Wednesday, November 29, 2006

'Tis the Christmas season again. No matter if you have any sort of affiliated religious connection to this major U.S. holiday, is of no interest to me. I just know it's worthwhile to consider it a special time of year. And that's a "Happy Holidays" to members of the gang factions, too. They seem to celebrate this time of year as well, in their own certain way.

Oh, Glorious Night

It's a typical night
In this famous village,
With the peasants performing
Their usual pillage,
With gunshots galore
At a drug transaction,
Relieving our streets
Of gang impaction,
Oh, glorious night
Our business is good,
Emergency patrons
The boys in the hood.

There's a typical crowd
In the waiting room,
A grim faced bunch
All dire and doom,
Posturing boldly
With threatening looks,
Like evil transgressors
In comic books,
Oh, glorious night
In this Christmas season,
Who are we saving
And what is the reason?

Do unto others
As they do unto you,
This teenager wants
A stitch and some glue,
A colt 45
With a nine shot clip,
Fully automatic
He shoots from the hip,
He's a wired little monster
Looking for a fight,
Deck the halls with dead bodies
On this Christmas night.

Fibril_late; 12/94

Monday, November 27, 2006

Why is it called "practicing" medicine? Wouldn't you rather have some one "skilled" at medicine, instead of just practicing? I might practice the piano for 40 years and never be good enough to perform, but even if I play 27 wrong notes, nobody will die; at least I don't play that bad!
And then there is the whole thing about people who destroy their bodies, and then expect society to pick up the tab. And along comes the outraged family, who seem to think that we can create a masterpiece out of faulty materials!?!

Training the Scholars

Cirrhosis cause by many years
Of IV drugs and a million beers,
Disabled with his liver disease
He wants a medical miracle please.

On public assistance, he has no job
No health insurance plan to rob,
Saint Mother of Money hospitals, say
"Don't come to us, if you can't pay".

So, off to the University joint
We charge triple, that's the point,
All in the name of research and knowledge
You have to remember, that this is college.

Last year Biology, frogs in the lab
This year an Intern, people on a slab,
Poking around for landmarks unseen
Unlicensed drivers on every machine.

You chose the lifestyle, of abuse and addiction
Now you're begging for help, to reverse the affliction,
You agree to proceed, did you pause to repent?
There's a chance you will die, but you gave us consent.

Your family is angry, they threaten to sue
But you know the truth, the blame is on you,
And it seems like a waste of our health-care dollars
But then I remember, we're training the scholars.

Fibril_late; 12/94

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Last year a remarkable young woman from California, died in Iraq. She was killed by a car bomb blast in Baghdad. She founded the Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict (CIVIC), an organization that assists Iraqi victims of the 2003 US invasion of Iraq. I was moved by her story and her dedication to her self-assigned task, to help those in need in Iraq. If you haven't heard of her, check out CIVIC: @

A Disturbance in the Force

It’s a movie cliché’
But it speaks to us all,
Marla Ruzicka was chosen
By the grim reapers call,
He trails in the shadows
Of the footfalls of men,
Who wage war on the innocent
Again and again.

She was the purity in the wasteland
The light in the dark,
Such strength for the victims
An ember, a spark,
Her vision a firebrand
To make us aware,
And walk a path through the wilderness
With compassion and care.

At 28 years,
Too early to go,
But her work will be legend
I want you to know,
How one person with focus
Someone’s wonderful daughter,
Can cast waves to infinity
Like a ripple on water.


Saturday, November 25, 2006

Sure I make a lot of bad jokes, and display a great deal of ill humor, but the truth behind the uncouth..........I am often humbled by the mystery of love and support that people display towards those who mean the most to them. This was written about a woman, a mother, a wife, a person, spending many months in a hospital for severe and chronic respiratory failure. Although I felt I was "crossing a line" of confidentiality in some way, I sent the poem to this family. Much, much later, I received a thank-you note from them. It felt like the footnote, to a footnote.


