Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Word In The Hand

Sometimes, the best things are written when you have nothing to write about.  When your fingers ache, but nothing comes.  So you just move them.  Let it go, the walls and barricades.  Imagine the way your brain sits inside your skull.  Imagine that you can move it.  Move it with your mind.  Just a little.  Maybe a little push with a finger.  Trying to loosen a word.  Any word.  Push here, push there, until a word pops out. 

Needling.  It's been on my mind for half an hour.  That word.  Needling.  But it doesn't mean what I want it to mean.  It can be a verb.  A generic thing you do with a needle.  Or it can be what someone does as he squeezes himself between your "not" and "now."  Among other things.  Needling.  It starts as a want, the seed.  It grows into a need.  But in between, it's a needling.  So many of them are planted.  Not all of them mine.  Yet I am the little garden, the place for planting, the nursery- warm and soft- to grow them tall.  The sun teases them.  My breath waters them.  And when they've grown big and strong, they are plucked, leaving eensy weensy holes for another want to germinate. Needling. 

Sacrosanct.  My favorite running hill.  I run up lots of hills.  Steep hills.  Gradual ones.  Ones so slight you can only see them against their relative periphery.  But my favorite running hill.  That one.  I only run down.  Never up.  I keep it pure.  I keep it perfect.  For running down only.  A perfect little cul-de-sac juts out in its middle.  A perfect cul-de-sac waits at its end.  And from the top, to its juicy middle, to its swirly end, I smile.  Breathe.  Feel.  Move.  An afterglow lingers.  It starts just below my skin and radiates in loops around me, as though it is dancing in a magnetosphere all my own.  My hill.  For down-running only.  Sacrosanct. 

Pressor.  Often used by doctors to indicate a course of therapy to increase a patient's blood pressure.  Usually a medication, or a combination of them, combined with a normal saline IV, and sometimes also including respiratory support.  Low blood pressure usually is not a cause for concern in most people.  Mine has always run low, 80s over 40s low, very, very low.  But it is normal for me.  Patients who require pressor support, more often than not, are dying.  Perhaps from shock or sepsis, heart attack, stroke, cancer.  But I have never known it to be used for a broken heart of the self, the spirit, the soul.  What would be a pressor for a breaking heart?  Surely just one smile is a band-aid.  A quick shot of adrenaline, nothing more.  But perhaps a gift.  A string tied on a finger.  A flower in your hair.   To remind you of a promise.  The promise of a smile every day for forever.  Yes.  That might be a brilliant pressor.

Manganese.  Mn.  Number 25.  A word that floats upon my magnetosphere at times.  A wicked thing.  Without it, our buildings would crumble.  Bridges wilting into the river.  Our moving things would flake away on brittle frames and axles.  Carnegie would have been just another fool with an office.  Tools, weapons, machines would crumble between our fingers.  An alloy.  Toughness.  Strength.  Standing against wind and rain.  Against time and use.  Would that we all had a bit inside us.  In our bones.  Our noggins.  Our hearts.  Knock me, push me, try to break me.  I'll never founder or fall.  Manganese. 

Silly words.  The sturm and drang in a crashing wave.  Eyes locked in syndyasmian dreams.  Toes tipping on an old hardwood floor.  Legs brushing under a blanket.  A mother's finger pointing toward Venus; her child's smile as he takes his first tenuous steps into understanding. 

Silly words.


  1. Silly words, indeed. Yet, it seems you always find a way to mold them into a tactile experience, something solid and sure, giving me something to take away with me and store for later use... Thanks :)

  2. Is this stream of conciousness? I tried reading Molloy by Samuel Beckett once and ended up throwing it across the room because I thought it was self-indulgent shit. But this is beautiful stuff. Legs brushing under a blanket is awesome. And you have your own magnetosphere. No-one can argue with that.

  3. It wasn't really stream of consciousness because I did a good deal of editing. I often get in a mood where I want to write so badly, my hands are ready for some amazing shit to just come pouring out of me, but nothing comes. And so I start with a sentence about that, about how I can't think of a single fucking thing to write about, and I just let it run its course. It is sort of like meditation, when the thoughts come and you are supposed to acknowledge them and let them go. Kinda like that ;-) Thank you.