Write On!

Used 2013-04-10 True Story (AlKHall sobriety recovery)

You’d never guess from reading this blog, but i’m a writer. Like, kinda a real one.

i’ve published around 25 short stories in different literary reviews and am looking for an agent to sell a book proposal i’ve put together. i write 5 blogs under 3 different names and i’m a freelance journalist here in “Yeaman”, where i have my own column.

i mention this because i started writing about the time i started drinking. At the beginning, writing and drinking went together like “mast” and “urbation” (see how write-y i am and shit?), because drinking helped me live life and writing helped me process it.

Used 2013-04-10 Apple IIc (AlKHall sobriety recovery)

In college, i was able to spend all night writing. Literally. i remember pounding the keys of my Apple IIc until dawn, awash in the green monitor light, finishing short stories and novels and feeling damn good about it because the writing was good because it came from my heart.

Real art comes from a raw place. Emptying my soul drained me and the easiest way to refill that void was booze. This worked until it didn’t. Somewhere toward the beginning, i stopped needing writing and started needing the alcohol. Instead of putting my emotions on the page, i drowned them with wine and sweet rum drinks until i couldn’t feel anything anymore.

i started drinking to dull life’s edge and in doing so i blunted my craft.

In the last two years since i stopped drinking, i write more, i write more often, i write better and i am back in the space that made me want to write in the first place. i am less tortured, but i learned that torture wasn’t what made me an artist, feeling was.

i feel too much.

Now that i don’t kill those feeling with alcohol, i’m better at molding them into words.

Here’s what i mean…

Tomb 2

(photo by me, as well!)

Your Heart is a Tomb (a prose poem)

Your mind is a pyramid, your mouth the coffin …

The rubies of your lips are sealed like a casket, silent as the grave that guards the ghosts of your youth. I, I will brave the curses you cast on those who get too close and I will crack your smile, setting free the child cowering inside.

Your skin is a temple, your heart a tomb …

Gold lace plates your cryptic face and locks the case of the key to your safes where you conceal your treasures from the world. But I, I will battle the sphinx and strip away the gilt that envelopes you so I may pierce the secret chambers of your heart and unearth the wealth kept there.

Your body is a shrine, your soul is a grave …

Your eyes are mystic diamonds, captivating rogues and thieves dying to rob the grave treasure you have become. Yet I, I alone will decipher the hieroglyphs of your sacred scars and penetrate the holy places you have buried far from those too shallow to reach that deep.

You will be heaven to me…

Pose your riddles, I will answer them. Set your traps, I will escape them. Let loose your demons, I will battle them or, if this proves impossible, I will sacrifice myself at the foot of your altar and lay myself down in you, my sepulcher.  There I will remain, and hide nestled inside where I will let myself be buried alive by your profound good fortune.


About Al K Hall

Like a battered drinker or a punch drunk boxer, i am here for another round. For those of you who don’t know me, i’m a semi-professional writer on the rocks and a non-practicing alcoholic (if after 30 years of practicing, you still can't do something well, it's best to just give it up). For those of you who do know me, thanks for stopping by anyway and where’s the ten bucks you owe me? Welcome to my Bar None. A hole in the wall where we can hang out and trade the kind of stories you swap only when you’ve had one too many and either can’t find your way home or are afraid to. Hell, it’s cheaper than therapy and plus the pictures are prettier. Here we’ll crack open bottles and jokes and ‘last call’ are the only dirty words you’ll never hear. Pull up a stool and make yourselves at home. http://about.me/AlKHall

Posted on April 10, 2013, in Alcoholism, Lessons in Recovery, Recovery, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. I like that you’ve made the distinction between being tortured and feeling too much — which can be torture, but doesn’t have to be. We can choose instead to make it a wellspring of inspiration and catharsis, as you are doing.

    • Hi Luddy!

      That line about my writing not coming from torture but from feeling is exactly why i wrote this post. Sometimes when i blog here, i only have the idea and then i start writing and reach the heart of what i was getting at and then i stop. That’s exactly what happened with this post!

      Keep coming back, my friend,

      Al K Hall

  2. Glad to see that writing alcohol out of the script made the story improve!

  3. Wow. I could definitely tell you were a writer, but I didn’t know you were a WRITER! I am impressed, and a little intimidated! Thanks for sharing your art.

    • Lol, nothing to be impressed by. One of the reasons i like tending this blog is that i don’t try to “write” it. i don’t really revise…i just try to state simple truths (as i see them) plainly. And the readership i have here is more rewarding than any other for all of my writing.

      And your blog is such an inspiration and better written to boot!

      Thanks for being here and keep coming back, Miracle,

      Al K Hall

  4. Woot woot! Awesome, I think I actually stumbled on one of your other blogs and I kept thinking… I wonder if this is the same guy! Lol! I am definitely not a writer and my grammar and spelling is crappy, and I am alway short on those fabulous descriptive words that you seem to always have plenty of. Love it! Thanks for sharing!

    • LOL, thanks NSL! Glad you found your way to this blog, at least one other of mine isn’t something i’d flaunt here! And you’re writing is truly inspirational…i’m just glad sobriety affected mine for the better.

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

  5. Woooo, get you Mr Hall. I can’t believe it… FIVE blogs?? A column?? A book in the works and short stories??!! Fantabulous. I love that aside from all of that writing what it is that you do here on this blog that I follow and love is that you open yourself up and give us brutal honesty. Because it’s the heart and truth that comes through your words that make you a brilliant writer in my humble opinion… xxxx

    • Thanks Mrs D!

      It’s like i mentioned in another comment. This blog is really a place for me to be honest and open, which is a nice change. Fiction writing is my one true love but it’s refreshing to be able to come to a place and not try to write well but try to write simply. To convey my thoughts and emotions in a stripped down, raw and open way without all the artifices of good prose. Having readers like you and blogs like yours to inspire me helps tons!

      Keep coming back, my friend,

      Al K Hall

  6. I applaud you, Al. That’s amazing stuff. I used to write as well – was working on a novel, did lots of short stories, literary kind of stuff, but that all got washed down the toilet as the drink took on. I had always dreamed of having a short story published by one of the lit mags, but it’s a tough gig, and my alcoholism never allowed me to take it to that next level. The fantasy of the tortured, anguished artist always enchanted me, and I took to it. Hard.

    The breadth of your talent and riches is beyond comprehension. I congratulate you on your awesome talent and ability to share it with everyone. Whether it’s alkie stuff or the stuff that truly turns your crank, it’s brave, wonderful work. You should be quite proud. Amazing.



    • Thanks so much for the kind words, Paul. A little humbling, as i don’t feel like they’re merited but that’s another whole ‘nother step to work on.

      This post was especially written for a friend of a friend who writes and was worried that recovery would make them a worse writer. In my case, it turned out to be exactly the opposite. i sure hope this post didn’t come across as bragging, though!

      Anyway, thanks again for your comment. You’re too kind (literally!).

      Keep coming back, brother,

      Al K Hall

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