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Back You are here: Home Visual Arts Writers in Residence: Dennis Cruz Ex-Hail - June 2011 Writer in Residence: Dennis Cruz, Part 3
Friday, 16 March 2012 05:49

Ex-Hail - June 2011 Writer in Residence: Dennis Cruz, Part 3

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I thought you had invited me for beers. I thought that’s what people meant when they said…come over and party I didn’t know about the other kind of party unless it was acid but acid was still called acid and people still said come over and let’s do some acid ...

But with this I guess it’s different...who knows what the fuck people say but you said come over and party and this time it meant crack cocaine though you called it freebase cause that’s what everybody called it back then and all I knew about freebase was that Richard Pryor had set himself on fire and I didn’t want to be set on fire because I’ve been on fire before and I didn’t like it…believe me. Even though you assured me I would not catch fire I was still unsure....but the thought of trying this new high powered cocaine quickly assured me that it was worth the risk...I remember how you taught me to melt the little piece of crack in the tip of the glass tube by gently waving it over the soft flame of the stove…it was all very scientific and exciting though I did not enjoy the feeling of doing cocaine in your mother’s kitchen with all her kitchen things in plain view. I felt that the food cooked there might be corrupted by the spiritual backlash that would surely come but you explained that the soft blue flame of the stove was necessary to avoid burning the cocaine too quickly this would insure that we made the most of the cocaine you had purchased and since you had done all the purchasing and seemed to have all the experience I put aside my kitchen worries....besides which, I was all for making the most of the cocaine you had purchased too...

I remember that first hit like it was yesterday...as I inhaled you began whispering in my ear, here’s a list of some of the things you said to me: hold it in...don’t let it out...I’m telling you...hold it in as long as you can...give me the pipe...hand it to me...you might drop it...don’t let it out until you feel like you’re gonna die…hold it...hold it hold it……

Then I finally exhaled....my first thought was that I was going to die and my next thought was that I didn’t mind if I was going to die. Then I realized that the kitchen was a practical location because if I did die and my bowels and bladder should suddenly release the smooth linoleum would be easy to clean. That led me back to the cocaine and I began to worry about how many little pieces of it were left and what we might do if we run out prematurely. There seemed to be a good many pieces left but I feared we might need more and the pieces seemed to have become smaller which might have been the cocaine talking because this cocaine could talk…I began pacing and hyperventilating and whispering and muttering and praying and praying that the next hit would be as good as the first...suddenly...

I became aware of the smell and taste of the smoke and found it to be quite pleasant and aromatic. I could hardly wait to have just a bit more… that’s when I noticed you preparing the pipe for yourself and it seemed to me that the piece you placed in the pipe for yourself appeared to be considerably larger than the piece you had given me… I made a mental note to ask you about this when you were done and then you began to smoke and suddenly all my thoughts seemed to slowly fade as I was drawn closer and closer to you…I tried not to stand as close to you as you stood to me during the exhale portion of the ritual…because I remembered that I felt slightly uncomfortable and would have preferred that you stood a few steps back … but, like I said, I was drawn toward the pipe… and the smell was just so wonderful and exciting that… before I knew it I was standing right next to you quietly whispering…hold it...hold it…that’s it…hold it...hold it...

And then you let out a monstrous plume of smoke and I marveled at your prowess and how proud of you I felt… I looked up to you then and vowed to become as experienced a smoker as you… Iwas happy and anxious and oddly perspiring but really really glad I had accepted your invitation…

Then I saw a bit of fear flash across your eyes

and you suddenly exclaimed: 


I remember some of the things that flashed across my mind, things like: 


But before I could voice any of these concerns you asked a very odd question: Wanna see a trick my dog can do?

At this moment I would like to say this:

Hanging your mother’s puppy dog from the clothesline and leaving it there dangling by the thin skin of its tiny shoulders is not a trick.

With that said, I must admit that although shocking… the sight was very effective at distracting my thoughts away from the wonderful little pieces of cocaine that awaited us in your mother’s kitchen and even though I found your satanic hissing laughter a bit disconcerting I was more than willing to endure a little discomfort to continue on with the party…and that’s just what I did....I continued on with the party…that was nineteen years ago.

And my question to you now is...

Where’s the party and when I say party...

You know what I mean ……

You know......

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Dennis Cruz

Dennis Cruz is a vital Los Angeles poet and artist. His signature live reading style has placed an indelible stamp on the poetry and lives of the thousands of people that have seen him give voice to his work. To say Dennis Cruz is a live poet is to only insinuate a fraction of the meaning of the word. He is a practitioner of the experience, the improvisational, the essence of poem as a means to understanding self, pain, loss, and transcendence. Born in Costa Rica and brought to the United States as a young boy, he inhabits the voice of the perpetual outsider and the purely American dissident. He lives in Northeast Los Angeles with his family.

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