Tuesday, November 19, 2013

My dear friend Bill Boyd

Died November 20, 2006
When he was diagnosed the year before, he called to tell me. 
He struggled to suppress the coughing to get out a whole sentence. 
Ok let’s cut right to the chase, he said. I have lung cancer.  
I felt tiny ants skitter across my skin in all directions. 
We waited for me to speak but no words rose up, 
only the thought of Bill dying, which was both conceivable 
and inconceivable. 
He had been a smoker 
but consumed enormous quantities of vitamins. 
So I assumed he'd be among the lucky ones 
who'd dodge the cancer bullet.  Besides,
Bill was a lifelong student of mind control 
--EST, FORUM and NLP.  He'd spent years 
in therapy, had read countless books about the mind. 
Had worked so hard at self knowledge, I called him. 
a Bill-ologist. 
Finally I had to speak. 
Oh God, Bill. Oh God. I’m stunned. 
Yeah, he said, isn’t that a fucking downer? 
But I’m not going in for all that radiation and chemo and all that shit. 
I’m going to look around for alternatives.
That seemed too risky but I dared not disagree. 
Faith can perform miracles. 
Conviction can bend reality or at least seem to.  
I don’t know what the rules are in this new realm, 
only that there’s a feedback loop between mind and body. 
People have raised and lowered their body temperature 
with thoughts alone. I saw a man walk on burning coals. 
If anyone can do this, it is you Bill, I said, surrendering to his vision. 
because I don't fully understand this mystery that engulfs us.