addiction

A Single Throat Opens

ASTOCOVER

After months of waiting it finally arrived. “A Single Throat Opens,” a lyric exploration of addiction, is now available here! Part memoir, part epistolary experiment, this collaboration (written with Meghan McClure) means so much to me.

It’s my debut nonfiction book and Meghan’s debut book period. I have tried to be as vulnerable and open as possible in these words. I have tried to be honest about addiction, what it looks like, and what it does to a family. Despite the subject, the heart of the book remains filled with love for those who struggle. As a reviewer said, “While the emotional aspect of the book is raw in subject matter, the prose/poetry is so beautifully crafted that it makes the subject matter radiantly alive despite the nature of the thoughts.”

I’ve been able to move beyond some of the conflicts I’ve held onto from my childhood. Addiction is never something in the past; it’s a continuation. I hope in writing this I have been able to continue toward something bright and lovely. I hope I have been able to provide those dealing directly or indirectly with addiction some comfort.

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Memento Mori

Apéritifs: In the months leading up to the release of our book “A Single Throat Opens,” a collaborative lyric exploration of addiction, Meghan McClure and I will be compiling a playlist pairing songs with new writing to be enjoyed before the main course. Cheers, friends.

Misery is only one side of the story, and your story has a thousand sides worth examining. I’m sorry I didn’t study each of the faces you showed me when I was young. Your life is equal parts ocean and alcohol. Yet, I focused on the label wrapped around the bottle and didn’t think of the beauty of the curved, amber glass, the circular lip. I didn’t bother to taste the salt and sweat of your labor. I stood too often on the shore and waved as if I was the only one to experience farewells.

When your mother died you wrote poems. I’m the stupid boy who writes poems while everyone he loves is still alive. I’m sorry, I’m sorry. When you leave, I promise to write you a better silence.

Twilight

Apéritifs: In the months leading up to the release of our book “A Single Throat Opens,” a collaborative lyric exploration of addiction, Meghan McClure and I will be compiling a playlist pairing songs with new writing to be enjoyed before the main course. Cheers, friends.

The way he sings the opening lines (Haven’t laughed this hard in a long time I better stop now before I start crying) convinces no one of laughter. Some of us prioritize despair. We hear the heart rending itself and call it music.

When you left I wrote you slant on every page. I sing off key and often: your name. I drank my thoughts quiet but my heart continued its frenzy. There is no quelling the core of who we are. We either bear the beat, or we burst.

Touch me; I’m full. I am an impossibly small grape whose body contains every glass of wine. Yours is the mouth that broke my skin and drank from me everything. Still, dry as I am, I have created the most magnificent life. I find joy like a dragonfly hovering nearby, always. I am profoundly, unexpectedly happy. When I think of you it’s only in the dark. It’s been so long; you’ve missed so much. I want to share every detail but I better stop now before I start—