June 26, 2014

Greg Kosmicki

APRIL 2, 2013

Because both my wife and I work for a company
that pays a good share of our medical costs
I’m able to take her to the hospital
this morning so she can have a minor operation
to find out if she has cancer or not
of the organ that brought life
into this world three times
with a little help from me.
 
While she is having the doctor poke around
in her most private parts and cut stuff
and scrape and examine—using a camera no less—
the doctor herself a miracle of understanding
and depth of learning to be able to do such tasks
but the camera too, then of course the crude
old instruments they still use to cut
and clean and cauterize—all updated 
by technology—when she’s under that dream
they call anesthesia—a loss of aesthetics,
 
I am able to sit at the table in the lobby
to drink free coffee from a machine
made by the Bunn Company
and to read many pages of a marvelous 
poet who revealed a secret to me
today about his writing that I’d never known
and the doctor was able to come out to show me
beautiful photographs of the interior
of the most secret and might I even say holy
part of my wife’s body, and to tell me
that it looks like everything will be all right, again.
 
Try as I may I can’t imagine a place in the world
where all of this could have come together in one day
for two people, though I know at least a thousand
other women probably had the same operation today
and maybe even one or two of them have husbands
who are sitting in their kitchens at the table
having a glass of whiskey and writing out words
about it, while their wives call them
from the living room to say that some cats
are outside fighting, and he can say
he doesn’t think that that’s what those cats are doing at all.
 

from Rattle #42, Winter 2013

[download audio]

__________

Greg Kosmicki: “I don’t know why I write poems nor can I explain why poetry is important to me in any way that doesn’t sound corny or clichéd. I don’t understand why anyone would want to write poems when they could learn a useful trade instead, and I don’t understand what people mean by ‘The Writing Process.’ Since 1975 I have written what seem like poems to me and sometimes other people think that they are poems so that’s what I call them. Furthermore, I don’t understand why poetry does what it does. Because of all this, I think in hindsight it’s a good thing I never was able to get a job teaching creative writing of poetry.”

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