Positively Kick Ass

Cancer haiku with product placement

Photo by pamelarosiedee.

Photo by pamelarosiedee.

A shampoo purchase
Makes me teary. Time to try
Johnson & Johnson's.

What did Beckett know
About existential doubt?
Visit a mall, Sam.

Eat Wetzel's pretzels -
Sinful cinnamon! - and read
Of ancient cancers,

Of tumors that start
As melan cholo babies
But sometimes grow great,

Of rogues and nomads -
Mutinous cells, strivers who
Sail the seas of blood.




My source of inspiration here - pretzel aside - was George Johnson's terrific new book, The Cancer Chronicles, a history of the disease that ranges from the personal to the pathological to the anthropological. As a sometime melancholic, I was struck to learn that Hippocrates believed cancerous tumors to be clots of black bile.

On a related note, I have claimed Pete's sign - Pisces - as my own this week, only because Rob Brezsny's "Free Will" horoscope includes this quotation from the Mexican journalist Lydia Cacho: "I am not fearless, but I'm not overtaken by fear. Fear is quite an interesting animal. It's like a pet. If you mistreat it, it will bite, but if you understand it and accept it in your house, it might protect you."