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December 28, 2008


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Bill Peckham

I keep rereading these poems. Anna found these while we were Skyping and surfing the internet. Stream of consciousness Googling brought her to Poetry on Dialysis.

The all CAPS stopped me from reading - Vidal posted the four poems in all CAPS. All CAPS are a personal aversion, digital cilantro. I asked Anna to reformat them for me and because she is nice she did emailing what is posted above.

When I started dialysis 18 years ago I didn't have the internet. I never wrote what I thought, I don't remember even verbalizing what I felt. Vidal's poems brought to mind my first months of dialysis in a rush.

I asked Anna to reformat the three other poems and post them for me to read. After sleeping on it and reading the second one I went to Poetry on Dialysis and, over coming my all CAPS aversion, read the other two pieces as they were originally posted. Now the CAPS don't bother me, they seem right, they fit.

You can't put the tooth paste back in the tube. I find it easier to read them conventionally formatted but I am now aware that this is art and being easy to read isn't the point. The point is to convey the appalling horror of dialysis, particularly when it comes without warning. For me Vidal's poems evoke the initial experience of dialysis like nothing else I've read. In my first few months on dialysis I probably would have been writing in all CAPS too.

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