benny and the accidental tourist

“One pill makes you larger. And one pill makes you small.
Go ask Alice when she’s ten feet tall.” White Rabbit

Sleep evades me
Every night of my life
Sheep won’t line up to be counted
No Zzzzzzs appear
No dreamless slumber
No visions of sugarplums
I used to stare at the dark
Breathe deep yoga breaths
In for count of 10, hold,
out for count of ten
Sleep never came easily for me
Except in those long away
Working summer afternoons
As three o’clock approached
I could scarce keep my eyes open

Now at three am
I play scrabble against
A ruthless computer.
Facebook cyber spy
On ppl that annoyed me.
fast forward black and white movies on tivo

A kindly doctor
Thinking he was doing me
A favor
Offered me a tiny white sleeper
Just one more to my growing pill stack

It was a glorious thing
Sleeping through noisy nights
Comatose to thunderstorms
Fireworks and barking dogs
Five years I slept in peace
In the bosom of Benny Zopene

A google search
Brought knowledge
I feared
Blunted brain
Dulled senses
Panic rising, not falling
Short term Memory fading

I was an accidental addict
My body needed the drug
Or else.

It was time to face
Or else.
As the wicked witch said:
These things must be done delicately

Even so
I’ve suffered the curses of
A thousand thirsty camels
In a sandstorm
As Benny Z. will not release his grip
So easily
Months now into
What is called Detox
(a place I never dreamed I would have to go)

My hands tremble so that
I can’t hold a cup of herbal tea
My knees fail under me
I trip over rugs, dogs, shoes, socks
None of which are there.
I’ve broken every plate and glass in the cupboard.
I wear sunglasses inside
To watch tv
Muscles cramp and twitch
My teeth hurt
I stare at food
It looks familiar
But it doesn’t interest me
My heart goes out to anyone who has tried to stop smoking, drinking, gambling.

I’m too sick to talk, drive, shop
I forget what I mean to say
I stumble over familiar phrases.
I wear clothes piled up on the floor
I won’t wash my hair. or clean my glasses
In this place where Benny reigns as King
I take three more pills to counteract
his exit,
stage right.
I attend thanksgiving dinner
At my mom’s house
but only Via Skype webcast

Poetry fails to find me
There’s no rhythm nor rhyme
In this place
Where I scarce can leave my bed
But where I cannot sleep

Benny Z and I are nearly through
I’ve shaved a little more fuzz off his face
Every day
My words come easier
that will require another white pill
Another accidental tour



  1. Good grief – there are too many thoughts in my head after reading this. Is this your life? Gracious! I just want to come and hold your tea cup for you so you can drink in the warmth of the tea and the friend.

  2. Keep on, one more step then the next. Each brings you closer to the finish. I’m sorry; what a rough road. Can you hear my applause? I hope so.

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