunsets,

untouched sands and ocean views,

reunions with my long-distance family

and my undying roots,

not to mention my new self-defining tattoo

no one ever thought I was going to get.

You see,

New Year’s resolutions are not meant to blend smoothies

instead of coffee,

or to work out more with the sunrise,

sober and refreshed,

while giving up the moon.

They are not meant for dinners at eight,

slowly hand-cuffed to the same view

with every bite,

today,

until forever.

They are meant to anti-up adventures to five,

instead of four,

to book a boat that revitalizes you back in love with the world,

to stack up on the flammable paper that will light your way
and to spit fire every step of your way,

because

yesterday never promises you tomorrow,

but today stands right in front of your face,

and you should live every moment of your life to it’s fullest

before it slips away.

The Spider’s Prey

Captivated by the flickers of light

shining on his silk threads

that softly wrap around me

and slowly bind me

forever

to him,

I easily fall into his web again.

He consumes me at his leisure

while he hunts for other prey

and leaves me stuck alone

cocooning.

I don’t even try to escape anymore.

I once died trying to keep him alive

so now I just lay there

waiting for him to devour his way into my heart again,

eating it raw

and watching it bleed out

only to leave it rotting again,

while I remain tied up,

defenseless,

relishing in every moment he sucks the life out of me

again,

even when it kills me.

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