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Showing posts from April, 2010

Deadman, Chapter 6

Chapter 6 Mr. Posey’s doctor was at the nursing station, sitting comfortably in a rolling chair, with his feet on the counter and a handful of charts stacked on the floor next to him. To one side of the pile he had balanced Posey’s chart, and as I approached him, he picked it up and waved it around while asking me to come over and help him find some missing lab work. I pointed to the morning lab work that I had clipped to the front of the chart earlier. He laughed distractedly, and started leafing through the paper printouts as if he had always known they were there, as if the joke were on me and not him. I pretended to get the joke. I talked to him about Mr. Posey. He looked at me as I talked. I looked at the breakfast he had left on his lab coat. He looked tired, disheveled and slightly oily, as if the person who had been making biscuits in his brain for breakfast had mistakenly buttered the outside and not the inside of his head.  Standing next to him as I spoke, I told Dr Q about

Deadman, Chapter 5

Chapter 5 When a patient arrives on the unit, the first thing that that gets done is an admission assessment. Much like the process people goes through when renting a car from Avis, and like all the documentation that’s required before they drive away -- an initial assessment is done to record the dents and dings and other things that need to be brought to management attention before treatments begin. It’s not exactly like the examination that’s done on a trashed car after getting off a plane after long trip – it’s not a, you break it-you bought it paper trail of woes kind of examination -- It’s the finding of that exact place the bookmark got left, so we can read ahead and see the ending of the novel that is you. Or at least a place to start, and a starting point to work out from. All context come from talking, information from tests and procedures can only give you information, the art comes in the things both said and unsaid by a patient, and this comes with careful give and take,


Honest I imagine you, alone in my house For a day, without binding you to a promise Not to search through angles and nooks, and Other concrete memories filed away in haphazard places. I imagine coming home to you A pile of my past on the kitchen table As you hold up each item and wordlessly Ask me for a more explained honesty. You ask of letters old and grey Bound with a soft cord and a gentle knot. You ask of pictures of me with her And others implied by time and space. You ask of official documents of a younger man, Those things held for required years and more In powered fear and presence-- Those years that ground the wild from me. You stop me, you hold me Comforted that all I am is now in you. We read in quiet and look up at times To bind with sight the closeness. And as I fall asleep at night, With your head on my chest and an arm around you, I think of that kitchen table and recall the other Unremembered thing from the dimness of my shadow. In the darkness of a corner behi

Deadman, Chapter 4

Chapter 4 It occurs to me as this tale is told; that “I” seemed to have been the one making all of the decisions, and that “I” was the only one doing any work. Since this is a first person account, it’s probably appropriate for me to leave other people out, unless they interacted in some way and add to the story--- but an explanation is in order. I worked in crowded rooms alone, and other people were not a net I felt I could drop into when things went bad.  Becoming a Coronary Care Nurse, and then developing any sort of a mastery of it was a long process. I received extensive “book” learning, provided by the hospital, as well as six months of hand holding by a nurse preceptor (babysitter.) Then I went to the night shift for a year, for both seasoning and experience. My night shift experience involved working with two old bats that had been nurses for longer than I had been alive. One of them would yell at me continually – usually as just a background roar of noise that they she used t

Low Sparked Tone

Tone Shaken words that paint as sound on fire A willful brush, shaped by lips and tongue. You pause to listen to an echoed something Still seeking in the rushing of the noise To see the scree of tones shorn rough and ugly To count the colored parts and name each one. As the rush of anger starts to fold around you Its plastic rubber blowback burns your ears Those ears that pin against the rail in waiting Are still waiting there to lose the pain in time. And time is only there to be remembered And remembering is the pain you want the least. Fear and faith can hold a shape forever Till twisted by the arms of no one cares And you sit alone and blind in pounded rubble Seeking only more of dimness from the gloom. Mike Brady 2010

A New York Poem

A New Yorker Poem I see the fad is putting something Here To move the eyes and function as a Pause Though I wonder if the concepts kind of Queer, And I fear I’ll start to do it just Because. It’s not enough to pause with just a Stop You have to break the line a bit in Show So, no loose crap is gumming up the Thought, It's all to wrap the view of words in Gauze. Michael S          Brady 2010

