ALIENATION IN ILLNESS

Beset with a serious illness

I waste away weak

And unwilling, rage and rail at everyone and the world

Enervated, I lack the energy

Necessary for goodness

I languish, lamenting my lack

Of energy, enervated, angry

I know I am better than I am

Suffering, I grow insufferable

Strain the patience of my friends

Alienate my acquaintances

Struggle with my beloved

Commitments constrain the convalescence I crave

I rave at the world in this illness

And pray my relations will stay

Until I return their love

When I heal, return whole, regain my heart

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IF YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE

To answer my question

An Indigenous teacher

Once told me

If you know who you are

You will never be lonely

I didn’t understand

 

White, I grew up

In bland, blanched suburbia

Moved to

A small, rural town

We people were the entertainment

The gravitas

Friends

Porch sitting hours

Moved to

A hip, slick, cultured, sophisticated, city of universities

America’s Athens

Loneliness, assimilation, knowledge, alienation from self

Moved to

A wealthy, beach retirement town

Boredom, self-discovery, self-recovery

Toured foreign countries

Europe and the roots of Western Civilization

Meso-America, Maya

Tropical Island

 

I am

Wherever I go

I understand

Blues Club

I was wearing my city face

And I didn’t make eye-contact

When people looked my way, I didn’t see

There were too many unfortunate consequences

If you made eye-contact or saw others

I didn’t hate

There were just too many unfortunate consequences

I show love

Not here

Isolation, alienation

Here, and substance abuse, and bombast

But for live music, I wouldn’t be here

But for my solitary home life I wouldn’t be here

But for my sensitive intellect

I might communicate

Some desperate, broken, obnoxious seek community, here

As I did, years ago

She’s not with me tonight

Nor the network stemming from her, from us

Not here, now, but with me, still, even now

The band’s on break and I’m alone

Not in life

Just here

By design