This is the official blog of Northern Arizona slam poet Christopher Fox Graham. Begun in 2002, and transferred to blogspot in 2006, FoxTheBlog has recorded more than 670,000 hits since 2009. This blog cover's Graham's poetry, the Arizona poetry slam community and offers tips for slam poets from sources around the Internet. Read CFG's full biography here. Looking for just that one poem? You know the one ... click here to find it.

Monday, December 25, 2006

The thirteenth step is to learn not to be an ass

This follows some recent conversation with poets in Phoenix and their views on divorce between me and NORAZ Poets via its executive director.

Following recovery, 12-steppers need to learn some love.

The addiction doesn't go away, it just changes form. For many, that underlying problem, not covered rather than dealt with, just makes them judgemental pricks. I'm all for the benefits, but I suppose that if you join a group wherein the first rule is to announce that you have no power to control yourself, you have a tendency to blindly ignore that capacity in others. That, and being "saved" from addiction bleeds over into other meanings of "saved," and thus, the gentle stumble forward into arrogant self-righteousness.

To elucidate:
It seems the shift from addiction
(I must have this drug or I can't function; no middle ground)
shifts to the 12 Steps
(I need help or I will die; no middle ground)
then to personal interaction afterward
(this person is my friend or my enemy; no middle ground)

I suppose that if these people learned moderation in the beginning with drug use, they could learn that people are not a drug - there's a whole lot of gray in human relationships.

But, I guess, just like hitting rock bottom with drugs, they have to hit rock bottom with friendships before they realize they need to attend the 12-Step Program of Not Being a Prick.

How long, Mr. Lane?