The Wagon Crashed and Burned

The Wagon Crashed and Burned …

The wagon crashed and burned …


Alcoholism hits home to so many families. This is so personal for me, as I’ve dealt with it from my own and now someone from my family’s point of view. We shared similar stories and feelings. I wrote it from my own perspective but it is a collective thought from others who have experienced the horrors of being an alcoholic.

The Wagon Crashed and Burned

I cried when I knew there was nothing left to demonize

These eyes tired, and scarred with surprise from demons inside

I’d surmise that they were mine and their disguise was so empty,

It was tempting how many times I could bend me, it was petty

To think big, a guinea pig of sorts, but why can’t they help me?

Was it the madness I made in myopic gaze, please tell me.


This suit of skin is deflective though it chinks at the worst times,

reminds me I’m not invincible since that would be asinine

though I must be inclined to say, that I am worth it,

Though no one is perfect or deserves shit, but on the surface,

These circuits were crossed, my whole life was traveled divergent

From the norm, for lack of a better purpose, I’m a misfit resurgent


My goals were surfeit with mental mishaps and cruel endeavors

in melancholy displeasure, I dined on forever

never lobbying for my soul, in stormy weathers I stay whole,

Consult with my father often, and we speak of future goals,

How the treasures lost in my mind can be found in my soul

Sometimes I need to unwind and take a stroll for control.


Other times in this foxhole, I dodge bullets with meanings

Words intended for grieving and weaving, repeating

lost reasons, past demons, things that eat away with spirits

where the tunnel clearance was nothing more but glass floors, peerless,

funny how those spirits and demons gain perseverance

and those I’ve kept so dearest, and nearest, were disappearing.


I would count my days of coherence like a king’s ransom,

too often I would bang drums, scuffles, and fistfights were canon

something you’d plan on, and everyday abandon all logic

it was my narcotic, I couldn’t stop it, I was neurotic

This shit was toxic, though the high at first was so exotic,

Yet that feeling was the real rationale why I got sick.


The core was rotted, caustic, infected by a burden,

The bourbon was flowing and the hydro was burning

The curtains were closed, uncertain what would surface, what evil

Would come forth, this demon so primeval since my fetal

Existence, I thought if I were to give myself to Jesus,

His reasons, that freedom would present itself for retrieval.


But demons find more ways to be lethal, than four walls with steeples

Can heal people, and I have no answers, no bibles to read from

My cathedral has no needles, no pills, just snifters and flagons

The dragon and anger come quicker, the poison is lagging

It saddens me every time I fall from the bandwagon,

In a ditch, the next day, can’t remember what happened.


Strapped in for another 12-step program goddamn I can’t stand,

Too much flimflam and scams, end up being on Prozac

Because they tell me I’m depressed and the cognac is my filler,

Tripped up on step 2 now I’m hooked on those mini killers

Or pain-numbing liquors, the shivers attack like a trigger

A sight too familiar, how much quicker the liver will hurt.


But who am I kidding, I flirt with pain, daily in its clutch,

I think liquor is a switch to stop me from feeling too much.

Maybe I’m shrewd, but be that as such, that is not how I’m viewed.

A man with a crutch, one I lean on too much, the drama accrued,

A nightmare of delusions, one conclusion I can touch or include

is, the nightmare lingers until someone or something is consumed.


The cause I presume, is I feel too much, I’m too easy to break,

I never have the luxury to assume a dull ache.

I choose to stay awake through the intricacies of peril,

The dogged ferocities of a solitary pebble,

A pebble skipping through the cataclysmic oceans of my Hell,

Each plop echoes loudly inside, each skip starts to meddle.


I peddle benevolence from my core, then watch it disappear,

Sold to the nearest bidder, their motives unclear.

So many times, I volunteer joy as if I’m undeserving,

And lurking in that backdrop is the cause of my unnerving.

It is a bit concerning now, how self-pity keeps emerging,

How it’s my vocation, perceived as something I’ve been rehearsing.


I feel the emptiness lurking at the surface like some new version,

of old me waiting to jump in and emerge before it worsens,

though I’m certain it will worsen, it always does before the purpose

Too many times the steps are intended to be earnest,

But being so nervous of relapsing, those tendencies resurface

And those steps become the true connection of what worth is.


Reflecting the past, I was that person who left you wordless,

A purchase of surplus, conforming to the chaos circus

The calamity furnished for my surface, desensitized

And habituated to drunken norms, the monster inside

Had plenty of time to mature and able to mobilize,

It seized my life, left me trapped inside myself and paralyzed.


I never thought I’d pirate the desires of a bibulous person

That to feel, I’d have to find the nethermost of a bourbon

To deal with the hurting, I would need the burning, the room spinning

The yearning for freedom in the purview, the falsehood of winning

Now caught in my own prison, casualties accrued from sinning,

I pray to God, that I could start over from the beginning.


