Balance Disorder Inventory Poems
These poems are part of a larger work-in-progress,
Balance Disorder Inventory, based on a questionnaire used
in physical therapy for vestibular nerve disorders.
She nudges me toward the open shade.
Darkness binds to what is nearly light.
Look how mist lies in some valleys & dips,
but not in others. I thought that was the snow.
See the sky wild in orange ripped with pink.
I thought it was the mountains on fire.
Those robins look funny poking the lawn.
Ungrateful children singing the prettiest songs.
Seems we’re in for a change in the weather.
It feels like I am getting the flu.
See the contrails crisscross the brightening blue.
It looks like a chalkboard that needs erasing.
Yes, that's it! Every day is a fresh beginning,
a wiping clean of the slate! I look out past dead
stalks of corn.
Yes, each day, as I roll away,
it starts all over again.
Rosie, who's sixty years old? Don't shake that head.
It's me, that's who. I fake to present a happy balance
to a cake over ten. Dazed after waking to more dread
of homophones, abrupt parallaxis & inversion of chance.
This bughead sensation began of not getting up, words
taut after rising from stop to why drops. I also felt most
unbeing, troubled by spells that lasted seconds & thirds,
a marionette strung up & danced by a jittery ghost.
I steadied by bending back to upright after turning down.
That doesn't make me a perpendicular clown.
Rosie, I notice you spinning an untidy mistake by arching
backwards while pulling out eyes, evening drips by turning red.
You may recall a simpler epithet one earlier year, marching
itself & spinning away. I have no occasional watershed
to suggest past vestibulars would put up a fight,
nor temporal relationship between the aural & rain.
A cute virago evoked migraines & lust, hearing, loss & night.
Why must I grovel with my earthquake head & sunspot brain,
while you just sit there, a hydra, like three Queens of Siam?
You must think me the fool. Well it seems, yes I am.
Rosie, trilateral, why can't you see what you're doing to me?
By divination, I have no signs of decelerated craving,
no nostalgias at rest provoked by gaze, but a horizontal tree
impulse first, as the hexagram manically delivers high raving
crescendos in a homicidal plan to reassess my love for you.
With no evidence of a “catch-up saccade,” you believe in,
you engaged in my beating up, counterclock pas de deux.
I know you must think this is your way to get even,
making me dodge those sadistic white birds by the sea.
Rosie, can please you stop shaking your heads at me?
Hi, I'm serpentine & will be eaten in two weeks. I've exploited
these simpletons since I was evergreen & now I think I'm ripe
enough. I've been to culpable dictators & none of them can sell
me what's wrong. I'll look up feeling fairly fizzy. I'm watching
myself. It comes & goes on feverfew weeks, juice apples one
or two a day. It lasts from Sam I Am until C3PO, but will list
right for the holiday. If I focus on glossolalia, my venison gets
bloody, with an almond hash over my eyes. I feel a fissure belie
my islets & just phalanx out of it. If peppers talk to me, it's as
if I'm in a lost epitaph of Charlie Brown. Everyone mounts me
like an adulterer. I've been tasted for dire beadies, anime & a hot
lunch of thugs. Fear no weevil, thy rotten, thy staph. They come,
fortunate me. The wired thing is laughter mirages. They change
deep ending on what I cook. They move wherever I hang. Around
trapezium, the signalers go away. I get this rash of synergy & find
fire for the rust of the day. Sometimes I look at this guy & it feels
like Father, like floating above my body. It's said I would rather be
there than here. I get these ghost hugs where I feel a ticking against
my clock or leg, like some understanding here against me. I've been
checked for Warm Embrace, but I even get the sensation with lights
on, so there's no actual hugs,
it’s just in my mind.
Michael Albright has published poems in various journals, including decomP, Rogue Agent, Foundry, Stirring, Rust + Moth, Tar River Poetry, Pembroke Magazine, Cider Press Review, Moon City Review, and the chapbook In the Hall of Dead Birds and Viking Tools. He lives on a windy hilltop near Greensburg, PA. with his wife Lori and an ever-changing array of children and other animals.