"This lady is fun"
Her daughter said to me,
The portrait on the wall
Displayed her lovingly.

She held her mothers hand
And gently stroked her hair,
It felt like I was standing
In a sanctuary there.

Her husband gazed into her eyes
And only saw her beauty,
He'd gladly suffer all her pain
In love, and not for duty.

The part I played seemed minor
In the drama on this stage,
I felt just like a footnote
At the bottom of the page.

"My mother is the strong one"
Her daughter said to me,
And in a moments silence
I was humbled by the three.

Fibril_late; 11/94

Friday, November 24, 2006

Amidst a little nonsense, there is a poignant message about Love. If "true-love" is truly unconditional and non-detached, then that love can let go, and allow a person to die, when it is obviously their time to go.

Love Is Letting Go

Why go on
When your body has failed,
Why send a letter
That never was mailed,
Why own a comb
If you've lost all your hair,
You can't hold your breath
If there isn't any air,
Why go on reading
If it isn't making sense,
Can you say you have a farm
If it doesn't have a fence?

Why prolong the suffering
Of the one you love the most,
Are your grief and loss so great
You are clinging to her ghost,
Sit beside her, hold her hand
Feel her pain and you will know,
That love is giving and receiving
And love is letting go.

Fibril_late; 11/94

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thanksgiving. It certainly touches a place inside for me, being far away from my original family; they all live in the Midwest, whereas I am in the "out west" as we used to call it as children. So I was looking for something I had written, about old time friends, knowing that it's always good to remember to remember. I'm writing to this and listening to Albert Collins...."If Money Were Trouble, I'd Be A Millionaire". Check it out and download it to your iPod.

A Longtime Friend

Words have their limitations
To express the deepest meanings
The greatest writers hold their pens
And pause for inspiration,
They are waiting for a voice
Or some subtle distant music
Perhaps a ripple on the water
Or a tickle of vibration.

Or perchance a longtime friend
Has been hidden by a shadow
Overwhelmed by circumstances
And struggling in the riptide,
If you wait there, at the shoreline
Like a lighthouse, never moving
Know for certain, you are needed
To mend the great divide.

And even when the distance
Is enormous by a measure
Know your actions are important
Despite how small they seem,
When we keep our loved ones with us
In the center of our hearts
The woven fabric of our lives
Is the dream within the dream.

Emotional abuse; what we say and how we say it to others, particularly those who are closest to us, is a twisted way to showing "we care". Someday, that table is turned, and it comes back to us. Ouch!

Terms of Abuse

I tell little stories
Of life, death and bravery,
Unlimited options
To counteract slavery,
Of the words, thoughts and actions
Created by men,
May my stories reveal
The abuse once again.

On a personal level
It's a look at the past,
On a day by day basis
It goes by so fast,
That you have to watch closely
To see the threads of misuse,
Human lives are at risk
In terms of abuse.

Was it something you said
To your spouse in the morning,
A cutting remark
That sliced without warning,
Your shirt had a wrinkle
Or she drank all the juice,
Your complaints, so unloving
This is emotional abuse.

Later, at work
To your employee you say,
"You're doing it wrong
So do it my way",
Your demeanor is threatening
Like a tightening noose,
You're dishing it out
In heaps of abuse.

A buddy at lunch
Whispers, "Hey, did you hear,
That chick over there
She really is queer",
Like the sinking of ships
By the lips that were loose,
Words of gossip, my friend
Are a form of abuse.

At home after work
As a husband or father,
Your daughter says, "Daddy"
And you say, "Don't bother",
You sleep on the couch
Because sex was refused,
Wondering why you're the one
Who gets so abused.

Fibril_late. 11/04

Monday, November 20, 2006

Many painful poems, or poems about pain, depending how you interpret my writing.

