July 9, A River of Memory, A River of Sleep

I was afraid it would it happen; I knew it would happen; I knew there wasn’t a damned thing I could do about it. Pain. Pain so horrible I have to run to the bathroom sometimes and vomit. I don’t think it’s the cancer. I think it’s the fact that some time ago I fell on my kneecaps so hard I thought I had broken them. As it turned out, I acquired a bone spur on the right knee cap that seems to be in remission. And starting yesterday, I now am experiencing the same pain in the darkness of hell, on the left knee. I woke that night with a jagged throbbing and it continued to get worse until …but wait, let me tell you what I did, as the doctor was forced to.. He changed my medication. He is giving me Morphine 100 mg. Twice a day. Do you know what that would do to a minotaur? Let alone a woman, used to taking something else? Now, this is not this doctor’s fault. His hands are tied by the monster called “The Budget”. This medication is beyond anything I have had except and maybe it is oxycontin by another name. Yes, it is that strong and I am not being dramatic. I am a feisty wild horserider, who can kick her heels into the sides of the monster I ride called Art. But I can’t seem to kick the sides of the monster called Budget. Thanks to our previous governor and Gov. Brown, who used to be my hero, who I used to know, who I firmly believe could have done something about this and changed the course of a BAD MAN, The Hun, instead of “balancing the budget” but did nothing. The Budget is a chimera. It is a string of numbers that mean nothing. The budget doesn’t feed children. It takes food from their mouths. It yanks it out of their quick-chewing molars. The Budget makes a loud thundering at the apartment door who comes in the form of The Evictor and when the children hear this loud knocking, they grab their extra clothes which they keep in a knapsack with their name embroidered on, but naturally no address, because they are used to this moving business and they put their bear or puppy dog or doll around their neck with the thick string or ribbon Mama has tied around its neck with room enough for it to go around the child’s neck for safe-keeping and they pull their coat on even in summer because there might not be another one by next winter. Or the next child in line will inherit it. The budget steals sweaters and coats from old

people. It thrives on the old broken shoes of the seventy-three year old woman who lives in the Shelter by night and walks the sidewalk by day with her small compact “old ladies” cart. She is too old for a shopping cart to carry her precious things, which usually mean nothing to us, but that is not our business. A shopping cart is too heavy. I have been denied the prescription that worked for me by the Govt because there is a cheaper, stronger one available. Opiate The People. The one it’s replacing didn’t mess with my mind and it allowed me to write, and he has given me one that has kicked my ass off the terms of reality. I never cheated with his drug and took more, or sold it in the park. I was /am an honest addict. It can’t be helped. One cannot live in 24 hour pain without wanting to kill themselves. Even those with God. It’s just those with God don’t kill themselves. I took one yesterday night when I was supposed to, and then after a few hours, slept until today late afternoon. I will not die sleeping. I don’t mind after a long life lying in bed and talking quietly with my lord until he calls me to His side. But I will not go snarling and screaming into the shame of. Shame, I grew up on it and I will not go there again. The childhood I had, carried no peace with it, no gentleness at all. Peace, my lord. I ask you for peace. You said ask and you would give…I know I know, if it were good for me. But Lord, the fierce anger I carry now, cannot be as good for me as peace with my mother. I promise. I am a different person now. I promise no rebellion. I promise to be Your Daughter and give her what she needs which is Yr love. I have no call to fight with her. Because of You.

Back to the Drug: When I am out like that, I am no person. I am no one, I might as well be dead even if I am not yet. There is no memory of You to wrap around my shoulders like a flower-filled shawl. No rose to carry to Yr hands and like a blood-offering give to you, this glory of living. Mi Corazon, since I was a Girl-woman, you have given me my beauty of words and now, because of a drug, it seems to be disappearing. Please Mi Corazon, don’t take my writing from me. I will lie down on the sidewalk and scratch poetry on papers flattened out and written on with a pen or pencil I have found in the street. But please Sir, my Lord, do not take this from me. It is the final, the finest

thing I have to give to you and I fear I cannot give it to you if I am drugged like those I have seen in the streets.. Let me be an old woman, breastless, who cares, , then you may take my writing and I will give you my self. From me, then you may leave me nothing but my love for You. And yes, I see the implication that it means I love you less than I love the writing. It is not so. I simply love the writing so very much. You gave it to me. And I will give it back to You. There are many sentences to write. There are many paragraphs and stanzas and moments of history to write down as gifts to You. For You. It’s a flowing in my river of memory. It is a flowing in my sleep that gives me dreams where I dream of you. May I have Yr permission to keep my memories, my dreamings, my writings, a bit longer. Many years longer. To glory you. Forgive the imperfection of this piece. I am waiting until the drug has dissipating from my blood stream. The pain is so bad I almost wish I could die. Almost.

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