The Triple Whammy
(Part of Living Poem)
I’m sinking sooner than I expected.
My fine ideas will finally get tested.
For instance, composing this record
Of my journey, my method
Of turning straw into gold.
Will I get this message to myself
When my courage fails and the worst
Prevails? “Self, read this verse.
Does it actually work, spinning hurts
Into wonders to behold?”
It does, as long as my fingers work.
Because the next step is voice recognition or a clerk.
Therefore, top priority is my need
To fight the fight, which means
Latching onto a medical test.
I missed out on ibudilast, a secret
Molecule that calms, heals, and cleans.
I’d read about it in an ALS feed
And called the clinic, short of the speed
Needed to nab a spot that might exist.
So now it’s time, poetry fans,
To sing an alternative, the NurOwn brand.
I’m sitting in my chair, comfy, you understand,
Not yet stumped by useless hands,
Entertaining the theater of the mundane.
Scientists have tapped bone marrow cells
That are so unformed, they’re not themselves;
And put them in a cup to copy several
Growth-inducing proteins—what a steal!
Deal me in, doc! Open my lane.
“What topics might interest the new girl?”
A boy asks. “Love, family, philosophy” says his school pal.
“Do you love noodles?” the boy woos the schoolgirl.
“I do, yes.” “Does your brother?” “I’ve none,” she rues.
“If you had,” the boy muses, “would he love noodles?”
This is just to say I respect the three-topic tip.
Sometimes you have to change frames to slip
Out of a topic trap. I’m just talking shit,
Killing time, waiting for something legitimate
To claim the lazy space in my noodle.
I’m cool with floodgate-regulating taboos
Against obsessive topics that spoil moods
And take over with brooding truths.
I don’t underestimate the power of voodoo
Or the need for buffers in the brain.
Which brings us back to the microscope.
You all find these details fascinating, I hope?
Vast rafts of molecular nodules float
In the body’s miasma, including those
At gates; and in neurons, making energy packs.
Something is hindering the transmission
Of neural impulses to muscle contractions,
And the roster of parties involved in the action
Is a riotous mob of perps and policemen
All complicit in the attacks.
Let me take a break from the story to say
I got confirmation at CarePartners today,
My quads, gluts, and left ankle, they’ve
Weakened, which calls into question the rate
Of my ALS progression.
I see people I’ll hurt by my departure.
That’s the worst feature of the monster.
What can I do, loved ones, to make up for
The broken promise, the lost ardor
Of a dreamed next generation together?
And now look what intrudes, news
That the trials for NurOwn excludes
Folks over 60. Blink. Now what do I do?
Will the gossips across the street please move
Indoors so I can think better?
Rational thinking must reject delusional.
The path now is to wait for a year or two,
And do what in the meantime? Riluzole?
I’d like to stop thinking about this for a while,
But I’m back re-enacting Lorenzo’s oil.
And facing dependency. Hallelujah, all!
Hey, Rob, remember that principle
You posted, about turning straw to gold?
Yes. Well, it’s time to do your magic, bro,
Brighten the mortal coil.