Friday, October 10, 2003

Revved Up

I've been ploughing through Weil's notebooks in French for a quote about looking and eating to use as epigraph for my Yolanda poem, hence the bad French pun of the title.

The Valium I'm eating at bedtime has screwed up my REM, but I had a brief vivid dream after falling back to sleep this morning. There was a part about rooms and a house, my usual habitat type dream, but then, clearly, I am a priest, and assigned to help a large roomful of people. They are all milling about; the room is filling faster than I can work. I am sitting at some table in a large hall, like a municipal auditorium, and, one by one, the petitioners tell me their stories. There's no privacy (take that, dream hipaa, pfffttttt!) They're not much different from patients' stories, except that I am a priest and not real sure of what to do. The first one is a guy, I forget his story. Poverty, sadness. I think I ask him whether he's "turned to Jesus" and feel sort of bogus doing so, inauthentic but obligated since I am a priest. The second petitioner is a woman, burnt-out, neither young nor old, masked facies, crazy, admitting to me she has done none of the things she was asked to do upon discharge from the looney bin, and I mumble something about how I am also a doctor and how many times medical treatment actually helps, and I remember to ask her about suicidality -- and then to my horror, remember I haven't asked my first client about the same ---

Then some loud machine from Joe's yard wakes me up.

Today I am full of spleen about the whole notion of writing poetry. I am in that place of nausea, disgust, and, yes, inauthenticity. This is the point at which one muscles on in spite of it, eh ?

Sure, why not.

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