Not Just Piss and Blood

Tethered to this gurney
by IV drips, oxygen hoses,
catheter tubes
lying in this pool of pain,
surrounded by flitting
shadows of loved ones,
it’s not hard to imagine
some means of escaping
a pain that transcends
even this morphine drip.

Following the morphine
button’s cord,
one could silently slip
into the comforting darkness,
lie on the forbidden side,
curl up into a fetal position
silently slipping
into that next dimension,
the one just
to the left of this one,
that left-hand of darkness.

Though something vital
has been sliced away,
some secret part
of me left behind,
these voices
from the shadows
pull as tightly as
umbilical cords,
until it seems I must be
tied to this world
by love as much as
by piss and blood.

7 thoughts on “Not Just Piss and Blood”

  1. Hi, Loren ans Loweb,

    I have been on your site for almost two months. I found it unexpectedly when I searched one poem by Roethke one day. I have been visiting the site everyday since this discovery, it’s great for me to learn what Loren says about poems, really helpful in understanding more on poems.

    I am really sorry to learn that Loren has a cancer. I know how pain it is in all the ways. My father passed away last July for lung and brain cancer. I saw how he loved the world and poeple he knew in his last days. Love was the only thing he seeked in that short remaining time. Love is strong. I wish you and your family can go through this hard time. May love lead you through, may peace protect you. And I wish to see more of your writings and comments on this site.

    Two days more will be Chinese Spring Festival, as a Chinese, I wish you and you family see more hope and happiness in everyday and all festivals.



  2. Thank you, Shelley, but I think I’ll just settle for self-publication.

    Thank you, too, Yan. I wish we had Spring Festival here in the states because I’m looking forward to the beginning of spring. By then, I should have all these mechanical devices out and be ready to enjoy that burst of energy that comes with the new growth of the year.

  3. Loren,

    I thank you, as well. I have long admired your writing from afar, both your discussions of literary works and your own writing, yet long remained one of your quiet readers. You have such a way with words; you make it seem so easy.

    You are in my thoughts. I hope your recovery is swift and your difficulties up to now are over.

    Many blessings,

  4. Again, Loren, this is wonderful. You’re such a brilliant translator of your own body, your feelings, your illness. Thank you.

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