Deadman, Chapter 3

Chapter 3 Day one I met Mr. Posey for the first time shortly after getting a report about him from the ER nurse. It was the start of a new day for me, for the ER nurse it was the one last thing he had to do before he went home to bed. I got a bunch of facts from him, and then he shuffled out the sliding door and headed home. I was in the ER to pick up my new patient, and to safely deliver him back up to the unit. Posey had walked into to the ER about midnight with a complaint of, “An elephant sitting on my chest.” The ER nurse told me that this particular elephant had been parked on him for the better part of the day.  Posey was sitting up on a gurney, and was a large guy, about 325 pounds.  As I introduced myself, he started talking to me with a real thick Georgia accent- something I remembered from childhood when visiting my dad’s family. I liked him on speech; it was “like at first sight.” He reminded me of my grandfather – the dead one I didn’t have. (My grandfather had died

The Edge

The Edge (2017 ed. -- to H.S.T.) At night on longish sweeps of coastal road, As fog and dampness coat the graveled path And ocean winds caress the broken shore In summer mists that wash the evening clean. The engine roar ablates an icy steam As man and bike now drift to catch an edge The drop-off deep, its concrete railings worn The centerline now vague and mostly gone The engine redlines, clutching up a gear, As silence screams the loss of grip beneath. On meaty beast of iron polished bright Soft helmet flapping loose against the wind Hunched in flex to seat him for the slide His fears a focused symmetry of time As hours tick the seconds yet to ride. With speed, the secret gift that god allows -- It bites in chattered twisting as it pulls, And hops, and jerks, and burns the ground in touch -- As wheels begin to catch the angered thrust. It snaps upright and scatters broken rock And leaves the point of an edged razor cut. As he rolls his chair through sta

Deadman, Chapter 2

Chapter 2 After graduation from nursing school, I returned to the hospital I had been working at as an orderly. I was now a new nurse in their coronary care unit. I had arrived; I was now one of the elite, a regular cock-robin. Like most mid-sized hospitals of the era, the intensive care part of the hospital was divided into two sections – a coronary care unit and a surgical ICU. I was hired for the coronary care part. This was where they put the best and brightest – the cowboy nurses who could make a decision quickly, or not make one just as fast. The job required a combination of speed, restraint and judgment – the unusual mix of a beta mind in an alpha body – nervous, twitchy chain smokers who sat a lot and argued about the arrangement of bones.   I spent most of my time with other nurses, all small ‘g' gods like myself. We sat in front of banks of heart monitors most of the day, just smoking our cigarettes and arguing with each other about the rhythms of our patients as the

Deadman, Chapter 1

When you shake hands with a nurse, follow the eyes – they’ll be checking out your veins for plumpness. Chapter 1  I left the Navy in 1977, after four years as a hospital corpsman. I became part of a larger world. The world got bigger, I didn’t. I found it useful to hide out in a lot of part time activities to keep the bastards from finding out that I was on the loose. I thought they might rub me out. I worried a lot about being rubbed out. Though I had no idea who the bastards were, I did know that they were renting space in my head for meetings on a regular basis. (As a schizophrenic once told me, in a clear moment, “You know those voices in your head all the time? To whom are they talking to?) I started school at a community college in Pacific Grove, California – general studies –, which consisted of a lot of dope smoking with other students that I had instinctively meet the first hour after arriving on campus. I also went to some night classes. I grew my hair out, moved to a hippi

Introduction to the Plan

The plan I’ve been working, off and on, the last ten years on a piece of writing. I think that it’s a book, but it may turn out to be something else. I call it a memoir, unless Oprah starts grilling me and then I’ll crack and call it something else. It will still be a memoir, but I crack easily around strong women. I’m the ultimate unreliable first person narrator in all areas of non-fiction – it’s my gift -- and time to put it to work. One of the problems I’m running into -- at 50 thousand words, I’m losing my place – I keep coming back to the story without a feel for the story. I’ve been trying to find a way to read it, and then write more of it – all in one big chunk of time. I’m trying to do too much, so I’m not doing anything. The only way I can think to make it manageable (other than getting software that follows my plot and lists my characters, which, let’s face it, is not going to happen.) is to go back and break it down into chapters and build up from there. It’s not t

