Friday, October 26, 2007

On Alzheimer's, Poetry, & Such

Now that I'm understanding Alzheimer's, I have to learn to put up with institutional management that speaks a corporateeze that I'm not much good with. One way to get away from it is to go to a poetry reading.

Last night's reading at Ballard Library was lovely--laid back and comfortable, a place where one can be new and scared or experienced and still scared (or not). Thanks to librarians, Lynne and Elizabeth, who set the stage for the lot of us who read one poem each.

I forgot how long it's been since reading. What a wonderful poetry community we have here in Seattle. (Well, not always). I feel the sense of caring and community more as a reader than as a series host. Lynne read one of her poems - I love her cadences and repetitions - and it was good to see a host feel comfortable reading her own work, which I haven't felt. Last week when she read at It's About Time, she said she writes her poems to read in community, and it shows. She's a happy reader. I write as an internal need, to get things said that I feel need to be said, and to understand, but I'm certainly not a happy reader.

Brian is. When a few of us were talking - mostly I was talking - about writing depressing poems, he said "I can do happy. I can do fun." I laughed and invited him to read for It's About Time.

I had no idea what I was going to read last night until yesterday afternoon when I received an email from a Provincetown director. She wanted to use The Homeless One to help support a homeless shelter that couldn't keep up. Then I knew what I'd read: At the Back of the Laundromat, which I revised six times before the reading and am still revising; here's the original.

Now I'll take the dog for a walk and go buy a battery for my chirping smoke alarm, which is driving me nuts.

I've decided not to go see Abe today because I was so upset with the management of the place Wed. When I walked in, there was a staff party going on and no caregiver in Abe's section. I was livid. This is not the first time the party scenario's happened, but saying anything only serves to get me and everyone else upset.

Abe was happy. When I asked somebody to clean the bathroom, he said: Good for you! He's still Abe. LOL. I don't know how they will have staff enough to take care of him as the disease progesses - which they promised - but I'm staying away for another twenty-four hours, at least.

Well, I guess I'm into blogging again. It's Peter's fault. I find his blog, which includes much on poetry and medicine, helpful; and it's inspired me to write outside my room again.


Peter said...

Welcome back, Esther.

Esther Altshul Helfgott said...

Thanks. Good to be here.