poetry

So You Want to Quit Drinking

(the following poem contains profanity and raw imagery. it is not intended for young, nor sensitive, eyes. it is inspired by several bukowski pieces, each linked to in the footer. while bukowski, to my knowledge, never sobered up, there are few who understood alcohol’s powers as well as he did. I’d like to think he had both bluebird and kraken in his heart, and would not hesitate to let you borrow either, or both, though he’d probably ask you for a six-pack in payment. hey, we all have our demons, baby. if you need help, get some help. don’t let them win. you’re worth saving.)

***

so you want to quit drinking

after bukowski

so you want to quit drinking
give up the bottle
clean up
dry up
grow up

so you’re finally ready
to quit waking up
in strange places
with spit
on your face
vomit
in your hair
glass
in your hands
asphalt
in your knees

oh I bet you really made an
ass of yourself
this time.
did you fuck up
royally?
fall off the wagon?
fall off your bar stool?
fall off the karaoke stage?

did you flash the bartender
kiss a woman
grope a man?
did you fuck a stranger
flip a cop the bird
throw up on a neighbor’s lawn?
did you scream at your mother
slap your kid
kick your cat?
did you drunk dial your ex
walk out on the tab
crash your best friend’s car?
did you lose your wallet
your keys
your dog
your mind?
did you pick up a gun or a razor
a bottle of pills
a pen to write your last goodbyes?

no?
none of that?
well maybe it didn’t happen.
not like that.
or
maybe it did.
or maybe it will
next time.
how
the hell do you
know?

ah.
so that’s why you’re
ready
to
quit
drinking.
you’re tired
of no longer being in
control of your actions.
tired
of being a slave
to the demons in your head.
tired
of running from yourself
only to find out you
cannot
ever
out
run
yourself.

you can lose yourself
oh sure.
you can go mad,
give in,
give up.
but why would you want
to do that?

why let them win?

they
will, you know,
if you let them.
the demons in your head.
the fat
pasty
booze execs
their
slick suits
and
slick hair
and
slicker words.
the smug
housewives
sipping their
wine slushies
whispering
over their
pee-no-gree
gossiping about
your
demise.
“oh poor dear.
she was so fragile.
bless her heart.
what will become of the children?”

fuck ‘em.

if
you give in,
they win.
and there’s always
going to be a
they.

fuck ‘em all.

your
demons?
they live in
the past, babe,
this is the now
the n. o. w.
your demons aren’t here
they’re way back there.

why
go
back?

all
those nights,
all
those bottles,
all
those black-outs and hangovers,
all
those times you wanted to die?

newsflash, baby.

you’re
still
here.

tougher.
stronger.
badder.

somehow you’ve had more
than your share of second
chances.

you should be dead.
I don’t know why
you’ve been spared.
like me,
you’ve survived
a thousand deaths.
another
laughing
heart,
another
modern
Lazarus,
another
marvelous
god.

maybe those gods got plans
for you baby.
maybe it’s
one big cosmic
horse race in the sky.
maybe this is your race to lose
baby.

you really are marvelous you know
the gods wait to delight in you
maybe they like you
maybe you’re entertaining
maybe you make them laugh
or maybe they just feel sorry for you
laying on the bathroom floor
beside that other god.
maybe you remind them of themselves
the gods were young and crazy once too
dancing on tables and flashing strangers
gods gone wild
before they too
cleaned up
dried up
grew up

oh
how the gods love fools and drunks
but honey you don’t have to be a drunk
you can just be a fool
or
even better
be the one who fools them all
they’ll never see you coming.

oh
there will be days you want
to fall back.
there’s no help for that.
but don’t fall.
save those feelings
send them to that space
that place in the heart
that will never be filled.

we can meet in that space.
and
instead of waiting
instead of drinking
we will release the krakens.

what?
you thought I really had a
bluebird in my heart?
no baby,
I have a fucking kraken in mine.
and so do you.
instead of drinking
we’ll release the krakens
and laugh in delight
and smoke our cigars
and we will make it through
this day.

so
you really want to quit drinking?

put down the bottle.
do not pick it up again.
ever.

pick up the pen.
do not put it down again.
ever.

and
when they come calling,
which they will
for a while,
you know what to do.
let them keep their
bluebirds -
you
release your kraken,
baby.

nobody
can save you but yourself
,
true.
but a kraken never hurt either.

now
off you go baby . . .
remember,
bottle, no.
pen, yes.
and write write write.
write it all
let it come out of
your soul like a rocket

c’mon baby, you want to quit drinking?
ain’t nothing to it but to
do it!
do it!

then get up tomorrow
and do it again.
then the next
and the next
and the next day again.

but you have to start
some day.
how about today?
this day,
this
one day.
that’s all there is.
you can’t go backward.
you can’t go forward.
n. o. w. is what you got.
it may not be much,
today,
but it’s enough.

there is no other way.

and there never was.

