Sunday, August 28, 2011

Ring Of Fire

Hello readers, it's been awhile. I find myself saying that each time I sit down to write a new entry, and my lack of dedication to this site is beginning to baffle me. I used to come here with wild ambition, with words begging to be released, with the sleeves of my shirt rolled up, elbows shining with exposure. But now it feels like a chore and I don't know why. My poetical crescendo has reverted back to a plateau, so I can't use that excuse anymore. Sure, I'm still writing poems, but not nearly at the fireball pace as a few weeks ago. An excuse I can use, however, is the fact that I have taken up learning to play guitar.

It's something I've always had in the back of my mind, bet the thought never really entered my heart until a few weeks ago after a conversation with my best friend in Texas. She is a remarkable writer and musician whom I often look to for inspiration, and I give full credit to her for plucking the idea from my mind and allowing it to flourish in my heart. Everyone knows the mind is the progenitor of all great ideas, but the heart is what guides them to fruition, so thank you Brit. I practice everyday, as much as my tender fingertips will allow, and I'm taking lessons downtown at ABC Music with Nate Hagen every week. So far it is slow going, seeing how I've had no previous knowledge of this musical instrument. It's fun though, and taxing on the body and brain, which leads me to my next topic.

A couple Sundays ago I was at home exercising to my Beach Body Insanity DVD when suddenly I started seeing bluish spots everywhere I looked. It was startling, but not too alarming since they subsided after ten minutes or so. I chalked it up to an incorrect balance of food and exercise and went on with my business. The next morning I woke up and went to work as usual. Approximately 45 minutes into my route I started seeing those spots again. As I continued driving the spots morphed into an angrier, larger version of themselves and eventually completely hijacked my vision, forcing me to pull my garbage truck over in a church parking lot. I started getting pretty scared at this point.

I'll try to describe what happened next the best way I can. Imagine that you are hovering 20 feet above and directly below you a ring of gasoline has been poured into a perfect circle on the ground. It is night time and your eyes have adjusted to the darkness when suddenly the gasoline is lit and the image of the ring of fire is burned into your vision to the point that no matter where you look, you still see it, eyes opened or closed, it doesn't matter. That's what I was seeing while sitting there in my truck. And as if that wasn't bad enough my stomach became uneasy and I started throwing up. I honestly thought I was experiencing a brain aneurism and that I was about to die, so I pulled out a sheet of paper and wrote out my last will and testament. I told my family I loved them and that I was sorry for moving so far away. I gave away my DVD collection and TV and guitars, and jotted down the password to my writing websites and told my mother to make me famous. And then I placed my head onto the steering wheel and waited...

For the migraine to kick in.

Haha, that's right, I got attacked by a migraine that sorely mistreated me, but did not kill me. The worst of it only lasted a day or two, but the residual headache and abnormal brain functioning lasted throughout the week. I was having trouble spelling simple words and forming complete thoughts. I do not like migraines at all! And my heart goes out to those who suffer from them on a regular basis.

After giving it some thought I think that migraine was the result of me being hunched over a guitar every day, with my neck/shoulders/back/fingers cranked in awkward positions, and my eyes and brain focused on learning the notes hidden on six tiny strings. Does this mean I'll stop playing? Hell no, I'm in the middle of learning Folsom Prison Blues by Johnny Cash, man! I'll be damned if I'll let a migraine prevent me from learning that great song!

I guess that's all for now, dear readers, but I like to think this blog entry is my return to the foray. I do have so much more I want to discuss and write about, but I'll end here with the full expectation of a quick return. Take care!

Monday, August 1, 2011


it is a chore now, where did my spirit go?
relatives call me out to the harvest
covered in the dust of day.
factory smoke chokes the life from the sky
like a monthly meeting.
death staggers in and sits next to me,
closely watching.
I pretend not to notice the TV tuned to FOX.
I did not choose it,
it chose me.
the struggle of a poet trying to find his words
inside the belly of a fish
swollen by a tiny hook-
oh these great misfortunes and terrible pains
that disease us daily.
through the punishment of space
we find ourselves cramped
and illogical, immediate beings always wanting
more more more,
but lacking a place to put it all.
where did my spirit go?
it is a chore now, reaching out to your wild mind.
I feel ill and useless,
trapped in a tin like sideways fish,
an orgy of assassins resting before another
fucking kill.
taste me, lover, take my words and shape them
into genital dreams.
I'm still in love with a face in pain
and a head bursting against a door jamb.
the raging light,
the temporal flare that straightens rivers,
the wrath of a thousand gods...

where did my spirit go?

poem by Mick Tomlinson