Poetry Explication of Blue in the Face

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?Luke Brogoitti
Dr. Wing

English 105
Essay #1
Feb. 18th, 2009
Poetry Explication
Matt Skiba’s song “Blue In The Face”, performed by Alkaline Trio in 2003, is written in a first person narrative directed towards a former lover. Skiba uses dark connotations and satanic allusions to portray his emotions and describe the various reasons he thinks she left that night, how he feels about the situation that happened and lastly that he wants her back. Matt Skiba’s songs are synonymous with alcohol and drug abuse. Most of the time he uses them as an answer to a dating or life problem. This time the drugs, cocaine in particular, are the cause of the problem. His opening line starts with an alliteration and states, “It’s about time that I came clean with you.” He is literally saying that he needs to tell her the truth, but he uses the word clean which also refers to being clean of drugs. Skiba goes on to explain how he cannot stop and the cocaine is starting to take a toll on him. He constantly tells himself and continually convinces her that he will do “just one more line”(4,12) and he does this until he is “blue in the face with a choking regret.”(5) Skiba then goes on saying “I talk in circles ‘round you on my bed”(6), referring to both the fact that he is lying to her when he says “just one more line” and also that the cocaine causes him to talk a lot more than her. He knows that she does not believe him even though she does not say it when she leaves him. The next verse starts with Skiba stating that he thought cocaine was his “cure for feeling old.”(11) He thinks that he is uninteresting and no longer fun, therefore making him old. Cocaine was supposed to make him young and lively, when in fact drug abuse does quite the opposite. In true Skiba form, as soon as she leaves, he turns to the cocaine as an answer. He seems to think that it is going to put him to sleep, but instead he is awake talking to himself “in disgrace with a shameful...
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