Monday, December 29, 2008

Fibroid Pipes



Her doorbell works. Her phone works. Her heat works. Her plumbing works; it aspirates, wheezes, and thwoofes—the galvanized copper pipes sweat blood. Perfectly natural, irony-red blood, bleeding and osmosing through arterial, moil-aged disintegrating pipes worldwide. It’s the way the world works. People never notice, no, never notice that the rust-crust layers ironically rich are not rust and the acrid metal smell is blood-swaddled Pipes, radiating moldy, sour-spore cheese ….


young Chinese village girls, feet-bound to the family farm, brother-beaten, birth to death, minds bandage-wrapped tied to lovingly hand feed hungry baby silk worms [their own children dumped in the closest city’s gutters] and coax forth threads for hand-dying.


A [jaundiced yellow] flower blossom 100% woven silk jacket: on sale at Dillards now: $185.95, last year’s style…..


She stops breathing as she peels stinking saffron blood-stained bandages from the sink’s clogged throat, remnants of the blood-soaked, urine stained sheets her AIDS-riddled lover, Patrick, had lain on? Had they not burned long ago along with his body? His blood, her love, their mildewed memories—fibroid filaments—chaining, webbing, metastasizing through her Pipes, into the city’s and….


boys in the Sam Yang Vietnam Nike factory make $1.60 a day, but it is below subsistence. They starve, body fat melting into the shoe’s rubber souls-soles worth $159.99 to a suburban kid in upper state New York, the fat globules greasing just the right amount of glide quality [with friendly service provided by Pakistan, India, Korea….]. And the workers’ life-giving blood dripped down the factory drain to the sewage system supplying irrigation on the local rice farms exporting grain feeding the fat in the land of Milk and Honey and Big Rock Candy Mountain…..


In deathly dark dank recesses under her bed lie detritus dregs of denatured humanity: fingernail clippings, hair threads, bone chips, clinging to dust balls quivering in the far corners blown hither and thither with the hot, sweat-filled air fueled and forged from furnaces in the meatpacking, food processing, garment-skin-stitching interment-immigrant factories—the heartbeat of the industrial North….


boiled in vats of recycled residue, remnants, and relics swept up with sliced, diced, slivered and shivered phalanges —shucked of skivvies, dead cells clinging, modestly, to gouged wounds, stripped skin sent knuckle-dusted to the shop floors, face-mangled scabs scrubbed into sloshing buckets, the proceeds slung into the food seasoned with blood in the hum, suck, and thump-in-the-night-pumps of Upton Sinclair’s Chicago Jungle exposed and bzzz shock discarded on the gov-controlled-abort.-history dump. Eraser heads sweep the streets clean for the flip, flop, flip, flap, flap of Mexican-made industry garments Clinton-pimped by way of NAFTA, signed, sealed, delivered slave labor, so you can have Calvin-baby-Klein and Ralphy boy Lauren’s designer jeans—back at you sexy boys and girls for those oh-so stylin’ gilt guile leach-lusting topstitching on white slim-trim stretch jeans [finger them in the store; buy them off the Internet]: only $325, stitched-strung by Rosa Maria Martinez, a Maquiladora worker paid 60 cents an hour…..


‘Tis the Season to be givin’ …. Addicted shopper sends her hand-made, hand-wrapped, rice paper lining packed via Fancy Asian Gourmet, found online—just: type, click, link click, enter, click, shopping cart, compare site, best quality from computer to door—flick, flick hit, print. Contents: four-noodle sampler with five mini-garnish sauces all golden glow bowed, hand-looped. Imported from Vietnam: only $52. A foot stomping, deliriously demented plugged-in buying, linked-in, your pay pal, all season bow-tied anytime. Factory. Billboard. Magazine ad targeted to your zip code. TV commercial made just for your demographic. Internet wired in, light popping, electric pulsing, twittering savory image, luscious words, [insidious ideas…] vindicating props-to-gander-at. To expel the peanut packed, monstrous fibrous-horde, she slams it on the knobbly faucet and—flip, switch, link, gurgle, google—all the Connecting PiPes under- over-ground, intertwining, intersecting time/space meshing, spew forth stocking stuffers rotted rats’ tails, crushed snails, diseased cells and boys toys cheap and neat to please and squeeze wasted, crumpled bodies into slag for the cement blocks, the hard- and soft-ware, the mixed and mashed pixels—all—the market builds on—and strings with bulbous lights blinking out the crushed american dreams cycling and recycling from house to job to hyway and byway [paved, plumbed, and broadcast], bursting forth, Pipe-puking, contaminating gifts for the Holidays, Holly LollyPop Days, the Season’s Greetings, Xmus, Xmax, Holy Days erected on:


