C. Nolan Deweese – The Chiropractor’s Dilemma

C. Nolan Deweese

The Chiropractor’s Dilemma


Slowly, on the train, you begin to dream.
A shantytown of sleep, tarps flooding,
the conductors annunciating the names of cities
with foreign accents and mustaches,
your dreams pitching tents on the wrong side of the tracks.

Strange maps: bits of motion, broken puzzle pieces
bit and disfigured by a juvenile god named transience.
And the twilight: the moment after waking
when your mind is an empty balloon,
not yet filled by recollections of war and personal sunsets.

Then, too quickly, the bones of memory are robbed
from the grave and sewn together crooked,
creating the skeleton of quite a new animal altogether.
The surgeons and biologists are off duty, drinking
somewhere in the unknown 80 percent of your brain.


The hum of the train takes you back to New York.
Vacation scrubs the backs of ethical questions
usually left like guns or non tax-deductible donations
in a box at the door.  What of the homeless, whose sleep
is a desert filled only with the scrub brush
of worry and alcohol induced scorpions?

Don’t they need your help the most, sleeping
on cardboard and newspaper like old sandwiches,
bread rotting and backs mangled?  Every day you ride
past them, those fields of wilting sunflowers,
on your way to some rock star who wears his guitar
too low.  Then you realize: I am a sunflower too.

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