Archives for posts with tag: recovery

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The Bondage of Self
by Kevin Ridgeway

the flies are screwing in the open air,
and the roaches scream “help me”
from split concrete devastated by a
miniaturized apocalyptic world;
I’m twenty-one days sober with
brain damage twirling behind my
forehead of worry lines that whisper
moans from Sisyphus with a prolonged
grimace, tremulous fingers that want
to fall in a graveyard of dead leaves.
This slow-burn transformation is
crushing the parasite I became in
those last months of my failed
self-annihilation, my face peeling
away the visage of my junky father
to a stranger I have never met in
the past thirty-two years of life on
earth that I am slowly getting to know
after a living burial of fear, isolation
and blind rage. I put out my cigarette
and step over a cockroach whose life
I spare with the hope that it someday
grows back into the humanity I’ve
barely come to discover in the healing
waves of this season of blessed renewal.

IMAGE: “Study of Beetles” by Shi Tao (1656).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I am in early recovery after years spent grappling with active addiction. This poem expresses my slow climb from total demoralization and into a metamorphosis based upon fearless change. It addresses my need to let go of an agonized self that was trapped in existential futility, and the beginning of a growth toward learning to live this life we all share through all of its beauty and ugliness.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kevin Ridgeway lives and writes in Long Beach, California. Recent work can be found or is forthcoming in Chiron Review, Re)verb, Nerve Cowboy, San Pedro River Review, Lummox, Right Hand Pointing, Misfit Magazine, and The Mas Tequila Review. He is the author of six chapbooks of poetry, the most recent two being On the Burning Shore (Arroyo Seco Press) and Riding Off Into That Strange Technicolor Sunset: Dallas-FT. Worth Poems (The Weekly Weird Monthly).

PHOTO: The author in Long Beach, CA (2015).

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The Silver Birch Press release Phoenix, a memoir by Philippa Mayall, is available as a free Kindle download — a savings of $7.99 — through Sunday, 12/1/13, at this link.

This is a memorable book — beautifully and even lyrically written…exuberant with the sense of a life lived determined to survive.” 

JOHN RECHY, author of CITY OF NIGHT and THE MIRACULOUS DAY OF AMALIA GOMEZ

NOTE: If you don’t own a Kindle, you can download Kindle read apps — for free — at Amazon.com

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The Silver Birch Press release Phoenix, a memoir by Philippa Mayall, is available as a free Kindle download — a savings of $7.99 — through Sunday, 12/1/13, at this link.

This is a memorable book — beautifully and even lyrically written…exuberant with the sense of a life lived determined to survive.” 

JOHN RECHY, author of CITY OF NIGHT and THE MIRACULOUS DAY OF AMALIA GOMEZ

NOTE: If you don’t own a Kindle, you can download Kindle read apps — for free — at Amazon.com

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The Silver Birch Press release Phoenix: A Memoir by Philippa Mayall is #2 on the Amazon Kindle list for free biographies and memoirs of women.  Download your free copy through Sunday, 12/1/13 at at this link.

NOTE: If you don’t own a Kindle, you can download Kindle read apps — for free — at Amazon.com

For her outstanding writing, Silver Birch Press is nominating Philippa Mayall for a 2013 Pushcart Prize.

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The Silver Birch Press release Phoenix, a memoir by Philippa Mayall, is available as a free Kindle download — a savings of $7.99 — from Wednesday, 11/27, through Sunday, 12/1/13, at this link.

This is a memorable book — beautifully and even lyrically written…exuberant with the sense of a life lived determined to survive.” 

JOHN RECHY, author of CITY OF NIGHT and THE MIRACULOUS DAY OF AMALIA GOMEZ

For her outstanding writing, Silver Birch Press is nominating Philippa Mayall for a 2013 Pushcart Prize.

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From Wednesday, Nov. 27th through Sunday, December 1st, the Silver Birch Press release Phoenix, a memoir by Philippa Mayall, will be available as a free Kindle download — a savings of $7.99 — at this link.

“This is no simple recovery story. Phoenix has the lust, the furor and passion of Norman Mailer…of Pynchon, of Kerouac…With this fierce memoir, Phoenix, Philippa Mayall comes roaring into the literary world; her sharp and angry Manchester, England, voice barges into the pale and tidy tea room of L.A. literature like a Harley with Drone power.”

JILL ROBINSON, Huffington Post

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Thank you to everyone who downloaded a Kindle version of PHOENIX by Philippa Mayall during our free Kindle days on 7/30 and 7/31. The book achieved #1 status on Amazon’s Free Kindle list for “Drug Dependency.”

In her memoir, author Philippa Mayall takes us from her childhood in England, where family members perished in a house fire ignited by an alcoholic stepfather to Los Angeles and her struggle with drug dependency and homelessness.