Solstice Days, grow and reap days, nature cycling days, Dying/Rising Gods Days

The days of Life, Love, Birth, Death coursing/pulsing with our blood,

sacred blood,

forever tainted blood,

usurped blood

dripping from one-upon-a-cross devaluing human blood,

bought and sold blood,

another product banked on to spout Profit Pipes.


Circa 1985

Blood Banks tubing people with HIV-infected blood—cheaper than screening. Blood money speaking—louder than shouts, protests, and dying spillage from AIDS victims. Infection odds from transfusion: 1 in 487.


And Reagan’s Regime, with God on their side, declared AIDS a gay disease, wages of sin. He killed funding. When a rich, morally pure, woman received the gift of death—tainted blood—the lawsuit pressured banks to screen. The White House, cloaked eight years in Christmas white, played Silent Night. That December, her lover Patrick, not rich, unknown, one of many, died, phlegm choked in winding sheets, amid the thousands unwinding ever since. The cause: a truly priceless gift that Christmas didn’t bring. And the Band Played On; blood bloomed dead red and pus ran sallow thick. There was no season for giving—or forgiving. Blood in the streets of America, blood in the streets of Africa. And Christmas, black, red recurring season of cooked books, layoffs, downsizing, and Capitalist Faith, came and went, along with many more just like them.


Circa 1994

FDA claims blood-bank HIV testing not cost effective. Not mandatory. Consumers on the FDA board? How ridiculous! Repeat after me:

Econ 101, Reaganomics

Trust the market, the market, the market.

Like God, like God, like God.

Invisible, Invisible, Invisible.

Have Faith, Have Faith, Have Faith.

Greenspan, Greenspan, Greenspan.

Ayn Rand, Ayn Rand, Ayn Rand

Bang! Market decision: House rules; you, unknowingly, gamble with your life. Three dollars. The cost antigen testing would add to a unit of blood. Trust the Red Cross? Don’t bet on it. Trust the Association of Blood Banking Industry? Wouldn’t bet on it. Trust the CDC’s calculations more cases are on the way, bank on it. Infection odds from transfusion: 1 in 11,111.


Circa 2008

The Pipes still rumble, the blood still pours, the wires hum, and all is well in our fantasy world as Poof, a make-believe P.E.A.C.E prize, magically minted in the mind of a [radical right] make-believe compassionate evangelical preacher of a mega-grossing, mega-church, socially tuned to the season of pretend concocts an award for P.E.A.C.E. that isn’t for PEACE: Rev. Rick Warren sought to give what no one could to Georgie Porgie W.


‘Tis a medal whose initials stand for: Plant churches; Equip servant leaders; Assist [not alleviate?] the poor; Care [not cure?] for the sick; and Educate the next generation [in his oh-so-make-no-mistake-about-it Evangelical, anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-any female who does not submit in everything to her husband, everyone but those who believe as I do are going to hell literal interpretation of the Bible, evolution doesn’t exist Religion],. ‘Tis given for global work in a/the/one/any/maybe: pandemic diseases, extreme poverty, illiteracy, self-centered leadership and/or spiritual emptiness to his friend and ally, who he frequently advised but never thought saying torture not a Christian idea. Now why is that? For as an Evangelical, evil-doers must be punished and his nonnegotiable issues: abortion, stem-cell research, gay marriage, cloning and euthanasia. And while thousands of evangelicals got a fast-track email down the pipe and into the box reminder just in time for the 2004 Bush re-election bid, the rest of us got the PR package.


