Friday, June 17, 2011

"Friday Night Frolic" - The Liquidation of Lamebrains

The Neurologist by Jose Perez (Oil on Canvas)

A Summons for Cephalalgia

You sneak in during the middle of the night
thinking I might not notice or mind
like you've got carte blanche
to walk in unexpected, uninvited

You bastard

I've got your number
I've been held by the grip of your vice
countless times
hostage to your beastly manner

I ignore you
You bastard

You hum, warble in my ear
as I search for the dagger and venom
sharp elixir and vapor
with which I might slay you

For you are a mere illusion
that hurts
You bastard

I see you laugh under your breath
as you slowly turn the crank, Screw you
Forcing me to retract the insouciance I feint
as I lose control of the ship

Spiraling among white beams 
and bubbly charcoal floaters
In a lugubrious, colorless, merciless sea 
to the throbbing beat of your pulse

Fuck you
You bastard

The last time you slipped away
I'd hoped it was for good
Otherwise, there'd be a call

For something more effective
(than the ENT's feckless aresenal of pills)
Like a restraining order
Or a hit man

Contracts being my specialty
I'd scribe one immediately
if I could keep the light for a spell
to faintly see where you might sign

The agreement, including, but not limited to
conditions precedent
like prodrome and aura
so I might have fair warning

That my mind is in imminent danger
of being hijacked
by your suffocating hand, your persistent drone,
your deeply encoded paroxysms of pain

You bastard
Your time will come.

AND now, a love song...

John Darnielle, a former psychiatric nurse, writes some of my favorite short stories. And then he sets his revealing, expressive narratives to music, and sings them with The Mountain Goats (or solo). His sometimes morose, but always witty and snarly lyrics prompt smiles and reflection, with no shortage of eye winking.

All Eternals Deck (2011) is the band's latest release. 

And from Get Lonely (2006):

You can find more on Darnielle here.  Now, about that phone call...

(In the event you are wondering... No, the Friday Night Frolic will not become a forum for scrubby, lamebrained, habitual poetry
—though I do enjoy serious and not so serious poems. The fragmented stanzas of poetry, in  my case, lends itself to fits of cephalalgia, whereas the narrative is an arduous prospect during bouts of lamebrainitis. )


  1. lamebrainitus! OMG! I think I have that!

  2. I think you should write more poetry.

    I also wish I could work on your neck & shoulders :-)

  3. Ellen- And here I thought I was the only one. ;)

  4. Dale- You don't make house calls? Hmmm... Maybe a trip out west is in order. The cost of getting out there for treatment may be less than the cost of my deviated septum diagnosis and all the co-pays.
    Oh, that's a good idea. :)

  5. ok, i think i may have actually gotten a headache from thinking about a headache while i read that. or maybe i had one before but wasn't as aware of it as i am now.
    loved it and it was very nicely written, but next time write a poem about orgasms or something, hehe.

  6. Okay I had to look up "Cephalalgia" then got pissed someone was hurting you, blogger would not let me watch your videos and then you throw in, "lamebrainitis." Which by the way I DO understand. :)

    Your Friday night Frolics are becoming a grand ole party. :D Have a great weekend Jayne.
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  7. I will be thinking of your perfect description as I lay in the dark with my next migraine. Bastard,yes, vice and dagger, exactly.

    I love your music picks. Itunes no doubt will be sending you a thank you for all of us going from your page to their site.

  8. I hate sinusitis and all things headachy.

    Love your poetry though!

  9. id- Oh no! Not my intended outcome. I think though, like yawning, headaches may be contagious. Hope it's not as bad as the migraine I've been carrying around for the last two days.
    Orgasms, hmmm... now that might be the cure. ;)

  10. Jules- Is it time to hightail it over to Wordpress? I nearly started there. Don't know why I didn't, because it's where I set up both my son and daughter's websites. Birthday presents that they rarely use.
    Oh, and I'm so happy to bring a party to you! ;)

  11. Cheryl- Lordy it's near impossible to think during one of these episodes, so if you can manage to summon this poem you are a strong woman!
    I haven't heard from iTunes yet, and my kids keep them well fed and clothed, so I may be waiting 'til the well dries out before I get a thank you note. ;)

  12. Janie Girl- A royal pain in the arse.
    But with the FDA recently approving Botox for treatment of chronic migraine headaches, I may finally get my hubby to agree to few little shots.
    Think my insurance will cover it? Ha! ;-)

  13. Ow, you poor thing. I'm glad you let it out via your writing. That was powerful!

  14. Ugh. I suffer from those nasty, blinding migraines. Happily, I've only been having one or two every year for a while now. I think I'd rather cut off my arm than to ever have another one. I go through those murderous thoughts, too. Great poem.

  15. More than just a headache, this sounds like a migraine. An entirely different beast.
    Sorry! I hope today brings you some relief.
    If it's any consolation, my mom always said only extremely intelligent people suffer with migraines. (Because she, herself used to get them :)

  16. I thought you only give headaches.

    Look towards the east for your remedy.

  17. Oh, that link to Jose Perez's NIH "Perez on Medicine" series is wonderful. Just this one image, The Neurologist, is rich with association -- especially the story of the blind men and the elephant.

    And a new word: Cephalalgia! Capitalized like that, and apostrophized thus in your poem, I picture him (or her?) as some sort of nighttime demon riding on the back of your head.

    (Although, per id's comment, in looking up more about cephalalgia I also stumbled upon this... O Wikipedia, you font of distraction!)

