Cindy Hochman: “Self-Portrait in a Concave Knife”

When the Big C meets the Big D, all you can do is laugh. At least, that’s where poet Cindy Hochman’s survival instinct takes her. Packed with more puns than a Snickers bar has peanuts, her chapbook The Carcinogenic Bride (Thin Air Media Press, 2011) brings energetic wit to bear on those modern monsters, breast cancer and divorce. She kindly shares a sample poem below. To order a copy ($5.00), email Cindy at Hat tip to Gently Read Literature for bringing this book to my attention.

Self-Portrait in a Concave Knife

Here comes the carcinogenic bride!
Here comes the survivor-in-chief!
Wanna see my balance sheet?
This will be my Checkers Speech!
There goes my stale mate
We once lived in an altared state
He cleaned my slate, I cleaned his plate
Here is love in fission
body in remission, missionary position
Here is my inner elf,
my quirky self, my non-existent wealth,
      in sickness and in health
Here are my hickeys, my hearses, my hoopla,
   my histrionics
Here is my whole hierarchy of hernias
Say some Hail Marys and kenahoras
For tumors come and gone.
Here is the lion’s share, my blonde hair, my thin air,
   my health care.
Ass-kisser, go-getter, phone-dodger, night-
  blogger, flip-flopper, vow-breaker
Here is my Chinese fan
Here is my oil can
Here is my Yes We Can!
Here is my bellyflop, my pet rock, my co-op, my
 writer’s block
     my Last Supper
     my Mea Culpa!
Here are my brittle bones, my mortgage loans
My dulcet tones, my low moans
Here is my picket sign, my witty line, my glass of
  wine (or two . . .)
Here is my income tax, my credit max, my panic attacks
Here is what I’ve held in escrow:
     my pens, my posse, my potbelly
     my strokes and daggers
Here is my handle
Here is my spout
     my gamin face, my apocalyptal pout
cranky bitch with perfect pitch
Here is my tea rose, my stuffy nose, my broken
my spiritual quest, my daily stress, my scarred
Here’s to my every OY,
My utter JOY
There’s my life through a poetic prism
(or maybe just my narcissism)

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