 

~~~

Inspired in part by Bukowski’s:
So You Want to Be a Writer,” “Another Comeback,” “The Laughing Heart,” “No Help For That,” “The Bluebird,” “Nobody But You.”

 

Words For The Weekend (This is the Poem of Goodbye), Volume 50

ANNOUNCEMENT: This is the final Words for the Weekend post here at Running On Sober. Words is moving to a new and totally dedicated home: wordsfortheweekend.com. Be sure to bookmark and/or follow the new site if you enjoy this series. Thank you for fifty totally awesome volumes, I am excited about the next fifty — I hope you will join us! (Running On Sober will remain active, but will be going back to a sober-centric focus.)

Somehow, opening and closing with Tom Waits, just feels right. In fact, each work included “just feels right” for our topic of farewell. I hope you enjoy this, our 50th (and this site’s final) volume of Words for the Weekend for the weekend of 10/12/13. After saying “goodbye” here, please come say “hello” at our new home, wordsfortheweekend.com. As always, have a beautiful weekend. ~ Christy

~~~

“I can see by your eyes, it’s time now to go
So I’ll leave you to cry in the rain,
Though I held in my hand, the key to all joy
Honey my heart was not born to be tamed.

So goodbye, so long, the road calls me dear
And your tears cannot bind me anymore,
And farewell to the girl with the sun in her eyes
Can I kiss you, and then I’ll be gone.”

“Old Shoes” (video) performed by Tom Waits on The Early Years, Vol 2 (original version, Old Shoes (and Picture Postcards), from his debut album Closing Time has more of a “band feel” with backing vocals and instruments. I prefer the stripped version from The Early Years, Vol 2, just Tom and a guitar and that beautiful whistle.)

*

“I’m not looking for another as I wander in my time,
walk me to the corner, our steps will always rhyme
you know my love goes with you as your love stays with me,
it’s just the way it changes, like the shoreline and the sea,
but let’s not talk of love or chains and things we can’t untie,
your eyes are soft with sorrow,
Hey, that’s no way to say goodbye.”

~ “Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye” (video) by Leonard Cohen on Songs of Leonard Cohen

*

“As I went over to say goodbye I saw that the expression of bewilderment had come back into Gatsby’s face, as though a faint doubt had occurred to him as to the quality of his present happiness. … He had thrown himself into it with a creative passion, adding to it all the time, decking it out with every bright feather that drifted his way.” ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

*

“Rise up nimbly and go on your strange journey to the ocean of meanings. Leave and don’t look away from the sun as you go, in whose light you’re sometimes crescent, sometimes full. … Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form.” ~ Rumi, The Essential Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks

*

“What is that feeling when you’re driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? – it’s the too-huge world vaulting us, and it’s good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.” ~ Jack Kerouac, On the Road

*

pooh milne

Winnie the Pooh, A.A. Milne and Ernest H. Shepard

*

“Begin at the beginning,” the King said, very gravely, “and go on till you come to the end: then stop.” ~ Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

*

“Stories never really end … even if the books like to pretend they do. Stories always go on. They don’t end on the last page, any more than they begin on the first page.” ~ Cornelia Funke, Inkspell

*

“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.” ~ Gilda Radner

*

“Somewhere the flower of farewell is blooming.
Endlessly it yields its pollen, which we breathe.
Even in the breeze of this beginning hour we breathe farewell.”
~ Rainer Maria Rilke, Uncollected Poems

*

“All endings are also beginnings. We just don’t know it at the time.” ~ Mitch Albom, The Five People You Meet In Heaven

*

“Gravel” (a piece from poem “The Leaf and The Cloud”) – by Mary Oliver

1

When death carts me off to the bottomlands, when I begin the long work of rising—

Death, whoever and whatever you are, tallest king of
tall kings, grant me these wishes: unstring my bones;
let me be not one thing but all things, and wondrously
scattered; shake me free from my name. Let the wind, and
the wildflowers, and the catbird never know it. Let
time loosen me like the bead of a flower from its wrappings
of leaves. Let me begin the changes, let me—

Can you imagine a world without certainty?
The wind rises the wind falls.

The gravels of the world,
the stones of the world
are in their proper places.

The vast, writhing
worms of the sea
are in their places.

The white gulls
on the wet rocks
are in their places.

is certainty.

2

Ben sluices through the ferns, hound-smart.
The bracken up to his neck.
He breaks from the wood and gallops over the field.
The sass of his voice rises—

(Death that slow swim,
death that long walk over the dunes,
death that bleached clamshell. . . .)

and the rabbits scatter.
(Oh, heart, I would not dangle you down into
the sorry places,
but there are things there as well
to see, to imagine.)

3

Even the mosquito’s
dark dart,
flashing and groaning;
even the berries, softening back
into the black bog;
even the wood duck’s
white-circled eye,

and the first white lilies
on the shaggy pond,

and the big owl, shaking herself
out of the pitchpines,

even the turtle scratching in the dust,
even the black ant, climbing the mile-high hill,

even the little chattering swift
diving down into the black chimney.

Everything is participate.
Everything is a part of the world
we can see, taste, tickle, touch, hold onto,

and then it is dust.
Dust at last.
Dust and gravel.

In the distance, the rabbit-field.
Ben—his face in the grass, his chomping.
His sweet, wild eyes.

4

Are you afraid?
The ear of corn knows whereof it is plucked.

Are you afraid?
The wind moves this way and that way, something
is pushing it.

