Medical Status Report:

Its the harness that’s hurting the dog !!

With little commentary, here goes…   …   …

atrial fibrillation; stroke multiple, (2000, 2002, right hemiplegia); bipolar depression; sick sinus syndrome (pacemaker replacement); gout; fall from a motorized wheelchair;  sleep apnea; squamous cell carcinoma, calf pain (recurrent MRSA antibiotic treatment resistance infection, w/scarring, edema, hospitalization); rib pain (under investigation; abdominal pain (rule out gallbladder, pancreas, refer to gastroenterology); chest pain (under investigation); vascular insufficiency; repetitive wrist injury Vicodin/APAP 4 to 6 hrs) w/referral to rheumetology); referral to home health nursing; bi-weekly Coumadin evaluations.


Not to mention the general malaise that’s been plaguing me all this fall and winter.  There’s a newspaper cartoon strip I’ve seen in the Los Angeles area (and in other areas I’m sure) in which a minimalistic dog’s clenched jaws are mouthing the slogan of the day.  Some days the caption is a newsworthy commentary or opinion.  Some days a philosophical tidbit.  What ever it is, the dog’s reaction is always the same, the caption is always the same, the dog’s expression, the same:  Grrrr!!

I am that dog.  Always clenching.  Always grimacing.  Always pained.  ALWAYS!!  Always

And I’m tired.  If I don’t stop grimacing, if I don’t stop fighting; I’ll die.  I’ll die anyway.  Any way the end is the same.  I’m tired of fighting.  I’m scared of NOT fighting.  I’ve been fighting for months…   …   …the months I’ve not been writing for.  That’s why I’ve not been writing.

My hands hurt.  My HAND hurts.  The ONE I have to use!!  The one I HAVE.  That one hurts.  From OVERUSE!!  Seven points on the ten point pain scale says its time to stop.  For today.  Because my hand hurts.

Grrr!!  Grrr!!  Grrr!!




Categories: Death. And Life. | Tags: , , , | 7 Comments

From the “A Lump Of Coal In Your Stocking, Sir?” Department

Thumper’s mommie told me to remember this:

“If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”

Categories: Death. And Life. | 4 Comments


Because it captures unknowable Truths

the rational mind looses

in the subterranean pathways of Mind.

No; I don’t know if THIS is poetry!!

I don’t know what poetry IS.

Yes I know.

Its only a punctuational game.

End the sentence here.  New line there.

Change a metaphor there.

Mechanics are not creations.

Of course I know this.

Don’t play me for a fool!

And I’m sorry I can’t play

up to The Standards.

Don’t the losses keep mounting?

I know that refrain.

Its dirge  gets loud

Vesti la giubba” in ragtime.

Who gets the last laugh?

Sadly, or not, we all know

His name.

— The Taxi Dog —

Categories: Death. And Life., Dying, Mortality, The Poem Club | Tags: , , , | 9 Comments


Had I known my love of poetry would
get me so many chick readers,
I would have started this blog
years ago. Now I’m 70,
married forever,
can’t get it up all the time, and living in a wheelchair!
A half-paralyzed dream lover.
Where’s Bukowski nowadays.
I need consolation.
Related articles

Categories: Arts & Letters, Death. And Life., The Poem Club | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

The Boston Marathon In Poetry

Difficult to copy.  Worth the read.

Categories: Death. And Life., The Poem Club | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Death Gets A Final Spin

I’ll keep laughing at Death until He catches me, which will be soon enough, I suppose.  But this really takes the cake, and gives a who new meaning to obituaries, which are, after ALL is said and done, are death records.
—–     —–     —–

and vinyly

People do weird things with their relatives’ remains after they’re cremated. There are businesses that specialize in that final ritualistic tribute. Some put the ashes in rifle ammo and have them fired into the air. Even more extreme are those who feel the need to devour the remains. For serious music fans and vinyl enthusiasts, And Vinyly (as in “And Finally”) is the business of choice.

human remains made into vinyl records

The UK-based company presses the ashes of your loved one’s remains into an actual playable vinyl record. Basic packages run around $4,600 for 30 LPs. After cremation, the remains go to a standard pressing plant and are mixed in with the vinyl pellets. The difficulty lies in choosing your final song, words or sounds. It could be very easy to momentarily think that that one-hit-wonder from your high school prom is a good exit theme. And now some kitschy choices we came up with: Black Sabbath’s “Crazy Train;” Blue Oyster Cult’s “Don’t Fear the Reaper;” The Beatles’ “The End;” Bob Dylan’s “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go;” and basically anything by AC/DC.

