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The Absence Epic, 4

23.

 

“You feel weak, but I still think

you’re the strongest man I’ve –“

it’s dark and I am sitting in bed,

three attacks in two hours

“You’re the bravest –“Shut up,

shut up. This is no daring here

this is primal survival, walking

in the woods of the city making

sure the cars don’t run me over.

“You can do this, you have me – “

no one is enough to fight this,

just me and the absence, anger

the desperation, and my tears

 

24.

 

This is not genetic, there is no curse

tied to the ATCG worth passing on

to a child, in my future, I will hold

scared to death the seizure drops

 

 

The fluids show it is not cancer, no

panic then, you are healthy (sort of)

keep true to your smiles no matter

how you hide them, or slip away

 

 

Photosensitivity free, lucky for you

there is a light at the end of this

tunnel unlike for the rest, but recall

the absence, when it hits, breaks you

 

25.

 

I walk out the building, hood up, monstrous

The homeless of the Tenderloin and I share

a certain shame and resiliency this morning

These streets know not the steps or pattern

of the brain waves hunted by the sensors

married to my head, held in holy bandage

There is no consummation – humiliation,

perhaps — but I want to lay in bed, alone

my head held high in hope of the sign

from on right-brain glitch to nodes,

the heavenly disconnect of my senses

to the tech – one cord, from monitor

to temporal lobe, temporary, lonely

 

26.

 

The talismans are wrapped on

a string around my arm, wrist first,

penitent. Why did this happen?

What ties did I break that made

this condition my faith, my body

its sole temple and priest?

 

To the forearm, and the threads

become tenuous, protective

to the shivers in a blind animism

where all my will would rather

stay with frayed elder strings

than unbound to the seizures

 

The bicep, where there rests icons

misused saints I used to pray to

but stopped – now, I whisper

small phrases to them as auras

move past the shoulder towards

a flux – divine, wicked, unknown

 

27.

 

I will remain the man shaking violently

Even at 90 and the last flicker of light

When my daughter stops calling me

As I see my wife go into the ground

After I see my child’s eye for the first time

Before “I do” leaves my mouth in May

The last time I’m allowed to go to a festival

Tonight, writing this in fear of my future

Despite all the control and safety from pills

 

28.

There is one maxim to learn, after all these battles

when I have hyperventilated into angel’s trumpets

refusing the touches of careful women saving me

from the midnight fear and morning complications

finally facing complexity, embracing my absence

until my body turns into the predictable maelstrom –

Breathe, Just

                         Breathe. You

                                                  Will Weather

                                                                                This Storm

 

29.

 

Yes, there is no particular ending to a seizure

The waking up, the consciousness resumes

and we are once again left in this universe

on fire, white hot or slowly burning lethargic

 

But we will not let the black and blues define

us, we will take the bruises and the pain

as signs that, yes, we are still here, fighting

the ghosts that refuse to let go of our brain

 

And we will push our bodies, just as they do,

until we become heavenly, orbiting, unlimited,

drifting with hope that we will meet each other

 

And I will finally remember all of our names

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The Absence Epic, 3

16.

 

No rest for loud thoughts.
Stay up alone? No, savage
fits destroy my words

 

17.

 

Roses and fire that prick
my fingers and arms

Sight is a luxury slipping
into my ruin on repeat

The ashes, I will not let
them choke me down

It does not have the right
to leave me here, alone

And nobody truly aware
that I am hurting inside,

dragged into a spiral
of thorns and flames
I feel but cannot see

 

18.

 

Let’s go far away where the shivers won’t scare me,

my body reacts at the contact from phantom winds

 

I want to see the bay and the dark sky, the stolen

mix of highways and comfort in masking absence

 

This may be the only road I see out of this trip

where my world is lost when lights become auras

 

19.

 

Triggers create threats, a stream of scattered havoc
springing out from the ether and breaks of emptiness

Triggers bring flames and flames on the walls my hands
are banging against – no burns, only wide-eyed fear

Triggers create memories, displays and a pageant
of frenzies I portray in front of you, my dear

Triggers sit tight, for they live inside and around me
watching for a time and place to grab my hands

 

20.

 

There you are, taking off your dress, a smile
slight yet bit-lip enough it washes cautions
held every time you saw me fall into space
and caressed me in the post-seizure haze

This is the moment I hold you down, hard
onto the sheets and say “Fuck the fear.”
I have touched you there before and loved it
My thoughts, I shut down with a tongue –
a flurry of strokes and moans and I am free

But, in the sex and switched postions It returns.
The damn thing was hidden between the thrusts
and the command “Keep going, don’t stop,”
I follow the wrong gypsy, the cursed one
who puts her spell on me, the impossibility
of an orgasm when my body forgets its place

 

21.

 

All these mind-fires burn what was the old me,
a blaze in the last bonfires of a cold beach

I see, in the inner effigy there is hope left
If I use the ocean – I see it there, the waves
of the new coast calling to me in a new tongue

What is there left to do but to lean back,
let it crash over me, wash the flames away
and ready my mind for the new self, waiting?

 

22.

 

Hi, I am your lungs contracting at rates of complexity
per seconds, blinking faster, your words on remix
Ven aqui, compadre mio this won’t end ‘til you chill,
til you die, ‘til the shivers go away happy once they
ate away at all the quiet air you had left in the day

The Absence Epic, 2

9.

 

The zephyr came, blew the breeze into the flame,

the searing halo I cannot put out – it knows me,

how my wrist is held by the hands of petit mal dames

playing tricks, sprinkling embers on my ear and nape

The wind and the fire crown made me a wicker man

made from sticks of an origin that, had I known existed,

I would have thrown into the sea, along with my body,

but the omens never help – they always want a sacrifice

 

10.