Are you afraid?
Somewhere a thousand swans are flying
through the winter’s worst storm.

They are white and shining, their black beaks
open a little, the red tongues flash.

Now, and now, and now, and now their heavy wings
rise and fall as they slide across the sky.

5

Goodbye to the goldfinches
in their silver baskets.
Goodbye to the pilot whales, and the curl of their spines
in the crisp waves.
Goodbye to the grasshopper.
Goodbye to the pond lilies, the turtle with her
cat’s head.
Goodbye to the lion’s mane floating in the harbor
like a spangled veil.

Goodbye to the moon uprising in the east.
Goodbye to the going forth, and coming home.
Goodbye to the going forth, and holding on, and worrying.
Goodbye to the engine of breath.

The knee sings its anguish.
The ears fill with the sound of ringing water.
The muscles of the eyes pull toward sleep.

Goodbye to the swaying trees.
Goodbye to the black triangles of the winter sea.
Goodbye to oranges, the prick of their fragrance.
Goodbye to the fox sparrow,
goodbye to the blue-winged teal.
Goodbye to lettuce, and the pale turnip,
and the gatherings of the rice fields.
Goodbye to the morning light.
Goodbye to the goldfinches
and their wavering songs.

Slowly
up the hill,
like a thicket of white flowers,
forever is coming.

6

It is the nature of stone
to be satisfied.
It is the nature of water
to want to be somewhere else.

Everywhere we look:
the sweet guttural swill of the water
tumbling.
Everywhere we look:
the stone, basking in the sun,

or offering itself
to the golden lichen.

It is our nature not only to see
that the world is beautiful

but to stand in the dark, under the stars,
or at noon, in the rainfall of light,

frenzied,
wringing our hands,

half-mad, saying over and over:

what does it mean, that the world is beautiful—
what does it mean?

The child asks this,
and the determined, laboring adult asks this—

both the carpenter and the scholar ask this,
and the fisherman and the teacher;

both the rich and the poor ask this
(maybe the poor more than the rich)

and the old and the very old, not yet having figured it out,
ask this
desperately

standing beside the golden-coated field rock,
or the tumbling water,
or under the stars—

what does it mean?
what does it mean?

7

The high-piled plum-colored storm-heavy clouds
are approaching.
The fly mumbles against the glass.

This is the world.

The hot little bluebirds in the box are getting ready to fly.
This is the world.

The sweet in the parsnip
waits for our praise.

The dragonfly lives its life
without a single error, it also
waits for our praise.

The pale-green moths are pressing
against the screen, fluttering, they are
dying to get in to press their papery bodies
into the light.

This is the world.

8

Listen, I don’t think we’re going to rise
in gauze and halos.
Maybe as grass, and slowly.
Maybe as the long-leaved, beautiful grass

I have known, and, you have known—
or the pine tree—
or the dark rocks of the zigzag creek
hastening along—

or the silver rain—

or the hummingbird.

9

I look up
into the faces of the stars,
into their deep silence.

10

This the poem of goodbye.
And this is the poem of don’t know.

My hands touch the lilies
then withdraw;

my hands touch the blue iris
then withdraw;

and I say, not easily but carefully—
the words round in the mouth, crisp on the tongue—

dirt, mud, stars, water— I know you as if you were myself.

How could I be afraid?

~ “Gravel” by Mary Oliver, from The Leaf and The Cloud (for preview)

*

“Bukowski Says Goodbye” (video) — by Charles Bukowski

I hope I haven’t bored you too much.
Poetry tends to bore.
I know it bores me.
It makes me miserable
Reading it or listening to it
I guess that’s why I could never quit writing it
Because, I just, well hell, I thought it wasn’t being done right or the way I felt it should.
Ego, I don’t know, hell.
Anyhow the stuff makes me miserable.

I think the true artists must be elsewhere riding bicycles in the hidden hills.
I don’t know.
With a bag of all-American hamburgers.
I don’t know.
Anyhow…

Bukowski going, goodnight babies…

This is an advertisement from the edge, from the edge, edge, edge, edge, edge! …

This is, hahahahaha, this is Bukowski saying goodbye all over again.

Uh huh, goodbye babies, goodbye, goodbye, mmm hmmm, goodbye now.

(This reminds me of when I talk to my little girl over the phone.
Goodbye
I say goodbye…
God, it goes on and and on.
But we’re not like
That
Are we?)

Alright, goodnight, hang in, what the hell.

Bye. Goodbye! Jeez-us…

~ “Bukowski Says Goodbye” by Charles Bukowski from King of Poets

*

“There are things I’ve done I can’t erase
I want to look in the mirror see another face
I said, “never”, but I’m doing it again
I wanna walk away, start over again …

There’s a winner in every place
There’s a heart that’s beating in every page
The beginning of it starts at the end
When it’s time to walk away and start over again”

~ “Walk Away” (video) by Tom Waits on Orphans

*

But this is not really goodbye. This is, simply, time for our series “to walk away and start all over again” over at its new home, Wordsfortheweekend.com. In fact, you are cordially invited to attend the “grand-opening” shindig next weekend, just RSVP by clicking here and hitting the little follow button on the right-hand side. It’s going to be an awesome first-edition, complete with special guests–I’m giddy with excitement!–please join us.

