Saturday, August 20, 2005

Dementia, my avocation

Being on an anti-dementia drug (Namenda) to suppress the neurological symptom of uncontrolled laughing did make me wonder: Would I still be able to write poetry? As many people do, I believe that creativity is part madness. I don't write every day or even every week, and my poetry usually arrives after months of not writing at all. It's not something I strive for. Though I do welcome it. Given the infrequency with which I write, there was little empirical way to test the effect of the drug. Fortunately, several weeks ago I wrote a nice batch of poems, and then a few weeks after that, another batch. I usually write something and then let it sit for months or years before looking at it again, but I'll violate that rule and show you something I wrote last month. You can tell me if it's demented enough:

unpainted concrete floor
in subterranean toilet room
infinitesimal webs

the small, pale
spider darts to wrap its prey
a smaller spider and black

here I remind myself that though
spiders as an expression of talent and ingenuity
are stunning

one must not wonder what a spider thinks
upside down in its web, waiting;
for we know they do not

my muscles tremble as my weakness grows and departure
though welcome would be sad and so
whatever love or malice bids the mindless spider be,

that miracle of fierce blind selection plus time or god,
will not relinquish that my stricken form can walk
and so I do walk, slowly,

up the stairs
the indignities of my flesh

July, 30 2005

Left grip is 37 pounds (30, 34, 37), right grip is 85 pounds (74, 85, 72), left leg balance is 6.24 seconds, and inhale volume is 4250 mL.
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