OH, THE NURSE, SHE SAID

Oh the nurse, she said I”m dyin;
got but one month left,
and that’s no lyin’.

I said why’d my head feel like a wreckin’ ball;
can barely keep it up, can’t keep it up at all!

And the nurse, she said I’m-a- dyin’
it’s in my spinal cord’
and got the muscle there no more.

I’m like a walkin’ battlin’ ram
but still i’m tryin!

to lift this head
and look you in the eye
but my muscles just ain’t there
I tell you that at ain’t no lie-

‘cuz the doctor said as i’m sighin’-
can’t look you in the eye but i’m-a-tryin-
i’d have the dignity if could just do that
but instead I push on slow like a big fat cat.

and I’m tryin…. she says… she says….
I’d have some dignity if I could look you in the eye
but the carpet will have to do, and baby that’s no lie…..

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The Writer

picture-1Stands at the edge of the track,
watching his horse
stride through hooves,
everyone cheering.

People get on their feet;
it’s the last lap.

But the writer,
well the writer
stays seated
staring at the ancient steed.

Newspaper across his lap,
over-sized round sun glasses,
he now peers to the left,
his old friend dashing the last
hundred.

Words, like clouds of pollen,
are already planting themselves
in the back of the poet’s brain.

He is the bumblebee,
the writer,
picking up life,
and then dropping it off.

Death, they say in the world of bumblebees,
comes hard and fast.

There’s a turn taking shape straight ahead,
and a man glancing at me through some
cheap sunglasses and a grin.

And it’s sad to know that the price
moving life to its next destination
has anything to do with heartache.

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A solitary Memory

20121117_192536Why is it we remember some things
and disregard others?

Vapid as an army of clouds,
whole seasons of our lives
glide past us.

We notice nothing.

Then, like the snap of a twig,
our necks spin by the lake.
you know then one,
the glassy one on the property
of the drug rehab.

It happened to me,
but you were there to.
Remember how cold everyone was,
waiting to go to that lame
meeting where people complain
about complaining
until there’s nothing
but a brush fire
in everyone’s throat.

You were there,
by the lake,
waiting.

And then it happened.
It got lodged in memory forever.

My eyes, glassed over, no different
than the surface of the lake,
no different than the drenched clouds:

inwardly – you did too, we both witnessed it -
I screamed, and leaned forward:

“Why am I so lonely?!”

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A Light

My favorite chair
became a receptacle
of me,

which became
a receptacle
of light,

reaching your eyes.

Staring out my bedroom window
just a few days after chemo,
little did I know it would be my last,
that my run through pain was about to pass.

A wedge of dusty light pinned my head back
against the back of my chair from ‘Bob’s',
like an ax-wedge of grace
it pierced the top of my head.

I couldn’t move.

My eyes hovered like orbs in the flickering light.

“remember what I told you,” said something
that I like to say was “feeling with language.”

Yes, I’ve heard it before- once.

The day I was diagnosed. It said: “Spend as much time as you possible can with other people.” It worked; my solution to the awful pain was simple but genuine contact with others.

And here was the voice again, this time, it brought a friend: A certain dusty light filling my body with light.
The light, as it washed down my arms and torso, froze me. I began to think and feel nothing.

I began to flicker like the light itself. And then I melted into a seeping bag of tears on the floor, on my knees, begging for something, reaching out for a courage I didn’t have, for the courage to stop treatment, to stop the madness.

Many nights crammed themselves into a few hours.

As dawn found me on the floor, the other light had gone. My body was on fire and I found my mother in the living room knitting on the couch.

She barely had time to look up at me before it rushed out of me like a river, a river on fire.

“I can’t do this anymore!! I can’t do treatment!” I fell to her lap and dissolved like a single raindrop over a fire.

She prayed with me and all I felt was sorrow mixed with a kind of confused freedom.

It was the first day of my life.SavedPicture-2013619212421.jpg

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fear and stillness

The smoke, it licks
and tastes the moment,
and leaves me stranded
and stuck, and I know it.

i stand outside the house
outside my life and I see,
the wasted thoughts and memories.

The smoke, it licks
and the roofs and windowpanes
until it has a grip
and rips all apart, the windowpanes.

I stand there helpless,
the doctors can’t stop the burning.
the monster from the sky
keeps the destruction burning.

Oh father, oh god-
why fore have you brought this deseret
to the center of my abdomen
where, now, no life exists.

I stand outside, the house
oustide my life and I see
the wasted thoughts and the memories.

Cancer: A killer born of me
won’t listen to my mind
and set me free.

Outside my life and my memories
sits cancer and its cold black eyes.
I hear its sighs and its leafless trees-
oh cancer, let me and my loved ones be.picture-1

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