The painting at the head of my bed
on a single frame canvas
depicts a triptych,
a faux three pane view
of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
This tri panel composition
reminds me of the way some Christians,
fuse their three gods into a mighty singularity of One.
I tried and tried
to write a poem today
all my efforts
came to naughts,
so all I have to show for that
My black cat
of twelve years
pretends not to know me
following my five months of hospitalized absence.
Perhaps it is the newly acquired wheelchair,
or the motorized invalid bed?
Why should he be any different than some old friends
whose calls are now noticeably less frequent
than prior to my paralyzing accident?
Or perhaps it is I,
too cinched up in my need bag
to reach out for a pet pat
or a pal chat?
Jesus is said to have turned water into wine.
Today my urologist turned my favorite cordial, red wine
into water, and only five eight once glasses at that!
TKed, Syrah, Syrah.
Christ! where's Jesus when you need him?
The propane man came today.
He checked the system for leaks.
Adjusted the pilots
and checked the level of the above ground tank.
Autumn now cheeks winter
as does my life estate.
I'm shopping for a good death.
I have an unknown, but finite amount of time.
But I've yet to sort and list what a good death may be.
Precipitously quick, and unexpected would be nice.
Clear head pain management would be a god send,
Saying personalized goodbyes to family and friends
I've read that 100 billion humans have thanotopically bridged that divide.
I pray that when the time comes
I end in the ranks of the top ten.
In 1947 I was born on a Thursday;
my 65 th,
falls on a Tuesday.
from a 3 foot high bed
at 6:00 a.m. in April
has split my world
into a mirror universe
of can do
and can't yet.
It's in the bag
or is it?
The unmeasured liquids
that I've been drinking this morning,,
coffee, prune juice, cranberry, pill water
then the mandatory diuretic
taken at 6:00 a.m.,
a cath a ten,
lunch at twelve thirty,
and then a lap moat of piss at one!
A transfer board out of the wheelchair
onto the made bed.
Rocking 'n rolling off the wet pants,
rocking and rolling on a pair of dry slacks.
"Shit, shit, I hate this."
The blessed shroud of sleep lifts,
Ones usesless limbs
Have filled in the nocturn hours with mercury,
Not swift Olympian Mercury,
But the toxic fluid metal
That nearly weighs the same as lead.
A new day,
A new day
Without volitional choice.
Eventually all water drains to the sea,
and so to the body's waters drain to its urinary bladder.
But the bladder,
unlike the sea,
must be drained every few hours,
call it a normative tinkle rhythm,
taken for granted, as it should be, by the functionally normal,
but the spine paralyzed
must be catherized
four, five six times a day.
Piss breaks through an inserted tube,
to which I can personally report,
the penis prefers piercing
then being pierced.
There are three B's
intimately connected to a spinal cord injury,
bowel, bladder, and blather.
The gut severed from the brain
Both bowel and bladder require outside assistance
which brings in blather.
The care giver, the talker.
One time, in my case
a born again rectum searcher.
Not for poop
but for digital conversion.
My ass well in hand I heard the purr,
"Do you believe in Jesus?"
My arms wrap my body
as if I were a mummy
and in the way that mummy's are stiff,
so to my paralyzed carcass,
a living entombment of wishes
that wither by noon
then baled into flop sweat shivers
for the wet wash cloth
of the next day's care giver.
I'm a divided island.
Cleaved by a a wide sea.
My two halves communicate by note in bottles...
But the currents are inauspicious,
No word arrives from either shore,
Nonetheless the split isles persist,
"Legs, good morning,
Let's get out of bed."
"Head, we've got to shit and piss down here,
Direct us to a toilet and be quick."
More unread flotsom
Is added to this tangled gyre.
Mass, weight, inertial potential
Five years before retirement
my father in law
posted a note on the refrigerator,
"Everyday throw something away."
I have come to realize
the profound wisdom of this advice.
Letting go is the enlightened path
sliced, metered, warped,
occilating space time,
the field where we strut
for an impermanent
Time and terrible violence
scripted these four-thousand foot hills,
Every stone under foot has a fantastic tale to tell
and the deep river gorges,
patiently sculpt, sculpt, sculpt.
Three obituaries in a week
received from contemporary friends
reporting their parental loss,
all extraordinary lives
compressed within single column widths
to given story lengths.
The double chamber,
the granular source
and collective pit
of one's corporeal time
that check valve
the present tense.