BEHIND MY EAR IS A LITTLE PALACE IN BROAD DAYLIGHT
Naturally I think of Him when she taps the needle into the top of my foot. So this is the oft-spoken-of willingness to be pricked on a deity’s meridian, blood beading up waxy like a bindi. Under my skin, I picture migraine demons grown frantic as steel pokes through a pore; Godzilla over Tokyo. Dr. Li posts a lightning rod on the top of my head as if she were a pilgrim to the North Pole. This is where pain pools after commuting from my neck in tiny axiomatic taxies. Listen. Behind my knee, the universe hums in its velvet bag. Through my wrists, a pulse shimmers with electric eels. I imagine leaking out through the needles, diffusing into the little room papered with Chinese music. Imagine sleep gently tacked to the table like a beetle specimen. How dream minions shriek and scatter when Dr. Li returns, bursting into the dark. I have not yet been resurrected I want to proclaim but she is already extracting that desire. Seven times she carries the needles, like offerings, to the red box. Traffic outside is relentless. She says go home little godling. Put on your socks.
A: I wrote the poem at home. The poem was inspired by a series of acupuncture treatments for migraines I was receiving at the time. I’m not sure acupuncture helped my headaches, but it did stimulate my imagination! (New treatment for writer’s block?)
Q: What is the last book you’ve read that made you want to grab a pen and write?
A: Recently Reb Livingston’s work has ignited me, especially her crazy “translations” of religious text into a sizzling stream of extremely awake language. Splattered nonsense that courses with subterranean meaning. It’s given me a way to write about subjects I have to approach askew, an outlet for my frustrated inarticulateness about the Bush Administration, for example.
Q: What is the most sublime meal you’ve ever eaten?
A: Anything my friends Kathy Medero and Mike Dougher cook make my knees buckle. An entire novel on my tongue.