Rooms 12 and 13

Straight black hair with uneven self-cut bangs

large red-rimmed glasses too big for your face,

red lipstick a shade lighter, painted high on your lip

dark pink scars on your wrist, elegantly wrapped in lace.

Visible circles around your eyes show signs of stress

many nights you stay up crying, hardly ever sleep,

desperately praying for it to all be over, in exchange

the lord may take away and have your soul to keep.

Is it a cry for help because of your failure to succeed?

Or are you just trying it on, to see if it fits you well?

I personally understand as I have been there before,

after anonymously giving a false name at a roadside motel.

I laid in a tub, knife in hand unknowing of these feelings,

in the adjacent room you sit crying, I now wish I knew,

I could have invited you over to have a drink with me,

together we could have helped the other, follow through.




© 2018 Joseph Emerson @




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I can’t do this alone


Heck, for all the times, that my two eyes,

had rolled into the back of my head,

you’d think I’d see my thoughts pacing,

or the addictive mind that wanted me dead.

For all the times that I had thrown it all up

the poisonous contents inside of my gut,

I”d maybe see what has been eating inside,

and make it all seem a little more clear-cut.

What’s this crawling feeling under my skin?

I wish I could slice at it, to make it bleed out,

but the last thing I need is someone asking me,

“what’s wrong?” , now that, I can do without.

The angels wouldn’t even try to enter my soul,

they claimed they had taken the wrong turn,

they just knew if they tried to enter my aura,

like entering earth’s atmosphere, they’d burn.

So I am left all alone to battle these demons,

maybe I’ll just ask politely if we can coexist,

I humbly admit…

I can’t do without help, that I require from family,

my friends, or in this case I guess, an exorcist.



© 2018 Joseph Emerson @




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Who wore it better?

A small, gram bag of clarity

I had purchased from a stranger,

gambled on her claim of its purity

a clear and present danger.

A time in my life, I still wouldn’t regret

during which many brain cells were destroyed,

a time of learning and hard taught lessons

I have now rendered, null and void.

Feeling so cloudy I felt the need to use

a substance to unclutter all the shit,

nothing that I’d like to boast about

the amount, I would plainly not admit.

Please, don’t get all righteous on me

and act like you’re any better than I,

for it’s no different than a lonely housewife

chugging a glass, then a bottle of wine!

At least I never got married with children

performing a phony financial and social status,

and I’ll never feel that gut-wrenching guilt

from, drunk-driving my kids to soccer practice.

Same as clean cut, class mom, “Little Suzy”

popping “mothers little helper” on the side,

she can still look all prim and proper, yet

I’m the “junky” because mine was not prescribed?




© 2018 Joseph Emerson @





Posted by on March 25, 2018 in poetry, Uncategorized, writing


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The Used Bookstore


So seductively, books piled up sky high to the ceiling,

it being the only cause for their ascending limitation.

Methodically placed and balanced just so each one acting,

as the cornerstone of its strikingly sturdy foundation.

The unmistakable specific smell of old paper and leather,

in a strange unpredictable way brings welling to my eyes,

flooding in had come the memories of being a volunteer

at my township local library, when I was a youth, arise.

Dreaming of then, a simpler time I reminisce and recall

spending my summer afternoons there with my cousin,

I am suddenly washed over with confusion, wondering

how can such an innocent time in life, now seem so sullen?

As the room gets colder it starts to appear much darker

the light that had sparkled in my mind begins to smolder,

the depths of my self-hating uninvited friend depression

interrupted by the used bookstore owners tap on my shoulder.



© 2018 Joseph Emerson @



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May history repeat itself?


Trains overhead, steam coming from sidewalk grates

Finger numbness is second to the frost on my lips,

once again I have to try to get fare home for two

damned if I have to tap dance in the subway for tips.

I didn’t even want to come here in the first place,

as usual, I was just doing a favor, helping out a friend

a duplicated story because I don’t know how to say no,

so it always plays out that I get screwed in the end.

I paid for the train in, with a promise of a ride home,

showed up to the studio loft to find I wasn’t invited in,

had to find something to do for an hour or three

so cold that an ice cube would feel warm on my skin.

Panhandled all night and caught the first train home

barely a word was spoken, though I don’t think he cared,

to save a friendship, I’ll be the one to not let history repeat

for next time I’ll be ready and a bit more prepared.



© 2018 Joseph Emerson @



Posted by on March 24, 2018 in My day, poetry, Uncategorized, writing


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Lost, and… found?


I always joke and say, you can’t lose what you never had,

so what if I needed cash, and sold my mind in a want-ad?

I felt it was like useless junk that I hoarded between my ears,

if I’m being honest, I don’t think I had used it in like 20 years.

Just made me do a bunch of nonsense that I never wanted to do,

Drinking, smoking, sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll, just to name a few.

Sure, it took me to great places, but it was always on My dime,

it also used me and abused me when I was young and in my prime.

If I think about it, I never had it, because I was never in control

however, control is just an illusion, so I had never made it my goal.

Nevertheless, I am a bit older now and would like to give it another try,

to the person who bought it, if you’re reading could you please press reply?

I’ll gladly pay what you paid, or if you want me to pay interest I shall,

I can make out a check, send cash, or credit or if it’s easier to use Paypal?



© 2018 Joseph Emerson @




Posted by on March 23, 2018 in poetry, Uncategorized, writing


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What happened before 34?


The sound of neon lights

The smell of cheap whiskey

The cloud of cigarette smoke

The uneven floors so sticky.

This reflection of my life

That once bared all of the above

Was all that I had ever known

Naturally, I mistook it for love.

Sleeping on a concrete floor

Used my shirt as a pillow

The grit and grime was so thick

You’d have to scrub with a Brillo.

Paydays would come and go

The routine was always the same

Buying all the alcohol I could carry

Hallucinogenics were always fair game.

To get dreadfully wasted away

“Trying to forget who I was”

Such a crock-of-shit thing to say

I was only looking for the buzz.

When you’re twenty-one or twenty-seven

You can’t claim to know who you really are

Fact is, you’re just a sad confused little punk

Wasting away your youth, haggard in a bar.



© 2018 Joseph Emerson @



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