Wednesday, January 17, 2018

True Confessions -- 1960s


I took acid 3 times, cocaine twice, pot about 3 times a week for 6 years, vodka/beer/tequila just about every day.
I smoked too. A pack a day. A pack was about 25 cents when I started. Sometimes when I ran out of cigarettes I smoked a pipe.
I also drank about 10 cups of coffee a day. In the morning and in the evening and at 3 in the morning.
I don't think I ever slept. Maybe once or twice. I remember one time being awake for 3 days and waking up behind a gas station in Moline, Illinois.
But most of the time I didn't sleep. At night I lay in bed, drunk and stoned and coffeed up, listening to the Doors.
Sometimes there was a girl with me.  Stoned or sober.  It didn’t matter.
Either way, Jim Morrison would be singing.
"This is the end, my friend. This is the end."
I believed it and didn't care.
I'm finishing up a book of autobiographical poems called True Confessions.  It covers my life from about 1965 to about yesterday.  Each section begins with a short prose prologue.  This is the one for the 60s. 

Here's one of the 60s poems:

Talking Drunk to a Drunk Woman I don’t Know

The party’s in another room
but the hallway is safe for silence
and she tells me there is something in winters
that keeps them coming back again and again
and I laugh because I think she said sinners

so again I ask where she comes from
and she tells me there are moons
that never see sunlight, books that never
see rain, and I try to shake my head clear

but it doesn’t help because she starts again:
telling me about the windows in the attic
the basement in her dreams, the cost
of friction when friction means dreaming

I try to stand to go to the bathroom
but she pulls me down into a puddle of bones
and finally I know her words make sense.


Unknown said...

As you do, John. As you do.

Bruce K said...

No wonder you seemed so sagacious by the time I met you in the 70's...

John Guzlowski said...

I was just trying to stay sober long enough to finish the next paper I had to write. Thanks for stopping by, Bruce. Hope all is well.

maria jastrzebska said...

Love this whole project of yours. The 'prose' is pure poetry!

The Polish Arts and Poetry Association said...

Another face of John, which one is the true ???

John Guzlowski said...

In my experience, I've found that people are often multi-sided, complex.

You are one thing one day and something else the next.

Are you telling me that in your experience you haven't experienced that? When I was growing up, I knew good hard working Polish Catholic displaced persons who were also alcoholics, abusive fathers and mothers, gamblers, lovers of people they shouldn't have loved.

I saw them drunk and sober, living and dead.

What was the truth about them?

You know.

Unknown said...

Even though I looked the part of the sex, drugs, and rock and roll era, there are three things I missed during the '60s: sex, drugs, and rock and roll. I watched from the sidelines, and what I saw is very well represented in this work of yours, John. In my old age, I look back on those times with regret that drugs, and consequently addiction, became such a part of the scene.