I wrote this in 2011 while I was trying to quit cigarettes and wanted to post it, because I think it’s really captures well a certain feeling. I think I know now the answer to the question about what the nonaddict does.

Song of Cursing Written before a Carillon Tower in Mid-July

A thunderstorm hot in hot clouds,
the wet gray of no relief, matte on the sky.

“Oh no.”—the world contrary to plans.
[ed: almost like, “o no”—noticing negation itself, invoking it.]

Mutilation is hell, but a little at a time
is fine.

And what I want is the ruination of utter change,
the dice falling like burning stones
on every atom.

The river running under my skin
asking for good wounds clean hits,
sharp cuts. A shot, a hit, a smoke,

the heat on all my body, my every cell a wideeyed
martyr eternally being run through with a spear.

What does the nonaddict do with all their hard-won freedom?*
What is love if you cannot speak and cannot hear?

* That scene in IJ where the guy distracts himself exactly zero to avoid any possible addiction and turns into dust on a chair (or something like that).

What is a world that can’t withstand a dragon’s breath?
The (Century) Tower from the 4th floor [ed: of Library West].

The Tower: return to atoms.

The sum of your parts is greater
than the whole.

See, your defensiveness and your hesitation, your neuroses, none are you. So what’s a sword of rust punching through your breastplate?

I, too, am nothing,
but you will have to
kill me to prove it.