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  • Deah Curry PhD

Odd Where the Body Chooses

© 2021 Deah Curry PhD

This is my first attempt at slam poetry. Technically, this type of poetry is meant to be performed, not merely written or casually read. The performance includes interaction from an audience which might praise the work or the poet, but which might have a more critical, rejecting, rude and mean response -- hence slamming the performance. But there are other distinctions as well. These poems are often highly politicized, drawing upon racial, economic, and gender injustices as well as current events for subject manner. A broadening of these characteristics of slam poetry can also include an emotion-evoking or resonating description of a difficult experience. This attempt below falls into that category.

Odd Where the Body Chooses

Why at night

when the mind craves rest

does the body yell loudest,

hyperactive, aching

deep in the muscles where

leg meets groin

dull hurting worse than

sharp cuts of surgeons knives

or mother’s unkind criticisms

No position providing comfort

neither in bed, nor chair,

nor that chair over there,

neither straight nor bent,

no ointment nor patch

no electric heat

nor cool winter sheets

relieve the pain at all

much less allow sleep

One thirty, two Tylenol,

one Aleve,

a cup of distraction

hoping to trade

one kind of throbbing

for another but

no bedtime joy tonight

from Outlander on Audible

Two fifteen, breathing meditation

heightens awareness

improves felt sensing

qualities of pain

in that crease so

normally asleep

now dull aching deep

muscles unrelenting

punishing the sacral energies

of the receptive, the yin

side of the pelvic floor

heart of female memory

power center of emotions

connecting sexjoy to life’s creations

Three forty-five,

body refusing to answer

what do you want from me?

Is it necessary to torture

the groin at this hour?

Sixty minutes might be

tolerated like the four thirty

annoying, persistent,

endurance of a toddler

with no concept

of appropriate times of day for

temporary hurt similar

to wrestling with yoga poses

Five twenty, leg screaming

in chorus now with sore

hip bones so more

bodytalk silencers

Seven ten, mirage of relief

allow a brief nap

Eight fifteen caffeine

washing down silent pleas

get dressed and pray

to nap through the day

like an old lady nursing

insults of asking body to act

invincible, impervious to aging

Ten o’clock brain cells

absent in the agony of the night

remind weary consciousness

a vial of arnica montana 200c

lies in wait at the bottom

of a kitchen catchall basket

promising the untried cure

for adductors contracting

when the mindbodyspirit

cries too hard over loss

Odd where the body chooses

to express the need to

move beyond soul suffering


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