A recollection of time I spent in hospital for cancer treatment 10 years ago, when the surgery went right, but the aftermath horribly wrong, leading to my near demise. The D.C. sniper crisis was ongoing simultaneously, and is reflected in the poem. I'm alright now, though permanently lighter due to a vastly reduced stomach capacity, and impaired with perpetual mild dizziness, but this is a small price indeed to pay for my very life.
"Nothing my hide from the hidden."
- Japanese Proverb
Gulliver's God Goes Silent
Sir Johnathan's Lilliputians assumed
Gulliver's watch to be his personal god,
Observing how seldom he took action
Without first consulting it.
Time has come to be the Tyrant God of our frenzied Age;
The One Who Harries
The mass of us from here to there and back again
Crying down to the faithful the terrible slippage
The relentless loss of minutes, hours and days,
Shouting to us from our wrists, our walls and all things electric
The message of incompletion,
Of things undone and lost
In the unstoppable flood that sweeps us along
Carrying all we think we know
Towards some great, invisible and communal Terminus.
The acolytes' wishes are served,
In serving one so like ourselves
Serving those unsatisfied by any sacrifice.
The call comes in late September;
A doctor's voice informs me
Of a tale mad cells are telling
As they gather themselves deep within,
An aimless tide of their lives just beginning
To flourish sans form or purpose
Bringing destruction to the temple they occupy
Through their sheer abundance.
That was when, for the first time,
My part in the steady move towards the Terminus
Loomed clear and certain in my sight,
And joined the strong knowings of my heart.
A fluid anxiety filled me,
Running shapeless and invincible
And I felt, somehow, like I was drowning.
So it was that as another Summer gathered itself up for its death
I checked into the hospital
To be dropped into chemical oblivion
And laid out like an offering
To the spirits of Blood and Mystery
Reading my organs through greengloved hands,
Interpreting the language of manic cells.
Skin peeled back like the pages of a book
I lay captive in the sleep of Lethe
As they read the script writ in red within
And the god on the wall
Moved his hands in passing across his face,
But not for me.