Two Poems

John Maradik


Doug is great

Doug is dignified

but I am


“Something is wrong with me”

            “What’s wrong?”


            “Something is wrong”

I was a Doug trapped

in a Dave

but outside of me, there was    only    more Doug

I was creating him at every turn
            “How big is Doug?”

            “In every sense of the word

            Doug is me, Meredith!”

            “What if everyone were Doug?”

            “I don’t want that”

I didn’t want Doug to think I was myself (I loved his long blonde hair)

my choices were limited
I was Dave. Dave for years
focused on Dave’s career
every day of the week
and now I’d finally found Doug
like a Dave, but even bigger

and fun

Good Grief

there is a point
directly in the center of the chest
called the grief point
acupuncturists refer to it as
“the furnace chakra”
this point is so sensitive
I can feel it
when my acupuncturist presses it
with his finger
“my god, I can even hear it,” he said
in the silence
in his home office
by the glow of his odd paper lantern
I had driven to him
through a big New England snow storm
because I thought he could help me
“Can’t you hear it?” he asked
“I think so,” I said
“It sounds like the buzzing of a rattlesnake,”
he said he pointed to a giant map of the organs
covered in lettering
“The deceased lodge themselves
within certain organs,” he said
I looked out his office window
watched snow fall on his neighbor’s roof
he examined me over his spectacles
“There are many types of grief,” he said
“I don’t want you to fall victim to any of them”
he went to his counter
selected needles from a tin cup
“Are you very uncomfortable?” he asked “I don’t know,” I said
he had me lie facedown on the table “You will feel a pinch,” he said
he stuck needles in my back
he reached across my body
his stomach pressed against my arm “We create within our hearts
a warehouse of blocked emotion,” he said “It’s all packed in there”
he put needles in
both sides of my head
along my hairline
I could feel each needle
he put them in my ears, my neck
the backs of my knees
my skin came alive
I felt a moment of utter panic
and physical fear
I was terrified of needles
“It hurts,” I said
“Ah,” he said “that means it’s working” his office was silent and still
I could hear him gathering more needles “Pain is a doorway,” he said
he demanded I go through