My death poem – i wrote it in summer 2005 in a damp dusty basement, as i thought i was going to die of asthma. i’ve been hospitalised with asthma about once a year since i began temping in 2004, and i nearly died a few other times in 2005 and 2006. In 2005, working for the Halifax for 6 quid an hour, i had a bad weekend alone with my lungs; i decided just to meditate into death; but i was in a literary mood, so wrote this first, as the rain ceased outside:

the rain has stopped falling

puddles hold a spent sky

a broken bird takes flight

As soon as i wrote it my lungs opened and i could breathe normally again; an extreme improvement, given i had felt my brain closing down from oxygen deprivation – i was about as bad as this May, when i was hospitalised for a week, shouted at by doctors, etc.. Poetry, it seems, can achieve in 30 seconds as much as a week of modern medicine. Partly, it was the psychological effect of opening my arms to death, no longer resisting; but partly, i guess it was what we would call magic – long before i began the rune work i found my words, both written and spoken, could achieve unlikely effects.

My medication will run out in about a month, at the same time as my money (assuming my ex-employer paid me for the work i did – i will check tomorrow when i attempt to withdraw my rent money – but given their mercenary ethos i wouldn’t be too surprised to find i haven’t been paid, or they’ve docked half of it on some pretext). i don’t have, and cannot afford, medical insurance, so i can’t see a doctor, or call an ambulance. The flat doesn’t have a working hoover; dust is a problem. My asthma is watching on the sidelines; i’m aware that if i go without medication for a few days my lungs will most likely close until i can no longer breathe. And, unfortunately, i cannot manufacture my own oxygen.

At present i feel to be in two worlds like Orpheus, neither fully alive nor fully dead. However, the situation will resolve itself, naturally.