Thursday, February 12, 2009

Over the Counter

Last Spring my friend Andy Anderson and I started a poetry conversation project. Basically we wanted a way to write more and wanted someone to collaborate with. The concept was simple: he would write a poem and I would have 48 hours to respond using his poem as a starting place for inspiration. We’d then go back and forth.

We did well for awhile. We were sticking to it and getting into a good rhythm. A bit about the project with a portion from the earlier section of our conversation was even selected for print by a monthly journal. Then the fall hit and things got a little crazy.

Now we're back writing with a new commitment to the 48 hour rule. It's been fun so far and given me a chance to write about things I would never have thought to write about. This is a new poem I wrote in response to a poem Andy wrote about people playing an aggressive game of marbles at work. Enjoy!

Over the Counter

I woke, surprised to find that my head weighed close to 200 pounds.
I craned my eyes toward the dial on the bathroom scale again.
Yes, it was as close to accurate as bathroom scales get.
203 pounds…and a little bit.
Maybe a 1/6 of an extra line.
You know how bathroom scales can be.

Thinking back I wish I’d read the caution label
before I’d purchased the nasal spray.

Stuffy and congested I had liberally squeezed
an inexact amount of the rose scented liquid up each nostril.
I had gone to sleep my sinuses feeling open and lofty
ready to intake and push out air in their usual manner.
Before drifting off I made a few mental notes,
about the sprays general attributes—rating it’s overall effectiveness,
ease of use, and pleasant scent—on a scale I’ve devised
for all over the counter nasal products.

The next morning , my alarm sounding fuzzy and odd,
I found I could not lift my head
more than a few centimeters above my pillow.
Slowly I rolled out of bed, sliding down head first
until my face rested on the floor.
With effort I propelled myself across the floor to the bathroom,
my forehead sliding smoothly across the floor
with a hollow slipping noise.

Luckily the bathroom scale was just inside the door.
After taking some estimated cranial measurements
(You know how bathroom scales can be)
I remembered the spray and thought to read the label.
Knocking it down from the counter
with a firm kick to the base of the sink I read the warning:

“CAUTION: May cause, headaches,
blurred vision, ‘Marble Head’, and fatigue.”

I sighed. This was just my luck.

I hate being fatigued.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Hoke Update

It's been a long time since I last posted. A lot has happened in the past few months so I thought I would give a brief update on what's been going on lately.

December came and went with a flourish--travels to Vancouver, Christmas, and snow storms a plenty. Then the New Year's Festival happened. Woo boy. Howdy. It was awesome, crazy, fun, and exhausting all at the same time. I can't wait for next year.

January was tough. A week into January we had one of the saddest weeks of our lives when we said good by to Oscar, our amazing, beautiful, 12 year old wiener dog. Due to some aggressive back issues in the course of less than a week he went from happy and healthy to unable to walk. We tried surgery and for unknown reasons there were complications. He passed away in our arms on January 10th. The following weeks were hard as we grieved. He was my dog from childhood and Jacqui had loved him as if she'd known him all his life. He was the best one, part of our family, and we miss him a lot.

February has been good so far. Cold, icy, and good. Jacqui had her first snow day since starting her new job at Franklin University, and who doesn't love a good snow day? Since then Columbus has been a sheet of ice but today, TODAY, the sun has come out and I can see steady drips from my office window. It's warming my heart.

I'll making a February 6th Resolution to write on this blog more. It's fun for me and I don't do it enough. Stay tuned...