‘Tis for AIDS Help [?!]. Note: work on AIDS in Africa, not the US. [I’ll give you a hint in case you didn’t get it already: Africa, ‘cause it’s ah, maybe ah, a heterosexual problem there—oh, and of course, the intertwining of ooh, la la, $, power, insemination and dissemination for all on the gravy planes and lightening news Flash! of anti-choice, ‘tis awarded to, Drumrolllllll, sliding trumpet, clash cymbal, hit spotlight: shucks, two-war, economic collapse, let’s eat cake while people die in Katrina, and so much more—Bush. Ah, gosh, not me, he smirked, in his sleek, high- thread count, fine weave linen, not on sale—ever—suit.


The deed: blood money for Pipe-lining generic drugs to Africa, perhaps saving two million. The cost/gain ratio: blocking family planning, banning handing out or talk of condoms, forbidding prevention education, indoctrinating religious guilt, disregarding nutrition, side-effects, poverty, female emancipation from rape and prostitution in the spread of AIDS A gift of damning stupor, ignoring that African nations funding for education and prevention have lower infection rates. A gift of Christian Faith: Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel. And a nice tidy side-line for Rev. Warren: co-opting the Anglican schism supporting the Nigerian Anglican bishop in anti-gay lawsmak[ing] it illegal for gay men and lesbians to form organizations, read gay literature or eat together in a restaurant” and to withdraw from the Anglican church over including gays. But, as he also says, he supports equal rights for gays, just not marriage [Do I have a hearing problem? Have my lines got crossed? But no, one set runs on money and the other on sweat.] And on Dancer and Prancer and Doner and Blitzen—as Warren with new-found dollars to spend, sped quickly to Virginia, Rwanda, and Nigeria….oh, not for AIDS sufferers, but for rebelling Anglican-hating gays.


Alas, again ‘tis the season for bloodshed as wars rage, bashing minorities grows and ads accuse victims of the cause. Not satisfied with Christ’s blood, with a faith founded on blood—stolen pagan blood—lusting with vampiric dreams of everlasting life. O’ yea worship death in the mire of blood-covered swords, crusaders and avengers, frothing anger and hate. Rev. Warren grins and he grins, turns and he turns, unwinding the same incestuous, corrupt linen sown with a hidden [malignant] blossoming pattern: not in the fancy lizard suits of a Falwell or a Robertson, but the flowery sugary-cane fields, pigment-dyed, Old Testament Red, 100% cotton fiber, still standing, still marching, still spitting in the blood of others, looking for his Purpose Driven Empire, proclaiming Christianity as the future for Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Ancient blood, ancient stink of rusted iron strings whipping up cries for bloodothers blood—gays, non-evangelicals, humanists, feminists: selected sinners seen through the stye burning in his God’s eye.


‘Tis not for me.

I will celebrate the Solstice—

Seasonal

Sacred

Truth.…

Mystery

spinning in the

moon and the sun

and the winter,

the changing summer heat,

in the riddle of the

Sphinx,

in the earth revolving

and Galileo Gazing,

Searching the heart

of the heavens:

to

know.

Symbolized in the inexorable dying/rising gods of imagination. And the momentary, fragile spark of our little lives against the scintillating background of stardust to which we will return—dust to dust, ashes to ashes……. Recycled Be. ‘Tis that Season, the eternal season of understanding the suffering of every human’s blood in this blood-drenched world in which I will commingle my own. And not one dollar will I mete out to a season of bloodshed and plunder.

Upton Sinclair, The Jungle

Randy Shilts, And the Band Played On

Bush award: http://thinkprogress.org/2008/12/01/bush-peace/

Ambroise Bierce definition of Faith

The Anglican Church Integrity site

The Guardian

Timothy Kincaid

My 2 Cents Worth

CNN


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Slaying Heritage


I am a woman

of

No history,

bequeathed by ghostly ancestors,

Abandoning origins,

lost

amid the 22 million

—broken

shamed,

cattle-prodded

through the cavernous,

Ellis Island halls

sweating human misery

They willed to me:


no stories, no customs, no heirlooms,

no words from the languages

of their births.

