Monday, March 30, 2015

Artist's Prostatement

There are many kinds of cancer from the head down to the toes.
They can cause disfigured organs or just pink spots on your nose.
But my favorite one, for reasons even I don’t understand,
Is the cancer that begins inside the humble prostate gland.

You can talk of brains and bones and breasts and lungs and nodes lymphatic,
And of course these cancers all have quite a flair for the dramatic,
But even the affliction of the skin that’s over-tanned
Just pales when it’s compared to cancer of the prostate gland.

Most normal prostates function well and people do not mind them.
And even an enlarged one, men will try to put behind them,
Especially when the doctor checks with latex-covered hand
For signs of abnormality within the prostate gland.

And if, alas, you have some symptom needing further study,
Such as difficulty peeing or ejaculate that’s bloody,
A prostate biopsy will almost certainly be planned
To see what’s going on inside that humble prostate gland.

You can whack this thing with several thousand rads of radiation
(And hope the treatment, of itself, does not cause some mutation)
You can have the whole thing excised with a cool robotic hand
But you still might have to deal with cancer of the prostate gland.

And if, when treatment’s over, luckily you’re cancer-free,
And your side effects no worse than having constantly to pee,
If all your other functions come back, that is simply grand,
You still should show respect for cancer of the prostate gland.

So stand up hand in hand across the land now and demand
Research be planned to understand the cancerous prostate gland.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Letting Go of Holding On

For serious hoarders, these are trying times. More and more, things that were once … um, things … are now just so much ethereal vapor … bits in the cloud. Music, books, movies … soon no intellectual property will be housed in physical objects, and even physical objects will be email-able to someone’s 3D printer. We will have attained the state of Plato’s ἰδέα theory … in which actual things are merely inferior facsimiles of the pure concepts that exist in the cloud.

Yet somehow the prospect of Library-of-Congress-sized vaults filled with thumb drives and SD cards, or Google’s round-the-clock, round-the-world servers, does not hold much appeal. Any experience that requires a glass slab between 5 and 50 inches diagonally to enjoy is pretty paltry. It’s a form of sensory deprivation.

And Spring cleaning takes on a whole new meaning.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Spring Cleaning

Now is the winter of our discontent made some weird kind of undefined season. As Boston emerges from its snowiest winter on record, we mark several important occasions.

First, today is the Ides of March, when we recall the soothsayer’s famous warning to Julius Caesar to beware the impending income tax season.

Second, tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day, when Bostonians the world over celebrate the patron saint of Ireland by gorging on corned beef and cabbage and beer until they turn green.

Finally, Friday is the actual arrival of Spring, which will undoubtedly be met with a light snowfall.

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Changing

Once upon a midnight spree of watching late night comedy
I realized it would soon be three and shortly after, four.
As I thought about this strange phenomenon, the time was changed
And TV schedules rearranged themselves from what they’d been before.
“Daylight Savings Time,” I muttered, “changed the schedules from before–
Only this and nothing more.”

Soon my clock had reached that number when it wrenches me from slumber
Though I’d just watched Dumb and Dumber scarely several hours before.
Through the day I’ll struggle vainly to appear awake, but plainly
It’s an uphill battle mainly due to standard time of yore,
Of that sweet repose in standard time that I enjoyed before,
I could use an hour more.