Thank you so much for making this series such a success, I have loved sharing with you here. I am excited about the open road ahead.

Like the beginning of a new book, page upon page beckons and promises opportunity and adventure. Let’s begin, shall we?

I hope I haven’t bored you too much.

Uh huh, goodbye babies, goodbye, goodbye, mmm hmmm, goodbye now. 

Alright, goodnight, hang in, what the hell.

~~~

You may also enjoy these past “Words For The Weekend” Volumes:

We begin anew at the new Words for the Weekend.com. Click now and join us!

Words For The Weekend (Squeaky Clean and Sober Edition), Volume 49

ANNOUNCEMENT: Words for the Weekend will soon be moving to a new and dedicated home: wordsfortheweekend.com. Be sure to bookmark and/or follow the new site if you enjoy this series. 

~~~

This is the latest installment of quotes and words that move me for the weekend of 10/5/13 (Volume 49). I hope you enjoy them too. This week’s topic is alcohol and sobriety. All persons* quoted found sobriety after alcoholism or alcohol abuse, and, while they have publicly shared their experiences, I do not know if everyone (alive) is currently sober — it is my great hope that they are. (*I do not know if poet Barton Sutter has ever been in recovery, though his poem “Sober Song” will surely speak to anyone who has ever said goodbye to alcohol.)

I am proud to share the poetry of Leigh Ann Kyle from Paper Plane Pilots. Leigh Ann is a gifted writer and artist, and she now has over four months of sobriety. My best wishes and my gratitude to Leigh Ann for allowing me to share her work.

***

“Well, my money’s no good when I’m up to no good
No good ever comes from it, honest
I got a really good heart
I just can’t catch a break
If I could I’d treat you like you wanted me to I promise
But I’m fractured from the fall
And I wanna go home
I’m fractured from the fall
And I wanna go home
But it takes two when it used to take one”

“Two” performed by Ryan Adams on Easy Tiger.  Video HERE.

*

“All the things that she’d suspected
I’d expected her to fear
Was the truth that drew her to me when I landed here
There’s a man who walks beside me
he is who I used to be
And I wonder if she sees him and confuses him with me
And I wonder who she’s pinin’ for
on nights I’m not around
Could it be the man who did the things
I’m living down?”

“Live Oak” performed by Jason Isbell on Southeastern.  Video HERE.

*

“That one started as a worry that I had when I cleaned my life up, decide to be a grown-up, you know? I worried about what parts of me would go along with the bad parts, because it’s not cut and dried. It’s not like you make the right decision, and everything’s great, and you’re a better person for it. You are, you know, at least 51 percent better, but there are some things that are lost forever, and that’s just a fact of it. You know, everything is not better.

I was concerned with that, and I was concerned with my relationship not only with my wife but with a lot of people who, in some way, had been attracted to me or, you know, charmed by me or just liked me in general. I was thinking, well, what do they like? You know, do they like that guy? Do they like – what combination of those two guys are going to make those folks stay in my life? Luckily, most of the people that I really cared about were there for me. And I think at the core, I still have the same values. I just actually behave according to those values now a lot more.” ~ Jason Isbell, speaking about his song Live Oak and sobriety, in an interview with NPR

*

“I can choose to accelerate my disease to an alcoholic death or incurable insanity, or I can choose to live within my thoroughly human condition. … Alcohol is a very patient drug. It will wait for the alcoholic to pick it up one more time.” ~ Mercedes McCambridge

*

“It (rehab) was the best thing that ever happened to me. … It was great. I loved it. Because I was ready. Problem is, people go into rehab and they’re not ready. You want to get sober for your parents, you want to get sober for your job, you want to get sober for the cops, you want to get sober to protect your image. A lot of good reasons, by the way, but unfortunately, the only thing that works is that you have to want to get sober for you. So, I was ready. And so if they told me, ‘Hey, Lowe, you’ve got to go stand in the corner on your head,’ I would have done it.” ~ Rob LoweStories I Only Tell My Friends

*

“My recovery is the single greatest accomplishment of my life. Without that, the rest of my life would have fallen apart.” ~ Jamie Lee Curtis

*

“I used to be a pretty serious drinker. Heavy in defiance of knowing my family situation, which is chock-full of alcoholism. For a long time I was a functional alcoholic, though it never got in the way of my work. But it affected relationships. I never killed anybody, but I made people unhappy, including myself and people who are extremely important to me, like my kids. It’s easy to say I had a wonderful time and a lot of great years, and I did. There were some bad times, too. So that was not a major give-up. That time was due.” ~  Brian Dennehy

*

“There’s an uncanny thing that chemically happens to you when you’re in the chronic stages of alcoholic drinking. I have been able, on occasions, to have two bottles of vodka and still be up talking to people. That got very frightening. By nature I’m an isolationalist, so my boozing was at home, thank you. I was not a goer-outer. I mean, I didn’t drink for the taste and I didn’t want to be social. Someone once described alcoholics as egomaniacs with low self-esteem. Perfect definition.” ~ Gary Oldman

