Thursday, June 22, 2006

update from the fourth floor of St. Joe's

in Paterson... today is thursday... well actually it's past 1 a.m., so technically it's friday...

anyway, am typing this from pappa's hospital room... he's sleeing... peacefully enough, it seems... it's disturbing to see him so weak. i really really really hope this operation has helped him and not harmed him, really hope.

glancing over at him now and then to make sure he's breathing alright. yeah i'm morbid, and maybe, just maybe, a bit paranoid, but waddyagonna do about it...

his blood pressure was quite low today, even for him, with his chronically low bp... hmm. worrisome. he's worried i know... this takes so much out of him, out of us... these hospital stays... we've become strangely used to it... this time it, meaning the whole routine of how things go here, everything is more familiar. whether we want to or not, we are becoming old hands at this. gosh. who would want to? unless you are a doctor or nurse or something. the nurses at the Open Heart recovery room were great. not that he had open heart surgery, but he did get a tunnel created in his upper chest, so the surgeon wanted to make sure he was well taken care of for the firt 24 hours... at least... now that he's back on the 4th floor, it's back to the family... it's up to the family and the patient to make sure that the right questions are asked... that's just how it is, these days... short staffed on nurses... all hospitals are, i understand, from talking to people...

exhausting... it takes its toll on all of us.

last year, when pappa was admitted to the hospital after fainting, and it turned out he had a n arrhthmia and needed an ICD, then... at that time, i freaked out. Freaked out. and actually lost weight even (a little) since i was constantly, CONstantly at the hospital. felt guilty about even going home for a couple of hours.

but now so exhausted .... of course tongight i'm in the hospital, watching over him... i've positioned this armchair thingies so that i face him... his neck does seem a bit bent fwd... hope he doesn't get a crick in it... i'll hit post on this, and then go try to adjust his bed a bit so that it's in a more noral postion... but hope i won't wake him up... well, the sleeping med he's taking has made him groggy indeed, though...

i worry about my mother too... all this... so much to deal with.

but then this is what life about... no life is possible without the surety of death.

and disease is but one ethod, isn't it?

morbid, my thoughts are

ahh... better go and try to adjust his neck...


Thursday, June 01, 2006

I am from...

I just got a poem published in Voices: The Journal of New York Folklore, in the Spring/Summer 2006 issue. It is in the Creative Nonfiction section... Below is how it appears, on pages 47 and 48... Enjoy --- :)
In his column in this issue, Tom van Buren refers to the New York Folklore Society's 2005 Writing Folklore conference, which was held in September in Tarrytown, New York. The poems presented here are the contributions of two of the conference attendees. The poems were produced as part of a writing exercise led by Steve Zeitlin, executive director of City Lore, in which participants were given the beginning prompt "I am." We are grateful to Yesha for [her] willingness to share [her] poetry with Voices: The Journal of New York Folklore.

I am from the fog rushing over Twin Peaks
and from the parched Sabarmati Nadi
a river that sometimes is
and from the icy blue of snow-fed Tahoe

I am from the sandy alley in Unava where
our house doesn't have a number
not even a street name--
just "near Lakshminarayan Temple"

I am from Ba with no teeth
and an infectious laugh
and from Lakshman Dada
of no near relation but full of stories
of lotus roots he dived to eat
and daughter that he lost to death but found again in

I am from Aunti and Uncle at Saturday School
and wearing the wrong color blue pants and
getting in trouble

I am from my little sister and brother age two and four
weaving stories for their big-eyed wonder
when one was over and they begged for another
I told them they'd have to wait, because
the stories, like naughty children, were running races
around and around inside my head, and I'd have to
stop, go inside and...
CATCH one, before I could drag it out to tell them.
And they believed me.

I am from too much responsibility
but also from duties shirked

I am from the pink-flecked cool tile porch seat
wrapped around the front and back of my mother's
father's house in Ahmedabad
and from my dead black fingernail that fell off my
finger after
I slammed it in a chair
which I buried in my great-grandmother's garden,
where she grew meetho limdo