Thursday, August 29, 2013

Reiki Master

You're sitting in a wooden chair leaning slightly forward
holding a small crystal ball in each hand and feeling a little silly,
she asks you where the pain is, you put a finger on your
lower spine, she does her invisible work and asks about
your left leg, which is stiff and tight from the hip down,
she asks "how is your relationship with your mother?",
you pause then answer "distant", and she tells you that
is the pain in your leg. So you go to her when the session
ends, after months, and you hug her and she hugs you, and you
tell her about it and you both laugh, and now, hours later,
there is no pain.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Kicking The Placebo

Saw a picture today of my spine
With all it's accompanying bone and soft tissue
And right there from atop Lumbar Number 5 squirted a very distinct bulb
A malevolent think bubble protruding right out from
Between the bones that hold me up
Impinging upon the rights and freedoms of my S-1 nerve
Causing pain and tingling down through my left hip, buttock, leg and foot
My very own herniated disk

That's right, punk. You're mine.
It's not the other way around

I aim to dis-inherniate you
To visualize you down to nothing
To make you crawl back between those vertebrae and
Get back the hell to work
You are most unwelcome in my house in your current form.

Every breath I draw, everything I consume,
Is the most kick-ass, thermo-nuclear
Anti-Inflammatory in the universe.

While everything I exhale or expel from this body
Is your paltry and pathetic power, B.


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Eggs And Grits With Nebraska Rolling By

Breakfast at Denny's with three numb toes, and
that kid behind the counter's so worried about his share
of the tips that he's blind to all the toast, bacon, pancakes
and Moon Over My Hammies backing up
in the cook's window there...

But it's not lost on me. I tense up, almost choke on some ham...

They've got one Brazilian in there cooking alone
she's holding her own against the rush pretty good
muttering curses in Portuguesa to maintain that head of steam,
I'm pretty sure love's not making it into the eggs this morning...

I feel for her a little, but she's the one guilty of these sad and watery grits...

None are deserving this morning
or we all deserve it,
depends on whether you're taken up
by the meanness in the world
or not...


Monday, August 26, 2013

Mai Tai

They discover the meaning of my gestures before
I have finished making them, already building
3-D printers and portable assembly lines to manufacture my
next frail, half-hearted desire at the lowest possible cost.

Instant market research results
middle-aged American male
probably lonely, possibly disturbed
a tempest in a teapot, a nine-volt parade.

Maximum velocity means simply continuing to drift
on the vaguest of air currents given that
all the bartenders seem appealing
and twenty years younger with boyfriends and big plans.

I Feel Nothing/ I Feel Everything

Sunday, August 25, 2013


I wish you could stay here every night.
If your job was near here, you'd move all of your stuff here too, right?
Are you going to get Mom flowers and a box of chocolates
Shaped like a heart for her birthday?
I wish we could hang out all the time.
We should get her flowers.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Jack At Seven

Great day with Jack today
walking around town, shopping for school shoes, eating together,
wading in a river, hiking a trail
tonight, he's drifting off as we're watching
a movie on the couch, and he says
I fell asleep in your hand once

Saturday Feature: Jesus of Montreal

Friday, August 23, 2013

Start Typing

Blank mind, blank mood
The boy said he wanted to hang out with you
Even though you appeared to be right there next to him
You told him so, but he knew better
Blank mind, blank mood
You get what you want and forget it immediately
The only time you are good, worthy, deserving
Is when you are under the lash
Blank mind, blank mood
Maybe this is something you should look into

Thursday, August 22, 2013

What I Might Say To Myself If I Was Wise

Today,  I am free of depression, physical pain and grief. I am not persecuted by anything I can name right now. The world is open to me. I am able.

Yet the more I sit here dwelling on it, the more I realize I am already falling under the dark spell of inertia. The proof is in this cloudy state of mind,  this dull lack of direction, this nearly permanent drowsiness. I know it by the shape of my body, how easily I am winded, and the weakness in my limbs.

