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Dr. Jekyll / Mr. Hyde

by Chris Sorrenti

Dr. Jeykill

one more toke to help accelerate
another pill to push the pedal to the floor
but reality manages to keep on passing me
when all I wanted was to stay in the middle

never expected to become an expert in pharmaceuticals
pulling the chess board out such a short time ago
but when you’re a cat on the run making moves with the devil
you don’t ask questions when you think you’re having fun

and so Mr. Hyde you’ve answered my challenge
a weak move you say this ‘pawn to king four’

congratulations Dr. Jekyll
on your new grasp of mathematics
now we’re both acquainted with the metric system
remember cubic centimeters and grams
have a bad habit of multiplying
it’s easy to come up with a common denominator
when the numerator’s about to slip underneath

© 1977

Mr. Hyde

name your vice
favorite obsession
I’ve got everything you need
and more
stolen goods
pills by the truckload
the latest excursions
into pleasure and pain
buy now
cause they’re going fast
anything’s possible
when you ride a Harley Davidson
or in a black limousine

got someone you don’t like
then give me a call
I’ll see what I can do for you
Hyde’s the name
I’m a dealer by trade
specializing in personal anarchy
if I’m not in
just leave your name
my number is 666

© 1977

720 hits as of March 2020


Author's Note: Although originally written as two separate poems, and technically remaining so, I have decided to present them together under a single banner to emphasize a transformation of personality. Part of the series, Along The Vertical Horizon. For a better understanding of the line containing ‘pawn to king four,’ please read the poem, P-K4, from the same collection. Thanks also to Robert Louis Stevenson for providing part of the inspiration, in having written the novella, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, in 1886. As for 666, the mark of the beast, although its usage has become somewhat cliché in modern creative writing, and now on the Internet, apart from the movie The Omen (1976), to the best of my knowledge, it was still largely unheard of in 1977.

Posted on 02/01/2014
Copyright © 2020 Chris Sorrenti

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Quentin S Clingerman on 02/01/14 at 04:58 PM

Outstanding observation of and commentary on the drug culture.

Posted by Laura Doom on 02/02/14 at 01:24 PM

The calculated risk, somewhere between skill and chance, much like chess (at least for dummies like me), offers instant gratification, but also a portal to an unpredictable alternative reality. I read that in an NHS leaflet :>) Perhaps the answer is reincarnation as a cat?

Posted by Clara Mae Gregory on 02/02/14 at 04:03 PM

*stellar* Very expressive of our drug obsessed culture, pharmaceuticals now being the number one killer over the so called illegal drugs.I am obviously not a fan of this culture.It was hard to listen through the years to my mom's false objections [concerning the war on drugs] with particular emphasis on marijuana, all the while watching her succumb to the harmful effects of alcohol, cigs and various drugs they put her on for this and that---very harmful drugs with false illusions of benefit....what a joke.It did not help her.It killed her.This led to major changes in my thinking concerning health and drugs. I have a degenerative disk syndrome in my lower back and occassional flare-ups of baker's knee causing pain. I have successfully treated both and alleviated the pain without drugs or seeing a doctor,using pain-less electrode therapy[EMS-electonic muscle stimulators].Maybe not for everyone but thankfully works for me.Anyways-good poem....touched a nerve.

Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 02/03/14 at 02:16 AM

Both of these are well crafted, Chris. They tempt and haunt and seem so casual in their particular cultures. I flash back to the Manson Family and others quite comfortable with mayhem. Self destruction - well, that's another sad element.

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