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POETRYETC  January 2010

POETRYETC January 2010

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Subject:

Re: ...I need a kick up the butt! Living with AIDS in rural Australia.

From:

Ken Wolman <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Poetryetc: poetry and poetics

Date:

Fri, 8 Jan 2010 19:38:38 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (68 lines)

Lawrence Upton wrote:
> Dear Chris
>
> I was greatly moved by your posting; and have been wondering since what to
> say, whether to say it...
>
> You have been given good advice by others here.
>   

He's right. You've been given words of comfort and perhaps even of love. 
I've stayed out of this. I can't fix it, can I? I can't even suggest how 
you *might* fix it.

I have very little in common with any number of people in this space. A 
few I like. A few I dislike, heartily or just with a sense of a 
common-garden lack of forgiveness. I am certain that there are people 
who see me as some sort of invisible man or something worse. Yet we seem 
to be gathering around your situation.

You appear to be ducking your own issue. No, not ducking: ostriching. 
Unless the ostrich is indigenous to rural Australia, you're wasting your 
time. If you are afraid for your life, that's actually quite a sane 
condition. For Heaven's sake, go with it. Be afraid enough to act to 
eradicate the fear.

The only reason I checked myself into a psychiatric unit at the end of 
2006, rather than gobble all the clonazepam and lithium in the house, 
was because I suddenly understood that no matter how destroyed my life 
felt as of 12/31/2006, you can't get better after you've done a 
"successful" job of self-destruction.

Time for a tale of male cleverness, perhaps? I'm 65. When I was 38 and 
unemployed (for a year) I developed intense urinary tract pain. For all 
available functions. Here is my TMI for the day. Do you want to kill 
your sex drive? Ejaculate and bend double while crying from the pain. 
All the same took me *two damn months of aspirin therapy* to go to the 
urologist who'd done my vasectomy the year before. A month of agony that 
did not end once I admitted I felt horrid. The doctor started prostatic 
massages which felt like having a thumbscrew up my ass. They did not 
help. This went on for months. Nothing worked. Then he ordered 
radioactive dye scans through an IV. I knew what he was looking for and 
I was, as the old Brit(?) war song goes, "shit-scared and prone on the 
floor." I might wish I was dead but when I thought it was possible I 
wasn't quite so resigned.

It was not cancer. It was a blocked bladder neck. Medication cleared it 
almost at once. Now I'm just one of those old futzers who needs to see a 
urologist now and again...but in 1982 I was thinking that I am too young 
to die. And the question back at me was "Why would you think that?"

I'm sorry--this is not about the prospect of AIDS. But it *is* about 
what Lawrence terms the "common male attitude of burying the head." If 
you put any store in your physical survival (you do, don't you?), don't 
go gentle.

And while I have you here, a totally unrelated question: why in the 
world would someone as skilled as you are with the view camera and the 
attendant printing processes want to piss around with a cheap-assed digital?

Ken

-- 
----------------------------
Ken Wolman

http://awfulrowing.wordpress.com
http://opensalon.com/blog/kenneth_wolman
http://wearethecure.org/friends/cids-memory-p-394.html

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