Zach Goldberg – “Blackout”


An ode to blacking out in five drinks, in which each drink is an erasure
of the drink before it. First drink: when you’re a kid, it’s easy to think that having
“an addictive personality” means no one can get enough of you. Then you grow up, and your poetry professor tells you
to stop writing poems about whiskey because there’s nothing interesting
about the fact that you’re a drunk. When I first learned about blacking out, I was still able to stop myself from it. I spent my nights creating
new mixed drinks and good memories. I can’t ever forget the first time
I had just the right amount. And it didn’t have to be alcohol,
it could have been anything. It can be an addiction
before it is ever a vice because if I swallowed it and finished it, and it didn’t kill me, it must be some kind of medicine. It must be the first thing
worth my good health. I’m not remembering
the other night perfectly, but there is a trapdoor beneath my feet
that no one has the key to. I can’t open it, not even with a drink, not even when I offer up my entire body. But all the same,
praise to the bottle sunrise. Praise the best friend therapist
so designated by this mixture. Praise the Lyft driver, this unlucky ferryman
crossing the River Styx. Poor old god, when I’m unable to make the passage, he does it for me. Second drink: When you think having
an addictive personality means no one can get enough of you, your poetry tells you
writing about whiskey is interesting. You’re a drunk. When I first learned about blacking out, I was still able to stop myself from creating new
mixed drinks and memories. I can’t ever forget the first time
I had just the right amount. Anything can be an addiction, because if I swallowed it
and finished it, and it didn’t kill me, it must be the first thing
worth remembering. There is a trapdoor beneath my feet
that I can open with a drink when I offer up my entire body. All the same, praise to the bottle,
best friend, therapist, so designated by this mixture. Praise the Lyft driver,
unlucky ferryman god when I am unable to make the passage, he does it for me. Third drink: an addictive personality means
no one can get enough whiskey. When I black out,
I stop creating new memories. I can’t forget because
I didn’t first remember. The trapdoor can open with a drink when I offer up praise to the bottle, the best friend, the designated driver,
this ferryman god, when I am unable, he does it for me. Fourth drink: Addictive means when I can’t open a drink, I offer up praise
to the bottle, the best end. The designated driver is God. I am unable. He does it for me. Fifth drink: When I offer to be the designated driver, I do it for me. (cheers and applause)

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