Living With Asthma

I am a asthma sufferer. It lives within me. The ghost comes with a wheezing, constricts my breath inopportunely at a random odd hour of the night while I am sleeping, does its damage. And so while I drag myself out of bed, its pain brings me to a threshold barely able to think of anything else. The solace of early morning quiet and the rest of the sleepy world for a second set me furious with envy that yet another interruption comes my way, and I am so ill prepared. Well, this has been my thing for years. If it has a personality, perhaps its only benevolence is that it pushes me to write.

mind associates
constricted breath
with panic
it is the same with
the anxiety ridden
taking in a movie
when the
state is prolonged
and I am
gasping
for oxygen
like a fiend
I’m kicking over
furniture
to do so

panic
to lock up
the chest
while
Buddhist
philosophy
and Tantra
and bantra
and santra
Vedanta
all the
yogic podcasts
steer toward
expansive
cartoonish
inhale and exhales—
at first
blush you’re wondering
if they’re not
overdoing it
just a bit

then
you suffer asthma
and you know

you know better

breathing
is where
it’s at

And so coffee’s negative effects outweigh the good, for me, caffeine being the main ingredient. ‘Cuz while asthma and I have embraced each other over the years, I don’t see things getting any better without conscious attempts to improve my health with exercise and mindful intake. Although coffee does momentarily help with asthma, in the long run, I doubt it’s worth it. My heart would probably agree.

35th Year

waking up from
a much needed
hefty nap
grateful but in
that sort of torn up
yet thoughtful haze
that usually comes with it—
today someone reminded me
it was the last day
of my Birthday month
which I think went pretty well
even the last week or so, the
mellow part, served its purpose
for me, where I had woken up
one battered morning deciding
almost that I had enough
of the partying and putting myself
all in the center of it, i.e. the drinking

one of the things that hit me
was that people will continue on
with their generosity well
beyond expectations
especially when alcohol is concerned
they will try to see to it
that it all continues to roll
up to the edge of oblivion

just as quickly and campily as I put
myself in the spotlight
I was ready to jump back out of it

this next poem is titled:
“if I wound up smashing you with
a beer bottle, I assure I probably didn’t
know what the hell I was doing,
only I meant well…”

especially at work as things
picked up pace
I wanted a lot less to do
with human beings
all their little clicks and clacks
and gohd, some peace and
reverence is nice
from time to time, right?

so it often goes back
to expressing it bent up in
my own string of Buddhist terms
that put down Big Ego like
a Libertarian puts
down Big Government—
I wake up from this nap
thinking it all must be abolished
and activate the roach grenade

(you’re supposed to leave the house
when activating a roach grenade,
aren’t you? I like to stay and
see what happens…)

I digress…

I wake from the thing
the nap
and first song in rotation
is Windows by Token Entry
and I think
here is not only a great song
a great fucking band back in the day
who could play an absolutely
incredible show before
they thought they
were the Red Hot Chili Peppers,
but it’s true and I often say it…
we’re all about the storytelling
in one form or another…
which in some shape perhaps
enables us to dissolve
some of that false ego
when we’re reveling in
the pastimes of another… if
only just for a few moments…
I think of Token Entry
and I wanna tell THEIR story

I don’t smoke everything put
in my face
but will smoke some nostalgia

or I wanna tell my own story
in connection with
Token Entry and the Jaybird album
or what it was like then
to be a young man in the
eighties and skate! skate!

at least I wanna mention it
and pick back up later

yesterday hit with a
poetry reading at Sedition Books
a local anarchist gathering
which I think was
atypical for the place to
receive me, but they were quite
warm, and someone
gave me the compliment
“I really like your energy…”
which is what really matters
when you sum it up?

when my mind falls down into
the cracks of existence and
sees only essence, light, prisms,
shifting of energy
I sometimes think
I’ve slipped out of ego altogether
and have become one with it
or will one day forever
become one with it
and there’s little left to be
done, you’re gonna be
the energy and you’ll move
along with the energy
and it’ll take little effort—
I don’t exactly know what
all that means,
only now it’s that
I’ve tried to anchor
in as many people possible
under the guise of a
big birthday, poetry reading,
or whatever
in order to express
some very basic
yet necessary ideas

when you get to the 35th year marker
and if your brain hasn’t
turned to paste
it’s probably inevitable that
you go through a catalogue of
life experience and cull wisdom
and humor

my intentions are good

my intentions for
you and I do in fact
tower high

so please excuse
while we renovate

you commit suicide
or you don’t—
if you wanna give up
the opportunity
will present itself (looming)
your thirst for ending it
will dull you down
and bow you out…
(at which point you
could probably care less
but how do we get so cynical?)
is it that
really what you want?

I’ve ground the edge
I’m testing your
world for you
it is in fact what
I have to offer
I point to what burns