A Reckoning of Sorts

Tried to be clever with this title but finished up a ten hour day as I type this and to be honest, after fighting Amazon over copyright issues and Lulu with formatting issues I didn’t want to write this but the second May release from Dumpster Fire Press deserves more than that…

Cover art by Dillinger

SOBER THOUGHTS FROM THE CRAZY HOUSE is the solo debut poetry collection by J. Maxwell whose work originally showed up in DEATH BY PUNK.

J. Maxwell

While I didn’t find his work outstanding at first, I did find it good enough to publish as I corresponded more frequently with him, and he tried to hock his to Dumpster Fire Press and I became annoyed most especially as he told me his story as I was like “Oh, no another stereotypical strung-out character who kind of write and fancies himself an artist…”

I got to know him, hence a reckoning of sorts, so when I actually almost reluctantly sat down to edit his book, I marveled at his story and applaud him for relaying his tale through different stages of his addictions bleeding into recovery and I’m grateful to him for actually sharing that with alongside with the fact he had confidence in Dumpster Fire Press as a potential home for this grand work.

Being small press doesn’t mean we have to shy away from what can be considered mainstream stereotypical issues…mental health and addiction affects a plethora of people across a wide array of spectrums, so why the hell not?

Especially if the writing is good and Dillinger just happened to have a cool concept to go with the cover right?

Dumpster Fire Press is proud to present the debut of poet J. Maxwell with his first collection SOBER THOUGHTS FROM THE CRAZY HOUSE… a poetic narrative chronicling the path of wayward youth to uncontrollable self-loathing addict in a downward spiral finally crawling from the wreckage in an artistic rebirth.

Never Again

It never got so bad

As Johnny Cash

Where I needed loved ones

To fend off my demons

With rifles pointed to kill

I was never a Nikki Sixx

I never had to be shot up with adrenaline

To kickstart my heart

I was never put in a stretcher

Laid up in a hospital bed 

Where so many end up a statistic

I dodged that bullet

I never spent more than a night in a cell

To sleep off the high

Never spent more than a few hours 

Behind those bars

Alone with my thoughts

It was enough to show me

I didn’t want to go back

But that didn’t make me stop

I carried on for a few more misadventures

A wayward son still searching for peace

In all the wrong places

Shaking hands with the wrong people

Until I had one too many hangovers

And I was sick of being sick and twisted

That’s when I decided

I was never going to use again

To let myself feel again 

And never abuse myself again

Because all I did was put myself through hell

And I didn’t even get a handbasket for efforts

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