I am weary without having earned the state; false exhaustion. Do not succumb to this, for it is the first green sprout of death.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Blue Moon/ For All of Us, Tonight


Long since you have dispensed with the notion of a divine plan for your life, except maybe entropy. The real truth is that everything falls apart, and in your case, it did so while you watched from an unsafe distance. You felt the effects which led you to a new kind of exhaustion making you long only for the end of the shrinking days so you could drop your clothes and slip under the sheet to oblivion for days, weeks, months. Then one morning you woke up to a new kind of pain - searing, constant, unrelievable - but the depression evaporated. You wished now only to be able to walk, to sit, to lie down, without pain . And then came the news of the death of your best friend's father- a real war hero who fought together with his own father in World War II - and you walking, sitting, standing without pain at the funeral, and the uniformed sailors and marines, and his enormously beautiful Irish-Catholic family, and your grieving friend in your arms, and some kind of wake up call.

Saturday, August 17, 2013


Defy and endure.

Time Framed

The acute phase of your pain will last about four to six weeks.
You can expect recovery to take at least four months.
Eighty percent of people recover without surgery, but surgery might be necessary.
Surgery is invasive and can pose serious risks so it may not be worth it for some people.

A pinched S1 nerve seems to be the issue with
related muscle spasms and inflammation,
and if I can just avoid compressing my spine,
I can escape most of the pain.

Now how does one do that?

Right now I'm lying on my back on the floor
with the computer on my stomach, and
it's not too bad. but the more I lay around
the less mobility I have.

Driving a car makes me sweat and swear
and think about running down innocent pedestrians
for a little relief, as I try sitting on my right hip
looking through the passenger's side of the windshield.

While standing in the neurologist's office
waiting for the exam, I picked up a copy of
a neurology periodical and opened to an
article on chronic pain and suicide.

Not surprisingly, a very high percentage of people
experiencing chronic pain consider suicide as a means
of pain relief at some point, then the physician is left with
the risk calculus: likely addiction to opiates or elevated
risk of suicide.

The patient seems, to me, screwed either way,

That's not me though - not yet - no suicide, no opiates.
but I am in a new relationship with pain
and am headed back to elementary school to learn
how to cope with it.

And I have a new and hot
disdain for, and defiance of,
the omniscience of physicians
and the sentences they impose
with their off-hand time frames..

Saturday Feature - Jethro Tull's Aqualung


Thursday, August 15, 2013

A Case Against Concealed Carry

Let me just tell you this, okay?

I never glance sidelong in envy at your smart phone, okay?

No matter how high its IQ, regardless of what the television commercials portray - I don't care, see?

See, right now I'm preoccupied with a doctor's BMW parked in the lot at a community mental health center which serves the (billable) poor, disabled, destitute, homeless, and disenfranchised mentally ill; and I'm wondering what color the flames would be should I decide to broad jump the line between thought and action.

The sciatic nerve is really only an electrical cord running from somewhere in my pelvic girdle to my foot, despite the fact that it screams and howls like a backed-over-hound, so I'm thinking of drilling a small hole and just unplugging it, then rooting the damn thing out with my own hands.

You know, it's really a beautiful day - cool, sunny, pleasant - that I am limping through, hating everything I see.

An Educated Patient Makes a Decision

It wakes me earlier than I wanted to be up
and all the propping and repositioning I can
conceive of makes no difference

It's not excruciating now, I guess,
but deep and steady and wearisome
and I'd like to be rid of it

I'm going to fire my doctor, who won't see me for
another week, and I am considering narcotics of which I
am deeply afraid and averse to after seeing
legions of addicts born out of similar circumstances

Frankly, I'm thinking about
amputating the left side of my ass myself
I'm pretty sure step by step instructions
are available on line

I Know You II - Morphine

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Todd Colby's Tender Rendition of Lemon Brown

Sometimes in life things come around just when you need them. Such is the case with this piece of performance poetry and me 20 some odd years ago. This is re-posted with the kind permission of the author. You can check his blog out if you like. It's called Todd Colby's Glee Farm and there's a link to it on my blog. If you're a jittery guy or gal, this may be of some help. Enjoy, Happy Hump Day, and thanks for tuning in.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

2:04 AM With No Complaints

It's 2:04 on a Wednesday morning. I've got to go to work in a few hours, but just outside the screen door I hear a night breeze stirring. I should be asleep, it's comfortable without the fan, but before I go I want to tell you this thing about the sound of this breeze through the branches and the leaves. About its gravity, when there is only silence and night behind the sound. It's always been a holy thing, restoring, healing, correcting. Listen to it with the lights off, close your eyes, and let it do its work.

