Aliens Anonymous

This title came to me while I was at a meeting recently. With my recovery anniversary near the start of July I’ve been thinking a little about when I arrived in the rooms, as it were. By the end of my drinking I was caught in a shame spiral that made death by alcohol seem deserving.


can you see the real me?

I was unable to be openly honest about my sexuality, except, of course, after a few drinks & oops things did happen with a ‘straight’ drinking buddy. So I was queer, a compulsive liar (because if I couldn’t be honest about myself why tell the truth about anything anyway, right); I was a thief. As a child I messed around with other children so I was a child molester anyway. There were no role models for me & like many closeted queer, I thought I was supposed to be a cross-dresser too.

On top of which I was (& still am) intensely creative, imaginative, & driven to express myself. Creativity is only respected if it makes lots of money – poetry is not butch enough – though no one ever quibbled about Leonard Cohen’s manliness.


am I’m in the kitchen or the bath?

I felt like I was from another planet – an alien – alienated from the culture I was living in on the east coast – there was an artsy crowd but I wasn’t considered their intellectual peer so never felt invited into it – coming into recovery was, for a time, finding myself with guys who were in many ways like me – queers who drank to get through the identity struggle.


there’s a whole person somewhere in there

In the recovery literature there’s a passage to the effect that ‘the old pangs of anxious apartness would disappear.’ Well, let me tell you that after over 37 years this hasn’t happened to me – I still feel that apartness, but today I’d rather feel it that numb myself to it. The apartness is a part of being human, I’d rather be human than an alien.


another of the rough rough drafts of my canto-by-canto rewrite of Dante’s Purgatory. By ‘rough’ I mean this is the first time I’ve looked at this canto since I first wrote it several years ago.

canto 6

Verlaine urged me

toward the exit

on to the next stage of our journey

when the denizens of the terrace

turned nearly as one to me

and various of them

began to plead with me


‘Duncan please

you are the one who can bring us rescue

tell us what to do

or better yet intercede on our behalf

make the gates opens

let new light flood through to us here

let the steamer work

so we can get better espresso

call a repair man

we’ll pay you back later

you have the juice we need

to get all of us back on line

plug us in

line us up with the right wifi provider

bigger tetra-bytes of memory

please we trust you

you know deep in your own creative soul

that this is what you are intended for

don’t you don’t you

you many ever reach the heights

we have reached

but you can give us the boost we need


take a few moments

write a little affirmation for us

an ode to our creative souls

that will release us

from this endless unproductive waiting

you have to

you must

please pretty please

think what it will mean to you

you can become

a foot note

in our great biographies

in each of them

there are so many here

each of us is counting on you now

now bring the light to bear upon us

to get the beans ground properly

to get the waiters

to bring us the right orders

so what if we weren’t sure of what we want

you can straighten that out

get them to go to the Barista

the big steamer in the sky

to perk us the proper brew



only you can do that now

when you return from that trek

get all your friends to do the same

the more who wish us the well

the sooner we can get on with

whatever their is for us to get on with

do you understand

are you willing’


The misery and desperation

on their faces touched me

and sickened me at the same time


‘Get the fuck away from me

you bunch of lazy bums

so what if you had the spark

and let expectations dull it

shine your own shoes

that is the only way to do it

stop moaning and groaning

and counting on things

outside your own volition

to get you anywhere

the glimpse of purity you have had

can continue

but not though my eyes

only through your own

so stop looking to critics



to give you light

but look instead to your own inner soul

to your own creative need

to do and keep doing

don’t blame me

if that light flickers

even if that light doesn’t appeal to me

so get the fuck out of my way

I have better things to do

than intercede on behalf of any of you.’


‘Oh yeah

what is Verlaine doing

is he not interceding for you.’


‘He is my guide nothing more.’


‘Then be our guide too Duncan

you have to lead us

through to the next level of consciousness

to the great transformation

you must

you can do it.’


‘Look I have enough trouble

doing that for myself

I’m not to be followed

in any way

I don’t even like Verlaine’s verse

I hate to admit that

I can’t even think of a line

but he has been sent to me


so perhaps someone will be sent to you.

so now get lost

because it was in being lost

that I was sent this guide

lost and powerless

not knowing there anyway out

you think there is a way out

until you lose that thread of hope

there is no way out’


September 3-6 – attending – Fan Expo


( I’ve registered already 🙂 )

October 18, Sunday – feature: Cabaret Noir: Inner Child Sacrifice


November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo


Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr


shelf reflection

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