in/de/toxification by Adrienne Wartts

he’s a brilliant brotha 

from some bottled up stuff 
sumthin’ ‘bout his lit livin’
like the dead…said he writes

but the rejects affect
the heck outta his head
so he drinks…not for the drunk
but for the funk of the word


like the sax of charlie bird
when bottle’s up

“not one poem in this notebook constipates my head
someone said sample brandy in bread bourbon in batter
beer on barbeque… booze the brain so sensuous n’

sane verses floooow freeeee-ly from a high rise turned liquored low
that breeds a brilliant author offering accounts
of life’s lusty loves not gettin’ when liquor shy but if
liquor high i’m writin’ what went thru my head while hang-
in over on happiness gone dead with/out a chance…word?”


Contributor Notes

“in/de/toxification” is a poem about a struggling writer who copes with rejection through alcohol consumption, which is commonly considered an authors’ medicine of choice to enhance literary output. The poem is born out of observations of local male artists.

Adrienne N. Wartts received her M.A. in American Culture Studies, with an emphasis in African American Studies, from Washington University in St. Louis.  She is an adjunct professor of film studies at Webster University and has published several biographical sketches on African Americans in early film. As a contributing writer for Jerry Jazz Musician magazine, she has interviewed Rick Coleman, author of Blue Monday: Fats Domino and the Lost Dawn of Rock ‘N’ Roll and Elizabeth Pepin, author of Harlem of the West: The San Francisco Fillmore Jazz Era. She is the recipient of the 2009 Norman Mailer Writers Colony Scholarship and runner up in the Inaugural E. Desmond Lee One-Act Playwrights Contest through the University of Missouri - St. Louis. Her poetry is scheduled to be anthologized in a forthcoming Skinner House Publications title.