Monday, June 20, 2011

Fried Pickles

This is a verse I've been working on for several years, have published it twice for perhaps an hour and then deleted it out of shame for the man I used to be and the destruction I caused. But I got to thinking - I'm no longer that man, no longer slave to the compulsions that drove me then, and this is something I have to get out of me. Please accept it for that purpose.

Through the muddle of far too much vodka
I remember seeing Natchez's gleaming lights
across the tumultuous Mississippi River,

the multicolored bulbs along the docks,
neon extolling catfish and fried pickles,
and I recall the sun biting into the horizon

and odd pairs of lights following each other
hurriedly on the bridge that always scared
the crap out of me whenever I had to cross it.

I remember the dissonant hum of cicadas
clinging to cypress trees and the sultry
heat that followed an infrequent rainstorm.

I also recall how she turned so sadly
and walked out of my life forever, taking with
her all I had known of recent life but alcohol.

At the time I couldn't retrieve what I had just
lost; I was too far gone into my alcoholic
addiction to realize how our lives, including

our children, had just changed so dramatically,
and how they now would only be mine sporadically.
However, with the passage of all these years

I no longer wish for the life I once had, especially
that terrible compulsion toward self-destruction
which brought us to the divergence of our lives.

I no longer live along the river, no longer
hear the tugs as they ply the churning currents,
and strangely, I no longer remember her face.



Magyar said...

things lost
march through the heart's dirge
counting that cost
into a new life's surge

Gillena Cox said...

thanks for sharing this part of your past,
wishing you joy and peace as you journey on in poetry

much love..

Warren said...

Thanks Magyar and Gillena - Two of my faithful friends that visit me. I appreciate your reading of this, and I appreciate your comments.


Adelaide said...

That life is behind you now. You may always have regrets, but you have known what you were and what you are now and what you shall be in the future. Stay strong and believing in yourself.


Warren said...

Hi Adelaide - Yes, that life is in the past and serves only to provide verse and emotions that help with poems. I'm am as happy now as I was trying to be with alcohol and pills - it took me a long time to get to this point, but at least I'm here now. I'm very happy, praise God. Thanks, friend.


Bill said...

Keep the memory green. Who knew, in those days, the wonders the world could reveal to us?

Warren said...

You're absolutely spot-on, Bill - I thought my life was over then, or that anything good was in the past. How wrong I was! Thanks Bill.


old pajamas said...


I understand, friend, caught in the web again the last six years, as I have been, after twenty-seven years of freedom. Best wishes to you and those you love, and who love you.....pajamas

Warren said...

Pajamas - Thanks for stopping by and thanks for your comments - it's been a tough road, but I'm feeling I finally arrived at the destination I always sought - happiness, without chemical assistance. I just wish I hadn't left behind all the emotional destruction I am responsible for.


old pajamas said...

Truly, brother.....pajamas

Kimpy-pie said...

Ohh Papa.. I love you and always know that!! You are special to me and God has a purpose for you.. You were made with a plan in mind.. forget regrets and move forward.. Love you Daddy..

Warren said...

Hi Kimmie - I didn't think about you reading this, so know this for certain, I could never forget your sweet face (although I don't get to see it as often as I'd like, but I take what I can get). I'm not living in regret now, and I've come to the place where happiness is just knowing I'm doing what's right and loving the people around me - most definitely you and Eric.

Love ya - Dad

Eric Gossett said...


I am proud of you...the talent you posses I could only dream of...forget the past and live now. By the way, I want to see some paintings!!!!! Love your son, Eric.

Warren said...

Hi kid - I need to live briefly in the past from time to time - the past makes for good poems and inspiration for paintings. I've just now gotten my studio cleaned out - a lot of winter stuff and gardening gear was in there. Got an aluminum shed along the studio now that stores most of that stuff. Any way, after I finish spading for a strawberry patch and we get them planted I will get after the paintings. I have sooooooo much art material, everything I would need for many years, so I have no excuses. (I need to make out a will giving you all that material, just in case I leave this world - but Jan would give it to you anyway).

I'm losing weight - on a health plan through Jan's employer, ConAgra, and eating far better than I ever have before. Got about 25 more pounds to lose.

Again, I'm just got back in time for poetry material, not huge regrets.

Love ya - Dad