Well Disguised Lover

I have witnessed so much pain
But when can one say, "too much",
It's an ongoing dilemma of man
Because pain is a matter of touch,
A signal to pay close attention
To our singular state of being,
And as a giver and taker of pain
I suffer from what I am seeing.

Do you harden your shell for survival
Do you harden your heart if it's breaking,
Do you pray to the Gods for your strength
And offer the pain that you're taking,
Do you turn to the bottle for numbness
Because their pain is making you cry,
Do you pray to the Gods for forgiveness
For wishing that someone might die?

Pain is a double edged sword
It cuts everyone within reach,
Pain is a friend or a foe
Its' objective, is only to teach,
Examine the pain that you're feeling
Touch it until you discover,
That healing is just letting go
Because pain is a well disguised lover.

Fibril_late, 11/94

Saturday, November 18, 2006

This one is a heartbreaker. True story of young woman 21, dying of a drug overdose. I uncover the root cause of the distressing reality.

Only Time For Tears

Twenty-one, is just too young
To die from an addiction,
It points a finger at a cause
A glaring dereliction,
A charge is made that someone failed
To raise the child right,
Her parents bow their heads in shame
Their grief returns each night.

When interviewed, her fourth grade teacher said
"She was so quiet",
The school nurse that came monthly, wrote
"She really needs to diet",
Her brother teased her constantly
And called her awful names,
Her self esteem belittled
In all his clever games.

Her father was a busy man
He'd say, "Later child, I'm thinking",
She loved him like a daughter would
And didn't see him drinking,
Her mother came home late each night
She'd smell of smoke and beer,
There was never time for family stuff
They'd always say, "Next year".

Her city didn't give much thought
About those too young to vote,
It was real-estate and industry
And "Restore the River-boat",
The library, her favorite place
Was closed, for lack of vision,
By the city council members
"Waste of money", their decision.

The local voice, the newspaper
Would rail about "Our youth",
Hanging out and unemployed
And never print the truth,
Taxpayers in an uproar
Police prepared to scrimmage,
Who cares about the lousy kids
They're ruining our image.

Seemingly unwanted
She withdrew for her protection,
She buried all her feelings
In the absence of affection,
With no guidelines of behavior
Or a sense of wrong and right,
She listened to outsiders
And sought solace in the night.

Yes twenty-one, is just too young
To die from an addiction,
The grown-ups she relied on
Performed her crucifixion,
Nailed her to the cross of life
Without a chance to live her years,
Her death is such a tragedy
Now there's only time for tears.

Fibril_late; 11/94

Friday, November 17, 2006

How crass, they will say. The terms of "kill" and "atrocities" are merely euphymism's for describing some of the wild scenes like emergently opening someone's chest to do open cardiac massage, or drilling into a patient's head to relieve pressure. So dear public, understand, everything is on the up and up and entirely copasetic; no snafu's present.

Code Team Member

I'm a code team member
What a thrill,
It's not called murder
When we kill,
It's either a save
Or he didn't make it,
No reason to cover up
Or fake it.

We commit atrocities
So very often,
Who bothers to look
Inside the coffin,
It's all in the name
Of the healing arts,
We're always looking
For donor parts.

We've got a transplant
Program here,
We pickle the organs
In ice cold beer,
The surgeons have
The whole thing mastered,
And just like the organs
They're totally plastered.

So, as a prominent member
Of donor acquisition,
I'll proudly direct you
To a well known physician,
Who will sell you a condo
On body failure road,
And before you know it
You'll be the next code.

Fibril_late; 10/94

Thursday, November 16, 2006

I applied to be a member of a Transplant team, and it struck me, that having clients that were dead might be ok. It wouldn't matter if I was a slob or not. Thus begat:

Donor Manager

I wanna be a donor manager
I really do,
I always took apart my pets
To get a better view,
I'd pop a couple eyeballs out
For marbles with the boys,
There wasn't anyone I knew
Who had my kinds of toys,
So I think I'm really qualified
To get this sort of job,
It won't matter to a dead man
That I'm really just a slob.

