Thursday, September 8, 2022

Subjective Units of Distress Scale 1-10

College truly saved me. It brought me physical and mental distance from the tightly woven abusive nest. It reflected back at me my gifts, my strength, my empowered femininity. I met people who respected me and were interested in my ideas, my viewpoints. Even if, perhaps especially since, I was eccentric.
~disabled poet Jill Khoury

Another mentor poem today! You know those pain scales they use in the hospital? Make your own scale, any topic. Off the top of my head, I can imagine ones for love and boredom. (I should do one for my One Little Word: generosity.)

Subjective Units of Distress Scale 1-10
by Jill Khoury
(with 5 bonus units for additional introspection)

1 – emotions are just neurochemical swirls happening inside your body

2 – the wind rattles the windows at celeste’s house

3 – the slug and bore in our voices

4 – at the library 100 ringtones go off at once

5 – all of the above but add pain; specify whether the pain is aching, acute, anvil, arrow strike, burning, chronic, clamp, electric, fetal, folding, nebula, neuropathic, nociceptive, panting, pressing, radicular, spasmodic, stabbing, stuttering, tornado

6 – atmospheric disturbance like bees chanting a death hymn

7 – in the terrorwood my anxiety lights a fire

8 – st. dymphna with lilies, holding a sword

9 – time is a monstrous organ that breathes us...

read the rest here


Beyond Literacy Link has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Carol!


Carol Varsalona said...

The opening quote really resonated with me, Tabatha. The distress scale #9 is a truth for me and does cause distress. Thanks for sharing.

Karen Edmisten said...

Argh, I feel the distress here. Great idea for a mentor poem, Tabatha!

Patricia Franz said...

The distress scale poem might be the most creative prompt ever! And I'm thinking St.Dymphna perhaps was feeling a bit of it herself?

Tabatha said...

In the painting Saint Dymphna looks pleased to have conquered her wee foe, but she probably knew what was coming behind her. (Enough to rate an 8 on the distress scale!)

jama said...

Oh, distress! That's quite a quirky poem, a little scary because it rings true. That image of Saint Dymphna was a nice touch. Now I need to go calm down . . .

Linda B said...

I'm not sure which number, but you read my distress from my found poem this week. I know that worry doesn't help, action does, yet seeing so much. . . St.Dymphna's picture appears to show calm! How did she do it? Intriguing prompt, Tabatha!

Linda Mitchell said...

Oh, wow! A permission slip with an awesome mentor poem. You. are. on! I love this...can't wait to get scribbling in my journal.

Michelle Kogan said...

Gosh there's some heavy distress in there, and poor Saint dymphna, her father should have taken a hike first… thanks Tabatha.

Mary Lee said...

OOF! What a poem! But that I long to be able to pin down some demons (inner and outer) with my sword.