Poet Suffers Stroke
A poet suffered a stroke today, a brain attack in the middle of winter. Today — a white and crispy winter’s day, a poet had a stroke. A forty-year-old man, vibrant and childless, suffered a slight bleeding of the brain. At around seven a.m., Vincent woke up, turned around and reached for his alarm clock, but couldn’t feel his arm. Vincent the poet is vibrant, yet his arm went numb when he got up this morning.
He walked to the bathroom and while he peed, he heard a muffled sound. His pee sounded muffled. His pee. He was Vincent the poet with muffled-sounding pee. His pee seemed orange, because Vincent couldn’t see properly. Best to sit down in the bathroom, next to, o look, a white bowl. White bowl. Arms dangling.
Vincent is trying to write fiction, flashes of fiction, when in fact he is a poet. By now he has moved from past to present tense, because he is a poet having a stroke. Now, he is sitting in the bathroom, next to a white bowl of orange pee, and he can’t remember why.
Vince, a thirty-year-old father of three, is a novelist. He has just had a stroke. He has also just had a divorce. Although he writes fiction, he wishes he could be a poet. Somehow poetry makes sense of sound and the now. His ex-wife was a poet. He bets she would have made sound sense of his stroke. Yet his mind keeps on dwelling in past tense, his old blue house, the red gate, the poet wife with the white smile.
Vince, a twenty-seven-year old novelist, hears words like fiction, friction, affliction. He thinks he’s becoming a poet, while he lifts his dangling arms and drags himself over the floor. He is crawling on the floor towards the door. Next to the door is a small table with a phone on it. If he reaches it, he can call for help. He pushes his heavy arm into the air, pulls at the blurry cloth and sees the phone tumble down — slowly. He phones for help. Vince mumbles that he has had a stroke — in simple present perfect. When he hears a muffled weeoo weeoo, he closes his eyes and sees a woman smiling.
Geula Geurts is a Dutch-born poet living in Jerusalem. She is enrolled in the Shaindy Rudoff Graduate Program in Creative Writing at Bar Ilan University. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Rogue Agent, Hermeneutic Chaos, Minerva Rising, The Fem and the anthology HYSTERIA (Lucky Bastard Press). She works as a Foreign Rights Agent at The Deborah Harris Literary Agency.
(Next story: Communion by J. Edward Kruft)
Feel like submitting? Check out our submission guidelines