Outlook Deteriorating

Outlook Deteriorating long poem

Photo by dyniss

Sitting in the examination room
paper crackling under your naked spine
the worm of doubt working
its way through your pipes
just about falling asleep
white noise strong as medicine
honing the edge of your fever
there’s a double tap at the door

you used to believe the bogeyman was
under your bed but now you’ve seen him
riding elevators at the hospital
sniffing bouquets and sizing up children
plump with good health, ripe with fear
coming to visit some loved one
stuffed with death
now they feel claws and clammy breath

your doctor wakes you up
everything to her is a good sign
you submit to her firm invasions
she’s a maestro tuning up a quirky violin
there’s a thin streak of yellow mustard
high on her cheekbone
it turns the dark brown of her eyes sepia
you can smell the meat leak from her pores

pain grows in your body as you age
like dust collecting along the baseboards
of a sharecropper’s house where the wife
died after a three inch long barbwire scratch
she got on her calf chasing after a yardbird
went bad and cast out lines
down the waterways of her veins
how can a family recover from that

when you wake up again you’re in motion
your head is a kind of stone
fluid has seeped into your ancient fissures
you expand when the fluid freezes
go mad when it drips free
the world has become a pirouette
shifting its pivot deep in your hard stomach

it is mid-spring and the tiny brown ants
are swarming out of the sidewalks
bearding the concrete every few blocks
and for what – to be smashed or eaten
they neither sing nor attack but mill about
like your memories trying to summon a perfect
word to summarize the dire way you feel

cool oxygen blowing up your nose
the metronomic tone of the IV machine
dispensing some tonic into your veins
nurses stop by regularly and tell you their names
they all mean well yet they won’t let you go
you know they’ve chained you to the bed
drag you back from the quiet dark assure you
that the man all in black is not a patient

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a poet from Seattle Washington USA. His poetry has appeared in print in publications such as Bellowing Ark, Point Nopoint, and most recently in Contraposition magazine. When not writing poetry he is a Human Resources professional, a repentant glutton, and a novelist specializing in the weird-fiction genre.
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3 Comments on "Outlook Deteriorating"

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Chand Ashish

very intriguing …..
but highly studied truth ….
great lines …..
interesting thought ….

Ashish Chand

Bill Peeler

The bane of modern medicine, postponing life’s escape mechanism.


A hospital scene..terrifying old age…and the pain with it…so beautifully captured in this poem..



Outlook short poem

Positive out look creates confidence drives out fear balance the mind drive one to success Negative out look lose the confidence drive in fear imbalance the mind sure to end up in failures Balanced out look tries to be steady