complications in the country my blood and the nerves of the hand have led me to distrust my senses and be flush with anger perpetually others think I should let this flow into my art and thus be cured jackass thoughts if my poems were ever therapeutic I’d have never gotten to this point think of them instead as efflorescence on the hide of a flimsy house of rotten brick that I have shaken off and let fall outside the house you think it’s beautiful there on the ground but the house is still rotten and I am still sick in this country where I am trying to nurse my syrupy blood and my dead nerves to something like an ending all can stomach I gave up on storybook happy a long time ago and nothing I write could change that
Tag Archives: diabetes
If you can imagine a future for yourself
without, say, bread or beer, one
where your memory
will never fire into regret
over a stray whiff of either of those,
count yourself among the lucky ones
who have the strength
to move on completely
into some blessed world of shrugging off
any nostalgia for past pleasure
in favor of a grim determination
to get better, to stay healthy, to not succumb
to that which will slay you in increments
thanks to your body’s insistence
upon acting up and doing the opposite
of what it was built to do; if you can imagine
giving up primary sensation in favor
of living in a more or less diminished way
compared to the way you have always lived
and still finding it worth your time to live —
if you can do this, pull up a chair and speak to me
in low tones of how you do this, for indeed
I cannot entirely find my way clear to any future happiness
knowing that I have surrendered the things that gave me
such past happiness — the tough-into-tender mouth feel
of still-warm bread, crust yielding to cloud of earth and heaven
combined; the deep bitter-over-sweet chewiness of a fine stout
at the end of a bad day and the exhalation, eyes closed,
upon swallowing that first good gulp of stress-relief; Lord knows
I miss these, and if you say it’s a question of dying or staying alive
and it ought to be an easy choice, I say
yes, exactly, it is a difference between dying or staying alive
but as I barely live and barely breathe,
I don’t know what to call this existence tonight. Tomorrow
I will surely be OK, and the day after, and in the long term
I’ll figure out some moderation or accommodation; but tonight
I just want some excess of good bread and good beer again,
that good life that exalted me even as it was killing me.
It’s early and I’m at the stove
eating oatmeal cooked from scratch;
steeping good tea in a great big cup
while thinking about what I know:
that I am probably going to die
from self-inflicted wounds someday,
and it’s likely the bombs that will do it
are these that I know I’ve already set.
One of these days I’ll start exercising.
Maybe I’ll be good at it. Maybe the diet and
activity will pay off. Maybe I’ll soon be smaller,
lighter on the earth.
None of it will change a thing.
I’ll die anyway. I’ll die because
dying’s what we do. I might do it tomorrow,
I might make it another twenty years
before I go, but I will go.
If I go today while standing at the stove,
spoonful of mush falling from my hand
and the tea spilling as I flail and drop?
I hope I look silly down there on the floor.
Not tragic; not resigned
to ending up a punchline in a poor man’s bed.
Let them say too little too late,
chuckle a little when they picture the scene.
Let them say whatever they want
as long as they include the phrase
he went down swinging, swinging to the end.