Fibril_late; 10/94

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Bonus post of the day!

A Cute Patient

Given a preference
Though the point may be moot,
I’d rather see a cute patient
Than a patient, acute.

Fibril_late; 2/04
A couple of things ran through my brain on this one. First, in my early years as a Respiratory Therapist, I did know of a patient that "exploded". Some weird edema thing that blew up their head. It was ugly. Then another time a patient that had a violent skin reaction to pronestyl, where their skin peeled off like the sunburn from hell. And last of all, it's about the horrid state of end stage diseases, where you'll hear the stupidest comment on earth, "Oh, he's lucky to be alive". Ya, just like that Ariel Sharon guy in Israel. Hello! Brain-dead isn't anything to rejoice about -- "lucky to be alive"; yes, quite easily the most unkind statement ever.

Lucky Man

Itching uncontrollably
Flesh in patches peeling,
When I explode, they'll need a knife
To scrape me off the ceiling.

Veins that once were viable
And a heart that pumped the juice,
I've had a bowel infarct
And now my stools are loose.

Since a nasty brain stem insult
I can not take a breath,
They tell me, I'm a lucky man
I've somehow cheated death.

Fibril_late; 10/94

Saturday, November 11, 2006

I can't keep silent about the epidemic of obesity. This particular person weighed greater than 900 Lbs! We didn't have human-lifting equipment large enough to accommodate this fellow, so it usually fell upon the shoulders and backs of 8 people. Our CCU was small, so there were never 8 people working. We would have to enlist help from nurses from another ICU to help us. Now, everytime I see people walking around who are >300 pounds, I think, there goes another Nurse killer. Because someday (and probably soon) that person will be floundering in a hospital bed somewhere, incapable of moving themselves, and ultimately may play a part in ruining someone's career with a back injury.

Just Attracting Flies

He's a whale of a man
And he's beached upon our floor,
He gained a hundred pounds
And he won't fit through the door,
Moving him is murder
He's busting nurses backs,
We lost a couple good ones
When they died of heart attacks.

We'll have to size and quarter him
If he ever dies,
Otherwise he's trapped here
Just attracting flies,
Or maybe we will witness
An angelic intervention,
We're praying pretty hard
For chariot ascension.

But, I have some major doubts
If Saint Peter will allow,
An admission into heaven
Who requires so much chow,
His afterworld departure
Will therefore be delayed,
He'll have to stay on earth
Until he has decayed.

Fibril_late; 9/94

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Mold! It's everywhere and in the hospital it grows most stupendously in and on warm, damp, dark, hidden places. Many of us humans, harbor these pathogens, often to our detriment. But not so, to this strange fellow in this latest poem.

Gluteal Cheese

When you can't dry the moisture
In the gluteal fold,
You probably will develop
Some gluteal mold,
It's better than yogurt
It rivals French cheese,
It's really quite a delicacy
The Creme de Menthe of disease.

Fibril_late; 9/94

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Adolescent humor; I excel in it. Gross, unpalatable and just plain funny.

You Can't Beat It, If You Eat It

You may recall a story
Written by a fool,
The author claimed delight
At the sight of charcoal stool,
He held it in his lap
And kept some in his purse,
It's a stress related symptom
Of the so-called, burnt out nurse.

Now me, I've got an appetite
For purulent secretions,
I love to suck the fibers
Of abdominal adhesions,
And savor every bleb
From tubercle cavitations,
For dessert I crave the filaments
From the cardiac ablations.

To get along in life today
Is not an easy feat,
But I've always been the happiest
In a job, where I can eat.

Fibril_late; 9/94

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

When I was a kid, there was a company that sold a kit for almost anything you wanted to make. I think that would be a great idea for our hospital population as well.

Do It At Home Autopsy Kit

Each night and day
Around the clocks,
We prepare them for
The plain pine box,
We pull the tubes
And cleanse the skin,
There's a zippered bag
We put them in.

