My Decoration (The Janitor’s Monologue)

by Ron Dowell

Smoking floating in the air

(This story contains drugs/addiction.)

Agent Orange tainted weed fucked me up in Nam.
Back in the world, drugs retarded me. I
hallucinated and failed a four-way stop sign.
My road dog crashed the windshield.           I’d go back and change
if I could.                               Please help me, Jesus.
          Nobody had told me shit.

Lies and stale lies they tell us about cannabis
marijuana, ganja, chronic, weed, or whatever
the fuck your name for need. I want bullshit to stop.
One full trash can means the job’s unfinished other
hospital janitors will tell you—damn cigarillo
wrappers everywhere.           Compton deserves better.

They call me the weed killer them that argue it’s medical
value—sure—assume everyone’s sick and in need of a cure.
I’m a thorn in the side of green money vampires
who monetize and substitute clear thinking with a foul,
smoke fog: lying that art’s caused by enslaving your brain,
a brain hunting something more exhilarating,
more potent than the last blunt, reefer, joint, laced
with rat poison, acid, herbicide, who knows what.

I laughed when my two-year-old son sucked my roach left
smoldering in the ashtray. Twenty-eight years later,
I said addiction’s probably in your genes—your DNA.
I told him the truth nobody told me. He left anyway
OxyContin contaminated on Kentucky bluegrass
chasing dope—he’s dead for all I know.

My truth will spare others the downside to marijuana’s
insanity like in 7:6 Ecclesiastes,
for like the crackling of thorns under a pot, so
is the laughter of the fool: this also is vanity
I believe in total abstinence from alcohol
and other drug spoils. That’s my situation this past
decade           my life goal, my decoration.

I’m the cannabis rebel to the fake chemist, who
blend new toxins like a mixtape to rot stagnant
body temples I’m a hater to hood-rat alchemists
rearranging atoms, stretching the product further
merely to survive a jungle favoring privilege
not the ever high 9th-grade dropout that learned his
craft in second-rate schools or jails a street pharmacist
who can’t see marked cards, the rigged system, corruption
drug and tobacco companies wait like night
time thieves, knowing by mornings white light with government
help, they’ll infect the market, knowing then marijuana
deals will become prescription-only. Street merchants
will once again face jail, inextricably,
inevitably, like the sea change after alcohol
prohibition,       stained,      controlled,      taxed,
                                                  as legal as my itchy ass.

I’ve been clean and sober for years though old habits
                                        and temptation
                                                            never fully leave.

Category: Featured, Poetry