    I once had a subordinate subject to blinding, debilitating migraines. Jenny was a brilliant, inventive programmer, funny, sweet as can be imagined; that she could be completely flattened by these episodes seemed just about the unfairest thing in the world. I do hope the thing evaporates soon, especially if you've been putting up with it for a couple days already!

    (I laughed, gratuitously, at the phrase deviated septum in one of your comments. It reminded me of the US (sergeant?) played by Keenan Wynne in Dr. Strangelove, confronting Peter Sellers's British-military-aide character -- demanding to know what the hell kind of uniform he was wearing, and wondering aloud if he was some kind of "deviated prevert.")

  18. Poetry out of pain. Ouch.
    Thanks to some birds;), I seem to share the communal headache.

    Not familiar with Jose Perez, thanks for sharing, amusing:)

  19. Must admit I never got hooked on poetry. 99.99% of the stuff I read is prose >:)

    Cold As Heaven

  20. Lydia- Day three with the bastard. I think I'm going to have to write another poem.

    Nessa- Ah, you understand. I wish it were only a couple of times a year, (not that I'd wish that on anyone--only myself--but it would be better than once every 2 months or so. It ain't fun getting older, but I want my menopause! Bring it on already. (Supposedly, that will help.)

  21. Leonora- Mother's are brilliant aren't they? I'm ever so slightly better today. Thank you. :)

    Common Man- Duke, ha! That's my daughter, remember? So east would mean the ocean. That baby of yours in the water yet? Newport? I won't be late. Promise. ;)

  22. JES- I can't tell you how happy I was to stumble upon Perez--just the sort of whimsical medicine I needed. I hadn't thought about the Blind Men/Elephant story, but I can see how you would make that association. What is this thing?!
    And that is exactly what my migraines are--nighttime (and daytime) demons hoofin' it all over my head! And a mean stream running within. Much like Jenny's--completely sidelined at times. :(

    Most disturbing news at Wikipedia, although I can tell you orgasm is definitely not the source of my migraines. But be careful men!

    When I was coming into my teens, I remember thinking Peter Sellers was the coolest guy around. I had a crush on him. And then seeing his work w/Kubrick in Strangelove (after I had seen all the earlier Pink Panther movies, and The Millionairess, and others--my father was a huge Sellers fan), well, that was just genius. I don't think the movie would have worked so brilliantly without Sellers. (And the deviated prevert, of course.)

  23. Antares- Yes, I want my head back (I have to take breaks between posting these comments--that's how taxing they are). You know those birds can be taken care of? ;)

    Cold- I enjoyed poetry in H.S. and college, and then like you, read only prose for years. But I've recently come back to it... there's a lot to learn from the verse. It's quite a beautiful form (if presented by someone other than me!).

  24. I know people who suffer with head aches as well. My demon is Insomnia and is likewise a constant battle.

  25. Great writing, powerful stuff -- and this comes from a guy who hates reading poetry! :)

  26. Jayne, doubt it will help with the headache, but I have an award waiting for pick up.

  27. First I had to look up what that c word was then I had to look up how to pronounce it! I've never had headaches like that, but but your poetry made me feel your pain. Hope you are feeling better!!! Be home soon. Miss you! xo

  28. Robert- I often wonder what it would be like to not have to do battle with demons. The demons that keep us from rest though, are the most egregious. Aarrgghh!

  29. Kid- Ah... so we know how to get you to read poetry now! ;)

    Antares- Oh, but that makes me smile, and that certainly helps a headache. :)

    Lin Ann- And I hope you never do have such headaches. It's improving here, ever so slightly. Looking forward to hearing about your trip. I might even be well enough to have one of those fancy Texan drinks with you! *hugs* ;)

  30. Look at you posting that indie darling John Darnielle, i'm not one of those Mountain Goats devotees (i know many though) but i do like his tunes...

    i don't know nuffin bout headaches though, unless of course it involved 8 balls of blow and chain smoking cigaretts for 12 hours or so, but i gave that stuff up after boyo #1 was born thankfully.

  31. That was deliciously dark. I want to go flip someone off now and break their spirit.

  32. Kono- Well, he is a darling, after all. They've come a long way from the early days, too. Their new CD is all grown up.
    Yeah, and when the boyos show up on the scene, that's the right time to put some things to bed. Don't worry, but headaches will follow... though they're refreshingly less foggy (unless it's a migraine)than other vices. ;)

  33. Beer- I highly doubt you would could break anyone's spirit, kind soul you are. (Though I'm amused my poem made you feel that way.) ;)

  34. I like this poem. A poet I know sends me a new poem every day. Most start my day with a smile.

  35. LAIMBRAINITUS! what a clever term!lol I must have that too, especially these days. But if you think your poetry is lame, well I be to disagree Jayne. Really love your words. I'm still hissing these words now "you bastard.."

  36. It's funny that I was ravaged by pain from a broken tooth over the weekend but since reading your post it's completely disappeared.
    So not only was your poem a beautiful read but it also appears to have had healing powers too!

  37. Carol- How nice of your friend. What a lovely way to start the day. :)

    Maria- Ha! That makes me laugh, thinking about you hissing! Best part is that it doesn't hurt to laugh tonight--finally feeling better. :)

    Paul- Oh, well maybe I should bottle it and sell it at the Rx counter? Might be the first words I'd ever sell! ;)

  38. Oh Goodness Jayne - it sounds like you've had a terrible time.

    Incredible that you can be so poetic and creative whilst in the midst of such ghastly pain. Your words were so powerful.

    I do hope you are feeling better.