Now if you're wondering
How Grandpa died,
You can take him home
And have a look inside,
We'll pay the taxi
Right to your door,
And as a bonus
There's one thing more,
We put a gift in his bag
It was easy to fit,
The "Do It At Home"
Autopsy kit.

Then it's time for twenty questions
Can you venture what disease,
Laid asunder poor old Grandpa
I think it started with a sneeze,
And included with your instructions
Are some recipes (Their winners!),
Just save your favorite body parts
They'll make a lot of dinners,
And when it's time to ditch the leftovers
You can call us at the station,
We'll send you our most popular kit
For do it at home cremation.

Fibril_late; 9/94

Monday, November 06, 2006

Just a little TLC..............well, I've got an acronym for those "back-stabber" types, where TLC = Total Loser Crap; which is what you get when you have to work with people like that.

Total Loser Crap (T.L.C)

You know the type
They have a way,
Of ruining
Your night and day,
They have an attitude
Of ruin,
While claiming
Someone else's doin',
You can't escape
This bogus trap,
Ensnared by
Total loser crap.

Complaints their
Modus operand,
The bold faced lies
Go hand in hand,
They'll take each chance
To stab your back,
So many times
You can't keep track,
There's just no dodging
This phony rap,
Befouled in
Total loser crap.

The only way
To deal with these weasels,
Is to expose them to
The German measles,
Infect them with
Some mutant strains,
Designed to blenderize
Their brains,
Then hopefully
Their jaws won't flap,
With all that
Total loser crap.

Fibril_late; 9/94

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Parking-lot Attendant; it's a dirty job, but someone has to do it. Right? And if you have never gotten a ticket, lucky you. The rest of us citizens, have special words for their species and I can't reveal them here. But I can rant and rave to my hearts content.

Exhaust Sucking Meatheads

I'm a hard working serf
For a local employer,
It's been a fine place to work
But now I need a good lawyer,
Because the parking-lot attendants
Have gone one step too far,
Those power hungry gnats
Have ticketed my car.

It's a typical situation
For powerless peons,
A self esteem vacuum
That's gone on for eons,
They're assigned special uniforms
With pseudo regalia,
A flashlight and notepad
And other paraphernalia,
They're at the bottom of the barrel
In the hierarchy tower,
Groveling for a sense
Of fictional power.

I pay my monthly dues
Like clockwork, on time,
I never break the speed limit
And I stop on a dime,
But those exhaust sucking meatheads
Are hot on my trail,
And if I don't pay this ticket
I might go to jail.

To be honest with you
I'm not the last to admit,
That our local parking problem
Is a big crock of shit,
Big brother is charging us
A leg and an arm,
Exploiting us peons
While we work on his farm;
Why not gouge the customers
Like we do in the store,
Get them coming and going
For ten dollars more.

This city is famous
For its lung wrenching air,
I participate in a car pool
Because I'm environmentally aware,
But as drivers, we receive
A group parking I.D.,
It's the crux of the problem
Why they ticketed me;
There is no provision
If I'm working overtime,
There will be no compromise
From these parking-lot slime,
If I'm driving alone
Without the parking pass,
The scum of the earth attendants
Will ticket my ass.

If any one knows
A lawyer without scruples,
I want to mortgage their souls
And gouge out their pupils,
But I won't stop there
I'll take it to the ceiling,
Until the bureaucratic bigwigs
Are ticketed and squealing.

Fibril_late; 8/98

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Don't live too long if you can possibly avoid it, otherwise you may be subject to "damaged fate", like this poor fellow (and all those he came in contact with as well).

Damaged Fate

He never rests, he never sleeps
He’s constantly in motion,
His good wife stands beside his bed
Enraptured with devotion,
Upon his face, a frightened look
I think he’s scared of dying,
His wife displays a happy smile
But when she’s home, she’s crying.

