The State I'm In

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This is a poem I wrote after my uncle had a massive stroke in November, 2006. It describes his mental and physical state once he regained consciousness.

Submitted: January 04, 2012

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Submitted: January 04, 2012



The State I'm In

To Uncle Russell with love, stroke survivor

August 29, 2007

Bottomless are the places the spaces of my mind

I can think a thing undoubtedly

But the rush and anticipation of a probable paraphrase

Breeds perplexity. Can I do it? In the state I'm in.

Remember how to think… Come! On!

There, how beautifully my mind entertains me;

Yet it frightens me as I am arranged and deranged.

Here in the precincts of care -

My jazz music keeps my good foot tappin.

I am a musical genius - you dig.

A cool lesson in history I once could narrate.

I am betwixt and between the prophecy and the promise.

Live? or Die? Fear destroys my bones into paralysis.

I lay ever awake wondering what night is.

When's day? My Heavenly Father knows

I am young and have life, energy, strategy.

Father help me! Thy rod and thy staff

They comfort me.

I've become old and shrunken overnight.

Oh the mind of a life one should muse.

That to think a thing, to say a thing

Now a mechanical commotion -

Was once an automatic notion.

Three hundred days ago I died. I heard jazz music

And then lived. The state I'm in is a prisoner

In my own mind, in my own body.

I am thin. I'm scared.

I've envisioned the grave continually,

And danced one too many times in hades.

I'm withered yet spirited. It's the state I'm in.

Now I must breathe, one breath, two breaths,

three breaths, chest is moving up and down.

I think I'm supposed to swallow now.

Nurse! I can't swallow, what the hell does swallow mean?

Got Dammit! I know what it means but how?

My name? Yeah, I know my name,

I can't spell it - I know how

But I don't know how; don't you understand?

It's the state I'm in. I know your name but I can't write mine.

I mean I know how but I can’t.

A hue of absence overtakes me –

What state am I in?

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