there are no pain meds for this one – a poem

there are no pain meds for this one – a poem

i am unwell and unkempt
and i don’t feel much like writing
or bearing the heat and sorrow
of the coming summer

my body is in disarray
and in rebellion
it as if they have cut a small organ out
of the center of my chest
and that’s exactly it
they have
i’m lesser
than I was
just a week ago
plus a day

i am done with drugs
not forever
just as part of this experience
i can only assume
that if i lived in colorado
i would resume
as i had done in my teens
to imbibe
blow minds
speak in tongues among friends
and wash anew with fancy ideas

the phone is ringing again
but i cannot raise a finger
the keys and characters are coming quickly
this is how it goes
as poetry madness ensues
and some chemistry in my brain
has fired
and wired up some lingual dance
that makes me feel a bit more alive
than i actually am
i am less of a man
less alive today
than i was yesterday
it/we are like clocks winding down
and mine has spun
several times too many
too loose
too close to the sun
for any margin of error to be recognized
and any hope for the future
to be more enlivening in

do i sound morose
i am not feeling so much less than
but more tired
more alone
even though i am loved
we are all loved
god/jesus/mother/father loves us
and it is up to us
to filter the rest of the bullshit

i guess my gallbladder was done filtering for me
it gave up the ghost
and nearly took me with it

as general anesthesia goes
i suppose it’s okay
i mean, i’m not dead
just lighter
and less lustful

a hundred degree week ahead
this is texas after all
of course, it’s fucking hot
didn’t you read the brochure?

it’s not that i am bitter or sick or sad
except that’s exactly what i am
i guess i am lying now
a lying poet
what’s worse than that?
i mean, this is supposed to be my chance
to unfetter
to unfurl
to let the freak words come out of my fingertips
and onto the page

alone i don’t like a lot of things
when she is here
i am happier
and more complex all at once

it hasn’t been that long
she doesn’t really know me
i can’t let it all hang down
or she might notice
the missing piece

she held my hand and said it would be okay
but they still roll you away alone
there is still no escaping this mortal coil

as they wheeled me into the OR
i marveled at the modern lighting
the masked faces
and they asked me to count to ten

so many people touched me that day
reached in and plucked a small
bird-like organ from inside my stomach
and i’ve been rerouted ever since
parts of my digestion
still trying to discover
some renewed function
now that the tiny, hummingbird-like
processor of bile
has been removed

i know these words
i experience this pain
i am trying to cut to the heart of something that matters
but i’m not able
i’m tired
i need a nap
and my girlfriend

i need my kids to love me
and my brother to not die just now
and my mom to not seem so frail and afraid

i need my own inner resolve to perk the fuck up
and it’s not happening
except, of course, you can tell
by the very nature of this clicking
of keys
that it is working
that i am alive and clicking
cowering like a 55 year-old man
that I am

it’s now or never
because it’s not getting any easier this summer
and i’m not going to get thinning
just sitting here typing
but my liver now has double duty
and the rest of my body has got to recover
some balance
because all hell has been set loose in my bowels
and there is nothing
sacred, solid, or secure in what i’m going through
and yet
i am here
i am typing
and this word
and this one
keep following
one another

i’m sorry
i get lost
i get confused
and i cannot blame my missing part
or my better half
or my girlfriend or ex-lovers
i cannot blame the doctor who cut me right up
or the little gb who could and then couldn’t
and then hurt like hell
until i paid attention
and drove myself to the emergency room
but you see,
if you’re not dying
they don’t really worry too much about you in the ER
they patch you up,
give you morphine
and send you back out to your regular doctor
yeah, but… what if i don’t have one
what if i don’t have health insurance
like my brother
what if i have lost everything
even a sense of will
what if i am losing
even now
even healing
even typing furiously

i can’t call him back
there’s nothing left to talk about
and the doctor refused my requests
for more powerful pain meds

there are no pain meds for this one


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