Posts Tagged ‘Substance Abuse’

Masochism is my best friend

July 29, 2019

masochism is lots of fun
my psyche is a loaded gun
I maximize my agony
by blaming everything on me

masochism is really cool
a crackerjack survival tool
I got booze and chemistry
to lubricate my misery

masochism is my best friend
we’ll be together till the end
it puts my nerves on overdrive
and makes me feel so alive

by Richard W. Bray

Never Said I Was Sane

June 29, 2019

You gave me your love
And I threw it down a drain
You should have paid attention
Never said I was sane

Tried to clear out my head
With a pound of cocaine
And a gallon of whiskey
Never said I was sane

I held up an army
Left a pretty big stain
They locked me up for good
Never said I was sane

They gave me some tests
To study my brain
I’m a wee bit psychotic
Never said I was sane

They got me breaking rocks
On a ball and chain
I’m just glad to stay busy
Never said I was sane

by Richard W. Bray

my dirty draggled brain

October 7, 2017

Funny how fallin’ feels like flyin’
for a little while

Stephen Bruton and Gary Nicholson

didn’t know I was asleep
till I woke up in this cell
with my dirty draggled brain
and a brand-new coat of smell

had a special girl who loved me
she tried to get me well
I had happiness and comfort
till I blew it all to hell

I took a couple drinks
didn’t have a care
then I stepped right off a cliff
and tried to dance on air

the bottle is my sweetheart
we’re such a lovely pair
but she don’t love me when I wake up
with vomit in my hair

didn’t know I was asleep
till I woke up in this cell
with my dirty draggled brain
and a brand-new coat of smell

by Richard W. Bray

Long List of Reasons

March 4, 2017


I never made it home
To love you like I should
Got a long list of reasons
But none of ’em are good

I stopped to check the score
I had money on the game
I was headed out the door
When my appetizers came

I was feeling kinda lucky
My dice were getting hot
Some dude from Kentucky
Was lining up the shots

I was scared I’d miss something
I was totally right
It was the same old nothing
That I’m doing every night

I started painting red
Didn’t know when to stop
Got punched in the head
When I spit on a cop

So I’ll spend another night
In this stinky old cell
I never did you right
But I always meant well

I never made it home
To love you like I should
Got a long list of reasons
But none of ’em are good

by Richard W. Bray

It works until it doesn’t

December 23, 2016


Cigarettes and alcohol and rage
Propel your injured soul
From day to day

It works until it doesn’t
And suddenly you’re old
It works until it doesn’t
Till the center cannot hold

Your back-stabs and your lies
Spur you till you slip
On the blood you left behind

It works until it doesn’t
All the stories that you told
It works until it doesn’t
Till the center cannot hold

Calm won’t still the storm
Surrounded by dysfunction
Deception kept you warm

It works until it doesn’t
And you can’t keep out the cold
It works until it doesn’t
Till the center cannot hold

by Richard W. Bray

Stoners are Stupid

September 11, 2016


Stoners are stupid
They can’t find their keys
Dropping cold cash
To make their synapses freeze

Stoners are stupid
Think they’re keeping it real
Spinning round their brains
Like a hamster in a wheel

Stoners are stupid

They wake and they bake
Losing half the day
Till there’s another toke to take

Stoners are stupid
Thinking squares are just haters
Crawl into a haze
Then it’s twenty years later

Stoners are stupid
Getting dumber every day
The older they get
The more their brains melt away

by Richard W. Bray

Some Thoughts on American on Purpose

July 9, 2010


Some Thoughts on American on Purpose

There are only about five million Scots, which is amazing when we stop to consider Scotland’s capacious record of supplying the world with brilliant and industrious citizens. This minuscule divisor makes Scotland, on a per capita basis, the second greatest contributor to what is often referred to as Western Civilization.* (I figured this all out with a slide rule. It was actually a statistical dead heat between Scotland and Greece, but Scotland won the tiebreaker–fashion. Kilts beat togas.)

But despite the fact that they have provided us with so many outstanding writers, thinkers, engineers, industrialists and explorers, the Scottish people are often portrayed as a bunch of brassy, belligerent, bibulous, bargain-hunters.

In his memoir American on Purpose, the immensely gifted actor, comedian, writer and late-night talk show host Craig Ferguson asserts that, Scrooge McDuck notwithstanding, the inhabitants of his native land “are very generous” (46). Otherwise, he does little to dispel the dominant stereotypes about Scottish people.

For Ferguson, the most dreary and oppressive institution in Scotland was the public school system where teachers were extremely liberal with the lash. Ferguson realized that he wanted out of the “redbrick gulag” on his first day (31). And strap-happy teachers weren’t the only threat. Ferguson soon discovered that “what was especially perilous to do at school was to stand out in any way” (22). School was a scalding hot cauldron of anger and resentment where “if you were noticed, you got hit” (67). (Ferguson recalls his brief teenage sojourn to America with this stunning observation: “And nobody wanted a fight. Not once.”) (40)

But this is not a bitter memoir, and Ferguson isn’t one to blame others for his problems. He is extremely honest and reflective about how his innate sense of seclusion contributed not only to his profound feelings of alienation at school but also provided a fertile ground for his burgeoning addictions:

it seems to me that this profound sense of isolation, resentment, misanthropy, and fear in a prepubescent child is an extraordinarily ominous portent. I should have put my name down for rehab then (23).

Ferguson first tried marijuana at a concert when he was just thirteen-years-old, and it was love at first puff:

From this moment on I would dedicate my life to rock and roll and take as many drugs as possible.
What could possibly go wrong?

Despite blacking out the first time he drank as a teenager, Ferguson was soon off and running on a binge that lasted for over a decade. His motto is, “Between safety and adventure, I choose adventure” (196). And Ferguson was a true daredevil in pursuit of a buzz, eventually adding cocaine (the “wonder drug”) and even heroin to his repertoire (114). But this adventure story eventually transmogrified in a horror show: “More shame brought on by behavior instigated by alcohol, which only fueled the need for more alcohol, and on and fucking on” (160). The vicious downward cycle eventually led Ferguson to contemplate suicide. In a fit of total desperation Ferguson contacted his friend Jimmy Mulville, a television producer and recovering alcoholic, and confessed, “I can’t drink and I can’t not drink. I’m too sick to live and too chickenshit to die” (174)

I’m a sucker for a story with a happy ending, and American on Purpose is full of them, particularly the birth of Ferguson’s son Milo, his successful endeavor to become American citizen and his third marriage to Megan Wallace Cunningham:

She makes me feel like I’m lucky, and I know because I have her that I am. I’m happy to be her husband, and I can absolutely positively categorically swear that this marriage is definitely-and-without-doubt-I’m-not-kidding-you-I-really-mean-it the last one for me (262)

Despite being hard on his homeland at times, Ferguson acknowledges that “Scotland made me what I am and America let me be it” (268).

American on Purpose is an enlightening and entertaining memoir.

* You’re not necessarily an anti-Semite if you have to ask which group has made the greatest per capita contribution to Western Civilization, but the answer is pretty freaking obvious.

by Richard W. Bray