Chems (Spoken Word)

In modern Queer culture, with its hedonistic ways
A prominent feature and so rife amongst the gays
Chems of every ilk, both natural and synthetic
Ingrained in our lives – so unapologetic
A strong sniff of poppers, synonymous with sex
Testosterone and steroids help gym bunnies flex
A little four-twenty with your ‘Netflix & Chill’
Or an old retro e-queen who’s swallowed a pill
A quick line of Charlie and a bump of meow
Just whatever it takes that will help to allow
That little boost of confidence to feel that you’ve been
Accepted and connected on this judgemental scene
Maybe it’s the parties – that promise of pleasure
Live life by your G-clock to get the right measure
But is it the sex, or the closeness it brings
Pumped up on Viagra and armed with cock rings
A swift smoke with Tina can quicken the brain
Or slamming all night, shoot it into your vein
Then there’s the ‘scripts – where effects are foreseen
Uppers and downers, the stuff in between
Just a phone call away, never far from sight
Delivered by dealers who work day and night
So accessible, plenty, and with such an array
There are chems for our pleasure and with which we can play

But that play which brings pleasure, it can come with a price
It may lead to disaster, and without thinking twice
There’s that threat of addiction, unable to quit
All your days filled with sorrow, left feeling like shit
And the money you used at the time was well spent
Now debts are increasing – it’s too late to repent
Just another day sick and you’re risking your job
It seems so redundant as you sit there and sob
A negative spiral, you spin out of control
And there’s nobody left who can rescue your soul
But there’s more to this darkness, of this negative slant
They should come with a warning – there’s more woes to decant
Side effects aplenty just from slamming those veins
Infection, cellulitis, all manner of pains
Respiratory failure on G overdose
Skunk heavy users left torn and morose
High risk behaviours, inhibitions reduced
The countless infections when no condoms used
Some easily cured, but then don’t you see
Although you’re on PrEP it won’t stop Hep C
Destruction and chaos, from all of this stems
The tip of the iceberg when dealing with chems
Our community ravaged and with lives torn apart
Like a festering tumour, it sits right at the heart

Now we need a solution, we have options to weigh
Those chems bring recreation and they’ll not go away
But a world which has sunshine will also have rain
And you can’t have the pleasure without feeling pain
So for those who have strayed that bit further than most
The ones who’ve been vilified and who some might ghost
In what way can we help them? For what will become
Of the people whose chem use is no longer fun
Here’s my suggestion – or proposal, if you will
Let’s show them some kindness, failing that we could still
Not treat them as outcasts or the scourge of the city
You won’t break that cycle if you make them feel shitty
To label them deviants, and to shun from the scene
Is to echo the days of the clean and unclean
So chems aren’t your thing and that is fair enough
But what’s there to gain from us being so tough
Let us challenge with love, not fight this with fear
Show some compassion, make it perfectly clear
No one is alone and we won’t condemn
We’ll offer support, encouraging them
To make better choices, live healthier ways
And then our queer culture may see brighter days
Sharing knowledge, experience, our success and our fails
To create positive discourse and all that entails

Aiden Bex