Author Archives: Pym

About Pym

Writer, researcher, editor

this is the end

Wrote a poem about a dream in which
I played the role of the tin-woodman
with a heart, clanking about on a stage

before an audience of soldiers; it was
important because they would soon
be gone — but I hit the wrong button

and the words, the nice little rows
of words, disappeared. I’m left staring
at a letter: “you are summoned to appear

for jury service.” The lines arrange
themselves into stanzas of three. Will
this disappear before I finish? I’ll

finish here.

Time Piece

it’s good to have a job
and to drink hard cider
on the weekends and fart

in my own good time;
perhaps i don’t have my
own time, though; it seems

so, these days through which
i live, each day a birth
day, however bound or

parsed, entered in a spread
sheet. yes, even the week-
ends, and a post card with

a white rabbit glares out
over the laptop, big black
hollow eyes, no timepiece;

just a question, in passing.

“In the context of relevant philosophical models, one can begin to conceive of Eigner’s poems as actively occurring experiments in perception. Thus Eigner asks us to reconsider not just what kind of body a poet can use to perceive, but what kind of perceptive positions might be formed and reformed (for reader and poet) in the protean space of the poem. It is Eigner’s careful orchestration of simultaneous attentions that both critiques and points to the relevance of phenomenology to the reading of poetry.” — Hillary Gravendyk

lavaliers of dead democracies

Saturday’s a dead rabbit in a dandelion
garden and cousins 6th removed named
“Lucky.” Still, hoping for the best,

a water-fed, ten-ton clay box hacks
built-in poverty, preserves the best
word reductions and cucumber radishes.

Much as, sallying forth spews (or dangles)
lavaliers of dead democracies, bombs
and intifadas; we attempt to stay cool.

Blood and Submissions

It’s taking longer than I thought to get my iron levels up. I’ve raised the dose. Feeling a teensy bit better every day (best of all, no muscle cramps for the last week) but it’s slow going. Nevertheless, I didn’t collapse the last time I went to the gym, and I’ve had energy enough to begin converting Local Nomad into an online literary journal. I’m now issuing my first call for submissions. And I received my first submission today! To find out more go to my newly revamped website, Local Nomad.

Otherwise…we are thinking of putting in a vegetable garden. Just thinking about it. We decided against chickens. The weather here on the foggy coast is not optimal for things–like tomatoes–that grow much better 20 miles inland. Beans, maybe. Squash, maybe. And there are all those forageable things out in the field, e.g. wild mustards and dandelions.

In the Blood

Yesterday I was exhausted, and found it difficult to focus. Although I’ve been continuing with volunteer activities and now working at a job I love, for the last month or so (but probably starting about a year ago), my energy for all these things has been waning. I’ve had difficulty sleeping, as well, because of night muscle cramps in my legs. Funny how one can adapt to little losses like that; you think something’s off, but just try to shoulder on; you adjust, but then things start piling up. It took awhile for me to remember that I have anemia, and need to do something about it. So, recently, I’ve been dosing myself with blackstrap mollasses, iron supplements and vitamins. I’ve had to break my semi-veg diet; yesterday I ate a hamburger (a damn good one). Today I actually feel some interest in things, and the muscles are feeling somewhat normal, less twitchy.

Now I’m reading about blood and hemoglobin, which is fascinating stuff. One website (from Austin Community College) presents an economic analogy for how the bloodstream delivers oxygen to the body. Think of your lungs as a factory, the tissues of your body as a Target store, M&Ms as oxygen, as the writer explains:

“The M&M factory (here the lungs) produces M&M’s (oxygen). In order to make money, the M&M’s must be sold and one of the places that sells them are Target stores. Thus there must be a way to transport the M&M’s to stores, including Target (the tissues). So, the M&M company has trucks (Hb [hemoglobin]) to deliver the M&M’s. The trucks are completley filled at the M&M factory and then travel the highways and biways to the stores. When they arrive at the Target store, the truck unloads the M&M’s and then returns back to the factory. Now, how many M&M’s are delivered? It really depends on how many M&M’s the store has sold since the last delivery. If, for example, no M&M’s were sold, none would be delivered; if 10 boxes were sold, ten would be delivered. So, the amount of M&M’s delivered depends on the amount of M&M’s sold (used) by the store. This is the same with oxygen delivery to the tissues, Hb must be able to deliver more oxygen to those tissues that need more oxygen – tissues that use more oxygen need to have more oxygen delivered. Hb does this!”

Blood is a transport system, a system of migration, moving nutrients here and there within a body; and hemoglobin a molecule of protein that contains iron ions, magnetic bits that bind oxygen to the blood coursing through veins and arteries. I think that microbes within the body must view or sense the blood streams as dark, pulsing rivers, on which tide they rise and fall.

The vision of blood as economy or transport is far from analogies of blood loss to energy loss or loss of sexual vitality, and loss of self for a greater cause that I grew up with from movies and books. There’s the blood lust of vampires starving for life-giving fluid that you see in movies and novels. Many myths and tales involve blood: the Philippine aswang — the nighttime paraplegic vampire (seeking viscera to replace the lower half of its body); the blood-lettings, finger-prickings, and blood-red colored cloaks and dresses in fairy tales; sacrifices of blood — even just one drop — in order to gain love, or wealth and glory; we sometimes relate natural events to blood, such as the October “blood moon.” And there are the bloody symbols of religion and folk spirituality: communions offering wine as blood; fingertips pricked to create blood bonds; blood sacrifices and martyrdoms, fluid transfers of energy. In horror movies — even in an occasionally humorous TV series like Grimm — we need to see blood and gore; the baroque overkill of such scenes marks ugly woundings and losses, bomb blasts, and frenzied murder. We know violence is part of the reality of everyday life, but dare to face it only in the realm of fantasy.

Blood is economy and transport; blood is emotion and bond; blood is violence; blood is sex, sign, augury, magic.

So we make meaning of this alarming crimson sea within, which signals the state of our life force, or impending death and metamorphosis.