The Drug Poems
A lot of people ask me about my drug poems at readings. There’s been one in every book except Begging for It, my first one (when I was still an angel).
After that I wrote “Cocaine,” which ended up in Together and by Ourselves. And after that “LSD,” in Love and Other Poems. It only makes sense that “Ketamine” and “Ecstasy” are next, right. After them, who knows. Peyote? Ayahuasca?
I need the name of the drug to be beautiful. I can’t call a poem “Pot,” or “Weed.” You know what I mean? Plus, I prefer edibles and I’m definitely not calling a poem “Edible.”
Anyway, last week after a reading at NYU a few people asked me if I actually do the drugs to write the poems, and how I wrote the last line of “LSD” — “the day I met you never ended for me.”
I don’t think I’ve ever done anything an angel wouldn’t do. And I don’t remember writing that poem at all. But my friend Rachel gave me a large notebook for my birthday that year (November 30, I’m a Sagittarius). And I wrote in it for two weeks before abandoning it.
All I know is I was obsessed with finding the right noun to go in the line: “nine hawks dividing the dusk.” “Hawks” was one of the first words I gravitated toward. And since I usually trust my intuition, I went with it. But I’m not sure why. Or what I meant. I’ve never seen a hawk. I live in New York City.
Here is a page from that notebook and the poem underneath. The year was 2017. It was autumn. I went to a Hope Sandoval show at Brooklyn Steel around that time. That’s all I remember.
Everyone’s alone on Mars tonight
and love sex death have left for Earth.
Part of me is still on a beach
where I lost something years ago.
Part of me on a beach
and life’s playing from the beginning.
Nine hawks dividing the dusk.
Wild light through each tunnel in time.
The day I met you never ended for me.