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 The Struggle 

 Wayne Russell 

Ugly in the morning

After Earth

Wayne Russell is a creative writer from Tampa, Florida, his work has been described by his peers as "dark" "brooding" "honest" "raw" "surreal" "gritty" and "very observational of the ravaged world that we live in." Over the years Wayne has been published in various publications such as Foliate Oak, Poetry Quarterly, Danse Macabre, Dead Snakes, mgversion2>datura, Eccentric Press, Far Off Places, Poets' Espresso Review, and the Moon Mist Valley anthology.

There is an epic struggle unfolding tonight,

underneath looming stars and gloomy moon.


Beneath this roof of safe haven house, sprawled 

out upon leather couch, pondering the cruelness

of addiction and the tortures of sobriety.


There is a clock on the wall that laughs' at me, 

it taunts me with its' s ticks and tocks, it's almost 

mortifying as Chinese water torture.


The ticks and tocks intermingle with the kitchen 

sinks drips and drops. 


There are roaches scampering around, seeking 

solace in the darkened parameters of my loneliness.


The clocks second hand pounds my temple like a 

bongo, I want to scream, but I can't; the wife and 

kids will awake. 


There is an epic struggle unfolding tonight,

underneath looming stars and gloomy moon.


The liquor store will close at midnight, the clock on

the wall will keep me updated.


My struggle for sobriety continues, it shall do so

every single day for the rest of my life; this is day


In drunken slumber

tossing and turning

like a panicked  ship

wrestling the swells

of rabid foaming waves.

My mind does battle with

demons my skin oozing

last night’s beer upon

sweaty salty sheets.

My arms lash out in thin

and flowing symphony

legs galloping madly

mouth agape in meager

attempt to rebuke the dawn.

I just want to sleep for an

eternity, because I know

when the morning marches

through those bedroom blinds

I will be as always, still ugly.


Drunk lens of the earth,

the core fell out at the 

calm stroke of midnight.


Every drop of blood and 

glitter spilled out upon the

ground. self inflicted wounds,

calm in mute self composure.


Disintegrate with me, beneath

the ugly moon. 


Rake the rotten leaves of the 

cosmos over my body, I want to 

hide for all eternity.


Innocence lost, living well beyond 

our means, let the phosphorous 

stars implode, there is a box in my

heart that I can always run to.


Let the singers sing and the swingers 

swing, changing orb oh Mother Earth,

you shall have your revenge.


And now we speak of Mars, it awaits

our arrival like a looming disease.


The red planet knows that it is the 

next in line, in the cosmic pantomime.

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