Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Tuesday Poem: "Philip Seymour Hoffman" by Nick Flynn

Last summer I found a small box stashed away in my apartment,
a box  filled with enough Vicodin to kill me.  I would  have sworn
that  I'd  thrown it away years earlier,  but apparently not. I stared
at the white pills blankly for a long while, I even took a picture of

them,  before  (finally, definitely)  throwing  them away.  I'd been

sober  (again)  for  some years  when  I found that box,  but every

addict  has  one— a  little  box,  metaphorical  or  actual— hidden

away.  Before I flushed them  I held them in my palm,  marveling

that  at  some  point in  the  not-so-distant  past it seemed a good

idea  to  keep a  stash of  pills on hand.  For
an emergency, I told
myself.  What kind of emergency? What  if  I needed  a root canal

on  a  Sunday  night?  This little  box  would  see me through until

the   dentist   showed   up  for   work  the  next  morning.  Half  my

brain  told  me  that,  while  the other half  knew that  looking into

that  box  was  akin  to  seeing  a photograph of myself standing on

the  edge of a bridge,  a bridge  in the  familiar  dark neighborhood

of  my  mind,   that   comfortable  place   where  I  could  somehow

believe that
fuck it was an adequate response to life.

by Nick Flynn

Philip Seymour Hoffman was born on July 23, 1967 in Fairport, New York and died on February 2, 2014 (aged 46) in Manhattan, New York.

This was my birthday. Not a happy event to coincide with one's birthday. I admired the actor's talent very much and I was saddened to hear of his untimely death.

However, as poet, Nick Flynn, demonstrates in the above prose poem, anything can be fodder for poetry or art.

Nick Flynn
Photo Credit: Dion Ogust

For more information about the poet, Nick Flynn, see:


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