In Canada Thanksgiving falls in October. So the Toronto GLT (et al) recovery AA/AlAnon community holds an annual roundup on Thanksgiving weekend. This year was the 36th such roundup. I haven’t missed one, yet. It draws up to 400 members from around the world but mostly from Ontario & Michigan. It’s always a good opportunity to reconnect with people I see once or twice a year, even locals, and share our progress & dedication to spiritual recovery.

drawersI see a Ikea nightmare

Towards the end of my drunk life I was published, exhibited & performing – on my way somewhere but had become increasingly suicidal. I had the things that we’re supposed to make me feel fulfilled & satisfied & yet they left me lost and looking for a way out.

polerider I see a pole rider

Looking back I realize I was attempting to fill a spiritual need with physical objects & accomplishment – an attempt that only made the need bigger not small. There was no such thing as enough. Booze was a mask to hide behind and when I was drunk enough to reveal something of myself.

shade I see a party hat

I was transferred to Toronto & here I was set, almost by accident, on the road to sobriety. First hurdle, as it is for many, to real commitment to recovery was to deal with the difference between religious and spiritual – some people still cannot grasp that difference – such is life. But for me there is a difference. It’s like the difference between life and death.




Hendrix: burning the midnight lamp

soon … I wish I was a merman



messy coffee table

open bottles wine beer Scotch

weed rolled in papers too thin to write on

yet strong enough to hold a shared dream



three of us

Carl me Kathy

share this joint enterprise

laugh at a phrase I was going through

hands touch to pass

the precious opener of minds

or rather the opener of pants

as Carl loudly called it

his eyes on Kathy

she gave him a look

that said ‘see you later’

then left with her cigarettes

and the remains of the wine


‘uptight bitch’ Carl laughed

as the door shut

he stayed

the supply on hand

held more appeal than

the supply leaving the room

that Jimi guitar

hooked its way around our brain

lead our eyes across patterns

the voodoo child

my eyes would wander

all along the corduroy

that hugged and held

Carl as he invitingly

pushed the coffee table away

to make room on the floor

we had become so smoke soft

only the backless floor could

hold our floating rolling bodies

till we found ourselves



I could feel the crosstown traffic of my heart

the sensation of his tongue on mine

the coarse grind of pubic hair on stomach

a move for a breath of air

to refresh the disguise of liquor

thighs hands lips

trimming a midnight lamp

that still burns today

but no longer needs

the bottled mask of permission

glass too much stem not enough where

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