There is No Plural for Pajama

There is No Plural for Pajama Your pajamas want you back, They miss you, (not in words, They are not capable of speech.) As they fold under your pillow, Poking out; an inanimate lament. I think... Your shampoo is starting to leak Thickly teared bubbles… And your soap! Don’t get me started on your soap! I don't think your soap will make it. Your coffee is getting cold And I don't think that cream was a good idea I already see a milky film And it may go the way of the soap, Maybe even sooner. When you get back, it might just be me Waiting with arms open Holding a cold pajama For you to warm. Mike Brady 2005/10                                                                      

Why I'm Me

Why I'm me I think that most of what I write is stuff that should have been brought up years ago when I was a teenager. It's really a bunch of self –self in all the basic ways -- absorbed, conscious, flagellated and fish. I’m still struggling through the Nietzsche and Sartre phases of personality development and doing it much too late in life – I should be at the Niebuhr stage and coasting comfortably into my old age; all compromise and apology to the forces that demand my surrender, be it gravity or guilt. Granny used to say that I was just a “willful” child, but I’m thinking it’s much deeper. Granny had the gift of understatement. All true, though I’m trying to be pleasant about it. I am just trying to figure out what the point is. I not interested in the big bang, I want to find the big vagina that it shot out of. I’m not interested in time, I want to find out who’s keeping the score. I don’t want to know where I’m going after I’m dead, I want to know wher

Webmaster update

I've been busy today going through all of my old blog entries, getting rid of bad links, pictures, and some bad writing. I have finished the first year -- 200 entries, and will try to get to this years entries later today (think, tomorrow.) I'm also posting a picture of my daughter, Allison, with her new car. It's cold and rainy this afternoon -- perfect for both writing and napping. We shall see which way I go, but you probably already know. (My apologies for the movie review of Kick-Ass I did yesterday -- it was more tone than informational. I can make almost anything about me, and you'd be surprised how easy it is. You may not know too much about the movie, but you know a little more about me.) Mike

Kick Ass, a movie review

Kick ass – the movie review “They are ruining the ending,” she said. “What do I care, I don’t even know you,” I replied. It was the Tuesday special, in a small theater with old seats. Half-crazy and more than moderately disabled people were chanting from the back row: “Hot chocolate, Hot OJ, Hot coffee, Hot hot dogs,” went the chant. Pause, repeat. I expected to see them after the movie shouting, “Bring out your dead” in front of the pancake house next door. I saw them in my head, like a movie, with Styrofoam cups in their hands. I also expected to see actual dead people as well. My seat dipped to left, slightly and I bought no refreshments. The movie last two hours and it seemed like two hours. I wanted to like it, and I guess I did, in a way. Nick Cage was Nick Cage, but his daughter was a real delight – funny, cute, expressive and articulate. When she asked, “What do you cuxt’s want?” when facing down some bad guys, I really bought it. (She wasn’

Rolling Away the Stone

Issue #1 of Mike’s solutions to everyday problems.  (If you have to ask what the problem is, you are not ready for the solution.) The advantage of the paper against wall method is -- the natural braking action of the wall prevents paper runaways. This is useful if you are a forceful person, have mad pets, or are a practicing Sufi with whirling dervish tendencies. It’s also a bit unhygienic – the need to touch the wall when pulling the paper can come at a “bad” time – especially if you need additional paper after the first pull and wipe. It’s the ultimate of a double dipping no-no. Since yankers tend to more emotional and impulsive, they may want to plan accordingly. It’s better to take too much and not need it than to have poop on your walls. Inderal can help – ask your physician. Enough said, really, enough. The advantage of placing the roll so that the paper free falls into the center of the room is convenience, it’s easy – and it’s more ethereal and cottony – like pulling an air

Goldman Sachs, Simply

What they did: A client (Abacus) came to them with an idea. They wanted to take a pile of bad mortgages and bundle them into a bigger pile. Packaged, and with the reputation of a major investment banker (Goldman) behind them, They wanted to sell them to investors and bet their own money that they would fail. Playing with loaded dice makes it Wall Street, not Vegas. The mortgages were selected to fail with Goldman's help. Goldman was brought in to both help in the selecting of the bad stuff, and to make the sales to the unwitting -- people who felt that Goldman was acting as a fair broker -- as a  "Banking Investment Firm." After Goldman et. al. found the worst of the worst, they bundled them into a package, then sold the package to investors. And, this is key, when the package was sold, there was no mention to the investors of the certainty they would lose all of their money. And when the mortgages failed, the client would collect the insurance money (CDO&