Just—

Whispers

streaming,

waves of fear fleeing hostility and bigotry

—pogroms—

sweaping Europe

executing

Jews.


They willed to me

only

a handful of sepia-faded faces—

with

no

places,

no

dates,

and

no

names.


Dirty Immigrants.

Victims.

Beguiled

by the American dream of oblivion,

they requested their pasts be cremated

along-side them.

And so it was done, in honor of their

broken backs

rendered in the melting pot—

skin worn to shoe leather.


Probed for labor fitness,

Stripped

Searched,

Inspected,

Renamed,

Mandated

Labeled

Tagged

Mass processed.


Branded

at Ellis Island,

(aliens) (untrustworthy)

Indentured servants for the fat old English Man that vouchsafed them,

(Eastern European—different)

Slaves

for Northern Factories.

Scurrying to his Summons:

Kykes, Hymies, Shylocks, Krauts, Jerrys….

(At least Not Chinks, banned 1862)

One more group exploited

(And Not Japs, barred 1902)

to


Tote that barge,and lift that bale.


Fettered.

Bull-penned in Factory towns

Shilled in Factory stores,

—Trapped—

before Northern Europeans only quotas 1924,

legislated, legalized more

discrimination, detention and deportation as the norm,

the very sentiments my grandparents

tried to bury before begetting progeny.

They’d all been lured by metaphors

of streets paved with gold,

Only to find beneath their feet

Not even wooden planks,

Just shovels, mud and jumbled stones

To learn that servitude

required

they be the ones to

Pave them.


I want to dredge up their ashes,

And minuscule,

fragmented bones,

Festively gilding them to tie into my hair.

Ornaments and Amulets,

bearing witness to my origins.

But their inscrutable faces murmur,

Let dead relatives be.


They do not understand my need.

You are the last, they accuse,

as if my only worth lay

in the passing on of genes.


Soon enough, they sigh,

soon enough you will

also be

a handful of dusty ashes

meaningful to no one

and nobody

will ever know you were.

Buried in the Nothingness

Of the

Chimera

They call America

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Shearing Cuts

Snowing outside—bright, glazed white porcelain snow glinting diagonal streaks across the dull, matte white, horizontal blinds. Warm inside, light grey steamy mists rising perpendicular to darker grey, vertical heating pipes. Cold sunlight crosses hot lamp light, casting a lace collar on the faded, ash-blonde wood floor. A chiaroscuro painting.

My black hair drifts in clumps to the floor—point, counterpoint, snippets alternating with the white, old man's hair falling outside. A mulch-covering ritual of renewal.


Clip, clip, snip scissors, the shears shearing. A perfect haiku: white spring snow and me, thick, black hair on a diminutive Japanese girl. Or, thick, harsh snow burning a cold January day and me, tall, heavy-boned black woman, crimps of wiry hair, hair in glassy, black waves—an ocean tangling into the African ivory coastline. The snow's cruel light gleams, thick and gagging, a chalky milkshake, threatening to choke and kill. Or, a dense, onerous snow trudging across the Russian Steppes, asphyxiating the land, crushing the houses, and me, moon-faced, unblinking—staunch. And inside I am warm, surrounded by tufts of hair, molting clumps from a stuffed Panda Bear.


I tenderly collect hair to braid into a rug, to cover with dust, cover with cat hair, cover as it covers—to be worn down back into the elements. Or, this gathering of hair, I will weave as the bottom of a wicker chair, supporting friends that come and go, supporting dust, supporting cat hair, supporting as it is supported. Thus start the years of collecting hair, hair constantly pruned short to fulfill such purposes.


I beg (steal) hair. Rescued from lovers, from friends, from strangers, …. swept from beauty parlors finely stained wood, from barbershops dust-covered, dull linoleum floors, from waste baskets in bathrooms, from brushes and combs patiently culled without breaking the knots and tangles. Workrooms deep in drifting, shifting color-spectrumnal hair—cotton white to Tupelo honey, Poppy red to the deep purple of ripe plums, leisurely loops to ringlets, electric shock waves to water flows. A wondrous fey-lock palette.


