Monthly Archives: June 2013

Ten Minutes To Eleven

At ten minutes to eleven

It is still not still

 

A mosquito worries its way across the screen door

Looking for a gap

As my exhalations send it into blood frenzy

 

A leaf drifts to earth

Odd, since it’s early summer yet

I wonder if a caterpillar has eaten it through

 

A child tugs at her father impatiently

He’s talking to a neighbour at the end of the driveway

Postponing some outing

Now her singsong Daddy, Daddy

Increases in volume and frustration

 

Six birds trade places on two trees

 

At ten minutes to eleven

It is still not still

 

A rumour of a breeze

Stirs branches randomly

 

A seaplane flies overhead

Its pilot intent on the descent the plane is poised to make

A passenger looks out the bubble window

Wondering at the mundane lives playing out below

 

While the rooster next door proclaims his sovereignty

Reassuring his hens

Ruling his dominion

 

Insects cry

 

I hear traffic humming in the distance

 

At ten minutes to eleven

It is still not still

 

 

David Trudel   ©  2013

 

 

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Pre Op Thoughts

I’d be going crazy if I was still living in some of those places

Like when I was an urban cliff dweller

Looking out at a forest of concrete and glass

Seeing forty thousand pairs of eyes looking back

Makes one a little squirrelly at the best of times

Let alone a few weeks before open heart surgery

Trying to wrap my head around that thought

So I appreciate my forest oasis at city’s edge

A small piece of ancient landscape left untouched

Where my feet can connect directly to bedrock

Resonating on a time scale of profundity

Where I can look out above treetops to the sky

Where I can consider the future from a far-seeing place

I play with alternate versions of the Chac Mool moment I’m on course for

A Stoic exercise of negative visualization

Asking what’s the worst that can happen

Then imagining how that would play out

In order to prepare a strategy of positivity

It’s strange since I don’t have any symptoms

I don’t feel sick

Quite the contrary, I feel better than I have for years

But I’m told a valve needs replacing

It’s a wonderful thing to be alive today, I think

In this world where medicine has become clairvoyant

Where heart valves can be manufactured and installed

Without missing a beat

Now I have a medical team

I am conveyed from one appointment to the next

Relentlessly lining up for ultrasounds and angiograms

Until the moment my chest will be opened and my heart repaired

My sternum will be wired back together

I’ll be stapled shut

There will be no heart attack in six months or a year

The only murmur I’ll hear will be the whisper of the sea

And the wind in the trees

Singing heart songs that I will listen to

With gratitude

 

 

David Trudel   ©  2013

 

 

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Filed under Cardiology, Poetry

Back Seat Windows

When I was a child I would lock eyes

With other kids in the back seats of station wagons

As we hurtled down freeways

Or slowrolled through clogged streets

I would lock eyes

Trying to make some kind of psychic connection

Or anticipate a future meeting where decades later

Our eyes would remember

A moment held between us

Briefly as a hummingbird’s visit

When we were young

Looking at the world from inside the safety glass of the family car

It was easy to believe in innocence then

To think that everyone else was as safe as I was

In those days before I knew about torture

About abuse and cruelty

Frequent as the autumn rain

For too many

Now I wonder what happened to them

I try to recollect those faces

Dredged images from ripped memories

Some of those eyes must have been silently shrieking

Calling out for sympathy or salvation

Locked in rolling prisons moving closer to the next indignity

While I was worried about a music lesson I hadn’t practiced for

Or inconsequential bullshit

If I could return to those moments

I wouldn’t challenge fragile eyes with directness

I would look at you obliquely and offer you my passing tears

I would applaud you for carrying on

Holding your head up

As you looked out at a world

That held more sins than miracles

 

 

David Trudel     © 2013

 

 

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Heart

Why is the heart associated with love, I wonder

Why not the brain

I can think of other body parts

If you’re going to pick internal organs to represent that feeling

That divine state of bliss we call love

Or even tarnished affection for your familiar co-accused

Why pick that steadfast pump in the middle of your chest

As a grand metaphor for the mercurial arc of love

Love, weaving infatuation into lust

Followed by mutual seduction

If you’re lucky some romance but that wears off

At some point you learn to compromise

Come to some kind of understanding and acceptance

Then you learn to give and receive forgiveness

Taking comfort in care and affection bestowed and shared

 

The heart is definitely important

But it’s really not adequate to portray love’s tumultuous adventures

The stomach might work better as a proxy

Considering its capacity, appetite and potential for amorous metaphor

But then what kind of symbol would we use for it

Not that the stylized version for heart bears any relation to reality

Looking nothing at all like a real heart

Actually it takes its shape from the emblematic seed case of a plant called silphium

Used as a contraceptive by the ancient people of Cyrene

It worked so well that it was used to extinction

Yet lives on to embellish boxes of chocolate on Valentine’s day

Fittingly adorning ritualistic displays of romantic attraction

It’s quite charming to consider how those unbridled orgasms

From twenty six hundred years ago are still echoing today

Propelling meaning across centuries and tongues

Into the synchronicity of love

 

 

David Trudel   ©  2013

 

 

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Filed under Cardiology, Poetry

She Said

Concise expansivity is where it’s at

 

She said

 

Arching her back

Looking over her shoulder

At me

 

Really?

 

Do you mean pinpointing infinity

Or

Opening your singularity to the collective

 

She waved

 

Vanished

 

I shrugged it off

 

But I still hear that echo reverberate

 

 

David Trudel  ©  2013

 

 

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Symptoms

Have you experienced any shortness of breath?

 

No, while thinking sure

Every time a beautiful woman looks in my general direction

I’ve had my breath taken away enough

Enough to keep life interesting

 

I’ll take that as a no, he says

After my recitation of the home gym, walks and bike rides

 

Now I wonder

My fingertips seemed colder in those new gloves last winter

Was that a sign

Perhaps

Maybe there’s a bunch of shit I can blame on the faulty pump

Post op, that is

 

After that waking up moment

Through queasy fog

Time splinters rustling like wind chimes

Into the coming to in recovery

Where you realize you have more lines running into

And out of your body than there are lines on a gaff-rigged schooner

Pain, an explosion swaddled for now by morphine

Or something

But there

There, coiled like some viper biding their time

In the center of your chest

Through the haze you realize the battle has begun

So you deploy relentless optimism

Against enervated ennui

Every kind of discomfort imaginable

Until it gets better

Which it will and does

In time

 

 

David Trudel   ©  2013

 

 

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Filed under Cardiology, Poetry