Saturday, December 7, 2013

eventually upon a time

*** 9/ 11/ 13

Reality continues to take shape when you throw-up in the Wal-Mart parking lot.  At least I  conscientiously used my go-green canvas bag instead of the traditional plastic.

*** 9/ 12/ 13

Confession: I no more used my green bag conscientiously than I vomited in front of God and everyone for funsies.  As we all know, when the gorge rises . . . it's go time! The odds of you being within fifty parsecs of porcelain or stone or are not good in your favor. 

Not being a zen-master (or really all that great at holding in a belch), when the gorge rises, I’m lucky to be conscious much less conscientious.  Grab plastic, dive for the nearest hedges, disgorge, then raise your hands to the sky like a gymnast who has just stuck the landing of her life.

*** 9/ 16/ 13

[from a book respecting the delayed response "coming to terms" theme that I found fitting and bluntly gorgeous]          

". . . It was the wear and tear of regrets which would surely set in soon. . . [but I] did not feel a blow of this sort immediately; and what often seemed like stoicism after misfortune was only the neutral numbness of transition from palpitating hope to assured wretchedness."

Thomas Hardy, A Laodicean  

***9/ 17/ 13

Even as you play through childhood, lumber through adolescence, dither through young adulthood, and fancy yourself good and self-actualized by middle-ish-age, I believe there is an inchoate sense of one of the dying man's chief concerns throughout; that is, how much good can I gather and how much bad can I forgo?  

The truth of this matter begins to reveal itself when your doctor's nurse practitioner uses the phrase "quality of life" in reference to a prescription she is filling out for you . . . because of a piddling complaint—excessive saliva which you are continually forced to swallow-back and which grosses you out.  You hate to be such a pest. You've already been calling her at least once a week for pharmaceutical tweaks, and she has gladly and dutifully answered the call.  

Of course, all along you had a vague cognizance of that dying man's concern—how much and for how long?  Playing, lumbering, dithering, and fancying, you've had the inchoate sense—a deal you didn't bargain for, a scale always a little offset—that, eventually-upon-a-time, "quantity of life" (the aim of over seventeen years of MRIs, CTs, EEGs, biopsies, radiation, and chemo) would sidle-up to "quality of life" (the aim of trifling-spit pills) and  soon enough become the sole concern.   

*** 10/ 1/ 13

[A poem by Dylan Thomas to his dying father followed by my personal and hopefully pardonable response to notion. Also, I could not more highly recommend going to website and listening Thomas’s mesmerizing reading of the poem.]


        Do not go gentle into that good night,
        Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
        Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

        Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
        Because their words had forked no lightning they
        Do not go gentle into that good night.

        Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
        Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
        Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

        Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
        And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
        Do not go gentle into that good night.

        Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
        Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
        Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

        And you, my father, there on the sad height,
        Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
        Do not go gentle into that good night.
        Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

A Good Night

After and in response to Dylan Thomas’s “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” 

Why should I bear the dark such enmity
When I've borrowed my share of its delights?
No reason I should, so I'll go gently

Into that purple uneventfully.
The traipsing zodiac, the city lights—
Why should I bear the dark such enmity?

All days grow shadows eventually
Then deliquesce into their starry nights--
More reasons I should, so I'll go gently

To my final constellation content.
That which illumines as easily blights--
So why bear the dark such enmity

When youth's glow is always more recently
A dimmer display of once crystal sights?
No reason I should, so I'll go gently

When that purple approaches intently,
When that black bucket swings low from the heights.
Why should I bear the dark such enmity?
No, no reason I should, so I'll go gently.


  1. No offense Mr. Thomas, but you just got served.

  2. it's ok Mr. Thomas, you'll likely get off on a technicality