Appendix A: Poems

The Perfect High

Shel Silverstein

There once was a boy named Gimmesome Roy. He was nothing like me or you.
‘Cause laying back and getting high was all he cared to do.
As a kid, he sat in the cellar, sniffing airplane glue.
And then he smoked bananas — which was then the thing to do.
He tried aspirin in Coca-Cola, breathed helium on the sly,
And his life was just one endless search to find that perfect high.
But grass just made him want to lay back and eat chocolate-chip pizza all night,
And the great things he wrote while he was stoned looked like shit in the morning light.
And speed just made him rap all day, reds just laid him back,
And Cocaine Rose was sweet to his nose, but the price nearly broke his back.
He tried PCP and THC, but they didn’t quite do the trick,
And poppers nearly blew his heart and mushrooms made him sick.
Acid made him see the light, but he couldn’t remember it long.
And hashish was just a little too weak, and smack was a lot too strong,
And Quaaludes made him stumble, and booze just made him cry,
Till he heard of a cat named Baba Fats who knew of the perfect high.

Now, Baba Fats was a hermit cat who lived up in Nepal,
High on a craggy mountaintop, up a sheer and icy wall.
“But hell,” says Roy, “I’m a healthy boy, and I’ll crawl or climb or fly,
But I’ll find that guru who’ll give me the clue as to what’s the perfect high.”
So out and off goes Gimmesome Roy to the land that knows no time,
Up a trail no man could conquer to a cliff no man could climb.
For fourteen years he tries that cliff, then back down again he slides
Then sits — and cries — and climbs again, pursuing the perfect high.
He’s grinding his teeth, he’s coughing blood, he’s aching and shaking and weak,
As starving and sore and bleeding and tore, he reaches the mountain peak.
And his eyes blink red like a snow-blind wolf, and he snarls the snarl of a rat,
As there in perfect repose and wearing no clothes — sits the godlike Baba Fats.

“What’s happening, Fats?” says Roy with joy, “I’ve come to state my biz.
I hear you’re hip to the perfect trip. Please tell me what it is.
For you can see,” says Roy to he, “that I’m about to die,
So for my last ride, Fats, how can I achieve the perfect high?”
“Well, dog my cats!” says Baba Fats. “here’s one more burnt-out soul,
Who’s looking for some alchemist to turn his trip to gold.
But you won’t find it in no dealer’s stash, or on no druggist’s shelf.
Son, if you would seek the perfect high — find it in yourself.”

“Why, you jive mother_______!” screamed Gimmesome Roy, “I’ve climbed through rain and sleet,
I’ve lost three fingers off my hands and four toes off my feet!
I’ve braved the lair of the polar bear and tasted the maggot’s kiss.
Now, you tell me the high is in myself. What kind of sh__ is this?
My ears ‘fore they froze off,” says Roy, “had heard all kind of crap,
But I didn’t climb for fourteen years to listen to that sophomore rap.
And I didn’t crawl up here to hear that the high is on the natch,
So you tell me where the real stuff is or I’ll kill your guru ass!”

“Ok, OK,” says Baba Fats, “you’re forcing it out of me.
There is a land beyond the sun that’s known as Zaboli.
A wretched land of stone and sand where snakes and buzzards scream,
And in this devil’s garden blooms the mystic Tzu-Tzu tree.
And every ten years it blooms one flower as white as the Key West sky,
And he who eats of the Tzu-Tzu flower will know the perfect high.
For the rush comes on like a tidal wave and it hits like the blazing sun.
And the high, it lasts a lifetime and the down don’t ever come.
But the Zaboli land is ruled by a giant who stands twelve cubits high.
With eyes of red in his hundred heads, he waits for the passers-by.
And you must slay the red-eyed giant, and swim the River of Slime,
Where the mucous beasts, they wait to feast on those who journey by.
And if you survive the giant and the beasts and swim that slimy sea,
There’s a blood-drinking witch who sharpens her teeth as she guards that Tzu-Tzu tree.”
“To hell with your witches and giants,” laughs Roy. “To hell with the beasts of the sea.
As long as the Tzu-Tzu flower blooms, some hope still blooms for me.”
And with tears of joy in his snow-blind eye, Roy hands the guru a five,
Then back down the icy mountain he crawls, pursuing that perfect high.

“Well, that is that,” says Baba Fats, sitting back down on his stone,
Facing another thousand years of talking to God alone.
“It seems, Lord”, says Fats, “it’s always the same, old men or bright-eyed youth,
It’s always easier to sell them some shit than it is to give them the truth.”

