Azilect and her agonist kin
make in me minor miracles, of a sort.
The tremor and confusion abate, but there's more.
I freak out, I want you to know, as usual. But it's better.
A pure panic and a psychedelic dread throbs in my cortex,
it always has, but now...?
Now it's a cold steel band in my chest, that fades.
Not the runaway burn, felt in all my mortal fiber, like before.
Like for most of my life, before the Parkinson's med Azilect.
Now the red remains within,
but the red glints blue,
then small, steady white.
This is new. The scrip alters me,
gives me a ten percent shift, away from lost,
then takes me over to live-with-it, finds me a chair.
I am not transformed or redeemed.
But a lovely little sense of dispassion displaces
my usual fallen-on-glass feeling.
More a momentary twinge of drama,
less an hour-long cringe-o-rama.
Without FEAR, and with the same old fear,
—except it lost its sharp stick.
If I invest myself in this drug
I get collusion, not collision,
with my trap-door-drop anxiety.
A little like how your best friend
from when you were eleven, magically
hovers again, to tease and distract you:
"Look out, look at this one, his claws!
A blue crawdad!"
And in the wave in front of your nose,
you face the fear, and laugh.
Dangers and thrills, fingers and claws,
but safe. Like safe used to be, long ago,
before JFK got his brains all over Dealey Plaza.
The revived acuity in me, the damped-down zig-zag dance of limbs,
are worth all titration blues, and the old-guy regime,
even the nasty side effects of the last drug,
the vomiting and passing out, too; getting here was worth it.
But I also get this scary, beautiful perspective.
Because it shrinks the loathing, and leaves behind
an intact, understandable, transient fear. Manageable.
It is useful. And necessary. It improves me.
A profound change.
Am I still me, on these drugs?
Do I still have writerly edge and verve?
my flammable vocabulary?
my perfervid heart-song prose?
my knack for raw and acute reveals?
my observational skill?
Will I still be able to articulate
the lost, elusive sensations of life
give voice to the oddly familiar (but never expressed),
the flamboyant, beautiful qualities of my human-ness?
and will I do it with alacrity?
These are brain drugs, so they alter me.
The pills reclaim for me my ability, yes,
jet me up with alert energy, yes,
give me a more ordinary demeanor,
quakeless, o yes.
But will it grind off my burr'd prominences,
sand off my sharpest points?
Until I am normalized,
shaped, finished, lacquered and stowed away?
Unable to find my familiar inner stain,
I will scrub at it for you anyway, from memory, constant reader,
but does it make of me a nostalgic putterer?
The question of medicated identity is a question for our age.
It demands of us careful thought.
But it is my brain, my self,
what deserves a poetic response.
So with my regular breath:
A sonnet for my dosed and dilute Self, this is.