 

Too small, the pills fall away under the stove,

My stomach numb, it gnaws and churns

But all I feel are my knees scraping on the tiles,

My arm reaching – clean, dirty, depending on

How my skin reacts, or if my arm will light on fire

I sense them and let the panic subside

They are in my hands and I am safe for now

The slow damage is eating away at me already

The pills are on my desk now – they are already gone

 

 

 

11.

 

An instruction manual –

First, let me go, you know

my struggle and need

no obstacle for the writhing

Second, when I am turned

to the side, hope to god

I remember I can make it

through the next few hours

Third, my heart is a knot

tightening from the absence –

I will loosen it, do not worry,

She will come eventually

 

 

 

 

 

12.

 

There is no water here and I am still drowning,

sound of voices muffled in and out by the wake

I am passing through choppy consciousness

treading thoughts, barely, lying and floating

words between polite dinner and brief liquor

My lungs are filled with panic and swimming

to sure smiles and standing, what my legs

refuse to do, are meters away from rest

 

 

13.

 

I fell on the subway on route to a party

chatting with a woman against a pole

The aura formed the swell in my head,

my body is surfing on the turns of the train

The idea of my location is irrelevant now,

the direction is a hope I do not pass out

She keeps talking, I stammer, I-

-I-

-I-

Wipe out

Here comes the EMTs

 

14.

 

I sank and felt the mind blast

Maybe this would be the last,

Or not, who knows – the tank

Is empty, where I think, grow

fantasies and the average shrinks

 

This crash of faulty brain staggers,

A battle of flash fires on grey matter,

Home to silent pains while I assault the

Absence, until I tire, barely breathing

And then, seething, return to the fray

 

15.

My sick head spills out the boundless ambitions in my dreams

face down, profound and abstract, a thousand years a second

shattered when I am awakened by your attacks. I need sleep,

take in Nyx’s breath and whirl in the night’s missing pieces.

 

I am not alone in the bed – the absence, the complexity

make a trio of nightmares and verges of night terrors

so predictable, I want to snuff them with all my pillows

but they leave, as always, lying to me they won’t come back.

 

I want my dreams unending, and to this day miss its haze.

The Absence Epic, 1

I decided that, this year I would make the attempt of running the National Poetry Writing Month gauntlet. I have something that is helping the journey – my seizures.

Short story: I was diagnosed with a seizure disorder in early 2009. I have it under control luckily, but I do have the occasional bouts of absence seizures. When those started coming, sometimes I’d jot down  whatever the hell my clearly messed-up brain was coming up with.

As the years have passed, I’ve decided that one day I would write those pieces into something larger. At its current incarnation, I am calling it The Absence Epic. I’ve posted the first week-plus’ worth of poems (0- 8) on Instagram, Tumblr, even the old DeviantArt daily. However, I decided it would be here where I would put the poems weekly. So, here is the first week. I have no idea where this will go, and how many of these will actually stay in their current forms.

 

0.

In my dreams, forged from mother’s stories of that day,

I see pieces of the infinite, supernovae and flares,

Planets I did not know the names of at that time.

As a child, I gave them titles of my choosing.

Now, when I wake up, I know their true names,

Losing all memories of the ones I gave them.

 

I wish I could remember their names every morning.

 

1.

 

I am litter on the floor, eyes open,

Bent, twisted turned as a crumpled can.

The only thing that holds me are drunks

called friends and freaked out passersby.

 

There is no stopping the absence,

the fear of staying asleep in my mind

forever with the memory of a mind on fire,

a pain deep, rending me comatose.

 

2.

 

How do you give a voice to a silent rumble? Do you fall,

convulsing, attempt and hold it together, failing,

is it

…just…wait…

…stay here and grab my hand…

…this absence is all I have left.

This absence is all I can leave behind.

Please, let me leave it behind

Please –

3.

 

I spin out, wheels without,

feet on the ground

with no direction

 

I feel the pins from within

rip through the epidermis

harder than the sound

 

I walk in haze, mind ablaze

but stumbling is better

than giving up to delirium

 

4.

 

I met the complexity the follows me

Now that cold morning in Lima,

And it rested within me, patiently,

Waiting to be reborn, for decades

We did not shake hands, or kiss,

But I will tremble to its control

 

The maturing deformation,

The real pain? I feed it to this day,

As it is my new and everlasting muse –

Not the women, the anger, nor the drink,

Just the absence, and it will always be

At my side, eternal, until I blink into dust

 

5.

 

No activation response for my senses

my head is taking in cold breaths –

I cannot allow

disappointment,

a breaking point –

but the chill seeps in

and under red storefront lights, I align

my shame with growing suffocation

 

6.

I fear the sliver between

awareness and the great abandon

Within that crack lies a beast

that gnaws on my left arm, caressing

my head, anticipating a devouring

of my direction and spitting me out

into open neuroses, disintegrating me

I will fill that space between myself

and the crack, or the crumbling begins

 

7.

 

I should make it my muse,

its touch moving my fingers,

writing in its trembling diction

of stammers and repetition,

the quiet chant of reticence,

the hymn of failed resistance,

the melody of sweet absence

ascendant where disorder lingers,

and scattered divisions that it chooses

 

8.

 

No joy, just presence and memory,

a constant night breeding a will to drift

into the “what ifs” and “who’s to know”

that I am in persistent loss of control

and that my fears are fed powerfully