Longing, we say, because desire is full
of endless distances.”

05 October 2010

Letters from the Outside, #22

Emergency room. This no fun all business wavelength disturbance in my belly for two moons now, the days drag with bent and rusted cutlery weighing down my duodenum. Thats my hypothesis. But the crystal lite lethal injection external gel probes reveal nothing. Im sent home with a best of luck and try the pink stuff. Not however before I hallucinate Love My Way wafting in the mobius command central and when rose from gurney to vision chamber conveyor left a defiant scattering of dog hair, called out to the impassive god of radiology I Feel Like Im Going To Wet Myself after the droid hierophant administered hot contrast and the hands of my mind swelled to archetypal queens cabbie proportions and returned to myself I apologized to the air and the disembodied voice of his priestess came from everywhere We Have Heard It All, the cultural significance of my jewelry questioned, and my quantity of arm hair commented upon.
For weeks now the word duodenum has soft-shoed its way across my stage several times a day, a silent vaudville act, a hot dog in top hat and cane. I offered an abridged version of this to the triage nurse taking my vitals and she snorted, and I think perhaps she experienced me as confessing some delusion, you tell people, even low level health aid bureaucrats, that youve been thinking a lot about the word duodenum, and theyll look at your brown converse low tops and your keffiyeh and apply to whatever emits from your organism a neutralizing mist of suspicious disregard. The little german attending physician would have heard me but the presence of authority regressed me to a precocious acolyte supporting role. So ill call my pointy booted country doctor whose my doctor precisely because I can say to him I Keep Hearing the Word Duodenum and hell attend to it. Sitting through years of fifth grade bioscience as a one-on-one left the word firmly imprinted since the teachers never pronounced it right and that kind of thing eats at a person like me unless we can learn to let it go but I rationalize my fervor in defense of education. Do Wah' Dih Numb.

Hey, more rain today. The anti-emetics keep me out of the fetal position but Im really aware most of the time that my natural pain impulses are being interrupted. I usually try and keep my sad stories out of these letters, but this sickness has been like living with a third arm protruding from my back, and it helps a little to process it by telling it to you. So thank you. And now that weve been told I wont be playing the part of Eva Peron anytime soon, it seems manageable, and safe for chat. 

I braid my hair, make chocolate chip cookies, bring a little saturated firewood onto the back porch to dry, or maybe just not get any more wet. Which reminds me of a note I wrote once to myself that said “Dont try to make it less cold. Try to make it more warm.” The Piggy Hat travels to its head. Enclosed please find the note sent along with. I try candied ginger, and entertain a persistent craving for dried fruit. In a moment of blinding weakness I fix myself a turkey sandwich, premium comfort food of my childhood, to even briefly mollify the dragon pinned under the cage of my ribs, wing talons scraping my stomach out, the refracted heat of fire from down below, inside somewhere, feed that demon and get the dishes done. But theres an appointment on monday.


Spring and Fall are mud seasons. The persistent rain gives me a greater opportunity to see where I can redirect some of that gravel tumulus, between the north beds and the drive, a growing rut of mud ive been feeding stone to, insatiable. Taco night! An effortless supper the boys love, that lets us closely examine the gardens tomatoes in their suchness for the last time that year. And involves sour cream, which is a luxury I seldom afford myself, in favor of plain yogurt which is cheaper and goes farther and evolves into buttermilk when the recipe calls. The sour cream I bought for a stroganoff and have been doling it out to myself in dibs and dabs like methuselahs spun honey. Ive been all romantic about food lately because its been so far away. The sacrament of it, the beauty of the Earth, and our direct relationship to Her. For one long moment in the parlor im okay, hips swaying softly, chewing an awesome handcrafted cookie, considering the books on the shelf. snake bird messenger plays.  Everybody in, I start dinner. T. and I discuss the riffy, prominent bassline in My Cup and the telepathic technology possible to send most computer hardware into obsolesence. The smell of cumin. R.L. Burnside. Rain. 
"And if the question were asked: What is more real, the mundane or the sublime? most would hesitate before they gave an answer. On the one side, details: say, the aftermath of a breakfast, dirty chipped plates in the sink, their rims encrusted with egg yolk. Against this, the unnameable: small aching heart with boasts, what can you know? Outside the cage of everything we ever heard or saw, beyond, outside, above, there lies the real, hiding as long as we shall live, there stretch and trail the millions of names of God burning across the eons. When all through this our end will come before we even know the names of us.

For many the egg yolk prevails." -L.M.

"Love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is done well."

"The perfection of the Absolute where all Becoming stops and pure Being, immutable, timeless, unchanging, hangs forever like a ripe peach upon the bough." -E.A.

"...and the whole incident was incredibly frazzling and angst-rod and filled almost a whole mead notebook and is here recounted in only its barest psycho-skeletal outline." -D.F.W.

"At the top of the mountain, we are all snow leopards." -H.S.T.

"Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live." -D.T.
"Cometh a voice: My children, hear; From the crowded street and the close-packed mart I call you back with my message clear, back to my lap and my loving heart. Long have ye left me, journeying on by range and river and grassy plain, to the teeming towns where the rest have gone - come back, come back to my arms again. So shall ye lose the foolish needs that gnaw your souls; and my touch shall serve to heal the fretted nerve. Treading the turf that ye once loved well, instead of the stones of the city's street, ye shall hear nor din nor drunken yell, but the wind that croons in the ripening wheat. I that am old have seen long since ruin of palaces made with hands for the soldier-king and the priest and prince whose cities crumble in desert sands. But still the furrow in many a clime yields softly under the ploughman's feet; still there is seeding and harvest time, and the wind still croons in the ripening wheat. The works of man are but little worth; for a time they stand, for a space endure; but turn once more to your mother - Earth, my gifts are gracious, my works are sure. Instead of the strife and pain I give you peace, with its blessing sweet. Come back, come back to my arms again, for the wind still croons in the ripening wheat."
-John Sandes, The Earth-Mother (excerpt, 1918)