Thursday, August 10, 2017

Steven Porter writes

Track Marks

Track marks look the same on every page.
You turn your arms over and they're 
all paintings by the same artist; a broken
record of your least favorite song, a 
singer who can only sing in one key.

Track marks are old, sullen felines,
resting in one spot for so long, their
shedded hairs have contoured with
the hard-marble countertop.

When one notices these blisters,
no answer is needed.

This needle-stenciled manuscript can't be edited.

How long can one clean a dirty mirror 
before they let dust speak for itself?

--Mark Evans


  1. Mark Evans creates his large art pieces without paint, canvas, or brushes. Instead he selects and imports animal hides from around the world, tans them, hand etches them to expose varied shades of suede, and then carves and cuts through the leather surface, removing less than a 10th of a millimeter, to create his striking, detailed art.

  2. Track marks are the tell-tale signs of chronic intravenous drug use. Certain drugs can be injected into the muscle, under the skin, or directly into a vein, the most popular method since the intense effects of the drug occurs very quickly. The act of drug injection is often referred to as “jacking up,” “shooting up,” or “slamming” and is typically identified with the use of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines, and opiates. Continued injection in the same area can result in scarring, dark pigmentation at the injection site, damage to the veins, lesions, and bruising, especially on the forearms. Damage occurs to the lining of the vein, causing blood clots to form. With continued use of blunt needles, constant use of the same injection site, or improper injection techniques, the vein can become completely blocked. Fresh track marks are identified as non-healed puncture wounds. If not treated, permanently damaged veins can never be healed. The use of unsanitary, shared, and recycled needles can lead to serious skin infections, such as cysts, abscesses, and ulcers. Not only is there a high risk of contracting a bacterial infection, common blood-borne viruses can also be contracted. The two most commonly transmitted viral infections caused by sharing needles are HIV and hepatitis C; over 80% of hepatitis cases are contracted via the use of shared or unsterilized needles. As the frequency of IV drug use increases, the most commonly used injection sites become infected, inflamed, and much too painful to access. When this happens, many begin injecting drugs via other parts of the body, such as the neck, groin, hands, and feet, generally seeking to find sites that are easily covered with clothing or makeup.


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