May 26, 2008

Origin of Fretwater

Fretwater Falls

Fretwater is the name of a rapid in Desolation Canyon, named by explorer John Wesley Powell in 1869 after his expedition wrecked a boat there. Powell travelled nearly 1000 miles down an uncharted river naming things as he went. Fretwater is one of my favorite John Wesley Powell place names. It's also a good one word description of the events in 2008 that led me to start this collection.

May 25, 2008

The Chemo Chair

I wrote this during an 8 hour day in the chemo chair. That day was just another day in the treatment regimen that followed a stage 4 cancer diagnosis about 8 months prior. It reflects a bit of the bitterness I feel toward the government and their lack of respect for returned veterans. This piece is a little bit metaphorical and could be perceived as being a little dark so if your not in the mood, don't read it.......anyway consider yourself forewarned. Here's what the chemo chair looks like.

The Chemo Chair 1-23-09 
chemo chair….day who knows  
a rats poison, so it don’t grow
bones on fire 
lightning from toes
zofran for breakfast  
so it don’t go
hiccups four hours 
midst of night
couch for a week 
then I’ll take flight
ipod an island in another time 
determination is my mind
“mind over matter” is what they say
 the pep and the hype an easy delay
of the fear and rage, eventually seen through 
easy to say, hard to do
memories of then, and yet to come?  
scraggly ol' hair doo, long since done

supercuts on Thursday one-fifteen 
been a long time...twenty years it seems?
...since the Army? nineteen eighty-eight. 
VA says we won’t bear the weight

two bronze stars a couple pounds more
who’d have known there’d always be war

who's gonna tell some kid….hardly eighteen
the his army greens?
not hardly, as I recall 
certainly the ghost of the VA halls

midst of night, a terrible fight 
thousand pound bombs of the Navy long
into Iraq they go
twenty years ago

 from Iraq I’ve come
body numb
twenty years it takes
to acknowledge the weight
acknowledge I do
through the national news
pissed I become
until I’m dumb
descend I do 
to the crater blew
ascend I will
from the bombs sweet swill
body is bum
mind must run
to water blue.... 
easy to say, hard to do