Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Nuclear Medicine

From Steve Mueske's chapbook, Whatever the Story Requires, which I received in the mail the today. I opened it to this poem (see below), and was totally blown away. The image of the angel reminds me of Nicholas Cage's character in "City of Angels." I am looking forward to reading the rest of the book, including one poem titled: "After Reading of an Amazing New Device That Brings Back the Dead in Lifelike Holographic Images." Great title.

Nuclear Medicine

The angel has grown weary.
No one has made a run for eternity
since the days when the garden was young,
and the effort to stand ready
has made him mortal.

Bodies on white-sheeted gurneys
are lined up in the house of fear:
an old man, placid, nearly transparent;
a baby in a plastic tub, eyes taped shut,
tubes running along both arms;
others, spilling into the hallway
like oil at the scene of an accident.

In the lounge four hours later,
a boy watches TV, shivering
beneath a blanket. A nurse pops in
to ask how he is doing. He ignores her.

A man who's pissed a toilet full of blood
watches from the corner, wondering
whether the boy has just had a dose
or is merely cold from the air circulators
and the press of long hours.
He will come back soon,
and has begun to practice
naming shadows.


jenni said...

I have it too. many wonderful, surprising and inspired poems. steve is very talented, and just a nice guy too.

steve mueske said...

Peter, how cool of you! Thank you so much. I'm glad to hear you're enjoying the book.

Thank you, too, Jenni!