KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 2: Winter 2015
Poem: 133 words [R]

Legal Drugs

by Hal Sirowitz
No one knows how you get Parkinson’s.
It could have been from the Thorazine I took
my last year in college when I was depressed
about the possibility of being drafted to fight
in the Vietnam War. Taking the Thorazine
was like hitting yourself on the head
with a hammer and the reflexive result
was it’d drag you to sleep no matter how
wired up you were. I gave some
to my druggie friends when we met up
at Washington DC to protest the invasion
of Cambodia. They said Thorazine was
a chaser, like taking a shot of tequila
after gulping down a pint of beer. It calmed
them down when they went cold turkey. They
couldn’t believe I was getting Thorazine
for free when they had to pay street price.

—From Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability, edited by Jennifer Bartlett, Sheila Black, and Michael Northen (Cinco Puntos Press, 2011); republished here by author’s permission

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