He didn’t always look this bad
He used to be a farmer,
His wife would give a little smile
And say he was a charmer,
His kids would swear he never raised
His voice or hand in wrath,
He walked the road of honesty
And never left the path.

But somewhere in the course
Of his catastrophic illness,
A personality synapse
Came unraveled in the stillness,
Now he fights the very people
He depends on for his needs,
Did he spend his prior lifetime
Saving up his evil deeds?

Who knows, it hardly matters
He is chaos incarnate,
His nurses stop and wonder
About their damaged fate,
The family comes reluctantly
Embarrassed for their father,
And as the days and weeks wear on
They begin to think, “Why bother?”

I’m sure you think it’s just another
Case of burned-out nurses,
Who found themselves, some poor old chap
To work out all their curses,
But he pulls out his invasive lines
And soils all the linen,
They treat him with undue respect
But he’s malevolent and grinnin’.

The family wants a full Code Blue
Their guilt is his domain,
He’s devious and still intact
And wants to share his pain,
It hardly matters in the end
His illness has him beat,
He’s a banquet for bacteria
And, how they love to eat!

Yes, once this charming farmer
Led a different kind of life,
Respected in his village
Loved deeply by his wife,
But one day it came crashing down
He had lived his life to late,
And despite our magic medicines
He succumbed to damaged fate.

Fibril_late; 8/94

Friday, November 03, 2006

CVA or stroke can be so horribly devastating, if emergency care can not intervene in time. Imagine being unable to speak or move.................

Slowly Dying, Living Hell

The shock of instability
On previously solid ground,
The shock of broken silence
By an unexpected sound,
The horror of paralysis
In a body that was well,
Trapped inside forever
Slowly dying, living hell.

The terror of an illness
That strikes without a warning,
It erases all the sunsets
And the sunrise in the morning,
The loved ones at the bedside
Stand forlornly, with their sorrow,
Partaking in the agony
As each day becomes tomorrow.

The victim prays that death will come
To liberate her soul,
The family starts to bargain
If only God, could make her whole,
But this illness shows no mercy
It’s a torturous tale to tell,
A family in captivity
Slowly dying, living hell.

At last, the liberation
The agony does end,
A relief for her survivors
But will they ever mend?

Fibril_late; 8/94

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Completely off the track here today, because I didn't get time to access the records of "The Underside". So instead, I have a little poem about my niece and the amusing things she's up to with 3 of her friends; precision rope-jumping, of a style known as "Double Dutchess"! Take a look at their website:

Double Dutchess

They jump through the ropes
With the greatest of ease,
Those Double-Dutchess chicks
How they dress, what a tease,
The provocative theme
Of their skits makes me snicker,
When they jump, skip and jiggle
It puts a strain on my ticker,
And the park-bench leering geezers
Those randy old men,
Holler, "Keep jumping, chickies
We give you a ten!"

Fibril_late; 6/29/06

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Pain. Actually going out of my way, to get a biannual dose of it. Crazy!?!

My Irrational Fear

Don't get me wrong
The lady is great,
But she's not one I'd ask
On a romantic date,
Her features are nice
Her complexion is fair,
But I'm sitting before her
In her dental chair.

We get along fine
But I'm scared to death,
So anxious and nervous
I can't catch my breath,
And what is the source
Of my irrational fear?
The table of tortuous
Instruments here.

My gums will be prodded
My teeth will be flossed,
My insurance company
Will buffer the cost,
But that will do little
To allay my distress,
I derive meager pleasure
From her gentle caress.

I endorse her skill
Her faultless ability,
When the appointment is over
I exhibit agility,
As I leap from the chair
And leave her office on the run,
The lady is great
But she isn't much fun.

So, don't get me wrong
She's a wonderful dame,
But I don't like playing
In her kind of game,
Though you can be sure
That in the upcoming year,
I'll call her again
To reexamine my fear.

Fibril_late; 7/94