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My mother gave me pictures of her
and her son
both dead

We all die sooner or later

No one comes into the world
thinking she will suffer a lingering, painful death
or that he will die of a ruptured ulcer

We all die quickly or slowly

We all die of trivial things
which is not supposed to happen
or so our rebellious minds wail

She gave me pictures
of a dead woman and her dead son
They are still in the envelope
what’s left of a dead woman and her son

Where to bury the bodies
Where to put the ashes


I take a break from my guilt

A night of fun with my unrequited love

He’s unrequited but not really my love

I need him for much bigger things

Bob Seger’s voice haunts

Somewhere tonight someone’s thinking back to someone who got closer


I try hard to concentrate

this song is about me

this song is about my love life

this song is about my woe


Only I don’t believe myself

I believe in the tears I feel dripping from my chin

and the sound of my ugly cry noises


Someone’s not quite sad, only disbelieving


This is not about her

it is not about her

it’s not about her

She’s not being sung about

this song is not about her

except that it is


it’s a song about her absence


Somewhere tonight

any number of things are happening

but she isn’t

she’s not happening, she’s happened

Neither of us will go quietly.

That was obvious from the first.

Her moans and denials and fight are only restrained by the liquid morphine that courses through her veins.

She will not go quietly.


On the way to see her.

On the way to see her for the last time.

I did not go quietly.

The sounds of the engine and the radio could not be heard over my shrieks and sobs.


When the end comes

neither of us will go quietly

even if we don’t make a sound.

The last words I’ll ever hear her speak are, “I’ve still got fight left in me.” Or maybe, “I don’t have no fight left in me.” I distinctly heard “fight left in me.”

I asked her how she was.  Dry: “I’m great.” Floated back into her morphine dreams or nightmares.

Later, when I was alone with her for a few moments, both of her hands in mine, I called her name. “Tywanua.” She opened her eyes. “Tywanua, I love you.” She was coherent enough to recognize me. “I love you, too.  I wish I could sit up a little more…but I’m just glad you’re here.”

 Atrocities of June 8, 2009

  • My aunt, who has terminal cancer, starts to rapidly decline as her body shuts down. There is concern she won’t make it through the night but the extra morphine improves her breathing and makes her more comfortable.
  • I see this otherworldly tumor on the side of her neck that makes me cringe and I’m glad my aunt is sleeping mostly. Not to be funny, but to give a visual: familiar with Coneheads on SNL? It’s like one of those heads is trying to grow out of the side of her neck. Ball your fists up, press them against the left side of your neck, and you can see how big that thing is. It’s like from a horror movie. Where the skin has been stretched to the limit and has cracked, she has bled. The whole top part has dark purple scabs and I’m sure some of that skin is black because it’s dead.
  • My family aren’t much of hand holders, but I know she likes to have her hand held so I try to model it for my family so that they can see the comfort it can give. Now, she’s hearing that she is loved and that’s all she (or any of us) has ever wanted.
  • My piece-of-the-most-unholiest-shit ex-uncle is a jealous, selfish coward. An obnoxious alcoholic, he keeps yelling at her, “you want something to eat, you want something eat?” I want to scream: She’s a little too busy with the business of breathing to eat. Besides, food will only prolong it now. Also, he apparently tries to have sex with her, while another aunt is in the same room, trying to sleep.
  • There’s too many people all around, wanting to desperately help her or those around her. The weariness of us all is heavy on the heart, and it’s the kind of heaviness that one can’t lose by going on a diet. It’s there for good.
  • I say goodbye to her and leave without a sob.
  • If not today,  June 9 or June 10, 2009 will be the day she dies. Maybe planning a death really is like planning a marriage. You concern yourself with the flowers and the weather.
  • Past and present tenses. She will die, but after that?  Will I say I had an aunt who died?  That tends to be the traditional form of reference. Or I have an aunt who died? Because is she still my aunt once she’s dead?  Will I ever be able to say I  lost an aunt or will it always be I am losing an aunt? I can’t go find her at the lost and found; she’s not a lost item or a lost person. Losing is active and implies infinity.

Nasal discharge

is carelessly swiped away

on my wrist

It’s sort of gross

but I can’t reach the Kleenex

and you know

deep down

more than allergies

I suffer from laziness

and besides

I’m tired


Bad posture

he says

but he knows

the weight in my chest

bends me downward

like ice on worn-out

and weary trees

He’s right



My pounding heart

is not easily ignored

when watching shows about death

People die naturally

of unnatural causes


and I know

I will be one of the sad

taken somewhere I don’t want to go

too soon

Forgive me for being an asshole

but honestly

this country was built on bullshit.


Living and dying for an idea


Living and dying for a concept


Living and dying for nothing…


Patriotism. Belief in a war and your country is proof that you have been conditioned, your mind reprogrammed, and your self destroyed for the benefit of your government and/or your need to be righteous (or have an illusion of it).