Space and history, I weave, time and emotion, I weave—shirts, jackets, dresses, pants…. Chiaroscuro body maps lined with purple amethyst Chinese silk. Hair-knittes huggings holding humans against the cold, the dirt, the outside that sometimes taps, sometimes scratches against my windows. My closests spill stories of dead cells shorn to be renewed, journeys of celebrations and mournings, of beginnings, changes, and ends—people I have never met, people I thought I knew, people I knew for only a while, and the very few I knew forever in the rhythm of their heartbeat. No, they never stay….. But I have their hair—and all that encompasses.




Monday, November 17, 2008

The Painful Truth



Dun-colored dust flings from the supply wagons plodding ahead of me. We trudge, in our fifth year, lacerating the landscape out of Alexander's compulsion to conquer. We vomit groans in the night. Alexander, in his desire to command us, supplies the "flower of mercy"—OPIUM. The Poppy: red - of blood and death, white - of purity and oblivion. We live for these brief respites.
And we endure.
Beyond words, beyond sense of self… just… beyond. One of our philosophers—Aristotle, Alexander's teacher—proclaimed death as the great leveler of all beings. But we, the warriors that may live to go home, if we talk of our experience at all, will say that which equalizes is Pain.
As a Roman gladiator, I embody strength, bravery, the valor and terrifying, magnificent potency of the Roman Empire. But I am a myth, a myth built on a body operating on opium. We are condemned criminals, prisoners of war, or slaves bought for the purpose of gladiatorial combat. A few of us are professionals, free men so low on the social scale we volunteer to participate in the games. Our life spans: two to three years. Oh yes, we fight, with the help of opium, we fight, die, and…escape.

I, We, humans have dragged our ravaged, diseased bodies out of Africa. For millions of years, we have lugged them across land, over mountains, through water. We have walked, run—crawled—from wretchedness. Searching for relief, first, in our struggle to survive, we developed receptors for what already existed. Then, we sought relief in what we could conjure into existence:

A Lesson in Evolution

: Plantisis Verse I:IV, In the beginning there was

Opium


Chemistrum Verse V:IX, Opium begat a son named

Morphine


Synthenim Verse X: IX, Morphine begat a son named

Heroin


Morphine came to us in the early 1800s, thanks to a German chemist looking for something to increase the strength of opium. And in 1898, Heroin, which generated quite a lucrative trade, advertised via the famous Bayer aspirin company came in the guise of cough medicine, a combatant for pneumonia, and also tuberculosis, among other things. Not till after W.W. II did the League of Nations finally demand that it be pulled off the market. But Bayer kept the profits, along with the money the company made manufacturing the gas used in the Jewish death camps (with full government knowledge from the start).

And now, chemical labs known and unknown

beget

a multitude of Drugs, in perpetuity, forever more,

in which we seek to obliterate torturous pain,

Amen


Pain: the stigmata. Holes ripping through life. Pain: The word made flesh. How to describe it?—the etiology, the history, the geography of pain. Pain that encompasses, pain that courses through breath, heartbeat, organs, joints, muscles, tendons, and bones. To sleep in pain. To wake in pain. To walk in pain. To breath in pain.

Stumping North from the Civil War on one leg, I cried out my suffering: Skrale. Krolde. Brachlin. Brackle. Chale. Chaleskine. Schriln. Grache. Harsh sounds racking my body in the synaptic firings of infinite anguish. Skin slit open and turned inside out, my nerves exposed to all the elements. The surgeons did try to mitigate the pain, but they only had four tools available: a butcher knife (to slice muscle and fat, a saw (to hack bone), a wire cutter (for tendons). . . and morphine.