*

“I’m not gonna lie. I was self-medicating. I was doing things like drinking and using, like a lot of teens do to numb their pain. … ‘Sober is Sexy’ is my new motto, and it couldn’t be more true! All you need to have fun in life is a great attitude and good friends. I’ve made a commitment to myself to live a happy, healthy life the best way I know how, and I want to spread the message that you don’t need to do drink or do drugs to have fun.” ~ Demi Lovato

*

“Staying sober is a daily challenge. I mean, my problem now is not, ‘Oh God, I’m gonna leap over that bar and grab some Cognac,’ or go out and try to find out where you score smack round here. And I’m sure I could do it within 90 minutes if I needed to … It’s much more about not getting resentful about things. Really, it’s a spiritual thing. It’s accepting that however important you think your problems are, you play a part in those problems. And probably one of the things you should look at is not being so self-involved.” ~ Russel Brand

*

“I am an alcoholic. I know people who have abused alcohol and now they can have one (drink) and they’re fine and I respect that. I’d love to have a glass of wine, but what if I have another, then another? My life is too important for me to risk that. … I just realized that drinking was counterproductive to what I was trying to do. Acting is very difficult in weird ways. You’d have to get to class by 8 a.m., work all day, rehearse all night, and it’s not really good to do when you’re hung over. I’d wanted to be an actress my whole life. That was my goal; that was all I cared about. Something had to go, so I chose drinking to go.” ~ Kristin Davis

*

“Yeah, all the experts say that you’ve got to surrender, but fortunately I was tired. I had reached that place where I could honestly say to myself, ‘I’ve tried everything else — may as well give this a shot.’ … The irony is I never got to taste Cristal. Back then, Moët was my champagne of choice. Now I get sent crates of Cristal, and I ain’t never tasted the stuff. Ain’t that a bitch?” ~ Samuel L. Jackson

*

“I knew I had to change my life. But addiction is a fucking tricky thing. I think I relapsed within…three weeks? And within a month, it had ramped right back to where it was before. That’s what really freaked me out. That’s when I knew: Either get help, or I am going to die. …  As a father, I want to be here for things. I don’t want to miss anything else.” ~ Eminem

*

“Basically, I took an honest look at myself and at my actions, and was horrified and felt like I couldn’t forgive or live with myself. I wanted to blow my brains out. I checked myself into a second psych ward, and that was when it dawned on me that suicide was not the answer. … I was locked up in the psych ward with two weeks on my hands. Some people came in and talked about how they stayed sober and it stuck. They gave me the idea that getting sober was something that could be done and that I had to do it.”  ~ Stephen Glover (Steve-O), Steve-O: Professional Idiot

*

Sober Song – by Barton Sutter

Farewell to the starlight in whiskey,
So long to the sunshine in beer.
The booze made me cocky and frisky
But worried the man in the mirror.

Good night to the moonlight in brandy,
Adieu to the warmth of the wine.
I think I can finally stand me
Without a glass or a stein.

Bye-bye to the balm in the vodka,
Ta-ta to the menthol in gin.
I’m trying to do what I ought to,
Rejecting that snake medicine.

I won’t miss the blackouts and vomit,
The accidents and regret.
If I can stay off the rotgut,
There might be a chance for me yet.

So so long to God in a bottle,
To the lies of rum and vermouth.
Let me slake my thirst with water
And the sweet, transparent truth.

“Sober Song” by Barton Sutter, from Farewell to the Starlight in Whiskey. © BOA Editions, 2004.

*

SQUEAKY CLEAN – by Leigh Ann Kyle of Paper Plane Pilots

You know,
I really do
laugh
about it,

all those days
wasting this brain,
sucking down
drinks, sipping
in smoke, drowning
all doubts of
ever
being understood.

Oh no,
I’m going to laugh
my way to
you,
without any more
excuses.

Tell me.

Why wouldn’t I?
Now I’ve got
everything to live
for
and little old
habits
to lose.

Not even
all the temptation
staring at
me,
this side of the
sun—

No.

Not even
enough booze
to satisfy Keith
Moon
could change
my resolution.

You’ll hear me,
all the way,
laughing
towards you.
I won’t keep you
waiting.

If I only knew my
home has been
hiding,
behind those
dark
eyes and pure
intentions,
I would have
laughed so
hard,

fallen through this
hopeless
sea
I’ve deemed
“Life,”
and landed
in your
lap
years ago.

Squeaky Clean” by Leigh Ann Kyle. Leigh Ann blogs at Paper Plane Pilots. Reprinted with permission of Ms. Kyle.

~~~

You may also enjoy these past “Words For The Weekend” Volumes:

Words For The Weekend (The Stephen King Edition), Volume 48

This is the latest installment of quotes and words that move me for the weekend of 9/21/13 (Volume 48). I hope you enjoy them too.

What’s so special about today? Why the Stephen King theme? Well today, September 21, is none other than Stephen King’s birthday! It’s also the birthday of Leonard Cohen, Anne Burrell (love her!), Uncle Joey from Full House, and a whole bunch of other special people (full list here) including Mished-Up’s son—Happy Birthday everyone. Like I urged you last year, go eat some cake!

As a quick follow-up to last weekend, Josie and Kristen rocked the recovery-themed 5k they participated in, and they had a great time too. Be sure to read Josie’s piece “I’ve Talked the Talk, and Now I’ve Walked the Walk” and Kristen’s post “Connections,” and congratulate them if you haven’t already done so.

And now, “Constant Reader,” I offer you a collection of Stephen King quotables (some have adult language) and another stunning poem by Ms. C.K. Hope… right after a special musical prelude. (King’s complete works are available on Amazon HERE.) Enjoy, and have a wonderful weekend. Don’t forget the cake–have a corner piece for me.