Forgive me

I’m being an asshole

Because I believe in peace

Peace is an intangible


Something to live and die for


I live and I sometimes die for


of mind



Righteousness. I’m not sure how it happened but I suddenly find myself no better than anyone else, even conservatives. I have fought and struggled for liberty from and for myself, from and for my mind, convinced in my mission and unwavering in my conviction. I’m not sure how it happened but somewhere along the way I’ve become an ordinary asshole who instead of being enlightened is simply pretentious.

Her words haunt me

in the same way

that Holocaust stories do.


She said


I don’t want to open my eyes

it splatters everywhere

death death death.


Her words remind me

one doesn’t have to see the smoke

to smell the ashes.

This rambling post and accompanying whinge is 762 words so I understand if you do not want to go through it all. I’ve underlined the important parts.


To answer Patrice’s question. I do not laugh on laughing gas. If left to my own devices, I get nice and high. My endodontist (sounds fancy but he basically does root canals for a living) was cheerful and nice and said “shit” a couple of times this morning. He sort of reminded me of a rambunctious and rednecked Jimmy Buffet. When he touched a nerve it hurt, so he gave me another shot. I wish he would have quit talking so I could float, and I’ll admit sometimes I just tuned him out and would grunt to make him think I was listening. I hate when dentists crack jokes, because a polite person feels the need to smile and when they have your mouth in oral stirrups, it’s very difficult and somewhat painful to go through the motions. They advised me to hit the ibuprofen for a few days, so I went and bought a stockpile at USA Drug. They said to call if I needed something stronger. I wanted to tell them that it would be fine for them to proceed with the dispensing of “something stronger” as I’m running low on narcotics (I ended up taking half a hydrocodone the other night so I have only have one half of heaven left). As a side note, he said I had a “weird” jaw, which was music to my hypochondriac ears. I wanted to ask him more about it and the possible horrific effects of having a weird jaw, but his large hands and instruments prevented me. Then, I forgot about it. I wonder if it would be inappropriate to call back? Was he kidding? Sometimes sarcasm is lost on me. Bryan sometimes has to enlighten me.


How to get sexy lips. Genetics are a factor, but one should just go with what they’ve got. Apply Blistex. Put on lipstick. Add a sheer lip gloss and ta-da! This is what they do on the commercials. You think that just lipstick will do it, but you can’t neglect the lip gloss for that ultra-sexy shine.


I am pretty sure the day will be better than Tuesday. At least I know other people are having worse days. I saw this truck slip on wet streets and sideswipe a red car. It appeared to be a minor incident so I politely merged into traffic and went on my way. Also, I will be getting my hair highlighted and I think it will be cheaper than I expected. My Entergy bill was $60 cheaper this month, too. My cell phone bill will be roughly the same because I have this ringtone fixation going on.


My aunt is wheezing again and she feels generally bad. She has pneumonia. She has emphysema. She was in ICU last week for breathing problems. Everyone was up in arms last night because they heard she had pneumonia. I was impatient. I’d like to say: “Look, assholes, she didn’t just get pneumonia—she’s had it for days and days. If you bothered to come visit, you’d be able to tell what’s what. Her condition isn’t necessarily any worse than it ever was. She’s fucking near death always.” So this is nothing new. Her white blood count is still flat. Her stomach has been upset for a few days so she has refused to eat, which makes her weaker. Last night, I coaxed her into eating part of her jello. It was a start. I made her promise me she’d take her breathing treatments (she doesn’t like them). My aunt J came down and it is beyond me why she didn’t force my aunt to eat something. I sat and held her hand for a couple hours last night and finally got sad about her situation. I resent my family so much. She knows nobody wants to come see her. The ones that do basically want something from her—money, pills. My mother comes to visit but she’s worn out, absolutely, completely worn out after she visits because she won’t stay at my house. She stays all night at the hospital. To make matters irritating, my mother said she saw my cousin and his wife in Wal-Mart and the wife said nothing to Mother. Mom thinks my cousin’s wife is jealous because my aunt talks about my being her rock to everyone and the wife thinks her husband should get credit. He does, bitch; my aunt considers him like a son.

For her to feel

our family are vandals

carving indifference into her heart

Not here


She doesn’t use these exact words

Where are they?

The answer is exacting

hissing in the air around and between us

burning into the walls and branding our skin

every inch

words smoking


WTF, world. I am enraged that someone planted a bomb in our head of the medical board’s car (I’m an Arkansan, dear reader). Now, he may or may not be a good person or a good doctor–I know nothing about him–but no one deserves to be blown up as they head to work. I am glad he has survived and hope he recovers as well as he can. He’s lost one of his eyes, has been burned, and suffered shrapnel injuries. He may lose the other eye.

I’m angry because I have been at the bedside of the dying, watching a family member suffer through the fear and pain of facing her morality. One of my former students was murdered this year. I’ll be damned if I don’t say I hate anyone who would murder another person.

SOB with me

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