To give you an overview of the book, here is text from the back cover:

“This powerful memoir immediately establishes itself as the work of a highly talented young writer. In a voice that is strong, unsparing, never judgmental, Mayall traces her years-long journey as a young woman to find escape out of the entrapping mean streets of Los Angeles, a separated world invisible to all but its denizens. She does this with unflinching honesty and authenticity. She knows what it’s like to wake up into the harsh sunlight in a Venice Beach parking lot, cramped in an old car with other outcasts. She conveys the urgency for chemical surcease that leads her into dangerous streets, dark alleys; surcease no matter if bought by a sordid paid encounter. A punishing dawn at times finds her still searching for that illusive escape.

Through all this, Mayall is able to find poignancy and humor. She finds it in the drug recovery meetings she haunts in search of vagrant camaraderie. She finds it—and introduces the reader to a cast of memorable fellow exiles–in a rigidly ruled rehabilitation institution.

This is a memorable book–beautifully and even lyrically written. At times it is melancholy, at times hopeful, at times shocking, but it is always moving. At times it is even exuberant with the sense of a life lived determined to survive.”

JOHN RECHY, author of City of Night

Stay tuned for future Kindle giveaways of PHOENIX! Again, thank you to everyone who downloaded a free Kindle version of the book. We are trying to get the word out about Mayall’s compelling memoir — so please help us spread the word by reblogging, posting on Facebook, or emailing to friends.

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The Silver Birch Press release Phoenix, a memoir by Philippa Mayall, is available as a free Kindle download — a savings of $7.99 — on Wednesday, 7/31, at this link.

“This is no simple recovery story. Phoenix has the lust, the furor and passion of Norman Mailer…of Pynchon, of Kerouac…With this fierce memoir, Phoenix, Philippa Mayall comes roaring into the literary world; her sharp and angry Manchester, England, voice barges into the pale and tidy tea room of L.A. literature like a Harley with Drone power.”

JILL ROBINSON, Huffington Post

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The Silver Birch Press release Phoenix, a memoir by Philippa Mayall is available as a free Kindle download — a savings of $7.99 — on Tuesday, 7/30, and Wednesday, 7/31, at this link.

“This is a memorable book — beautifully and even lyrically written…exuberant with the sense of a life lived determined to survive.” JOHN RECHY, author of CITY OF NIGHT and THE MIRACULOUS DAY OF AMALIA GOMEZ

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My car battery went dead a few days ago after I’d left my lights on while I was browsing at a used bookstore. I was holding my $2.99 purchase — The Los Angeles Diaries by James Brown (not that James Brown) — when I saw my fading headlights in the distance.

Yesterday, I read about 50 pages of The Los Angeles Diaries while in the veterinarian’s waiting room with my cat Clancy, who had a dental abscess and couldn’t eat. Brown’s book is one of the best memoirs I’ve ever read — and a welcome companion in a difficult setting. (It’s hard when your own pet is ill, even more difficult to witness other suffering animals.)

Brown’s stories about his Hollywood pitch meetings — especially one about the young executive who cracked open peanuts and threw the shells on the carpet during the meeting — give you a ringside seat at the inner workings of LA-LA Land.

While many editions of The Los Angeles Diaries are currently in print, I selected the book cover (above right) of the edition I found at the used bookstore.

HIGH PRAISE FROM BEST-SELLING AUTHORS:

The Los Angeles Diaries is terrific. It’s one of the toughest memoirs I’ve ever read, at once spare and startlingly, admirably unsparing. It glows with a dark luminescence. James Brown is a fine, fine writer.” MICHAEL CHABON

“One of those rare memoirs that cuts deeply, chillingly into the reader’s own dreams. It is a dramatic, vivid, heartbreaking, very personal story…cleanly and beautifully written, and it is also incredibly moving.” TIM O’BRIEN

FROM THE BACK COVER: The Los Angeles Diaries unveils Brown’s struggle for survival, mining his perilous past to present the inspiring story of his redemption.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: James Brown is the author of the memoirs, This River and The Los Angeles Diaries, and co-editor with Diana Raab of the anthology Writers on the Edge. The most recent reprint of The Los Angeles Diaries from Counterpoint Press includes a foreword by Jerry Stahl, as does the French edition, Les Carnets de L.A., from 13 eNote Books, and is currently under option for a feature film with producer Jude Prest and Lifelike Productions, LLC. Brown has also written several novels, including Final Performance and Lucky Town. He’s received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction Writing and the Nelson Algren Award in Short Fiction. His work has appeared in GQ, Esquire, Ploughshares, The New York Times Magazine, The Los Angeles Times Magazine, The New England Quarterly, and anthologized in Best American Sports Writing; Fathers, Sons and Sports: Great American Sports Writing; and the college textbooks Oral Interpretations, and Creative Writing: Four Genres in Brief. Brown can be contacted through his website at www.jamesbrownauthor.com.