Friday, October 12, 2007

Enjoying My Euthymia; Poem, "Salad Burial"

No crises, no depths, no chemical aberrations to report. No doubt my readers will quickly become bored with my newfound wellness, though I am delighted with it. To --not be depressed-- is the greatest blessing I can receive in this life. Sure, I love my wife and daughters and friends. But when depressed I can feel none of that love, neither for me nor for them. I feel like an insignificant fly speck or worse, a tiny curse in the world, or so my chemicals would convince me (until whipped into shape by modern psychopharmacology).

My poem, “When I Am an Old Man” in Chimaera was a take-off on “When I am an old woman I shall wear purple.” It’s worth a peek for a laugh, though I do wax a little surrealistic at the end--which reminds me of some paintings I saw yesterday, categorized as “hyperrealistic surrealism.” And damn, it fit!

Today I attended my mushroom identification course, per usual, except my memory for recalling Famoptosis cajanderi and countless other strange monikers is much improved with the depression at bay. It is amazing how much my mind improves when free from a depression, just amazing. I can think of many delightful, forgotten grudges from the past, not to mention all the new slights I look forward to.

Next week we’ll begin our field work with fungi, thank goodness, as I am so tired of the classroom experience. The rains have come so the mushrooms will follow. I can’t wait to be foraging for fungi in the forest. That line reminds me of another poem that no one has deigned to publish, a poem in a light-hearted vein. I labor to be reader friendly. I try to write for readers, not poets. But this is not a new poem. I am holding to my vow to eschew poetry.

Salad Burial

I made it on a Saturday
with romaine and green leaf lettuce,
stems crisp and firm,
fresh-boiled eggs in slices,
the rose-white flesh of radishes,
mushrooms cut kidney-style,
spinach with that suede feel
and chicken strips
grilled in garlic oil.

If it had been eaten at the party
or I hadn’t dressed it for convenience
I wouldn't be standing here, a week later
afraid to open the blue ironware pot
where Hansel and Gretel are lost
in the furry forest of the fungal underworld,
where spice of meat and greens are married
to the ghoulish sponge of Miss Havisham’s
spider-riddled wedding cake.

Holding my nose I look away
and blindly bag the mutant gallimaufry,
dropping it in the trash, but as I do
I wonder what alien stews must be
composting in my neighbors’ cans—
See how the imagination festers?

Did you like the phrase, “mutant gallimaufry?” I was proud of that.


So what does the immediate future look like for me if I stay euthymic?

My main goals are to wrap up all my art from the past, to record all the songs I’ve ever written, to revise or complete all the prose and poetry else toss all I've written, and to improve my website so that my music can be downloaded. I also aim to complete the workbook, A Graceful Farewell, so that in the event of my own death things will go smoothly. So many die unprepared! I don’t want my brothers fighting over my Stratocaster and my Martin guitars, for instance. As for a literary executor, it is not clear at this point whether one will be needed unless my writings obtain a higher visibility. Right now this blog is the best thing I got going, because more people read it than all my poetry buried in all those publications for the semi-elite. Strange, isn’t it? Journaling gets me more readers than composition.

Other goals? I want to paint our living room and purchase better furniture and use our space more elegantly. Our unit has two rooms, upstairs and downstairs. Upstairs holds the bedroom, TV and closets; downstairs Kathleen and I each have our own office in opposite corners from which we sometimes e-mail each other in lieu of talking. Our dual schmegg zones eat up all the available space. We can't even have guests over for dinner, having no table to speak of.

The rain is here. So is my birthday, October 17, for which Kathleen has purchased me a guided abalone dive. I can’t wait! That’s what I asked for when she asked me what I wanted. Can you imagine me just two-and-half weeks ago asking for anything at all? Nope. Neither can I. What a different when the light is turned on.

Like that old film star, the only presents I now accept are those I can eat, read, wear, listen to, or spend. No knick-knacks.

For those with budget constraints a simple genuflection to my blog photo will do. I do also kinda want a cat. (Hear that, Laurel?) We are not ready for a new dog yet.

2 Kilobunnies,



  1. "Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are" glad you two are getting a few of those blessed days.

    Where are you going to do your guided dive? I'd love to be there to cheer you on. You are braver than I am, but I'll go fishing with you any day. : )

    I like the poem, too.

    Best to you both,


  2. Kenyon's poem, "Otherwise," yes?

    Except for Kathleen I might have dived solo. I'm a daredevil from way back, spear fisherman, yada, never used a tank.

  3. Hey C.E.,
    I've been away from your blog for some time, so it's a happy change to see that you're feeling better. I'm glad to hear it. Your salad poem made me hungry, then not so hungry.



  4. Well, it would have to be an exceptional cat, I think. (grin)

    Go to the humane society and adopt a cat that needs a home. Or take in a stray. My experience has been that those make the best pets.

    Happy birthday, sir, early.

    Mine was on the 12th. I knew there was a reason I like you---we're both Libras! (grin)

    I've been thinking about getting a dog. My living arrangements will be changing soon and when they do, ownership of a dog might become possible. I'm thinking Pug or maybe french bull dog. I've always had a fondness in my heart for ugly dogs.

    Happy happy to you, CE.

    (ps: Weird question, but I'll ask it anyway. Do you feel "normal" when your meds are working? And by normal, you don't experience any side effects? You're mostly normal acting and functional? I recently started taking, in very small doses an anti-anxiety drug because I'm at a transitional point in my life and I can't seem to breathe or think lately, and man....even a little bit of the stuff makes me feel so flat and emotionless and robotic. Sure, the anxiety is dulled, but everything else is too.)

    Get a cat, a fog colored cat, and name him Prufrock!

  5. :)

    I've been a stranger...Sorry.

    Good to see you up and running.

  6. Good to see you, Jarod, and thanks.

    Pat, per usual, smooch.

    Laurel: English Bulldogs are going for around $2000 out here, I don't know how much the pugs or French version are.

    As for your question, it makes me feel as if my blog has done a poor job of communicating my illness. Yes, when I take my medications, now that we've discovered a combination that finally works, I do feel "normal." I can think about the future. I can laugh and joke. When the light in the refrigerator of my soul goes back on, my brother always likes to say, "Good to have you back." Kathleen is meanwhile trying to adjust to her husband, who, unlike when depressed, can be "aggressive, rude, and impatient."

    That quip also raises an old question amongst my friends and family: Which would you rather have? Craig well or Craig sick? Some prefer the latter because he's quiet and so little trouble.

    Some medication virgins are extremely sensitive to any psychoactive drug. They are often hard to treat for that reason. My only side effect at present from my cornucopia of meds is a little loss of balance.

  7. Happy Birthday YOU!!!!!


  8. Happy Birthday old man!

  9. I've always been hyper-reactive to all drugs, even OTR. A single Tylenol can put me deeply to sleep.

    I was just kind of surprised at how flat and robotic and incapable of emotion that tiny anti-anxiety pill made me feel.

    I'm trying valerian now instead to see if it will help me sleep. Used to take Kava. It would knock me flat out. But they don't seem to sell it anywhere anymore.

    Yes, the Frenchies and Pugs are dear and dear. No one uses dear that way anymore though, do they? I was thinking I might get one via a breed rescue group.

    But who knows. Might just go to the local shelter instead. If I actually get a dog.

    Christ, I wish I could stop thinking about every little thing. It's making my head hurt and my heart pound.

    Prufrock. You definitely need a cat named Pru.

  10. OTR?

    What the hell is OTR? (grin)

    I meant OTC, of course.


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