Each month, write a new collection.
THE NURSE AID: BURIED TREASUREReaching forward to move, 150 pounds is a dangerous taskStacks of risk management back safe rules aren’t needed, To tell the Nurse Aid that.But the tube feed is runningTheir fragile skin has rolled on feces, And the mandated second Nurse Aid helperIs rare.So many bodies to care for Feed, toilet, bathe, dressSo many muscles that no longer danceIn brain chemistry balanceSo many souls in stark white bedsTo feed, toilet, bathe, dress.Patient and Nurse Aid flowis suddenly jolted By professional interrupting, with exam, X-ray, or Medication.Just as suddenly, without moving a molecule of heavy air, They are gone, as if they never came.Did they consider the comfort ofThe sweaty brow, the spotted eye glass lens, the television too loud.Wonders the Nurse Aid, scurrying between rooms To respond to call bell rings.With eight hours of mundane, now clocked The Nurse Aid departs With relief.Then stops, in reflection briefOn the puree meal, she heated just right And fed, excruciatingly slowTo the silent patient with furrowed brow of pain, Who ate her whole meal And smiled.LAYERSo SURFACE:• dependent patients need frequent repositioning and high levels of functional, often embarrassing personal care• a hard job due to high need for service and often inadequate assist• Nurse aid’s own health is at risk of injury as they move patients• DEEPERo moving people with aspiration risk or tube feed running can kill themo provide a huge, often unrecognized impact on patient care o in a unique position to observe patient emotional experienceso repeatitive lifting people can cause severe back injury and compromise caregiver’s occupational future o Patient care is determined by the caregivers schedule.o The nurse and patient are commonly interrupted by other professionals, often in the middle of embarrassing proceduresA FEW WAYS TO MAKE IT MORE SATISFYING-bedbound patients: clarify surface meaning (back injury risk to caregiver); deeper meaning of bedbound patients, as well as risk (reflux and tube feed, skin care outcomes)-convey impact of nurse aid care on patient comfort, health, and satisfaction-place the value of the work in context of patient comfort, respect by rest of team, and pressure of daily scheduleWHERE AM I IN THE POEM: observing personal exchange of nurse aid helping patients cope with small moments
Wow J, this is a great poem, about a really important subject, I could definitely see multiple poems based on these subjects. Seeing it from the viewpoint of the caregiver, and from a bodily perspective is amazing. I have a few friends in this line of work, they would really appreciate your perspective and insight.
Yeah, I totally agree. There are so many directions you might go with this!
DEEPER LAYER ADDITION: How patients needing assist are fed by caregivers, directly impacts dehydration and malnutrition outcomes.
This collection of poems originally were part of my blog where they were posted in response to a photograph I had taken earlier in the week. One of the hurdles I'm looking into is how to frame the poem's photograph in words so that I can publish them separately. 17. (The photograph was of water in a soft gutter(one shaped like a valley/no curb), where the waters surface reflected clouds and sun in the sky)"womb of all being—like these clouds we wantto take the world inside ourselves—the gutter—an imagereflected by us—in the way silt and oil are depositedon the edge of the drying deterritorializedspaces that they discolor as rainwater evaporatesthis hurts in the way that we would rather capture the imageof the sun, than to be here to feel it." layers:The womb/gutter, reservoir, giver of life.The replacement of natural landscape that formed rivers with concrete.The clouds and the "selves" of the poem drawing water within them.We become reservoirs for the silt which is natural and the refined oil which is not. What is left behind as we dry is what marks us.The shift in value from valley/river/womb to gutter, we have devalued an entire process by placing ourselves and our creations between the sky and the land.We aren't even really here, we are so caught in the surface reflections, we don't feel what is present.Where I am in my poem. Part of my desire with question is to move outside of "me-ness." I think the pov of this poem is more of a universal we. I'm not sure if it works. Ultimately it feels a bit like I'm focusing on a drawn bow, what it feels like to be that, or the body that draws it. There is a critique of our culture here, but I want to be included in that critique, as I've done nothing in my life worthy of placing myself outside of what makes "me" angry.Ways to make it more satisfying:I think I have adequate, maybe even too much layering. Paring back one of the lines might help with the density of ideas and language. I think the pov/framing might be difficult and unclear for a reader. If I remove the 7 line constraint, now that I've generated the poem, maybe I can clarify without producing clutter.Also de-territorialized I think needs to go, its an artifact of Deleuze and Guattari, which I'm constantly referring back to in this collection. I'm fascinated by the way in which they talk about milieu, lines of flight, etc. I'm engaging the concept of multiplicity semi-constantly. It is difficult to remove specific queueing language from their work, I feel like I'm plagiarizing if there isn't an index such as this. Well. Ok. Here we go!
That's great man. Yes and yes! Go with these changes. I like the way you're thinking here.
This dot of an M&M cradled in the palm of my handrests on the crossed creases of my life line nudging Saturn’s line of wisdom,my splintered head line and forked love signs Marked M for memoryMarked M for motherChocolate used to be Kit Kat barstwo sticks for lunch.My little sisters also got two eachMy tongue would lick melted chocolate against the wafer, rough offmy fingerprints sweettaste of regret because chocolate was never enoughNot meant to be sharedNever. Not to be kind, or frugal.That was a childhood agoToday, the blue ones are new. Where I am: I am looking down on an M&M in hand remembering my mother and candy, how she’d share 2 four piece kitkat bars amongst three daughters for school lunch. Remainder: two pieces left over (but I don’t mention this) and I always wanted the extra pieces because I was the eldest but now I can’t eat kitkats because I am diagnosis a celiac (but I don’t mention this) intolerant to wafers but reallits about the chocolate anyway (but I don’t mention this) Now I am a mother, and not so juvenile so maybe it is time to let the feeling go, and the M&M is an eyeball winking at meLayers – the round M&M is a blue orb, like the earth, looking up at me- the M lines of a palm is universal to all of us, but not all of us have the line under a middle finger which is rules by Saturn, judgement, aka the “line of wisdom”- Mothers are also universal, as is jealously and unreasonableness of emotion- the blue M&M are new color, represent change, and an opportunity to grow upMore satisfying?I was trying to evoke a childlike POV but maybe I need to be more explicit about the many things I don’t mention