Breast Cancer Answers Art Gallery

RADIATION AND REALITY

Out--of-control now
too many factors
computer errors
delayed messages
inattention

And now I can see it reflected in my own eye
the explosion
the terror
the horror

What's outside is inside.
My nemesis no longer a story in the paper
no longer, "there but for the grace of God go I"
It is in my eye
It is the cancer in my eye
I see

I knew it would happen
All the evidence predicted it
But there was no inattention--no!
There was
Careful attention
Obsessive attention
Because, being human
Not an analytical machine--with a cold reading of
My morphic climate
My emotions are not hampered by objectivity
Only my psy---chology and bi---ology and his-story:
So when bombs and burning and the injustice of life fell
All about me
I knew,
I knew someday, someday
It would be my turn.
There would be no escape

But just in case,
I took precautions.
I took vitamins, I stopped eating carcinogens.
That is I tried; it seemed a losing battle while
The crops themselves could not escape
The planes spraying pesticides
Even as they sprayed agent orange
on Vietnam
on foliage and people who could not escape

Who is the enemy?
Life is no longer natural.
Are we being manipulated by the money makers who use
technology for power.
Such power serves not the cause of humankind,
not the cause of life
It is only some momentary madness--this fleeting service
seemingly to enhance one's own dominion

As Pharoh once used the Jews
and could not believe that inhumanity
could finally visit his own.

But what of technology used in the service for good?
The x-ray machine can signal an alert
Can kill off dangerous cells, as well as loved ones.

The maleavolency comes from this fact: it is a machine
That does something to you
It takes you in a way no human ever can
While no other human can be present
Because when the machine is doing this to you
The whole area of experience is out of bounds
It is too dangerous too for anyone else to be present.

The room is cold, freezing cold
And I am just a thing, an object, a specimen--
Being put into that machine,
Like a tray of film.

This is a surreal world I walk around in,
(with no legs)
It's my head moving through my life
(as in the painting)
Thinking and feeling:
(feeling sick, thinking: doomed).
My head is detached from reality.

Mixed Media
© 1988, Betsy Noorzay


* * *