I have spent the last six days choked by the magma of my lungs surfacing and blocking the air I needed. There have been days with sore throats, days where I feared every cough because of the pain in my chest wall, days when I woke up gasping for air, days when sleep would not come, days when my sickness caused me to slip, taking away reactions so I hurt myself and the car, having to rebuild fractured lights and hope they looked legal.
The magma rises, and it changes everything. It started when my big hope was denied again, and continued through being uable to shovel more than two feet of snow, more than that the plow plugged in the drive way, through long and difficult tech support handholding with my father, my air shutting down as I had to be the one who paitently rebooked hotels or diagnosed internet connections, as he didn’t listen so well, and was frustrated by my inability to be more fluent. He didn’t want to know about my sickness, just to get to the farthest south point they will visit, having things work, and then head home.
I did the work, but “A Crack In The Edge Of The Earth” by Simon Winchester has set the geological metaphor for my own personal seismic event, a vision of sliding plates colliding, of faults and boiling rock, all hidden under pretty landscapes people want to see as banal & safe.
The pain and rage that bubbles beneath, the frustration and fumes that underlie everything, well, they are right there during events like this. The normal ouches I would be able to subsume turn to rents, and those rents into rants, where the prayer of getting out of this fucking game comes immediately to mind and lips.
My breath is still full of whispers and sighs, emerging not from my vocal cords but from the hole, the back of my throat, where what gurgles inside bubbles up and tries to escape, choking me, especially when I have the obligation to hold it back, to drive or to be nice on the phone, say.
A quote from a different read:
He is incapable of making “Fuck You” his first response, or even his first thought. Being black has taught him how to allow white people their innocence. For black people, being around white people is sometimes like being around babies you don’t like, babies who throw up on you again and again, but whom you cannot punish because they are babies. Eventually you direct that anger at yourself. It has nowhere else to go.
Hilton Als, “A Pryor Love,” The New Yorker (1999)
All the magma in the world is connected. All the magma in me is connected.
And now, it comes forth to remind me it has nowhere else to go.
Here, the poem I have been working on, after the jump.