As predicted, Friends and Fans of the Kangaroo, I returned to the drafting desk this morning primed and already working based on the scribbles I'd made in the last few weeks in my journal. A few days ago, the sickly speaker made an appearance (although my other scribblings are not from her and predict two new PROSE projects...ack...PROSE!).
The speaker gave me words of being "weaned from the machines" and went on to tell me about how she would sneak around in the wee hours of the morning while the night nurse dozed. The sickly speaker takes great pleasure in entering the whitecoats' offices and messing around. I think there will be several poems that follow this line. For now, I had to rearrange a bit from what I scribbled, as she had some extra background to give me before we got to the breaking and entering.
The draft begins:
In the days of my healing, they sent a mystic in,
and I was weaned from the machines one needle
at a time. ...
|image from Wikimedia Commons, click for link|
For the title, I popped open the latest issue of Orion magazine, one of my all-time favorites. I opened to "Sand County, the Sequel" by Sandra Steingraber and my eyes fell instantly on this line: "To narrate the message... ." In the second half of the poem, after the sickly speaker is free of the machines 24/7, she begins her creeping about at night and she leaves "offerings" of herself in the "nearest whitecoat's den." These are bits of skin and hair or something torn from her gown. This is the room in which she prays about her future health (a new twist in the series). I hooked on "narrate the message" as a way of saying prayer and added more to the phrase to fall in line with the heavy titles most of the other poems have. Thus, "The Body Itself Becomes the Narrator of the Message" as the speaker leaves bits of herself in offering of prayer for health.