"It's about words, and words are all I have…"



When I said the word death  the young psychiatric resident

looked afraid  Then she looked away  +said: it’s really hot in

here isn’t it?  Already contemplating  Stygian gondoliers  Her

fear melted into  the field   It was a windowless room  Her pallor

that of a tomb dweller    I pressed her further


Don’t people in their 90’s feel close to death  in the biblical sense?

She began to sweat  +rhyme off the benefits of mindfulness meditation

as though it were a goddamn panacea  Personally I doubt highly  that a

93 yr. old would feel more alive by sucking a raisin for 35 minutes


Isn’t the idea  in late life  to become more comfortable with being less

alive?  To find a cozy niche in the bardo?  But she is too young +talcumed

to succumb to  projective identification  with her patients    Too much +

one flirts with psychosis   Just the right amount +you walk a mile in the

shoes of the man from Galilee


Perhaps it’s just an ego death after all!  Crucifixion a metaphor  for nothing

left to lose   And perhaps as you near that bend  the jettisoning of everything

begins  Of every signpost  Of everyone you have ever known  Of your bearings

( I don’t feel like I live here anymore  I feel like a live in some shitty hotel  my

old mother said)


The way station of your own personal crossing   Maybe it is just smoke +mirrors

+ there is no way to bring cheer ( i.e., mindfulness is awesome! Let me grab you a 

raisin)   Maybe fear is an awakening  +maybe you must be terrified to be turned

upside down  wet+bloody   Be slapped  +put on a cold scale  then measured for

yet another suit


Remember that nirvana is reached when you are finally free of the wheel   And

maybe mindfulness  in the final yards  forces you back into the tunnel   I know

another woman  98   Her family let’s her sleep  +stay in her pyjamas all day  Her

wit is wry   +she has stopped trying to escape   It is the young psychiatrist in the

airless room who is in need of grace  And decidedly not  98 yr. old  Lillian May


I hate being myself in my life which isn’t a movie and never will be.  

I hate having to eat. Having to go to the bathroom. Having to live in this body..

(Sam Shepard  Angel City)



Summer 2017






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