Kim Addonizio

The Easy Way to Stop Drinking
July 20, 2012 Addonizio Kim

The Easy Way to Stop Drinking


We are as flies in a pitcher plant,
says the author of the book
that promises to relieve me of my tendency
to sometimes fail to locate
the STOP switch in my brain.
My feet feel sticky.
I must have spilled my cocktail.
What happened to my friends?
They were right here a minute ago,
buzzing beside me,
drinking Rosie’s Sweetened Lime Juice
paired with anejo
and a little Cointreau.
Anejo, anejo, que te quiero anejo.
Please alchemize my thorax.
Take my wings.  Make me an earthworm,
nine-hearted. Even if seven of them
are already smashed and oozy.
It happens I am sick of being a fly.
I was happiest when I was a maggot,
talking to birds in the woods,
crouching at the edge of the creek
spied on by invisible fairies.
I could feel their eyes on my back.
But here there are no fairies.  Drunkling
I listen.  My tiny hind wings are frozen.
The book says I’m in prison
even though I think I’m at Martuni’s
in the back room, at the piano bar,
watching a girl with mullet hair
butcher “Killing Me Softly”
which was never a great song anyway.
Strumming my fate with his fingers
for example is a stupid line.
My fate is right here in my hand.
Sometimes, a fly’s heart
beats backwards for half a minute.
I’m hoping that’s enough time
to get through that hole in the ceiling.

Kim Addonizio’s most recent books are Mortal Trash (W. W. Norton) and a memoir-in-essays, Bukowski in a Sundress (Penguin).  She is the author of ten other books of poetry and prose, including Ordinary Genius: A Guide for the Poet Within and (with Dorianne Laux) The Poet’s Companion: A Guide to the Pleasures of Writing Poetry. Among her honors are fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation, two Pushcart Prizes, and a Commonwealth Club Poetry Medal. Addonizio teaches poetry workshops privately in Oakland, CA, and online. A new collection, Rag & Echo, is forthcoming. Visit her at