~~~

“Now they check your pulse just to see if you can still breathe
I was barely alive apparently for no good reason
All this before I had been thinking the same way
Sometimes it’s better just to start again

So I blew up the house
Gonna let it burn…”

~ “Blew Up (the House)” performed by Jonny Lang on BRAND NEW ALBUM! “Fight For My Soul.” (Video.) (No, it’s not September or King themed, but it’s BRAND NEW JONNY LANG! And you know how much I love Jonny Lang: one, two, three, four.)

*

Alternate song: “September” performed by Earth, Wind & Fire on album “Greatest Hits.” (Video.)

“Do you remember the
21st night of September?
Love was changing the minds of pretenders
While chasing the clouds away

Our hearts were ringing
In the key that our souls were singing.
As we danced in the night,
Remember how the stars stole the night away…”

*

“The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.” ~ Stephen King, The Gunslinger

*

“But then fall comes, kicking summer out on its treacherous ass as it always does one day sometime after the midpoint of September, it stays awhile like an old friend that you have missed. It settles in the way an old friend will settle into your favorite chair and take out his pipe and light it and then fill the afternoon with stories of places he has been and things he has done since last he saw you.” ~ Stephen King, Salem’s Lot

*

“So do we pass the ghosts that haunt us later in our lives; they sit undramatically by the roadside like poor beggars, and we see them only from the corners of our eyes, if we see them at all. The idea that they have been waiting there for us rarely crosses our minds. Yet they do wait, and when we have passed, they gather up their bundles of memory and fall in behind, treading in our footsteps and catching up, little by little.” ~ Stephen King, Dark Tower Set

*

Stephen King from Different Seasons

Stephen King, Different Seasons

*

“Some birds are not meant to be caged, that’s all. Their feathers are too bright, their songs too sweet and wild. So you let them go, or when you open the cage to feed them they somehow fly out past you. And the part of you that knows it was wrong to imprison them in the first place rejoices, but still, the place where you live is that much more drab and empty for their departure.” ~ Stephen King, Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption: A Story from Different Seasons

*

“Sometimes being a bitch is all a woman’s got to hold on to.” ~ Stephen King, Dolores Claiborne

*

“When his life was ruined, his family killed, his farm destroyed, Job knelt down on the ground and yelled up to the heavens, “Why god? Why me?” and the thundering voice of God answered, ‘There’s just something about you that pisses me off.’” ~ Stephen King, Storm of the Century: An Original Screenplay

*

“A little talent is a good thing to have if you want to be a writer. But the only real requirement is the ability to remember every scar.” ~ Stephen King

 *

“Calling it a simple schoolgirl crush was like saying a Rolls-Royce was a vehicle with four wheels, something like a hay-wagon. She did not giggle wildly and blush when she saw him, nor did she chalk his name on trees or write it on the walls of the Kissing Bridge. She simply lived with his face in her heart all the time, a kind of sweet, hurtful ache. She would have died for him.” ~ Stephen King, It

*

“She can’t help it,’ he said. ‘She’s got the soul of a poet and the emotional makeup of a junkyard dog.” ~ Stephen King, Under the Dome

*

“When asked, “How do you write?” I invariably answer, “One word at a time,” and the answer is invariably dismissed. But that is all it is. It sounds too simple to be true, but consider the Great Wall of China, if you will: one stone at a time, man. That’s all. One stone at a time. But I’ve read you can see that motherfucker from space without a telescope.” ~ Stephen King

*

stephen-king-quotes-on-writing1-183x300

Stephen King, On Writing

*

“I always drank, from when it was legal for me to drink. And there was never a time for me when the goal wasn’t to get as hammered as I could possibly afford to. I never understood social drinking, that’s always seemed to me like kissing your sister.” ~ Stephen King

*

“Substance abusers lie about everything, and usually do an awesome job of it. I once knew a cokehead who convinced his girlfriend the smell of freebase was mold in the plastic shower curtain of their apartment’s bathroom. She believed him, he said, for five years (although he was probably lying about that, it was probably only three). A recovering alcoholic friend of mine reminisces about how he convinced his first wife that raccoons were stealing their home brew. When she discovered the truth, she divorced him. Go to one of those church-basement meetings where they drink coffee and talk about the Twelve Steps and you can hear similar stories on any night, and that’s why the founders of this group emphasized complete honesty — not just in ”420 of 432 pages,” as James Frey claimed during his Larry King interview, but in all of it: what happened, what changed, what it’s like now. Yeah, stewbums and stoners lie about the big stuff, like how much and how often, but they also lie about the small things. Mostly just to stay in practice. Ask an active alcoholic what time it is, and 9 times out of 10 he’ll lie to you. And if his girlfriend killed herself by slashing her wrists (always assuming there was a girlfriend), he may say she hung herself, instead. Why? Basically, to stay in training. It’s the Liar’s Disease.” ~ Stephen King in Entertainment Weekly essay, “Frey’s Lies