Paul Neglia
Latest posts by Paul Neglia (see all)

Paul Neglia

Proud father of 3. Part time writer of poetry and short stories. I want to paint the world in but a few words.

15 thoughts on “The Wagon Crashed and Burned

  • September 1, 2019 at 10:35 PM

    It takes courage to reveal issues one is struggling with. Well done on this piece, Paul. Sending love, light, and healing to you my friend.

    • September 3, 2019 at 10:33 AM

      Thank you Phyllis. I am worried about my cousin, though, I am trying to be that shoulder to cry on and that sage advice. I’ve already conquered my demons, she is having a rough go of it. Thank you for the kindness coming my way. Appreciate it.

      • September 3, 2019 at 11:02 PM

        Helping others through the demons of alcoholism is not an easy thing to do but it can be healing for your cousin and give you more strength and faith in yourself, Paul. Pass on the love, light, and healing thoughts from me to your cousin. My family has also been touched strongly by alcoholism so I know the hardships and struggles. I also learned that just focusing on the disease does help, but it also helps a great deal to bring in the many aspects of love for self, others, nature, and all living things. I encourage you to look at the book ‘Living, Loving, and Learning’ by Leo Buscaglia. Buscaglia and his books have made a tremendous change for the better in my own life and for those I have helped as you are now doing for your cousin. Here are two videos you might like to watch: and

        • September 4, 2019 at 4:46 AM

          Phyllis thank you so much for your insight. I will check out both videos and the book you recommended. It seems like a long road ahead and any help is appreciated. Thank you.

  • September 2, 2019 at 12:28 AM

    Wow, Paul what a hard hitting and personal piece of writing. Expertly crafted and worded as is always to be expected with your work. Alcoholism has touched most of us in some way, whether personally or by association. I wish you and yours all the best.

    • September 3, 2019 at 10:34 AM

      Thank you so much John. Yeah alcoholism has touched too many. a family member in my clan to count. Now it is my cousins turn to go a couple rounds with her demons. Thank you for the good vibes. Appreciate it.

  • September 2, 2019 at 2:36 PM

    Wow, all I can say is Wow! Alcoholism has destroyed most of who and what I have loved in this life Paul. Nothing good has ever come out of abusing the bottle. Sending positive thoughts to you my friend.

    • September 3, 2019 at 10:35 AM

      Thank you so much Kurt. I agree. I’ve seen it destroy families, it almost destroyed me. I’m glad I was able to conquer my issues. Thanks again.

    • September 3, 2019 at 10:35 AM

      Thank you so much Rasma, appreciate your positive energy

  • September 7, 2019 at 9:56 AM

    Paul it was hard for me to read this poem. I am an alcoholic and have been sober for more than ten years but the memories of those time still haunt me. My brother suffers from the same fate and our father battled with it his whole life. I appreciate what you have done with this poem and will come back to read it again since it is very therapeutic for me. Jamie

    • September 9, 2019 at 8:58 AM

      I dont know what to say…I guess glad to help out. It hits everyone a different way, to me it was very therapeutic to voice so many things that were bottled up inside my head and to see my cousin struggling too, I felt like I had to write about it. Thanks again Jamie.

  • September 12, 2019 at 1:54 PM

    Paul, it isn’t often enough that I return to this site and be captivated by a fellow poet’s penmanship. However this extraordinary work not only captured my fullest attention but it brought back many sad memories of an earlier time in my life as a boy, teen and adult. It drew the pain and hurt inflicted on my heart and soul as witness to abuse with the bottle in my family and personal life. I truly believe sir, that not only are you so gifted to formulate your deepest feelings and thoughts and place them in front of you in such an organised and succinct manner. You delve deeply into the conflict ions that so many have with alcohol and drugs, it sent shivers up and down my spine. This is a piece that should be sent to Eminem as he would do justice to it in his amazing rap form. I’ve told you before Paul and I will again, you sir are truly a talented and gifted poet/artist and you’ve drawn me once again to your fabulous work. Take care my friend and I pray and wish only the best for your lady friend, that she finds the strength to put the bottle down and live her life without that demon in it. Peace brother.

    • September 13, 2019 at 7:05 PM

      Vincent thank you so much. Your words are encouragement for me to continue down this beaten path of writing. I’m glad and sad at the same time to see how this affected each one of the writers I’ve come to enjoy here. It’s such a relevant topic in everyone’s life too, I dont think I know anyone who doesnt have a family member or they themselves are affected by this disease. Thank you so much for stopping by my pages and giving me you excellent review. Much appreciation my friend.

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