Physical Therapy and Abu Ghraib


So I’ve been undergoing physical therapy twice a week for a while now. Some of you might notice the photo above from an earlier post. as I am stretched and pulled, massaged and exercised I am for period of ten minutes each time left alone in a cubicle with electrodes strapped to my ankles. My ankles are then wrapped in ice-packs and the power is turned on. This increases bloodflow to the recently “exercised” joints and I think is helping (I am getting better). During those lonely twenty minutes a week I have been composing poems on my crackberry:

As I lie in my curtain-cubicle
Stretched and stretching out
Upon the insurance company wrack
Tring to revive my ligaments

I feel the gentle surge
Of the curative electrodes
Taped to my lower extremities
As I stare up at the curtains

That separate me from
The other patients with
Other infirmities
Stretched shocked wrenched

Each of them must feel
The tears of their own flesh
Rehabbing looking up
At the fluorescent

Curtains that separate us all
Hanging from the tracks
That segregate walls
For our own lonely cures

Stretch (This one is a revision of the first that speaks more directly to an imagined interrogation instead of the isolation that I feel in that cubicle and in the medical world.)

In a hyper-clean cubicle
On a Plynth Three Section Table
Model sixty-four-eighty-five
Sold only to prisons and HMOs

Lies a man Bound by zip-ties
Lies a man who does not speak
The language of his “providers.”
He is to undergo “truth-therapy”

At the hands of a good Hoosier
Raised on corn and bologna
Jello, macaroni, potatoes and
Bread that you can make balls out of

As concerned about march madness
As he is with homeland security
He puts medical electrodes
On the depilated scrotum

Telling the patient patient in poor Urdu
What he is doing just like a real doctor
He explains the range using the LCD readout
Then he connects the wires

He illustrates the discomfort of the number two
With his military training school Urdu
The LCD reminds him of the scoreboard
At McCracken that Hoosiers venerate

Lost in thought he wonders about
The bracket he filled out in the px
And if there were any upsets in the first round.
Then he reads the first urdu question typed on the sheet

There in the hygienic curtained exam room
Two men speak in Urdu one of whom
Is thinking about college basketball
And the other of his flaming balls

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T



4 responses to “Physical Therapy and Abu Ghraib

  1. me too starting a blog of Photographic theme

  2. The basketball teams play on the Branch McCracken Court in Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Indiana.

  3. I know you’ve not become as lazy as I have, and you’re no doubt doing triple duty as family person, teacher and human being, but don’t disappear please.

  4. Sigh, I’m caught in a trap, with too many ideas, not enough time, and way too many distractions. I wish I could get going in one direction for long enough to matter.

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