A Theoretical Aside

Pain, according to socio-biologists, is an evolutionary mechanism serving to warn creatures that something needs fixing. But what a crude contrivance it surely is as so often there is nothing that can be done; when an animal in the wild suffers an abscessed tooth, that creature will most likely starve to death. And as for the human beast, too many physical afflictions reduce us to putrid skin bags stuffed with agony. Perhaps a particular interpretation of such torment—that it is noble and righteous to suffer for its own sake, an end in itself—developed to provide succor in the midst of our helplessness. As a political tool, its lucrative result has been to keep the masses from fomenting rebellion. Then, taking into account the Christian/Puritan penchant for suffering as punishment for sin along with pain and self-flagellation as expressions of the spiritual, we get the strong, cultural view: "Grin and bear it." "Stiff upper lip." "Suffer in silence." "Put up with it." "No pain no gain." …..i.e., No one wants to hear about it, so SHUT UP.

There is simply overwhelming torment, torment that does not lead to god, that doesn't ennoble us, that we do not learn from. The Opium Wars: a reaction to, an escape from, physical and psychic pain. The poppy field—to sleep and wake no more—death—oblivion. Opium, mixed with tobacco as early as the 1600s, gave the opium high its intense ability to relieve pain. The abysmal conditions for the billions in China led to opium dens; one-third of all Chinese sought relief while the British reaped the monetary rewards. The US offered China help in order to abolish the opium trade—in exchange for China opening its borders to American goods.

A Theoretical Aside

Viewed from a Marxist point of view, the workers toil and hurt, and those that own the means of production benefit off their suffering. Supply and demand. Money makes the world go round. And capitalism rules.


We live in the slums of Yantai and day and night unload the boats that fill the harbor. My father and his father before him have held their families together this way in a rotting, one-room shanty built against the backside of the main dock's garbage depository. Generations back, our family survived off fishing, but then we were told that that displeased the provincial representative of the Emperor. The Great One owned the sea, the fish, the land, and the ships that had begun delivering wondrous goods for his excellency's pleasure. And so we became the backs on which to unload these precious items for Him and, now, for this new group that has taken command after the last Emperor. But the few coins they deign to give us cannot pay for the acupuncture my father needs for his hurting, crippled hands and crooked legs. Nor can it pay for the medicine needed to cure the painful growths on my first born's back and buttocks. And my mother-in-law screams through the night from the horrible sufferings that come with the burden of age. And then there is myself. My family is …. hungry and tired. We understand this is our fate. We understand this. But it is a hard life to live. The gift of opium offers a little ease. As it does also for my father. And my mother-in-law. And my first born.

I have seen those around me kill and die, die and kill, and I have been told that a revolution has taken place, that now the sea, the land, the fish, the ships, and their miraculous goods belong to me, to my family, to my neighbors. But still we labor at the docks for far less than will provide for our most fundamental needs. And of late, soldiers of this new order have taken what little we have and demand even more. They say we must hand over our opium; we must tell them the names of those we get it from—although they offer no recompense—in money or to lessen the burden of our bodies. They say the opium causes pain. They say it will kill us. They say they will kill us. I have seen them take entire families to the community square and shoot them……..
My family has chosen the opium.

A Theoretical Aside

Twenty-first century theory regarding pain control has meant cutting the nerve bundles that carry the pain message to the brain. Unfortunately, this surgical procedure affects the body the same way amputation does, the brain responding as if the pain signals were still being sent. Furthermore, they try to grow back—thus doubling the initial messages' intensities. But doctors ignore the data coming in from their patients since they have determined that their theory is based in logic. Their only other type of treatment available—pain medication. The AMA prefers neither alternative. Their final word: Let the patients live by pain alone.

Biological evolution. Adaptation. Adapt or die. Though we declare we do not know what use it does for a chemical in the Poppy plant to develop interlocking adapters with the endorphin receptors of Homo Sapiens, for us, evolving receptors for substances that helped us ignore pain often meant the difference between life and death.
And so we endured.


