NaPoWriMo 2016 FPR Impromptu #12 MIGRAINEUR


Today’s prompt comes from Found Poetry Review’s Impromptu challenge, this one by Robert Fitterman. To read about Robert, and to see challenge poems from the Impromptu participants, check here:


Collect found language from individuals who articulate how they feel, specifically, in their bodies…physical symptoms in the body (neck, head, stomach, feet, etc). Use at least 20 different posts from different speakers. Modify, arrange, modify. PS. This idea is borrowed from Steve Zultanski.”
I used several articles I found at to source my text, which I then juxtaposed.  I also erased some of the text to carve out my poem.  I modified the prompt by choosing only 5 articles to plunder, as many of the things searching turned up seemed far too particular and personal to comfortably use.




Papyrus Migraine Therapy

Papyrus Migraine Therapy (Wikipedia)



It’s easy to feel like a human yo-yo.
I’m 20. Feel like I’m on the verge of 90.
I get out of bed, assess whether I am physical.

Every time I eat or drink anything
but plain water, I fall asleep.
To get up in the first place
I dream of a walker to get around
yet fear I will feel disabled.
I dream a toilet beside my bed.

Weeks pass.
I go without seeing or talking.
Quality time means migraine,
not the life I wanted,  the tread
worn down and smooth.
Time for climbing a mountain
wearing roller skates, vomiting aura,
impossible train of thought, a project of
significance. Until my ribs feel bruised.

Sometimes simple focusing can trigger
fear of the tread on our shoes
worn down from relentless strides.
We feel slippery, irrelevant and disappearing
into a coffin inside the brain.

The brain is a muscle that can work puzzles
in a funk deep on the verge of tears. A dark abyss.
No way out. A churn in the pit of my head.
That bottomless pit of dissolved skies, this darkness.
The perfect storm catches me by surprise EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

Carol A. Stephen
April 12, 2016


2 thoughts on “NaPoWriMo 2016 FPR Impromptu #12 MIGRAINEUR

    • I am fortunate that the headaches I used to get visit no longer. The banging ones where you don’t want your heels to touch the ground. These days, mostly visual disturbance followed by (sometimes! a mild but annoying headache)

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