Poems to be recited on one breath.

This page is devoted to various poems I have written about a variety of topics. I begin with my new genre, Poems to Be Recited on One Breath.  I have also included audio files with me performing them.


I plan to continue writing poems that need to be recited aloud using only one breath.

Panic Attack In Five Breaths

1. The fear just starts from nowhere specific and for no specific reason.The wave of terror just starts. He may be in the middle of a normal dream, when his mind senses a chemical change in his body; a change that promises a day of terror. A day of knowing he will die and recover and die and recover again and again until a moment when his body tells him …“it’s over… it’s…over…for now.”

2. Now he waits and survives so he can wait and survive once more, and ten times more. Let the fear pass through him, let him survive it just one more hour, one minute and, there, now, yes, maybe this will be the last one. But it isn’t. It’s morning.

3. The waves will continue all day, even through the night. Wave after wave of terror, heart palpitations, dissociation, fear, his thoughts reeling with the idea that he’s dying, he’s passing out of existence. It’s as if he’s in a dream he cannot stop. A world in which he will die or become insane or both. A world of waves of terror that come when they come and leave when they leave.

4. Ever since he was 9 years old and didn’t know what was happening to him the walls of his bedroom would close on him, then recede. The glass of milk on the breakfast table appeared to be getting bigger, as if it was moving towards him. Everything else vanished from his vision. He was terrified. He tried to pray. It did not help. Even God would not help him.

5. He grew up wondering what he was doing wrong or eating wrong or praying wrong. Forty-five years later a doctor finally told him. “It sounds like a panic attack to me. It won’t kill you.” Leaving the doctor’s office he wondered what the benefit is of being told it won’t kill him when he knows for certain that the next wave will.

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