- - - - - - -


Chronic back pain, 30 years. Days, sometimes weeks, of crawling to the bathroom. Never knowing when the 4th lumbar vertebrae would slip and I'd lose all control over being able to move my legs. Take anti-inflammatories. Live with the pain. Tried acupuncture and massage; neither worked. Practitioners blame me. Nor did Western medicine. Indiscriminate nerve pain in my neck and side of my head (known as Neuralgia), 20 years. Western medicine has no permanent drug for it, and since the worst pain is right under the temple of my glasses (I can't wear contacts), my glasses trigger the pain. Nothing for alternative medicine to do. Live with it. Fibromyalgia, 10 years. An auto-immune disease causing widespread pain in the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Fatigue. Severe insomnia. Muscles and tendons twitch and at other times they burn. Always ache. Cause unknown. One nurse spits out, "It's all in your head." So is everything, but she meant I was simply crazy.

I only begged for pain management from my doctor that I had been seeing for over 6 years when the pain inhaled my time and space and every motion of every neuron. The AMA's public position: it is unethical and immoral to relieve such suffering with an opiate, despite the known fact that regular pain relievers do not work, as addiction is far worse than suffering excruciating, unmanageable, life-consuming pain. So, my doctor refused to prescribe.
Agony. Pain from my cells attacking and eating my tissues, my mind, my thoughts, my soul, my very being. Physical: pain in my neck, epileptic pain messages spasming through my shoulders, along the side of my head, down my shoulder blades, wrapping my fingers and elbows and wrists and hip joints and knees and legs—worst of all, the bottoms of my feet. It hurt too much to put on a pair of socks. I could not hold the weight of a coffee cup. I couldn't hold a pen or a fork for the pressure against my fingers sent stabbing, radiating pain. I could not sit, stand, drive, or walk for longer than 20 minutes. Mental: words seared, thoughts mangled, connections bloodily hacked and dangling beyond repair.
Emotional: No room, no room, no room for........... any.............. self............... just............ pain................... exists..................Chronic.............Forever. The doctor could accept that. The AMA could. Society could. The War on Drugs could.

I could not


I had the plan and means for suicide. The time and the place. Only when my sister, PHD clinical psychology, told my doctor—as I had done—that I was indeed suicidal did I finally get synthetic morphine—Only a Facade covering the pain, drilling, exploding, ravaging what I once called a life. No cure. Minimal reprieve. Constant pain boiling through the pitiful blockade.

The Afterbirth: How cool! You get to be high all the time.
That's a myth.
Hey—got any to share?

No. It's a medication.
Lucky you. I'd love to be "out of it" all the time.

You try working with no memory, fatigue, and pain.
You shouldn't be on that stuff. It's bad for you. Learn to cope some other way.

Thanks for the advice.
Oh, come on, picking up that book can't possibly hurt.

Based on what? Your health?
You're kidding! That slight brush with the edge of the table hurt? I can't believe it.

You don't have to.
So you can't sit in any of these chairs. I guess you'll just have to live with it.
I do.
So what do you expect from me? Pity? Boo hoo?
From you? I just want you to leave me the fuck alone.

Medical research has documented that pain is the most under treated medical problem in the U.S. Congress wants to further restrict pain research, doctors' rights to prescribe pain medication, criminalize the issue, and refuse pain control even to the terminally ill.
If they succeed, I also will choose death

rk

Dedication for A Painful Truth

While I wrote this piece six years ago, as far as the attitudes of the people I casually run into these days, when my disability comes up [in reality a combination of several chronic illnesses], unfortunately, the lack of understanding as well as the unwillingness to understand—even to insist that they know more than the doctors, researchers, biologists, myself, etc., combined, has grown exponentially. Not only do so many people adamantly believe they know what is right for me, this belief now extends to prejudging me: condescendingly, arrogantly, belittllingly, debasingly…. And this judgment extends far beyond me.


So I am dedicating this piece to everyone who has been made to feel less than equal, less than full—to everyone who has been condescended to, been prejudged and dismissed simply because they do not fit within the petty, minuscule box the abusers have decided defines “normal.” This piece, though it is limited to my particular circumstances dealing just with my illness [as opposed to all the other ways people have attempted to demean me], is written for all who have experienced prejudice in whatever form. In fact, almost every piece on this blog deals with some form of injustice and bigotry. As long as I have the ability, I hope to continue to speak out on such issues.