*

“God grant me to SERENITY to accept what I cannot change, the TENACITY to change what I may, and the GOOD LUCK not to fuck up too often” ~ Stephen King, Salem’s Lot

*

“I hope you liked them, Reader; that they did for you what any good story should do–make you forget the real stuff weighing on your mind for a little while and take you away to a place you’ve never been. It’s the most amiable sort of magic I know.” ~ Stephen King

*

“Go then, there are other worlds than these.” ~ Stephen King, The Gunslinger

*

… and another gem from extremely talented C.K. Hope of OK, Who Ate the Daisies… She crafted this beautiful piece from my suggestion of the following three words: love, sleep, and photograph. The title? Aptly fitting the Stephen King theme (though unplanned): Insomnia.

Insomnia by C.K. Hope

Sleep evades me
swirling instead through bittersweet reverie
Moonlight streams between curtain seams
on a warm breeze,
beams illuminating framed memories

A photograph calls out to me,
witching hour melancholy
A whole family
laughing, smiling,
love shining from freshly scrubbed faces

I rise and take it from its space
Trace fingers over frozen time
until it’s yesterday in mind
and sigh at the empty place inside

The house echoes in the silence
no extra creaking of mattress as one rolls over,
or the soft fall of feet seeking comfort
from dark dreams, to muffle the sound of it

It’s how it is meant to be,
I remind myself as I recall the momentary
bloom of regret at the turning of tides and seasons
and tramp it down before it blossoms;
knowing the clock keeps time within its own hands
and no amount of wishing it back
will return a yesterday

***

Embedded videos may not display in RSS feeds and email updates. In such case, read the full article, Words For The Weekend, Volume 48, at RunningOnSober.com in a browser.

You may also enjoy these past “Words For The Weekend” Volumes:

 ~~~

Words For The Weekend (Never Ever Ever Ever Give Up) Volume 16r (repost)

A very special repost because this is a very special day for two of my favorite people: Josie from TheMiracleisAroundtheCorner and Kristen from ByeByeBeer.

Remember when Josie guest-posted here in June about the start of her fitness journey? From her inspirational piece Runnin’ Down a Dream:

Here’s the key:  I have hope, hope that I can actually do this, and I am only 3 weeks in.  If you would have told me 3 weeks ago, you can start running, I would have disregarded you as if you were speaking Greek, it simply wouldn’t have registered.  Now, I believe, that with time and perseverance, it is possible.

Well, here we are a few months later, and, not only was it possible, it is happening; Josie is embarking on her very first 5k, today! But she’s not doing it alone, because ByeByeBeer is joining her! Literally! I am proud beyond words for both of my friends who embody dedication, enthusiasm, and perseverance. As ByeByeBeer said here in her recent guest-post Go Do:

We should always know that we can do everything.

Yes, ladies, yes, you can. So this one’s for you, Josie and Kristen … two ladies who never ever ever ever give up. I wanna be like you. Go Team Monkey, go! Get up and win the race!


***

This is the latest installment of quotes and words that move me for the weekend of 11/3/12 (Volume XVI). I hope you enjoy them too

~~~

“You can do anything that you want to do
all you got to do is to put your brain into it
take your time and educate your mind and
in the long run I’m sure you’ll find that
if you walk the walk you can talk the talk
but don’t wait too long cuz life is short
and remember, no matter what they tellin’ you
if you try, you can be a winner too”

~ Coolio, “The Winner“, available on album “Space Jam Soundtrack

*

Alternate song: “I Won’t Back Down“, by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, available on the album “Greatest Hits

“Gonna stand my ground, won’t be turned around
And I’ll keep this world from draggin’ me down
Gonna stand my ground, and I won’t back down

Well I know what’s right, I got just one life
In a world that keeps on pushin’ me around
But I’ll stand my ground, and I won’t back down”

*

“Promise Yourself- To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet. To make all your friends feel that there is something in them. To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true. To think only the best, to work only for the best and expect only the best. To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own. To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future. To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others. To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.” ~ The Optimist Creed

*

“Four things come not back: the spoken word, the spent arrow, the past, the neglected opportunity.” ~ Omar Idn Al-Halif

*

“Commit yourself to a dream. Nobody who tries to do something great but fails is a total failure. Why? Because he can always rest assured that he succeeded in life’s most important battle – he defeated the fear of trying.” ~ Robert Schuller

*

“Don’t worry about being successful. Worry about being significant.” ~ Oprah Winfrey

*

“To laugh is to risk appearing the fool. To weep is to risk appearing sentimental. To reach out for another is to risk involvement. To expose your feelings is to risk exposing your true self. To place your ideas, your dreams before a crowd is to risk their loss. To Love is to risk not being loved in return. To live is to risk dying. To hope is to risk despair. To try is to risk failure. But risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing. The person who risks nothing … has nothing … is nothing. You may avoid suffering and sorrow, but you simply cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love…live. Chained by your certitudes, you are a slave; you have forfeited freedom. Only a person who risks is free.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

