Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Written in cemetery to help exercise drug demons

’Almost Forever’ written in cemetery to help exercise drug demons
By David L. Harris/ Journal Staff

Jasen Sousa has seen the underside of teenage life: the drugs, suicide and depression.

The 24-year-old Somerville resident has written four books so far, and all of them warn teens to get involved in the community, not drugs such as OxyContin and heroin.

"A lot of my friends got heavy into drug use," said Sousa, a Francesca Avenue resident who owns his own publishing company called J-Rock Publishing. "One of them ended up getting his girlfriend pregnant. In the span of two or three years, I lost a lot of friends around the same area. Somerville, for some reason, has gotten really bad with drugs."

Just a few months ago, Sousa released his fourth book and companion CD that are filled with poetry and prose called "Almost Forever," all of which was written exclusively in a cemetery. Sousa said the process was cathartic: he wants to bury a lot of his past experiences.

"Rosary Beads that Bleed," "Carrying My Own Casket" and "The Scent of Death" are just two of the poems he wrote.

Even though there’s no happy ending in Sousa’s book, Sousa’s life turned out more than OK. He’s soon starting a job at the Italian Home for Children in Jamaica Plain, and he’s been a Big Brother to various children.

"It’s just the process for me to continue writing to get my message out," said Sousa. "It’s my way of trying to find other ways to deal with it besides drugs. I used the books and writing for my outlet."

The details

Check out or visit Newbury Comics for a copy of Jasen Sousa’s newest book, "Almost Forever." It costs $12.99.

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