Part I, Poetry from when I was 17: Nausea

“When I was 17, it was a very good year . . .”

My mother just sent me a package from home. Inside I found two interesting documents (plus a beautiful photo of a daffodil from her garden). One was a book of Haiku poetry that I wrote when I was 6 years old and in first grade (apparently, I really liked the words “a lot” a lot). The other one was my high school literary magazine where, of course at 17, I thought I was pretty intellectual, and wrote a few poems. Here is one of the poems which I happened to write after reading Jean-Paul Sartre’s Nausea.

Schiele Agony


The Nausea takes me over
burning in the pits of my eyes
emptying in the tunnel of my neck
pressing on my stomach
with a cold wet foot
it has been so long
since I have seen you
now there are nails, claws
scraping the thin barriers of my heart
my neck stiffens, stinging
I can’t remember you
I can’t forget you a life of autumn
lasting throughout the seasons. I want to puke
the delicate flesh
from behind the ears of my legs
behind the knees of my arms
chokes weeping silence
I’m scared!
I refuse to move
I’m frozen in existence
I won’t pull down the lips of my eyes
just remain waiting
avoiding the dreams
the images that give me
the Nausea
of the future without the past
without you my friend
my life is like
a fear burning
attempting to express
pain of unneeded change
these memories:
purple-spotted images
in the pink veins
of a black screen, highlights of a movie
and how I wish I knew the ending.
Even when I cough I taste you in my phlegm
You’ve become a part of me
and I wad you up in
a saliva ball and spit
onto the cement below my feet it just lies there and I can’t draw it back
it is like myself there you are where I’m not
I wish I had never let it escape
But you’re so distant
that I can’t put it back in my mouth
and be like you again. My eyes are watching
I’m in the same room
where I have always been
nothing is ever the same
I vomit up into the air
and struggle to make
you land in the soft mitt
of my blue oceans
for the tears I thirst with little moisture
at night I scream a pitch
that can’t be heard
of your voice laughing, crying in the airport
saliva on the pavement
I have aborted my breath
and its ghost haunts me. I slide through the shoots in my skin
down to the bottom of my sensitive toes
and then pull my way up
the rope with all the weight of the
vomit on my back to withstand
our next meeting and then fall back again
like the bleeding knot
of hair that I tear
from my scalp searching and searching to show you my life
and the Nausea continues dormant in a puddle about me
in front of this mirror.

1 Comment

Filed under Digressions

One response to “Part I, Poetry from when I was 17: Nausea

  1. I remember all of this. I remember your heart and your talent with words and your deep feelings. Thanks for sharing it again. Thanks for picking up the package at the post office.I leave tomorrow for my island knowing you have reconnected with yourself and will coninue to do so. You are brave. I love you.

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