Does poetry help to explain Addiction?

Sometimes, I’ll use poetry as a way to play with ideas about things that are hard to express with words. Our emotional spectrum is far wider than what can be expressed in simple language – so I’ll try and capture it in poetic form, as it can be a bit easier for me to capture what I mean about something using metaphor, rhyme, and rhythm than it is with straight prose.

I’ve been playing with the idea that Addiction is as much a force or a spirit as it is a disease. It’s a lot like the grim reaper, to me: Once it comes for someone, death is certain to follow. And I believe that the idea is clinically significant because most addicts aren’t even aware of anything outside of their addiction so how can they heal from something that the symptoms of which they can’t explain?

So even though I’m not quite sure where to take this idea, I’ve captured at least a beginning to it here in this poem snippet I call, Mr. Addiction’s visit:

 Mr. Addiction’s Visit

Mr. Addiction visited me yesterday.

but he didn’t poke me with his cold and bony hands;

he didn’t show his putrid rotten face and

he didn’t come to fight me like a man.

Instead he hid within a young girl’s face –

15 and lost within a crystal meth haze –

her life was never gonna be hers to choose and now

hers is Mr. Addiction’s soul to lose.

Her eyes wrestled with mine and

Mr. Addiction fueled her fight.

“I can’t change,” she said.

“Even if I wanted to – there ain’t shit either of us can do.”

I heard the words but knew they weren’t hers –

they were weapons flung by Mr. Addiction’s cowardly cause.

But I will hunt him in her heart and in her soul and though it seems

he sets the terms,

I will win


Mr. Addiction is only a shell made of unreal fear and

Man-made means…


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