Gimme-some Roy’s boy:The Quest for the Perfect High

Jon Ricketts

You remember, Gimme-some Roy, that boy, who searched for the perfect high

Couldn’t find it with drugs, couldn’t find it with thugs, so he climbed that mountain high

A little known fact, about Gimme-some’s past, he found out and then left after awhile

His girlfriend Sharon, she knew Roy wasn’t carin’, that she was pregnant with his child.

Ol’ Roy still run off, to that mountain top, looking for that guru Baba Fats

As the story still goes, as everyone knows, the secrets of life are found with Fats.

Ol’ Roy never came back, from that meeting with Fats, he set out for the Tzu Tuz tree

Meanwhile Sharon had his child and man, was he wild, he was nothing like you and me.

The boy heard only stories of his Dad, it was ever so sad, how he searched for the perfect plan

They say the apple isn’t far from the tree, nothing like you and me, the boy was just like his old man

He was about it all, oxcies, weed, and 8 balls, then he climbed that same mountain slope.

He stood face to face with Baba Fats, the legend of the past, to hear what was better than dope.

Well, dog my cats, says Babba Fats, another burnt out soul

Come here to find, if what he left behind, was worth paying the toll.

I’ve seen your face, right here in this place, right there where you stand

But you’re his son, following’ his father’s fun, because Roy was your old man

Let’s cut to the chase, said Roy’s only grace, you know why I’ve come

So, tell me the deal, while I sit here and chill, and don’t act lie I’m dumb.

Yeah, my Dad was here, all he left me was beer, I guess I’ll catch him on the fly

But I know you Fats, let’s cut the crap, tell me about the Perfect High.

If I tell you the truth, and give you the scoop, will you go on this mission?

I’ll tell you the facts, and won’t hold nothing back, but tell me, will you listen?

Cause I told your Dad, it was oh so sad, all those years ago

He didn’t believe, thought I tried to deceive, so I had to let him go

Am I wastin’ my time, givin’ you this line, should I even bother

Will be defeated, and get all heated, with the truth, just like your father.

Those words sank in, like burns to the skin, the boy knew Fats was right

He knew the stories of Roy, that white trash boy, and he hated how Dad left them in the night.

He said, “Alright Dude, I’m sorry I was rude, please tell me all that is good

I’m miserable inside and all I do is hide behind alcohol and drugs.

So come on fam, don’t give me a scam, and don’t lie to my face

Where is the perfect High, cause when we say good-bye, I’m going to that place.

Babba Fats took a breath, placed his hands on his chest, and let it out with a sigh

He said, “Alright man, give me your hand, I’ll tell you about the perfect high.

It don’t come from dope, or something you smoke, it done come from liquor or beer

It’s not in the hooter, and not in the tooter, you don’t get it from ever-clear.

It’s not in the pills, not in the thrills, not in money or cash

It’s not the gold mine, and it’s not in the line, you can’t find it smoking hash.

Oxcies won’t do it, even if you shoot it, it’s not with the girls who are flirty

Cocaine don’t get it, Crack! Just forget it, it’s not in smoking that dirty.

Peace you will find, when you give up this grind, let go and let God

Quit tryin’ to quit and this time just quit, turn it all over to God.

Right now is the hour, you got not power, your powerless, yes, that is it

Give up control, let God have your soul, knowing you can’t control it is when you will quit.

That’s the deal cuz, just like callin’ the fuzz, it happens and you find the release

It’s an inside job, between your ears in your mind, that were God gives us the peace.

It’s a simple plan, not hard to understand, just let the Spirit flow into your soul.

Then you experience this peace, find the sweet release, and you don’t need drugs no mo’.

Babba Fats knew, from his head to his shoes, that the boy hung on every word

He let out another sigh, saw a tear in his eye, hoping this boy wasn’t just another terd.

Mr. Fats, said the boy, I ain’t goin’ be like ol’Roy, I believe what you said

I know in my heart, right now I’m going to start, cause I don’t want to end up in jails/institutions, or dead.

The boy feel to his knees, as pretty as you please, and asked God into his heart.

When his head rose form prayer, there was something new there, a fire and a spark

With a gleam in his eye, he started to cry, and said, “I’ve found the perfect high.”

He turned to go, then his step slowed, he turned towards Babba Fats then stopped

Fats ol’ boy, I’m lovin’ this joy, but tell me, why do you stay on this mountain top.

Fats said with a smile, I’ll tell you my child, while I’m here and this is my lot.

This is the place, where my sins were erased, and I found communion with God

I decided to stay, that very day, to Him I began to cleave

He is all that I need, I stopped smoking weed, and it was so good, I never did leave.

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