Never mind discussing what is and isn’t postmodern, let’s discuss postnasal ….


BROAD STREET presents another in Marylen Grigas’s series of poems about loss, love, illness, and putting it all together again–illustrated by Riley McAlpine-Barthold.  Click above to see the poem in a printer-friendly, larger-font version, or scroll down past the bylines for plain text.


Marylen Grigas is the author of  the poetry collection  Shift, out this fall from Nature’s Face publishers.  Her poems have recently been published in The New Yorker, Alaska Quarterly Review, and Circulo de Poesia. She lives in Vermont and works at an architectural stained glass studio.  Read about her inspiration for this series by clicking on her Truth Teller Spotlight.

Riley McAlpine-Barthold grew up in rural Vermont in a cabin without electricity or running water but with lots of time to draw.  After college, she moved to L.A., where she worked as an artist and painter.   Now back in Vermont, Riley continues to make art and is also a certified Bioenergy therapist.



A Hypochondriac’s Guide to the Body   

 Never mind discussing what is and isn’t postmodern, let’s discuss post nasal, let’s disgust ourselves for the better good of our bodies—minds are another matter. I’ve just read a poem describing the symptoms of someone’s mother. She has faded, but her symptoms remain emblazoned on the back of my esophagus. No amount of coughing helps. Could it be can-   can-   can’t say it, but chances are good that it is, society riddled with it at every level, so why not. Even my hound continues to woo-woo whine for more meat, while his colon only accepts rice. How does motion affect the body? A sixteen-mile bike ride leaves ailments in the dust, the dust left in the dust, dust full of dander, pollen, mites, and mold. All those skin tests for allergens, seeing them all light up, all the components of planet Earth. Where does the mind fit in? That, too, has its symptoms. Perhaps we’re a foolish lot in the absence of pain and worry, wasting our time searching for nutritional yeast. Get back on your bike, follow the road until it disappears into a crowd of days and into the underbrush, fraught with ifs and their spiky leaves–some poisonous, some medicinal, some both.