Black Eyed Dog - A Six Sentences Post

Sciatica, you're a persistent bastard. I told you NO, ENOUGH, GO HOME, TAKE A FLYING LEAP ALREADY - so why the hell are you still dogging me? Here you sit again looking up into my eyes panting expectantly, salivating tongue swinging around in that almost endearing, totally undignified way, and your tail is plainly insane. It was you who ate up all my muscle relaxers, wasn't it?  You're looking deep into my eyes - into me - sardonically, satanically, making me understand clearly who's the pet in this relationship. You miserable cur, the only one who stays.

Sunday, August 11, 2013



Fun Time

He loves your sweet, sweet brownie points
oozing wax, testicular fortresses, the ailment of everyday.
Send your sunshine to him, Moonbeam,
he's pale with a certain dysentery of the spirit.
This axe above his aching pencil neck, self-poised and wielded,
poindexter, psychopath with a conflicted conscience.
Class clown tripping on nothing but living another day
(once, a girl said he had the nicest smile and he loved her in his head).
Some joking seriously that he was most likely to be institutionalized
or to croak at the hands of his own joke.

Jackson, let him in on the fun times, you can see he misses those.

He missed most of them or
soiled them or spoiled them
with overly-serious thoughts of
igniting something important.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Next Time You Feel Proud

They lived years like this, only worse
Limited mobility, sick, weakening and
Left to fend for themselves
He was a skeleton cooking out of cans
And somehow managing to bathe her
She lived in bed without even a television
To pass the time. They died like that.

Saturday Feature: Wings of Desire

Friday, August 9, 2013

I Don't Want To See You Posing For Photographs

Low back pain and reading poets
Does nothing to lift me, only makes me think of
My small words, small lives of mostly pain
Choking back the knowledge, and its
Resulting panic, that we are plainly lost.

What did you do for the money that allowed you
To Winter here and Summer there?
What did you sell? Who did you kill?
Or was it just talent deservedly recognized
And proper branding?

Pimping and whoring, the old man is snoring.
And I'm talking a lot of shit for a jealous
Half-assed-one-sixteenth-time writer with a backache.


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Suicide - Wild In Blue


Dries you up quick, pain does, and then I think of
a writer like Hubert Selby Jr.
who lived most days in pain and sickness or
addiction, with its' specialized brand of pain and sickness,
and yet he got it down on paper so beautifully
saw it, felt it, said it - clearly, so you could feel it too,
and somehow at the same time it seemed as though
he could see beyond all that darkness, and
so I am just a blubbering little kid lying here
on muscle relaxers and a heating pad

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Alemu Aga



A couple of days of physical pain
and limited mobility sure provide perspective
it's been a week of lessons
now, please return my spine to its
original shape

Monday, August 5, 2013

More Than Her Share

She wonders how you can just keep getting hit:
trauma upon trauma, loss upon loss. and hearing
what she's dealing with puts my own petty shit in
some perspective. She looks hard at me and says,
somewhat accusingly, that you really can't
understand what it feels like to lose someone close
to you until you go through it. I nod and resist a

Sunday, August 4, 2013

I Was Right

An easy day crossing monkey bars
throwing a Frisbee we found in a tree
through a sudden sun shower
eating with the boys at Dairy Queen
hugging my daughter off to choir camp
registering the youngest for Fall soccer
making simple plans

Saturday, August 3, 2013


when I wake up, I will quickly forget
this string of slept-through days,
life will continue, and I will feel alive

Friday, August 2, 2013

Saturday Feature: Paris, Texas




Down, you learn that it takes so little to bring
breath back into the body and so much to sustain it.
Raising your head, seeing light, then taking the memory
of the light back down with you and holding it close for buoyancy.
Contact has meaning, is the difference
between the living and the dead.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

E-Book Update

It's August, the month of my e-book experiment. My plan is to write for at least an hour a day this month, edit in September, and release the results onto the world October 1st. I have no energy, and no plan or idea beyond this at the moment.

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