not for inhalation…

genius of design

it’s easy to flick a lighter,
easy to push everything
away, sit in silence
& breathe.

such restorative silence, & i’ve
never needed it more.
even breathing hurts.

who needs broken
sacro-lumbar spinal
discs anyway? i’m sure
i’d be fine without
the ever-present
shooting pains;
after all,
seven eighths
of my discs are fine.
that’s gotta count
for something.

of course,
i can walk anywhere
i wanna go.
unstated is the ruthlessly
applied iron-law stating that
i’m not allowed to move unless
i take along an invisible
metal pole.

the metal shaft drills down
from my left hip,
through my thigh,
into the knee
hovering above
my calf &
tied to a foot.
an entire leg i can’t
stand on.

it’s enough to drive a
guy crazy. omnipresent
all of it.

better still,
no coupon necessary, no
money down, no
return policy, mine
forever & ever.

this is not how i wanted
to learn about loyalty.
Frank Zappa was only half-right
when he sang “the torture never
sure it does;
i’ll just be gone
one moment before
it is.

moments such as this,
i’m glad my biggest appendage
is a twelve inch
sense of humor.


Dedicated to L5-S1, L3-L4, and L4-5. I try so hard not to think about you, and you try so hard to make me scream. Two spinal surgeries into this fucking ‘adventure’ and three years of life spent pretending to be fine whenever anyone asks “why does someone so young move like an 80 year old?” have been an exercise in abject frustration with moments of subdued calm interrupting moment to moment searing distraction. Normally I wouldn’t post anything about this subject save my usual oblique references, but I can’t scream right now; the neighbors are asleep. The only good thing that comes to mind is that parking is substantially easier these last three years. Not sure where that leaves me, but, in an effort to stay positive, I think I’ll drive around and park in various handi-crapped parking spots to even up the cosmic score. At least a little.

(For those still trying to figure out the math, you have 24 discs between your vertebrae.)

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