Renfield’s Syndrome

My uncle used to smoke hash
and walk the high beams
of Detroit, no harness,
and on late-night TV I see
cops with their PB&J sandwich halves,
their steaming coffee, standing around
the taped-off crime scene
of a dead body, a dead mouse,
a wilted rosebush.
It’s not that I don’t have strength,
it’s that I tend to write my
strong foolish words
on yellow notebook paper—
I’d walk the high beams
but no amount of hash
is ever enough. I’d love to duck
under the caution tape,
squat down to inspect
the carcasses, flick my
cigarette, say something
Law & Order-worthy,
prick my finger on the final stem
with any remnant of color to it
and suck the blood
oozing from my wound.
There are other ways to survive
but I’ve never learned.
There are other ways
to get high. This one barely works.



KG Newman is the editor of a high school sports website,, and lives in Aurora, Colo. He is an Arizona State University graduate and his first collection of poems, While Dreaming of Diamonds in Wintertime, is available on Amazon.