semantikon feature literature
Jan. 2004
Michael Crossley
Michael Crossley is writer, actor, and poet and currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio.
micheal crossley, cincinnati ohio, poet, performance artists, actor, some girls, every thug, kentucky


It’s the first time vie felt
Since the end of the binge
& I scramble loosely
in vain,
looking for something
or someway to relieve this
I can’t relieve it
it’s too damning
it’s too damn permanent
& the people are crazy, you can watch them
every morning
they are in that line
toothless & rotten
hopeless & rotten
friendless & forgotten,
half eaten by moths
the wool fabric of their lives
comes unraveled & trails down
the steps to the entrance
of the klinik
It’s supposed to be a trade-off
you trade in your spoons & needles
for a daily cup of bitter
but it constipates
your ass & your mind & your libido
& all the good things,
like my left hand & my arrogant swagger.
& it’s ilk seeps out onto the sidewalk outside,
it runs off the page, searching to relieve
itself into the life of “true life testimonials”
Don’t believe these people,
I don’t believe these people are even junky, I think
That they are junk, but that’s quite a different thing.
Indiana backyard trash,
recessed on the prescription bottle,
talked their old croak doctors into
diluadid & oxycodone fairytales
of abscessed arteries & bad luck relationships,
bad oral hygiene and Newport filter kings
Them blow menthol through the air,
& choke me with their persistence,
Their ability to reproduce, like them just
AUTOMATIC, spawn themselves, like the
“just add water” toys, watch them grow
into horrible adult addicts,
watch them chainsmoke in line & mountain dew
themselves into believing that their cleaning
themselves up,
like their finally standing up
and brushing the dirt off themselves.
And they all bring their children to the
Their children trade gumballs on the sidewalk
& see who can spit the furthest
Maybe them kids don’t know better,
and maybe them just really can’t care,
they climb into cars with strangers,
who used to be parents, that drug their children along
to drug referral appointments.
& I’m alone in the line
drinking a Pepsi
And looking at girls,
& most of them wear sandals, yes the boys also
& their toes are all gnarled
& the nails are yellow,
& the skin flakes off like toe dandruff on the floor.
But there is one cute girl.
I have a crush
red hair & a baby girl on her arm,
junky love at the
& that girl, she don’t look back at me
but her friend always does
but her friend has acne
& its pocked all along her face
like the track marks she traded in for her drink.
And sometimes the place is like a party,
everyone in line are all friends
And they laugh & cajole,
Nowhere else they’d rather be
&them all carpool off to breakfast at Denny’s
&them all carpool off to infant oblivion
& them all carpool off into collective sunsets.
Like Technicolor cowboys on early seventies cinematic screens.
& them, not none of ‘em look like the kinda junky
I know.
& me I look like some big city freaked out buddy
holly, but he holy, & my tattoos either scare them or
amaze them, so they leave me besides.
& I recede back into my city,
& them recede back into their Indian backyards
for barbecues
And abortions
And bottle rockets
Which are legal
To buy in Indiana
At the same exit off the highway
Across the street from the