acromegaly

Poem from the archive: ‘Pain’s Sweet Tooth’ (May 2008)

Back in this place again

This place of doom and gloom

Bloated stomach passing for womb

Once I was well and pain

Was something felt from a

Prick of thorn or cut of steel

Not as now when it grows

From a live seed

Planted deep, sown down

In furrows, virulent its saplings writhe

For supremacy, squealing for

Sugar and coffee and tea

Cake and wine and syrup and cream,

Drops will not do, bring

Buckets for bowls, Life must

Be strained and stretched to

Feed Pain’s sweet tooth.

Notes on the poem

I wrote this 14 years ago, when I was struggling with a pituitary tumour and acromegaly.

I’m starting to include poems from this period of my life, from my first site : creativecoping.wordpress.com.

I think the past, in all its forms, memory, history, monument, is useful to the present.

By resurfacing these poems, I hope to remember the lessons life gave me then.

Patience, patient.

If myself were distilled into

A test tube and held up to the

Light now, it would be two feet,

A bit of br ain between the ey es

And the ache where the lungs meat.

 

The rest is being kept

In another cabinet,

Access has been barred

And bureaucracy is quick

To thicken the dust on this key

 

There is the hope of everything

Being in that jar, housing

The organs I once owned.

The promise of wholeness, of

Complete myself, stowed away.

 

I’ll pay whatever it takes, I’ll

Take whatever works and spit out

Whatever doesn’t and if nothing does

I’ll smash the glass and let my guts

Mingle with the mud, set free forever.

In my shoes



Let’s write one here,

About a quest for shoes,

The quest of a girl with big

Feet, size 42, not 41, UK size

9 not 8, if she’s honest

With herself today, the

Girth from ‘little’ toe to

Big is the kind of substantial

A man boasts of but

A woman hides in shame

In a pair of furry Uggs

Under a puffy coat or

Forgiving bell bottoms,

Bravely taking on the mud’s

Jeering  face.

 

In she goes, the MEN’s

Section, less shameful at

Christmas, fall back on

Pretence of shopping for

Spouses, brothers, uncles, boyfriends,

Big boots with big buckles

To accommodate long feet

And hairy ankles in sturdy comfort-

 Firm soles, 100 %  natural

Rubber to support the tread of 6 foot

15 stone, if need be, not her

Fluctuating 12 to 13 frame, 5foot 11, if

She’s standing straight, less, if

On a short date with a short man,

Mostly sitting down, if she can find

A chair and a table to hide the boot

That weighs the crossed leg down.

 

Still, never mind, better to be well – shod

Than tottering about in heels

2 sizes down, that never fit and

Never will, unless she gets over the

 Strange condition that makes her

Feet too big: Acromegaly, it’s called,

Google it if you’re confused or bored,

 Or if you find you change size

From day to day, no matter how much

Choc you didn’t eat or beers you didn’t

Drink – men have it too, but it’s

Easy for them to like big shoes.