*

“The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.” ~ John Bingham

*

“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desire can be won. It exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours.” ~ Ayn Rand

*

“Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them – a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have last-minute stamina, they have to be a little faster, they have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.” ~ Muhammad Ali

*

“It is not the critic who counts;
not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled
or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man
who is actually in the arena,
whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood;
who strives valiantly;
who errs and comes short again and again;
who knows great enthusiasms,
the great devotions;
who spends himself in a worthy cause;
who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement,
and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while
DARING GREATLY
so that his place shall never be
with those timid souls
who know neither victory or defeat.”

~ Theodore Roosevelt

*

“I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move.” ~ The Bible, Matthew 17:20

*

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.’ We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” ~ Marianne Williamson

*

“Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal: my strength lies solely in my tenacity.” ~ Louis Pasteur

*

“Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, give up. Never give up. Never give up. Never give up.

Never give in, never give in, never; never; never; never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.”

~ Winston Churchill

*

THE RACE by Dr. D.H. “Dee” Groberg

“Quit, give up, you’re beaten”

They shout at you and plead
“There’s just too much against you
This time you can’t succeed.”

And as I start to hang my head
In front of failure’s face
My downward fall is broken by
The memory of a race

And hope refills my weakened will
As I recall that scene
Just the thought of that short race
Rejuvenates my being

Children’s race, young boys
Young men, how I remember well
Excitement sure, but also fear
It wasn’t hard to tell

They all lined up so full of hope
Each thought to win that race
Or tie for first, or if not that
At least take second place

The fathers watched from off the side
Each cheering for his son
And each boy hoped to show his dad
That he could be the one

The whistle blew and off they went
Young hearts and hopes afire
To win and be the hero there
Was each young boy’s desire

And one boy in particular
Whose dad was in the crowd
Was running near the lead and thought
“My dad will be so proud”

But as they speeded down the field
Across a shallow dip
The little boy who thought to win
Lost his step and slipped

Trying hard to catch himself
With hands flew out to brace
And amid the laughter of the crowd
He fell flat on his face

But as he fell his dad stood up
And showed his anxious face
Which to the boy so clearly said
“Get up and win the race”

He quickly rose, no damage done
Behind a bit that’s all
And ran with all his might and mind
To make up for the fall

So anxious to restore himself
To catch up and to win
His mind went faster than his legs
He slipped and fell again

He wised then that he had quit before
With only one disgrace
“I’m hopeless as a runner now
I shouldn’t try to race”

But in the laughing crowd he searched
And found his father’s face
That steady look which said again
“Get up and win the race”

So up he jumped to try again
Ten yards behind the last
If I’m going to gain those yards he thought
I’ve got to move real fast

Exerting everything he had
He regained eight or ten
But trying hard to catch the lead
He slipped and fell again

Defeat, he lay there silently
A tear dropped from his eye
There’s no sense running anymore
Three strikes, I’m out, why try?

The will to rise had disappeared
All hope had fled away
So far behind, so error prone
A loser all the way

“I’ve lost, so what”, he thought
I’ll live with my disgrace
But then he thought about his dad
Whom soon he’d have to face

“Get up” the echo sounded low
“Get up” and take your place
You were not meant for failure here
“Get up”, and win the race

With borrowed will “Get up” it said
“You haven’t lost at all”
For winning is no more than this
To rise each time you fall

So up he rose to run once more
And with a new commit
He resolved, that win or lose
At least he shouldn’t quit

So far behind the others now
The most he’d ever been
Still he’d give it all he had
And run as though to win

Three times he’d fallen, stumbling
Three times he’d rose again
Too far behind to hope to win
He still ran to the end

They cheered the winning runner
As he crossed the line first place
Head high and proud and happy
No falling, no disgrace

But when the fallen youngster
Crossed the line, last place
The crowd gave him the greater cheer
For finishing the race

And even though he came in last
With head bent low, unproud
You would have thought he’d won the race
To listen to the crowd

And to his dad he sadly said
“I didn’t do too well”
“To me you won”, his father said
“You rose each time you fell”

by D. H. Groberg

*

And to close with a song, because it makes me think of my mom and the advice she’d pass along:

Mama told me when I was young
Come sit beside me, my only son
And listen closely to what I say.
And if you do this
It’ll help you some sunny day. Oh Yah!
Oh, take your time… Don’t live too fast,
Troubles will come and they will pass.
You’ll find a woman, yea yea, you’ll find love,
And don’t forget son,
There is someone up above.

And be a simple, kind of man.
Oh be something, you love and understand.
Baby be a simple, kind of man.
Oh, won’t you do this for me son,
If you can?

Simple Man” by Lynyrd Skynyrd, All Time Greatest Hits

~~~

Embedded videos in the posts may not display in RSS feeds and email updates. In such case, read the full article, Words For The Weekend, Volume 16r, at RunningOnSober.com in a browser.