Eat My Tanaga, You Bastard!

When I hurt, I write. Friends who haven’t been seduced by writing (yet) often ask, “How can you write anything while you are in pain?” And just as often, I respond, “How can you keep yourself from writing your defiance into agony’s bullying face?” Fine! So, I don’t really say that to them, but I think it. Because it’s true. When I hurt, I shove my words into pain’s throat. Then, I laugh like a maniac. And while pain is baffled by the uncanniness of my behavior, I shriek, “Eat my Tanaga, you bastard!” All right already, this is my first Tanaga battle cry. But all the rest is true. When I hurt, pain eats my words. No compromise.


Say hello to my little Tanaga:

Hot hurts my words won’t whither,
reigned pain can make ink sweeter—
stories kiss torture better
and poems dull the bitter.



the wee notes…
Tanaga: Filipino poem (7-7-7-7 syllabic verse, with an aaaa rhyme scheme).
– yes, the title made me giggle. Giggles, too, make good weapons in the battle against pain. It has been scientifically proven (by my flesh and bones and me).
– linked to the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads.

Drowning the Life-Sucking Bastard (for a Moment)

Meeting new pain management physicians is always… a sort of interesting, unease-fueled experience. You just don’t know what kind of person you’re going to get. And when it comes to the doctor who is supposed to help you deal with the not-cool-at-all monster that eternally threatens to shatter your bones (and sanity), the personality attached to the medical wisdom matters.

I think I got lucky… again. The doctor I’ve seen for the last few years was excellent, so I was anxious about someone new. My apprehension was put at ease, when after discussing all the physical and administrative aspects of my treatment, the new doctor asked, “Why do you think that writing helps you manage pain?” I began to snarl—anyone who tries to get between me and writing will end up seeing the sharper side of my teeth—but the doctor raised a hand, smiled, and said, “Don’t kill me yet. I just want to know.”

My explanation was quite extensive, it went on and on and on and on… but it can be summarized like this: “I’m not mad enough, in that sense, to think that writing can rid me of pain. But it can certainly distract me enough not to spend my days screaming while agony steals my life away.” Also, words make the coolest of weapons, so it’s a win-win situation—my doctor agrees.

I know ink
can’t kill pain, but
heart-fed torrents of words will
drown the life-sucking bastard
for a sweet, sweet moment.

So… what’s your weapon of choice, when trying to drown what ails you?