Categories: Death. And Life. | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Thank You Note

A Thank-You Note


My daughter made drawings with the pens you sent,
line drawings that suggest the things they represent,
different from any drawings she — at ten — had done,
closer to real art, implying what the mind fills in.
For her mother she made a flower fragile on its stem;
for me, a lion, calm, contained, but not a handsome one.
She drew a lion for me once before, on a get-well card,
and wrote I must be brave even when it’s hard.
Such love is healing — as you know, my friend,
especially when it comes unbidden from our children
despite the flaws they see so vividly in us.
Who can love you as your child does?
Your son so ill, the brutal chemo, his looming loss
owning you now — yet you would be this generous
to think of my child. With the pens you sent
she has made I hope a healing instrument.

Source: Poetry (July/August 2013).

Categories: The Poem Club | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Am I Supposed To Worry About This Too?

And its fashionable too!!

Hey guys and guyettes!!  This just in from Great Britain.  The National Health Service (the British equivalent of Obama-Care):

(reports) a UK media frenzy by featuring a front page report claiming that scientists are creating a device that can “tell people how long they have left to live”.

The Daily Mail has suggested that the “wristwatch-style device” could even influence how insurance and pension companies calculate premiums and pay outs.

The “death watch” is said to work by using “laser beams to analyse crucial cells lining blood vessels under the skin”.

The technique has been developed by physicists from Lancaster University, who are now reportedly developing a device that could be worn on the wrist. The press reports that they hope to obtain funding to get the device “on the market within three years”.

The device is designed to assess one aspect of the ageing process by looking at the lining of our blood vessels. Stiffness of the arteries is linked to coronary heart disease and high blood pressure. The current device assesses stiffness in smaller vessels in the limbs, and it is plausible that it could be an indicator of ageing or vascular health.

However, it is not clear whether it is a better measure of cardiovascular health than other available measures. Also, vascular health is not the only measure of physical health, nor is it the only predictor of longevity.

It seems unlikely that this device in its current form would be able to indicate accurately when a person may die, as there is a vast variety of possible causes of death, many of which are unrelated to cardiovascular health.

Categories: Death. And Life. | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Poem Club: On Retirement

Desire for Retirement

by Roy Mash

Sometimes I envy my bed, 
how it gets to bask all day with the dog, 
the pair of them loafing on the 
quiet raft of the afternoon,

lulled in the lapping of the clock, 
the still life still on the wall, 
linens adrift on the shelf, 
the whole house awash with cushiness.

What is the work of the bed, 
but to bask all day with the dog? 
What is the work of the dog, 
but to quiver his ear at the phone? 

Somewhere is a midday world
of penny loafers and bargain matinees, 
saunas and marinas and 10 speeds
and laptops in strudel cafés.

Bored? Me? Not. My plan’s to saw off
one day from the next, 
to produce my quota of carbon dioxide,
to throw myself into the job 

of dabbing up the seeds that have fallen 
from an everything bagel 
(though, to be truthful, 
I may delegate this to my little finger),

to join the road gang of sleepers-in, 
pay my dues to Local 6 
of the lookers-out-of-windows, 
bow to the whims of my new boss

the TV Guide, take on the grunt work of doing zip;
then every afternoon 
at four, following my meeting
with the Committee of Clouds,

to return, exhausted from a long day
of breathing in and out, 
to the bed and the dog, and tilt
the glider of my nose ever so slightly down. 
The descent so easeful, so gradual. 
I won’t even know when I’m on the ground.

Roy Mash produces his quota of carbon dioxide in Marin County, California, where he indulges in a pensioner’s sense of entitlement dabbing up the seeds that have fallen from an everything bagel. Staring out of windows, he is given to mentally thumbing over his poems that have appeared in Agni, Atlanta Review, Barrow Street, The Evansville Review, Nimrod, Passages North, Poetry East, Rhino, and River Styx among others. His first full-length book, Buyer’s Remorse (Cherry Grove Collections), is due out later this year.

Categories: The Poem Club | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Wish you were h…(gulp)

You know how I feel about excuses, but the last few months have been like that picture:  menacing doom!!  But its only a feeling, right?   Everything is really okay.  Right?  Still, the loss of control haunts me still.  Everything seems okay.  Until its not!!

And so fast.  Each day get gets a little bit worse than the other.  You say ‘I’ll do this’ or ‘say that’.  And you get all tied up like Brer Rabbit in the briar patch, with only your wits to help you.  You’ll live on, but you’re a bit less sure.  PTSD with a serio-dramatic twist.  Laugh or Die.  Laugh AND die!!

I thought that if I could write it out, I’d be cured.  But its not happening.  Middle of June, middle of July, and its August.  I was exhausted.

I start again.

Just a little post today.

Next week I’ll be taking a class on memoir writing.   Like a writers’ workshop where we critique each others produce.  And some classic memoirs found in The Art of the Personal Essay by Phillip Lopate.  Maybe I’ll get to be a better writer.  Maybe not.

I’ve been reading Duane Kelly’s blog, “Lapis Loquens” where he gives caveats to the frustrated artist.  But its approaching mid-night and tomorrow WILL be another day.

Categories: Musings, The Act of Writing | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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